Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:09 am
FYI, I contacted Paul Bessire, the guy who wrote the article and sim, asking him how he could possibly say the Ws would be 22-60 against an average NBA team, and here is his response, with mine below that...
Thanks for the note. I appreciate the enthusiasm.
First of all, I understand how that quote may sound relevant, but it implies
bias. The sim is run without bias and all of the figures presented the same
in every analysis. Wins and losses do not seem like arbitrary stats to show.
Furthermore, I personally ran these simulations and I kind of like the
Warriors. Jim Fitzgerald, former majority owner of the team, is a family
friend so I grew up watching TMC and then Webber/Sprewell/etc.
Secondly, there are a couple points from the analysis that are important to
note. Jason Richardson was left out of the simulations because he had not
played enough before the trade to gauge the effectiveness of that team and
the post-trade roster already had plenty of minutes. We removed him to
balance either side of the trade for GSW. At the time that I wrote the
article, I did not know that he would be back by this weekend. And, there is
a contention concerning the average team that it performs slightly better
than average because the NBA appears to be more geared toward exploiting
weaknesses than championing strengths. Teams with some weaknesses (here this
would be efficiency and rebounding) will do worse than average against the
That being said, the Warriors got better on the court, but are not much
better. They may end up scoring more points and being a little more fun to
watch (especially with JRich "healthy"), yet they should win many more games
than previously. In fact, seeing as they have been "overachieving" thus far,
I would expect some regression more toward their true playing ability.
Still, this is a new team with a different chemistry, a healthier rotation
and only 25 games left to go. If they "overachieve" in that small sample
size (which is entirely possible based on random chance alone), the Warriors
could sneak into the playoffs (only 1.5 games back right now). I would just
say that I do not expect that to happen.
However, with Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins being the two most efficient
players on that team right now, the future does not look so bleak.
Thanks for the thoughtful note back, Paul....no, I know the sim engine is not biased, it just seemed silly to me that since the ws are pretty much the definition of an average nba team (maybe a little lower than average) they would be 22-60 against an average team after the trade. Hard for me to defend them after their truly woeful home performance against the lakers, though. You are right about Ellis and Biedrins. Ellis will be a star, perhaps at the Arenas level, there is no doubt in my mind, and Biedrins will be (if he isn't already) a top 5 center. There is no one else on the team who is untouchable. Baron cause he is just too fragile and has schizophrenia (sometimes running the team beautifully, at other times taking the air out of the ball and chucking up last second 3s which he doesn't make) and Jason cause with 3 swingmen, they can afford to move one (My choice would be Pietrus) the Ws are desperate for a 2nd rebounder to go along with Andris. I actually like Harrington and Jackson - they are upgrades over DunMurphy, perhaps the most underachieving and overpaid 3/4 in the league. You are right they are getting killed on the boards, and they have zero idea what to do in 1/2 court. If they get into a running game, the only team that runs better is Phoenix, but that is the only way those 2 belong in the same sentence. There is a slim chance that, if Baron and Jason come back, the Ws could go on a run and sneak into the 8th seed, but that is unlikely, and perhaps not the best thing for the team, since, as presently constituted, they will never be more than a fringe 8th seed. Anyway, that's my take on them.
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