With Kevin Durant in tow, everyone’s expecting the Golden State Warriors to be good, maybe even historically good. But at least one front office simulation is being a little overzealous about their chances, to the point where their algorithm is predicting that they’ll circumvent the fundamental principles of math.
In his excellent piece on LeBron James over at SI.com on Tuesday, Lee Jenkins talks about the souped-up version of the Warriors juggernaut the Cavs will face next season, mentioning in passing an unnamed organization’s win projections for Golden State in 2017.
Then on the morning of July 4, while James hosted a small barbecue at his house in Brentwood, Durant joined the Warriors. The Cavaliers were overshadowed once again by the prospect of Golden State scoring a gazillion points. If they were weary of Warriors highlights before, just wait. One NBA front office ran simulations, based on player values, for the upcoming season. Cleveland came out with 64 wins, second best in the league. Golden State came out with 83, better than undefeated. They broke the system.
Despite ultimately losing to Cleveland in the Finals, the Warriors’ 73-win season was a phenomenal feat, one that’s difficult to imagine them replicating or surpassing even with Durant added to the mix. It’s also a stark reminder that the metrics used to determine these sorts of projections are obviously not without their flaws.