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.
|Miami||64-18||Best player in the world
|Milwakuee||49-33||No one goes into Milwaukee thinking they could lose||Trigger-happy backcourt|
|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|
|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|
|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.