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FiveThirtyEight Projects 40 Wins for Kings

ESPN’s analytics blog “FiveThirtyEight” used key player predictions to forecast the Sacramento Kings 2015-16 record.
by Jason Wise
Director, Digital

Using the inaugural NBA player projection system CARMELO, which “identifies similar players throughout NBA history and uses them to develop a probabilistic forecast of what a current NBA player’s future may look like,” FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver and his team combined aspects of player forecasting to also predict team records.

Using the system, CARMELO projects the Kings to win more games than they have in nearly a decade. Finishing the season at 40-42.

“Boogie is just too talented, and likely entering his peak,” writes FiveThirtyEight’s Andrew Flowers in his Kings Projection.

According to the algorithm, DeMarcus Cousins most compares to the likes of Shawn Kemp, Hakeem Olajuwon, Blake Griffin, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Which is not bad company for the 25 year old All-Star.

“As the prized jewel of the Kings, Boogie is indeed a superbly talented young big man,” continues Flowers.

Additional comps rate Ben McLemore most like Mike Miller, Rudy Gay like Purvis Short, Darren Collison like Jameer Nelson and Willie Cauley-Stein like Al Horford.

Although FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO-based team forecasts do not factor in a team’s 2015-16 schedule, they should be “slightly more accurate” than simple RPM projections by about 10 percent, writes Silver.

Pacific Division Win-Loss CARMELO Forecasts:
Warriors: TBD
Clippers: 55-27
Kings: 40-42
Suns: 40-42
Lakers: 27-55

To read the complete CARMELO team projection, click here.


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