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Checking 2013-14 NBA Win Predictions & Projections

20 Apr

With 2013-14 NBA regular season in the books it’s time for some fresh projections about the NBA playoffs!
But wait a second, aren’t we forgetting about similar predictions for the regular season? As usual I’d like to expand the effort of APBR community in an attempt to measure how successfully basketball writers, bloggers and authors predicted what will happen during the regular season regarding teams’ wins.
So which writer, blogger or author had the most accurate projections before the 2013-14 NBA season?

To answer this question I saved on my hard drive predictions in early November [it’s a reason why not all of the links below work, they’ve changed since then] from most popular sites and some googled sources [but it’s not a closed list so if you want to add your’s predictions let me know in the comments] and compared them to actual wins for each team by Root Mean Square Deviation which is essentially average difference between each prediction and final total wins in terms of absolute value. Results of this exercise are in the table below…

But please keep in mind two important notes:
1) don’t think or assume it’s all about the skills of people involved because randomness plays a huge part here… injuries and trades in most cases simply couldn’t have been predicted before the season but they affected some of the results in a big way [for example, Gay trade anyone? Or Horford’s shoulder…].
Personally I treat it as fantasy basketball on a team level and I’m more interested in the year-to-year patterns than in actual results for one particular season because it’s basically a sample of one.

2) in most cases entries next to each other are interchangeable in terms of accuracy because difference between them can be translated into “2-3 more/less wins in the right direction would flip them”.

Onto the table…

Prediction Date Data from RMSE
HoopDon 10/29/2013 http://hoopdon.weebly.com/1/post/2013/10/oh-snap-2013-2014-nba-season-projections.html 8,145
Robert Eckstut 10/27/2013 http://www.pointsperpossession.com/nba/34-nbablog/140-robert-eckstut 8,283
Nathan Walker 10/29/2013 http://thebasketballdistribution.blogspot.com/2013/10/nba-projections-v10-three-facets.html 8,298
Nathan Walker v0.1 10/29/2013 http://thebasketballdistribution.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-basketball-distribution-season.html 8,353
Joe Schaller 10/05/2013 http://high5.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1557907 8,691
Yooper 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 8,699
AcrossTheCourt 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 8,820
Kevin Ferrigan 10/29/2013 http://nbacouchside.com/2013/10/29/one-more-projection-post-a-different-method/ 8,847
TeamRankings.com 10/29/2013 http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nba/nba-2013-preseason-rankings-evaluating-challengers-to-the-throne 8,893
BoxScoreGeeks Fans 11/01/2013 http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/articles/the-fans-predict-the-nba-season 8,915
jBrocato 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 8,933
xRAPM Adj 09/17/2013 http://counting-the-baskets.typepad.com/my-blog/2013/09/highly-plausible-win-projections.html 9,105
ESPN Summer Forecast 08/13/2013 http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9559931/2013-summer-forecast-east-standings 9,132
Royce Young 10/28/2013 http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24151066/cbssportscom-nba-predictions 9,165
Jacob Frankel 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 9,165
O/U Line 10/25/2013 http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2013/10/2013-14-nba-win-overunder-predictions.html 9,179
Bovada 10/28/2013 http://wnst.net/nba/bovada-sets-wizards-2013-2014-win-total-at-40-5/ 9,186
Bovada 10/16/2013 http://wnst.net/nba/bovada-sets-wizards-2013-2014-win-total-at-40-5/ 9,189
ESPN Fall Forecast 10/29/2013 http://espn.go.com/nba/preview2013/story/_/id/9897925/2013-east-forecast-east-standings 9,205
kylesoppe 10/28/2013 http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2013/10/28/2013-14-nba-win-totals-and-difference-makers/ 9,292
ASPM Adj 09/17/2013 http://counting-the-baskets.typepad.com/my-blog/2013/09/highly-plausible-win-projections.html 9,367
Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE 10/25/2013 http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2013/10/2013-14-nba-win-overunder-predictions.html 9,497
Matt Moore 10/28/2013 http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24151066/cbssportscom-nba-predictions 9,692
Jacob Frankel 10/24/2013 http://www.hickory-high.com/?p=9222 9,778
Zach Harper 10/28/2013 http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24151066/cbssportscom-nba-predictions 9,832
Ian Levy 10/29/2013 http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2013/10/29/water-into-wine/ 9,871
fpliii 10/29/2013 http://207.58.151.151/forum/showthread.php?t=315145 9,894
fpli 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 9,933
Ed Weiland 10/31/2013 http://hoopsanalyst.com/blog/?p=1058 10,132
deepak 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 10,154
Sports Formulator 10/28/2013 http://sportsformulator.com/en/2013-14-nba-predicted-records/ 10,198
You Have No Game 10/27/2013 http://youhavenogame.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/2013-14-nba-projections-now-live/ 10,402
Mike Lu 10/29/2013 http://www.buildingbetterball.com/2013/09/11/2013-projections/ 10,466
416x 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 10,531
Mike Lu 09/11/2013 http://www.buildingbetterball.com/2013/09/11/2013-projections/ 10,548
WS Adj 09/17/2013 http://counting-the-baskets.typepad.com/my-blog/2013/09/highly-plausible-win-projections.html 10,553
BoxScoreGeeks final 10/29/2013 http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/articles/the-bsg-2013-14-nba-megapreview-the-wrap 10,65
Josh Culp 10/28/2013 http://futureoffantasy.com/nba-season-win-totals-preview 10,674
Mike G 10/29/2013 http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?p=17326#p17326 10,699
Bob Sullivan 10/18/2013 http://www.sportingcharts.com/articles/nba/projecting-2013-14-nba-results-using-historical-player-efficiency-rating-per-statistics.aspx 10,763
Accuscore 10/29/2013 http://accuscore.com/nba-betting/nba-season-futures-2013-14 10,767
WP Adj 09/17/2013 http://counting-the-baskets.typepad.com/my-blog/2013/09/highly-plausible-win-projections.html 11,240
fpliii 10/29/2013 http://207.58.151.151/forum/showthread.php?t=315145 12,234
Wins in previous season - http://www.dougstats.com/12-13.html 12,859

