Projected W-L records for each team based on WP of top six players

Using the player data at NBA Geek and pulling each team's starting five (plus sixth man) from the depth charts at ESPN (with a dash of common sense), I took a stab at projecting each teams' finish next year.

(Insert caveat's and mea culpa's here. Some of the biggies:

  • I used last year's WP numbers. If a former NBA player didn't play last year (Kirilenko, for instance), I used the WP numbers from 2011. If a team is expected to give a rookie extended playing time, I penciled the rookie in for .05 WP/48, except for Kidd-Gilchrist (.100), and Anthony Davis (.150).
  • I used my own judgement to pick each team's sixth man.
  • I gave little to no credit to any team's bench, to the detriment of deep teams like the wolves and knicks (esp. the knicks)
  • If a player is injured to start the year (Rubio, Avery Bradley, D. Rose), I left them off entirely.
  • If you add up all the wins, you get three more than exist in a regular-length season. Feel free to take those three wins away from a team you don't like.)

All that said, there are some big take-aways from this game: In the east: Brooklyn probably won't make the playoffs, Milwaukee should, and New York's bench is scary good. In the west: Denver joins OKC in the title hunt, the Lakers won't be as good as the pundits think, and you can pencil in our Pups for a four (4!) seed. Numbers after the jump.

Eastern Conference

Team Projected W-L Strength Weakness
Miami 64-18 Best player in the world
Interior size
Milwakuee 49-33 No one goes into Milwaukee thinking they could lose Trigger-happy backcourt
Indiana 46-36 Balance Balance
Boston 46-36 Perimeter D Offensive-rebounding
Chicago 45-37 Interior D D. Rose-less back-court is feeble
NYC 44-38 Tyson Chandler Playing the wrong players
Philadelphia 43-39 High-scoring front-court Three-point shooting
Atlanta 41-41 Inside-Outside Game Guard passing
Cleveland 38-44 Kyrie Irving Varejao will be traded for less than he's worth
Brooklyn 38-44 Quadrillionaire owner Expectations exceed talent
Washington 36-46 No bad players No good players
Detroit 33-49 Post-play Everything foul-line extended
Charlotte 29-53 Rookies with hyphen-ated last-names Yup
Orlando 25-57 No expectations Putting faith in the "Ewing Theory" but not in Ewing
Toronto 25-57 Kyle Lowry Letting Bargnani and DeRozan onto the court

Western Conference

Team Projected W-L Strength Weakness
Denver 61-21 Athleticism at altitude George Karl's Rotations
OKC 59-23 Superstars at three positions Team is better when it plays small
San Antonio 55-27 Passing Protecting the rim
Minnesota 50-32 Rebounding Question marks at the 2-spot
LA Clippers 47-35 Chris Mf-ing Paul Slow on the wing
Utah 46-36 Interior depth Starting Mo Williams
Memphis 45-37 Tough, physical team Talent falls off a cliff after starting five
LA Lakers 45-37 Inside-outside game Kobe still has the keys to the car
New Orleans 39-43 Anderson-Davis frontcourt Eric Gordon's contract
Sacramento 36-46 Shot-blocking Shot-taking
Portland 35-47 One-on-one scoring Sharing the ball
Dallas 34-48 A lot of these players used to be good Not many of them still are
Phoenix 30-52 Dragic-Gortat pick'n'roll That's the only offensive option they have
Houston 25-57 Some of their rookies might end up being capable pros someday Swung for the fences and missed
Golden State 25-57 Steph Curry

Every other starter

If you want to muck about more, you can view a fugly PDF of the work here. If you want to know the results if I swap players, like trading D-will for Varejao, let me know in the comments.


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