EvanZ's 2012 NBA Win Projections

Win projections. Everybody's got them. Here are mine, constructed by averaging the latest multi-year RAPM ratings and my own ezPM ratings over the past two seasons with a little "massaging" and intuition thrown in. Head after the jump for a table of the predictions and a few thoughts on the season.

Western Conference

Odds are Vegas odd for winning championship.

PLACE

TEAM

WIN%

W

L

ODDS

1

OKC

64.20%

42

24

7

2

LAL

62.89%

42

24

5.5

3

DAL

62.67%

41

25

8

4

LAC

57.77%

38

28

75

5

SAS

56.70%

37

29

12

6

MEM

54.53%

36

30

35

7

POR

53.94%

36

30

30

8

DEN

53.71%

35

31

25

9

PHO

47.19%

31

35

100

10

HOU

45.23%

30

36

75

11

GSW

43.08%

28

38

100

12

UTA

39.18%

26

40

100

13

SAC

39.15%

26

40

100

14

NOH

38.72%

26

40

40

15

MIN

34.17%

23

43

200

Eastern Conference

PLACE

TEAM

WIN%

W

L

ODDS

1

MIA

76.54%

51

15

2.5

2

BOS

65.13%

43

23

8

3

CHI

64.94%

43

23

6.5

4

ORL

63.99%

42

24

20

5

ATL

54.48%

36

30

50

6

PHI

53.46%

35

31

60

7

NYK

53.20%

35

31

30

8

IND

48.79%

32

34

100

9

MIL

47.94%

32

34

100

10

NJN

37.57%

25

41

75

11

CHA

36.02%

24

42

100

12

DET

34.18%

23

43

200

13

CLE

33.01%

22

44

100

14

TOR

32.48%

21

45

200

15

WAS

28.61%

19

47

100

I put up my minutes projections along with the RAPM and ezPM ratings (which are averaged for the final rating) into a Google spreadsheet.

Thoughts

In the East, Miami should be really good again. They were good last year, had very little turnover in terms of stars, and with an extra year together there's no reason to expect anything less than another very good season and seeing them right back in the finals. Boston got worse, so it's hard to see them competing with Miami this season. Chicago is primed having only lost Bogans as a primary contributor, but he was their weakest starter a season ago. I don't expect Richard Hamilton to be "good", but he doesn't have to be that good really. The Knicks got Tyson Chandler and now have sort of a "Big Three Light". I don't think it's enough to compete with Miami, but it's enough to be fun to watch. My guess is that the Knicks and Clippers will be among the most "League Pass-able" teams this season. Finally, I see Indiana and Milwaukee having a good battle for the 8th spot in the East. I'd give the slight edge to the Pacers as they are a younger team, and players like Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough could have "break out" seasons.

So, while the East is a fairly easy call (I can't imagine anyone not picking Miami outside of those folks living in Chicago), the West is up for grabs. The top 8 teams are separated by only 7 wins in my projections (although 7 wins in a 66-game season is arguably a sizable difference). At any rate, it looks like the Thunder, Lakers, and Mavericks are going to be fighting for the top spot, with the Clippers led by Chris Paul right on their heels. As long as San Antonio has Duncan and Ginobili, you have to give them a fighting chance, and Memphis even with the loss of Darrel Arthur is still primed to be in the hunt. Portland and Denver are predicted to have similar win totals, but Denver will be a lot more fun to watch. Interestingly, you can see by the projections that after Denver, no other team really comes that close to the 8th spot. And this shouldn't be shocking. Phoenix didn't get better, and Houston lost Chuck Hayes.

Sadly, the Warriors appear to be pretty much exactly where they were a season ago. I'd love to be proven wrong about this team, but based on what we know now, there's no good reason to expect a major turnaround. And if Curry goes down for any significant length of time, it will be time to seriously get the tank talk going around here.

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