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Predicting the Atlantic

I would put the Sixers, Raps and Nets all at 41-41. Not that they will all end up .500, but none of them really separate themselves from the pack IMO. They each have some positives but also glaring flaws that make predicting success a bit of a crapshoot.

The Sixers in particular could end up anywhere from 36-46 wins, so I think your projection is on the high end of the range, but I hope you are spot on.

Also, if the Nets and Yi somehow have a good year, look to Lebron in Brooklyn and a huge NY/China/Russia media conglomerate that takes over the NBA.

I think the Nets future looks good but immediately this season they have to make up for 10 wins produced by Carter. I think you are underestimated Carters impact on that team pertaining to this season.

I like Lee a lot and Williams has uber potential but making up 10 wins produced one a guy is still much easier said than done. Carter's play has been better as of late (pretty sure he had more wins produced than Turkoglu did last season, a higher PER than Turkoglu had in any season of his career and a higher PER than Iguodala. Dude is a 20-5-5 guy still at 32.

Toronto I just don't know about. I will say Bosh does play defense. And if they can get DeRozen to funnel all his athletic talent into playing some defense then I think Toronto could turn out closer to what ppl are expecting with the addition of Turkoglu and a healthy Calderon.

Sixers, I just want games to start. Honestly I am a bit tired of talking about what could be. We did that for an entire season with Brand hurt. It's finally time to SEE what we got.

If we're using win shares as the barometer, they don't have a whole lot to make up. Carter had 7.4 last season, Courtney Lee had 4.4, as a rookie. Williams over Bobby Simmons alone could make up that difference, as could the progression of Lee and Lopez. Add in Alston and I think they're definitely better than last season (34 wins), and could easily hit .500 and make the playoffs.

Brian - With basketball unlike baseball it depends what measure you are using. I tend to use David Berri's wins produced/WP48 model when projecting and that makes things a bit different.

For example Simmons was a little above average last season so you are expecting Williams a rookie to do better? Especially considering his inconsistent college performance.

Alston on the other hand was a below average player.

I'll say they could be better if you believe they underachieved last season. Lee should get better, Lopez and Harris as well. Williams is a wild card to me he could go either way. Alson, meh.

OK, different scale. I was just using plain win shares from basketball-reference.com, mainly because of the post I'm working on for this afternoon.

johnmagee reply to Brian on Sep 24 at 12:35

and it's easier to find :)

Berri's numbers (unless he changed it) aren't always easily available on a web site are they?

I found the Sixers, but he doesn't have all the teams broken out. At least not that I can find.

johnmagee reply to Brian on Sep 24 at 12:57

Yeah, i'd love to see him put up a web site that tracks his stuff over the season...

As would I. He typically does a first half review/midseason review and a year end review every season. He has the year end review for the past few seasons at the top of his blog and a listing of them on the sidebar under pages. I know he's been/just finished another book so this years reviews have come slower.

I have his book at home, can't remember if the math behind WP is in there in detail. If it's something I can compute using the data available from box scores, I'll track it for the Sixers through the season. Need to take a look when I get home.

johnmagee on Sep 24 at 11:43

I admire your confidence Brian, really do, but new coach, new system, guys playing new positions, still starting a guy who should really come off the bench, integrating Elton Brand (hopefully) completely into the system...

I see another 500 team and another playoff loss in the first round.

The Raptors might be one of those high octane offenses that looks good in the regular season but sucks in the playoffs

The Nets are about to be bought by the Russian Mob - so - you know - the refs will be scared.

I overall agree with you, Brian. However, for some gut feeling, I think the Knicks may end up being better than you predict. I do agree the Celtics best days are behind them (for now) and the sixers, imo, are a big UNKNOWN. I honestly do not know how anyone can predict what the sixers will do this year. They have a new coach, new foward, a 3 point shooter and a new attitude in the locker room. As Dannie stated, lets play ball!

johnmagee reply to DeanH on Sep 24 at 11:47

I wouldn't listen to your gut - the Kincks are most likely going to suck this year...look at their roster...what reason WOULDN"T they suck :)

Real and Speightacular on Sep 24 at 13:44

Toronto has the right balance of players to play an inside-outside game very well. Defensively, yeah, they'll be somewhat porous. Good bench tho. I don't know about the Nets offense, if Devin and Lopez will be enough offensively. Knicks will still suck hard, Celts will continue to rule the Atlantic roost.

