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Analysis on preseason's predictive ability for regular season

This is a great, great read, and I highly recommend you take a few minutes to browse through it if you're at all interested in understanding basketball through statistical trends. On a Wolves note, it does suggest that, at least through what we've seen so far, that the Wolves will be much, much more improved this year. To whet your appetite (and substitute in the Wolves for whatever team/players mentioned as necessary): "Independent of the 82 Games study, I suspected that teams with poor records last year would have preseason records that would be more meaningful than better teams. This is because poor teams would be more likely to spark personnel turnover and to rebuild their roster. Thus, they have younger players and higher draft picks, who play more minutes in the preseason. "In instances of significant player movement, such as what the Heat experienced this year, preseason performance can paint a much clearer picture of future expectations. This is because the team’s performance last year becomes much less meaningful to estimate the current year’s record. If Wade wasn’t hurt this preseason, watching him play with Lebron and Bosh could be very telling. ... "The preseason is a significant factor for predicting regular season success. In fact, preseason performance is comparable to regular season performance for predicting future wins and losses. After accounting for the number of starter minutes played, the difference becomes even smaller. "With all this being said, don’t get too caught up with the Spurs preseason record, but instead focus on the performance of the players. Pay attention to whether or not Richard Jefferson seems to fit into the team’s scheme better. See if Tony Parker has the same burst as in years past. Focus on the performances of the promising young players such as DeJuan Blair, James Anderson, George Hill and (hopefully) Tiago Splitter. Even the performances of Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan should be considered when they play."

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