‘Tis the season for NBA prognosticating, with the league returning to the courtroom for 2022-23 on Tuesday evening. We launched our forecast, which is predicated on FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR participant scores and projections, final week – you possibly can try our interactive right here. However we aren’t the one ones peering into the crystal (basket)ball: ESPN additionally launched a forecast based mostly its personal ranking system, the Basketball Energy Index, which tracks staff power barely otherwise than RAPTOR does. So we thought it could be enjoyable to see how intently the techniques match up and which groups look higher or worse in every.
General, there’s numerous settlement between RAPTOR and BPI. (This may be unsurprising to anybody who noticed our respective Boston Celtics predictions for the NBA Finals final summer time.) The correlation coefficient between the 2 fashions’ preseason power scores is 0.91, indicating a really sturdy relationship — usually talking, RAPTOR likes the identical groups as BPI. Nonetheless, there are some groups that every system likes (or dislikes) barely greater than the opposite:
Let’s begin on the higher-for-RAPTOR facet of issues, and with a disclaimer: We categorically deny constructing in any bias towards the staff referred to as the Toronto Raptors when creating the metric referred to as RAPTOR — it’s simply pure coincidence that “Robust Algorithm (utilizing) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings” occurs to spell out that staff’s identify as an acronym. 😉 Nevertheless it’s fascinating nonetheless to see Toronto rank 11 slots greater in preseason RAPTOR (No. 5) than BPI (No. 16). The Raptors are coming off a stable bounceback season from a disastrous 2020-21, they usually have a wealth of gamers with constructive projected scores. However BPI is by no means offered on Toronto’s offense, rating it simply twenty third within the NBA (in contrast with RAPTOR, which ranks it No. 13).
Different groups RAPTOR likes higher than BPI embody the Miami Warmth (No. 3 in RAPTOR versus No. 13 in BPI), Denver Nuggets (No. 2 versus No. 11) and Portland Path Blazers (No. 18 versus No. 25). Of the three, the betting markets would most likely facet with RAPTOR on the Nuggets and Blazers and with BPI on the Warmth, since Miami faces conflicting components that makes its upside much less clear-cut.
On the different finish of the spectrum, BPI is notably greater than RAPTOR on the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.
Each techniques agree the Hawks have an elite offense — BPI ranks it No. 1 whereas RAPTOR ranks it No. 2 — however disagree about their protection. BPI has Atlanta ranked No. 9 on D, whereas RAPTOR pegs the Hawks’ protection at No. 17. Each can be upgrades over their No. 26 end in defensive effectivity final season, however the contributions of newcomer Dejounte Murray (who carries a great defensive popularity however common RAPTOR scores at that finish) will go a good distance towards figuring out which metric extra precisely judges Atlanta’s potential.
For Milwaukee, the distinction is extra on the offensive facet of the ball – though the 2 techniques’ disagreement on the Bucks is pretty complete. BPI has Milwaukee ranked No. 4 on offense and No. 12 on protection — consistent with the staff’s efficiency final season — whereas RAPTOR flips that round to a No. 19 rating on offense and No. 4 rating on protection. A few of that owes to the injury Khris Middleton is still recovering from (keep in mind, these are all present scores), which takes a chew out of Milwaukee’s projected rotation power. However though RAPTOR expects him to be out there for many of the common season, it nonetheless requires the Bucks to win fewer than 50 video games.
The market undoubtedly thinks BPI is nearer to the reality on the subject of Milwaukee, and I can’t disagree a lot. However that’s the great thing about totally different techniques, notably once they arrive at their projections in numerous methods: You be taught one thing new everytime you pop open the hood and begin poking round. And you may preserve monitor of how each techniques view your favourite staff all season lengthy by testing ESPN’s BPI playoff odds and staff scores, and our NBA predictions dashboard.
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