Haberstroh: Brooklyn Nets “Kings of New York”

The Brooklyn Nets have an edge over the New York Manhattan Knicks, according to at least one statistical model. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN delved into Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE projections (a statistical model designed to predict future performance based on past performance by similar players — more info here) and compared the two teams in a position-by-position and bench matchup.

You can read the analysis here, and since it’s ESPN Insider, I won’t spoil all the goodies for you. But a few facts of note:

  • The Nets have an edge at two of five starting positions — point guard (obviously) and power forward (!). J.R. Smith gets a surprising edge at shooting guard over Joe Johnson, though as Haberstroh notes, Deron Williams has never played with a shooting guard that averaged over 14 points per game in his career. Haberstroh made that note to bolster his evidence that Deron Williams will be a statistical star next year, but Joe Johnson will be one of his major beneficiaries.
  • Despite losing the pure position matchup 3-2, the difference between Deron Williams’s projection and Raymond Felton is bigger than the Knicks’ edge at all three positions alone.
  • Haberstroh doesn’t delve into the SCHOENE predictions of the bench, partly because one major piece of the Nets’ bench is technically a rookie (Mirza Teletovic). He does give the edge to Brooklyn off the bench, too, if only because the combined age of three major Knicks bench pieces (Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, and Jason Kidd) is only slightly older than the Andromeda Galaxy.