2015-16 NBA Power Rankings Preview: Projecting Records for All 30 Teams
It's here. It's finally here.
The 2015-16 NBA season starts tonight, and it couldn't have come soon enough. After months of discussing player movement, projecting rotations, and analyzing emojis, we finally get to talk about real, honest-to-goodness basketball.
Praise be to the basketball gods.
But before we get things started for real, let's make one final round of predictions. Here's how our algorithms see the season playing out for all 30 NBA teams. In the table below, you will find each team's projected win-loss record, its rank in the conference based on said projection, how we project its playoff chances, its championship chances, and its nERD going into the season.
If you're not familiar with our in-house nERD metric for teams, it's on a scale from 0-100 (with 50 as the league average) and is meant to be predictive of the team's ultimate winning percentage. You may notice that one team can have a higher nERD than another (the table below is sorted by nERD) but have a worse win-loss record. That is because strength of schedule comes into play here, as the records are an estimated result based on playing out the entire season through our system. nERD, on the other hand, is meant to tell you which team is "better" in a vacuum, unaffected by schedule.
Let's get down to it.
|Rank||Team||Proj. W-L||Conf. Rank||Playoff %||Champ %||nERD|
|1||Golden State Warriors||56-26||1st West||94.9%||16.0%||68.8|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||52-30||2nd West||90.6%||9.6%||65.8|
|3||Los Angeles Clippers||51-31||4th West||88.3%||7.6%||65.6|
|4||Cleveland Cavaliers||55-27||1st East||95.7%||13.8%||65.3|
|5||Houston Rockets||52-30||3rd West||89.5%||8.9%||65.2|
|6||Oklahoma City Thunder||51-31||5th West||89.3%||8.2%||64.9|
|7||Dallas Mavericks||47-35||7th West||73.4%||3.0%||60.9|
|8||Memphis Grizzlies||49-33||6th West||82.5%||4.9%||60.6|
|9||Toronto Raptors||49-33||2nd East||90.4%||7.3%||59.8|
|10||Atlanta Hawks||48-34||3rd East||88.8%||7.7%||59.8|
|11||Chicago Bulls||47-35||4th East||86.9%||5.3%||57.7|
|12||Washington Wizards||43-39||5th East||72.6%||2.2%||52.8|
|13||New Orleans Pelicans||41-41||8th West||43.3%||0.3%||51.7|
|14||Miami Heat||43-39||6th East||66.8%||1.4%||51.5|
|15||Utah Jazz||40-42||9th West||43.7%||0.4%||50.1|
|16||Boston Celtics||41-41||7th East||60.6%||0.9%||49.1|
|17||Phoenix Suns||39-43||10th West||38.8%||0.4%||49.1|
|18||Milwaukee Bucks||41-41||8th East||58.3%||1.1%||48.5|
|19||Indiana Pacers||39-43||9th East||55.0%||0.4%||48.1|
|20||Portland Trail Blazers||39-43||11th West||32.4%||0.3%||48.0|
|21||Charlotte Hornets||38-44||10th East||48.3%||0.5%||46.0|
|22||Detroit Pistons||37-45||11th East||40.0%||0.2%||45.8|
|23||Los Angeles Lakers||33-49||12th West||14.5%||0.0%||41.5|
|24||Sacramento Kings||32-50||13th West||9.3%||0.0%||40.0|
|25||Brooklyn Nets||32-50||12th East||18.8%||0.0%||36.2|
|26||Denver Nuggets||31-51||14th West||7.6%||0.0%||36.1|
|27||Orlando Magic||29-53||13th East||12.0%||0.0%||33.4|
|28||Minnesota Timberwolves||26-56||15th West||2.1%||0.0%||28.9|
|29||Philadelphia 76ers||25-57||14th East||4.5%||0.0%||27.1|
|30||New York Knicks||22-60||15th East||1.8%||0.0%||27.0|