Way back in September, frequent reader/commenter Joe came up with a great idea for using a couple of advanced stats to try to predict the Sixers win total for the 2010-2011 season. I ran the numbers and came up with a bleak picture for what to expect. Well, now it's time to complete the picture and see where individual Sixers exceeded expectations.
First, take a look at the series of posts which describe the methodology. First post, second post, third post (with actual projections).
OK, let's get right to the money shot. One thing to keep in mind, these posts were published immediately prior to the Willie Green trade. I had Jason Smith and Willie playing a combined 1,190 minutes. Their replacements didn't take those minutes, they basically went to Brand/Thad and Meeks.
There are a whole lot of numbers up there, so let me summarize for you in a couple of bullets:
- The projections using win shares and my minute totals were off by 13.85 wins on the low end.
- The projections using wins produced and my minute totals were off by 21.24 wins on the low end.
- Brand, Thad and Jrue dramatically beat their projections in both categories, pretty much accounting for the team-wide improvement on their own using both metrics. Jrue's jump was dramatic, Thad completely turned it around and Brand produced at levels almost equal to the best years of his career.
- The two metrics diverge when it comes to Lou Williams. Lou was pretty much on par with the win share projection, but dropped by 3.49 wins in wins produced.
- Turner fell well short of the lofty guesstimation I used to project him in both stats.
- Nocioni, Battie and Hawes all beat their expectations, but the expectations were quite low to begin with.
A lot of this you can chalk up to the team's improved defense. Team DFR is taken into account when calculating both win shares and wins produced. The Sixers as a team were pitiful defensively in 2009-2010 under Eddie Jordan. This past season, Doug Collins coached them into the #7 defense in the league.
Probably the most amazing thing about the 41 wins the Sixers put up is that they did it with Iguodala falling almost 500 minutes below his projected total. Iguodala is by far the Sixers most dominant player by WP, and he's been right there in WS as well.
In the coming days, weeks, months and maybe years depending on how long the lockout lasts, we'll get into each player's development and performance. For now, take a look at the numbers above and let me know which leap shocked you the most, which is the most meaningful, and which is fool's gold.