ESPN has been releasing projected results for both the Western and Eastern Conferences day by day, one seed from the East and one seed from the West. Seeds 1-6 in the West have been released as of October 14th, according to SCHOENE (their advanced metric preview system taking into account player progression through average numbers past 3 years and age, assists to field goal attempts, defense of shots and non-steal turnovers, etc.) and their projected records are as follows-
- San Antonio Spurs (60-22)
- Los Angeles Clippers (54-28)
- Houston Rockets (54-28)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (51-31)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (51-31)
- Memphis Grizzlies (49-33)
Now, folks have been a bit critical of the SCHOENE system before; partly because it is ridiculous at times. They use this system to also measure big men, and there were times in the rankings last season that Marc Gasol was not a top-10 Center in the league. Which is just absurd. Almost as absurd as saying the Minnesota Timberwolves will finish 5th in the conference and the Detroit Pistons finishing 5th in the East (!!!) This system is also ranking the Grizzlies' projected offensive efficiency as 23rd in the league this coming season, which would be 5 spots worse than last season and a complete catastrophe if it actually happened. The hiring of Dave Joerger is supposed to improve the offense, not worsen it.
However, worse opinions have been written about our Bears on Beale in the past. Here is the season outlook from the article-
No, SCHOENE doesn't love the Grizzlies, but the system certainly doesn't hate them. The forecast for 49 wins isn't bad, and outperforming it even a little would put Memphis right back in a similar playoff slot as last season. The projection for a 23rd-ranked offense is a little troubling, to be sure. It's also understandable. As a key component to the Memphis attack, Randolph's apparent move into his decline years is a situation that will have to be carefully managed. Prince is on the downside as well. Miller should help, but you can't forecast him for big minutes.
At the same time, most of these players accumulated the numbers that went into their baselines under Hollins, who fielded an offensive attack that wouldn't have been out of place in 1975. That makes Joerger's ability to adapt and evolve the Memphis offense with the same veteran core the key to the Memphis season. If Joerger can coerce more out of each offensive possession than Hollins was able to, there is no reason Memphis has to become the latest conference finalist to hit its ceiling two steps shy of the ultimate goal.
The acknowledgment that Joerger is a bit of a wild card there allows for wiggle room, and fair room at that. A record of 52-30, for example, would account for the Grizzlies being in a tougher conference this season (which they are) and would also have them in the 4-5 match-up again. A slide to 46-36, however, could mean a less desirable 7 or 8 seed in a loaded Western Conference playoffs.
More from Grizzly Bear Blues:
- Which Memphis Grizzlies players will benefit most from a faster offensive pace?
- 2013-14 NBA Season - Which Memphis Grizzlies pairing will flourish and flop?
- Six Idiosyncrasies of the Memphis Grizzlies - Which should stay and which should go?
- SB Nation presents The GIF Oracle
- The Two Man Game: Looking At How Conley and Gasol Work