This offseason, the basketball analysts over at ESPN has been predicting a number of things from ROY to where some of next year's top free agents will land (The Nets got at least 1 vote for each FA). Well, today they went ahead and predicted the Eastern Conference Standings for this upcoming season, and they end up placing the Nets in last place with 29 wins.
Allow them to explain the process:
Our 53 panelists from across ESPN have predicted the number of wins and losses for each team, and today we're providing the average tally for each team in the Eastern Conference.
One important note: The order of finish is more important in these predictions than the exact number of wins and losses. When 53 individuals vote, they will almost never all agree that one team will win as many as, let's say, 65 games or that another team will win only 20 games, even though we know these things happen frequently. Why? Because these are extreme results that happen when pretty much everything goes right or everything goes wrong for a team. The panel collectively takes a more measured view, so the forecasts for wins and losses tend to float toward the middle.
I know that sounds harsh, but the thing is, I think they are right in terms of the win number (I got them going for 30-35 wins - stayed tuned for the final part of my breakdown tomorrow). Where these guys lose me is the standings. I don't think the Knicks (and even the Pistons if they struggle) will surpass 30 wins, and because of that I have the Nets above them. Mark will talk about this more in depth on Friday, but for now, I just wanted to know what you guys thought.