On NBA Predictions - Conclusions

So what does this tell us? Simply that it’s really hard to guess how the season will pan out? A few of these awards seem like they should have been locks from the outset – particularly Howard as defensive player of the year. Of course, a lot of these predictions aren’t done with any thought of accuracy or that they’ll get checked well after the fact. In hindsight, the 2010-2011 season had some pretty big surprises: Chicago’s success and Derrick Rose’s MVP play; Dallas making it to the Finals, let alone winning; and, Boston taking themselves out of contention with the Perkins-Green trade. There was a lot of hype about Thibodeau going into the 2010 season, and he proved his ability by taking the long-floundering Bulls to the top of the conference and deep in the play-offs. Blake Griffin came back from injury and single-handedly made the Clippers interesting to watch.

The leading NBA season forecasters, according to this form of tabling, are Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report and Chad Ford of ESPN. Tyler went 4 for 7, Chad was 5 for 9. John Hollinger and Justin Verrier are tied for second, both going 4 for 9. As mentioned before, nobody picked Dallas to get to the finals, only two of the previews had Odom as 6th man, and only 4 had Thibodeau as Coach of the Year. Five people had the prescience to select Kevin Love as the Most Improved Player.

The most common successful predictions were Miami winning the East (26), Griffin as Rookie of the Year (20), and Howard as Defensive Player of the Year (20).

The most common unsuccessful prediction was Los Angeles getting back to, and winning, the Finals (all but two). The MVP award was suspected as being a two person race between Durant and LeBron, with some token votes for Howard. By far the most interesting and diverse predictions were for the Most Improved Player. I think I’ll have to look into this category further – how does one predict which player will have a breakout year? Is it just a hunch? Is it related to a coaching change? A trade? An expected increase in minutes? What is it that Hollinger, for example, can see that enables him to predict that Love would have a great season in 2010-2011? How did Hollinger also think that Greg Oden was going to qualify for the 6th Man award (I guess advanced stats can’t predict injury)?

Last thing – I thought seriously about taking out the names of the individual analysts and writers, but in the end decided to keep them. I’m hoping that with future posts we can see if there are any identifiable trends through different years.

Sources available after the jump

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Jason Terry missed the Mavs’ preseason game versus the Thunder on Tuesday.

According to the Morning News: “It was not known what Terry’s ailment was, but several team officials said the veteran guard saw the doctor and was resting comfortably at his house when the team left Monday afternoon.”

 But this photo obtained from brother Curtis Terry’s lost iPhone suggests otherwise. Donning his championship robe while puffing on a cigar, the JET’s swag was on full display inside a tattoo parlor.

Although the Mavs lost the game and Terry may be fined, the front office isn’t too upset. When informed by a league spokesperson of the findings, Mark Cuban said, “You gotta let the NBA Oracle do what the NBA Oracle gotta do.”

So, what is Terry’s new epidermic embroidery? Personally, I’m hoping for a Grammy Award.


Christmas Day is here! And with it, we are finally witness to Stern’s mystery meat. With a thrilling Knicks victory over a solid Celtics squad, two historic franchises have given their fast-talking fans something to gab about around the #NBAHam.

While the Mavs struggle against the dynamic Heat, Dirk still rivals Santa as the only man whose lap we’d sit on and ask for gifts.

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James, Wade and Bosh looked like reindeer from hell. Upset Santa’s at American Airlines Center were spilling vodka tonics on newly minted sweaters.

So let a little blue seep into your veins of red white and green, for the NBA and Christmas are no longer a dream.