When you're trying to predict a team's record prior to the season, the first hurdle is always minutes played. When you're dealing with a new coach and a young roster fresh off a dismal season under a terrible coach, it's quite a tricky proposition. Let's take a look at the actual minute distribution, extrapolate it to a full season, laugh at how far off I was back in September and even look at some production metrics.
OK, let's start with minutes. What you're looking at here is current minutes, projected minutes (simple math, individual minutes played through 34 team games played, divided by 34, times 82), the number of minutes I predicted for each player in the offseason, and the difference. Just the charts for now, chew on them for a while. I'll give my thoughts throughout the day in the comments, hopefully you guys will as well.
Next up is Production. We're using win shares and wins produced (click on each for a definition). You'll see the actual numbers through 34 games, the projected numbers based on the minutes calculations from the previous table and then total everything up.
Finally, let's take a gander at how the projections I put together based on last season's numbers are looking after 34 games. If you don't remember, prior to the opening tip I pulled all the numbers for the roster (this was before the Willie Green trade), then I used my minutes predictions to project a win total for the team. The key numbers here were wins produced/48 minutes and win shares/48 minutes. P WS and P WP are how many win shares and wins produced each player would have if they produced at 2010 levels and played their actual minute totals so far this season (A WP and A WS are the actual numbers). A couple notes, for Turner I used a very generous WP48 and WS48, basically close to a best-case scenario. For Tony Battie, I used the WS48 and WP48 of the last season in which he played somewhat regular minutes.
A couple of things to keep in mind, again saving the analysis for the comments. (1) Iguodala has missed basically 9.5 games due to injury, and that's taken into account when you're calculating the number of minutes he's on pace for. I think it's pretty unlikely he'll miss another 13.4 games from this point on, at least I hope he won't, and more minutes from Iguodala will undoubtedly lead to more wins. (2) The Sixers are better than their record by both of these metrics, but that doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of actual wins. If they perform at this level the rest of the way and the stats translate perfectly, they'd actually finish with 35 or 36 wins. They'd have to out-perform their WS and WP to make up the difference and finish with 38 or 39, as predicted.
Alright, have at it in the comments, I'll digest and join you throughout the day. Then we've got a game thread for the Wiz game tonight. Feels good to be home.