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 8,145
Robert Eckstut 10/27/2013 8,283
Nathan Walker 10/29/2013 8,298
Nathan Walker v0.1 10/29/2013 8,353
Joe Schaller 10/05/2013 8,691
Yooper 10/29/2013 8,699
AcrossTheCourt 10/29/2013 8,820
Kevin Ferrigan 10/29/2013 8,847 10/29/2013 8,893
BoxScoreGeeks Fans 11/01/2013 8,915
jBrocato 10/29/2013 8,933
xRAPM Adj 09/17/2013 9,105
ESPN Summer Forecast 08/13/2013 9,132
Royce Young 10/28/2013 9,165
Jacob Frankel 10/29/2013 9,165
O/U Line 10/25/2013 9,179
Bovada 10/28/2013 9,186
Bovada 10/16/2013 9,189
ESPN Fall Forecast 10/29/2013 9,205
kylesoppe 10/28/2013 9,292
ASPM Adj 09/17/2013 9,367
Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE 10/25/2013 9,497
Matt Moore 10/28/2013 9,692
Jacob Frankel 10/24/2013 9,778
Zach Harper 10/28/2013 9,832
Ian Levy 10/29/2013 9,871
fpliii 10/29/2013 9,894
fpli 10/29/2013 9,933
Ed Weiland 10/31/2013 10,132
deepak 10/29/2013 10,154
Sports Formulator 10/28/2013 10,198
You Have No Game 10/27/2013 10,402
Mike Lu 10/29/2013 10,466
416x 10/29/2013 10,531
Mike Lu 09/11/2013 10,548
WS Adj 09/17/2013 10,553
BoxScoreGeeks final 10/29/2013 10,65
Josh Culp 10/28/2013 10,674
Mike G 10/29/2013 10,699
Bob Sullivan 10/18/2013 10,763
Accuscore 10/29/2013 10,767
WP Adj 09/17/2013 11,240
fpliii 10/29/2013 12,234
Wins in previous season 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

– 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.


Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Expanding Horizons


Tags: , , , , , ,

6 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?

    • wiLQ

      April 21, 2014 at 11:05


  2. Randy Marsh

    April 22, 2014 at 12:53

    Bobbofitos == Robert Eckstut

    • wiLQ

      April 22, 2014 at 13:05

      Fixed. Thanks for the clarification ;-)

  3. Kenneth Emmick

    February 8, 2017 at 14:11

    Hello everyone,. . I am looking to buy a new computer to run an Adobe CS4 Suite. Let just say the Master Suite. I’m mostly going to be running Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. I want a computer that is going to completely dominate without any problems whatsoever. Price is not an issue, I want to do this right. . . I want the computer to run as many applications I need at the same time flawlessly without slowing down or crashing. Any ideas?.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s