A couple of notes about the results in the 6th season measured:

- Phoenix Suns [on average projected 25.6 wins below actual 48 achieved] shattered previous record for being undervalued [18.7 wins for Cavs in 2007-08]. It really is amazing how team pegged as a tanking bottom-feeder before the season should have been in the playoffs if not for the strength of conference.

- Other most undervalued teams were Blazers [by an average of 16.1 wins], Bobcats [15.2 – similar story to the Suns!], Raptors [10.3] and Spurs [6.0]. I think it’s notable that top three undervalued teams had a big addition before or during the season… BTW, Spurs were undervalued 4th season in a row

- The most overvalued teams were Bucks [by an average of 16.8 wins] who were on the opposite spectrum to the Suns [viewed as a fringe playoff contender which actually tanked], Pistons [12.0 – subtraction by additions?], Nets [9.2] and Knicks [8.8].

BTW, if you want to see similar information as a graph you should visit statsbylopez.com.

- after multiple strong years from Vegas odds-makers and crowd-wisdom approach by ESPN’s forecast it was their off shooting year. Not a bad one per se but more average than usual top notch.

- members of APBR forum very strongly rebounded after last year’s disappointment… to such a degree that they collected all three medals – congratulations to HoopDon, Robert Eckstut and Nathan Walker!

- Joe Schaller had another strong season in a row so I think it’s a good time to ask some questions or explore whatever he is doing ;-)

- on the other hand simulations by BoxScoreGeeks again landed way closer to the bottom of the table than to the top so… I don’t know whenever it means anything but I would at least consider revisiting each step of the process in search of the most consistent cause of errors.
Also I think it’s notable that BoxScoreGeeks Fans as a group had a better result than the authors who offered them initial numbers – my best guess would be it happened because of crowd-wisdom effect but it may have been simply a fluke. We’ll see next year?

Have I missed anything?

P.S. it may have been my last post of this nature because more and more sites try to bring accountability to predictions which I think is a good trend but it makes this perspective less unique than it was when I started.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Expanding Horizons

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Checking 2013-14 NBA Win Predictions & Projections

  1. HoopDon

    April 21, 2014 at 00:46

    Thanks a bunch. Would you mind linking my predictions to the link below?

    http://hoopdon.weebly.com/1/post/2013/10/oh-snap-2013-2014-nba-season-projections.html?

     
    • wiLQ

      April 21, 2014 at 11:05

      Done.

       
  2. Randy Marsh

    April 22, 2014 at 12:53

    Bobbofitos == Robert Eckstut

     
    • wiLQ

      April 22, 2014 at 13:05

      Fixed. Thanks for the clarification ;-)

       

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