Sixers, like most are saying, are a wildcard. If --IF!-- everything comes together right, they could be very dangerous. Pretty hard to expect that, though.

.500 for Sixers is reasonable. 46(!) wins seems more homer than rational. The interesting thing for the eastern conference isn't the top but the improvements from the middle and bottom. There won't be any gimmies so from a fan's perspective, this is going to be a fun year of meaningful dogfights all the way through.

deepsixersuede on Sep 25 at 8:18

Brian, I hope you are right about our Sixers, they are such a mystery right now. But I feel they will overachieve rather than underachieve but with all the new pieces and coach a 500 record may be more realistic. Thad brought up ,on comcast at the uni press conference, that this is a "thinking man!s" offense and hopefully our b.ball I.Q. can pass the test.

Elton Brand is one of my top 10 guys with something to prove this season. Coming off 2 seasons with major injury woes and a huge contract with 4 years to go - Brand has a lot to prove.

Predictions right now are really tough. Even the Celtics have majors issues (at least 1). Things will probably look clearer by opening night.

always_sunny on Sep 25 at 10:41

WOW...i hope your sixers prediction comes true, but i just don't see it being that realistic with no true point. we'll have to wait and see.

also, i think we're underestimating toronto here. take a look at their depth chart.

Calderon, Jack, Banks
DeRozan, Belinelli, Douby, Weems
Turkoglu, Wright
Bosh, Evans, Johnson
Bargnani, Nesterovic, O'Bryant

kind of better than ours...just saying...

The guy was high when he wrote this

explain reply to Fucker on Sep 25 at 15:49

at every position but the 2 the raptors are better than you sixers.

PG: Calderon & Jack > Williams & Lou (thats laughable)
SG: Iggy & Willie/Rodney > Demar Derozan & Belinelli
SF: Hedo & Wright > Young & Kapono
PF: Bosh (contract year) & Amir Johnson/Evans > Brand (proving stuff...blah blah) & Who the fuck is Jason?
C: Bargnani & Rasho > Samuel & a young inexperienced raw Speights

will that add up to more wins for toronto than philly...i hope not, but position by position the raptors look better than we do...

Superjudge on Sep 25 at 11:07


You're not taking yourself serious are you?

Your assesment of each team is ridiculous.


Are you fucking stupid?! Nets are better then the Raps.You don't know jack shit about basketball. You fucking homer. Philly at number 2 even with the loss of Miller. You gotta be frickingkidding me

The Raps were 22nd in the league in defensive efficiency last season, and they got appreciably worse. You have probably the worst rebounding/defending center in the league, now locked up long term. There is offensive talent on the team, to be sure, but the defense is a complete joke. You should be happy I predicted a 3-game improvement when your team took their primary weakness and somehow made it worse.

New Jersey can defend, and Philly may have lost Miller, but that's a mixed bag. Yes, he played well offensively for them, but defensively he was a sieve. Not to mention the return of Elton Brand and improved offensive sets.

Sorry if the reality of money wasted by your GM is shocking, but the Raptors really aren't a very good squad. Look on the bright side, though. At least you won't have to worry about Bosh after this season.

ahaahahahaaha the sixers suck...shut the fuck up brian. coming from a celtics fan...aside from the fact that boston is far better than any other team in the atlantic...the sixers aren't going to do better than the raptors, or a lot of teams in the East for that matter.

YOU HAVE NO POINT GUARD!!! shut up and sit down philly. go cheer for your baseball team.

John reply to green on Sep 27 at 12:04

Speaking of 'homer'...Boston has one point guard who is so loved the team tried to get rid of him...an aging creaking squad...and yet their fans are back to being loud boisterous, and as usual uninformed about anything that doesn't involve Boston.

For the record, I gave the Raptors 1 more win than Hollinger did in his preview.

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