After a pair of trades involving the Portland Trail Blazers sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks and Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics, what can we expect during the 2023-24 NBA season? My stats-based win projections are back to help answer that question, at least during the regular season.
One of the biggest challenges for statistical projections is how disconnected the NBA's 82-game schedule has been from the playoffs. Add injuries to star players becoming more common, and team performance from year to year hasn't been this inconsistent in decades. Keep that in mind when you see where your favorite team is projected.
Nonetheless, statistical projections can be revealing. Mine are based on a combination of my SCHOENE player projections for box score stats as well as three-year, luck-adjusted RAPM from NBAshotcharts.com. I estimate games played based on those missed over the past three years and then make subjective predictions for playing time.
The result is an expected wins total based on average health luck. Because some teams will have better or worse fortune, but we don't know which ones, the average totals will inevitably be closer to .500 than the actual final standings.
Last year, my stats-based projections beat the market by correctly predicting 60% of team over/under win totals.
Let's take a look at what they forecast for this season.