Monday, November 3, 2008

A good season to be a Sixers fan

Yes, I know the season has already started. But that's not going to stop me from finally posting my prediction for the Sixer's season. As with last year, I'm basing my prediction on Wins Produced.

And what does my prediction tell me? It tells me that it could be a very good season to be a Sixers fan.

I made two predictions. The first one is probably too optimistic-- it's based on the Sixer's playing a nine man rotation and limiting the playing time of many of the players not viewed favorably by Wins Produced-- but at the same time I don't think it's completely out of line with the line-ups that Mo Cheeks will probably favor this year. The second prediction is probably way too pessimistic, but it probably reflects what could happen if the Sixer's main players get a couple of nicks and miss some (but not a huge amount of) time.

Without further ado....

Prediction 1: For this prediction, I assumed that Mo Cheeks would play a relatively tight rotation of nine players. I assumed that he'd play all of our starters 35 minutes a night, split the remaining time at the PG, SG, & SF positions between Louis Williams and Willie Green, play Reggies Evans for the remaining PF time, and play rookie Marreese Speights for the remaining time at C. The two other big assumptions I made were that Elton Brand would return to his form from 2006-07 and that Mareese Speights would perform at the level predicted by Professor Berri based on his college (and preseason) stats; other than those assumptions I predicted the remaining players to perform at their 2007-08 level.

In numbers ([name] [WP48] [min/gm] = [Wins Produced]:
  • Andre Miller [.167] [35 min/gm] = 9.99
  • Andre Igoudala [.172] [35 min/gm] = 10.28
  • Thaddeus Young [.099] [35 min/gm] = 5.92
  • Elton Brand [.213] [35 min/gm] = 12.74
  • Samuel Dalembert [.197] [35 min/gm] = 11.78
  • Louis Williams [.080] [20 min/gm] = 2.73
  • Willie Green [-.019] [19 min/gm] = -0.62
  • Reggie Evans [.143] [13 min/gm] = 3.18
  • Marreese Speights [.068] [13 min/gm] = 1.51
That gives a projected win total of 57.51 wins. Wow. I was optimistic about this season, but that projection really blows my mind. Now, like I said at the outset, this projection is probably a little too optimistic, primarily because it assumes a tight rotation and no injuries to our key players. On the other hand, there's a decent chance that Cheeks plays some of the starters (especially Igoudala) closer to 40 minutes each night. So a super-best-case scenario could be even more impressive.

Prediction 2: For this second prediction, I assumed that the other players on the roster would get playing time over the course of the season. I didn't have a good way to figure out where those minutes would come from (at least not a quick way), so I just assumed that each of the starters would play 30 minutes instead of 35 minutes, Royal Ivey and Kareem Rush would split the newly available time at the PG, SG, & SF positions, and Donyell Marshall and Theo Ratliff would get the newly available time at the PF and C positons, respectively. The way I look at it, we can just assume that this playing time occurs when the starters need some time to rest from minor injuries that always occur over the course of a season (ankle sprains, etc.). The one other big assumption I made was that Elton Brand would play at his injury-reduced level from last season. Since Donyell Marshall played for two teams last year, I just averaged his production from both teams (without taking the different amounts of playing time into account).

In numbers ([name] [WP48] [min/gm] = [Wins Produced]:
  • Andre Miller [.167] [30 min/gm] = 8.56
  • Andre Igoudala [.172] [30 min/gm] = 8.82
  • Thaddeus Young [.099] [30 min/gm] = 5.07
  • Elton Brand [.058] [30 min/gm] = 2.97
  • Samuel Dalembert [.197] [30 min/gm] = 10.10
  • Louis Williams [.080] [20 min/gm] = 2.73
  • Willie Green [-.019] [19 min/gm] = -0.62
  • Reggie Evans [.143] [13 min/gm] = 3.18
  • Marreese Speights [.068] [13 min/gm] = 1.51
  • Royal Ivey [-.054] [8 min/gm] = -0.74
  • Kareem Rush [-.001] [7 min/gm] = -0.01
  • Donyell Marshall [-.043] [5 min/gm] = -0.36
  • Theo Ratliff [.059] [5 min/gm] = 0.50
That gives a projected win total of 41.71 wins. Not as good as the first projection, but still slightly better than the Sixers did this past season. What's the difference? Well, reducing the starters' playing time and replacing them with the end of the bench players accounts for a reduction of about 8 wins. The remaining reduction comes from assuming that Brand can't regain his pre-injury form.

I think it's likely that the end of the bench is going to get playing time (although it might be at the expense of the first tier of substitutes rather than at the expense of the starters if it isn't as a result of injuries), but based on the first three games of the season I think there's a decent chance that Brand will return to his old form (I'm pretty sure I read that he was averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds).

So my prediction for the year: I'll pretend I'm King Solomon and cut everything in the middle- 50 wins during the regular season, and hopefully home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Like I said at the beginning, it looks like it could be a good year to be a fan of the Sixers.

What do you think?

[And for commenter Louis since I know he likes to pick on my grammar- is it Sixers fan, Sixer's fan, or Sixers' fan?]

1 comment:

Louis said...

How you pluralize and make Sixers Fan possessive depends on how you intend it to be read. First off, I'm fairly we have to establish how the name is used. A player is member of the Phildelphia 76ers so the team name is plural... on the other hand in common parlance it is totally acceptable to be 6er fan and any given individual player is a 6er. More thought is require than I care to donate to the cuase right now.

What I really want to say is, get this team some meds to control the bi-polar. Lose to Toronto, kill the Knicks, blow a 20-point lead to Atlanta, blow out the Kings. In the words of M & M, would the real 76er squad please stand up, please stand up, please stand up.

Also gutly prediction is 46 wins, 5th seed in the East, into the second round of the playoffs, out in 7.