Warriors Fans Predicting Wins

At Open Practice I asked Keith Smart if the Warriors could reach or surpass their 2010 Basketball Prospectus SCHOENE projection of 49 wins. Marcus Thompson snorted laughter and Matt Steinmetz smirked bemusement. I’m surprised they didn’t haze me with “The Dougie,” or at least snidely reference the last two decades. And Keith Smart? He’s not dwelling on stat predictions, or even nodding at the numbers:

KS: I look at it one day at a time. I don’t go any farther than we are right now, we just finished this nice little scrimmage. We gonna go one brick at a time, we don’t jump five bricks, ten bricks, we’re going to build it one brick at a time.

(Waiter, will you send this question back, please?)

ESS: Could you see it happening though?

KS: I see the next brick.

(Seriously, send this question back…it smells weird)

Smart wants to avoid predictions good and bad because that’s what management does. Make a make a tangible promise, and it comes back to haunt you–he knows much better than to starkly posit “much better.” Keith didn’t (sound)bite, so I turned back to the source, asking Basketball Prospectus co-author Kevin Pelton to augment his take on The SCHOENING of GSW:

“I’m not quite 49-win optimistic. I’d compare this to last year, when SCHOENE predicted that the Grizzlies would be a playoff team. Were they that good? No, but there was a kernel of truth in that they were much better than most people expected. I’d put Golden State in a similar position. A playoff berth would not surprise me. Home-court advantage certainly would.”

So 49 would be a surprise, but the high prediction could be indicative of some sort of progress. That would be my sense of how the season goes, or at least my sense grafted onto Kevin Pelton’s hard work. I’m going with 43 wins, half-expecting to look foolish a few months from now.

My half-expectation of a missed playoffs would seem to be the full expectation of Steinmetz and Thompson. For the record, I haven’t asked them yet, so I could be misinterpreting. If reporters think the Warriors to be more like York’s 49ers than SCHOENE’s 49ers, could you blame them? The Western Conference is brutal like the Serengeti, and Golden State is the perennial morbidly obese gazelle. But, if the Warriors shock all of us and notch a 49, SCHOENE’s spreadsheets might curve into a knowing smile.


5 Responses

  1. Thatswhack

    Schoene predicting 49 wins is whack. Way whack. Schoene doesn’t give enough weight to defense or coaching.

  2. DaLoaf

    I think the Warriors will be much better then last year, but not 49 wins better.

    But I have to say that “The Western Conference is brutal like the Serengeti, and Golden State is the perennial morbidly obese gazelle.” is the best line I have read all year!

  3. MWLX

    Long-term predictions are a complete waste of time. Smart was smart to blow off the question.

  4. bgalella

    49 wins is pretty optimistic for anyone to call, Warriors aren’t going to be an easy team for anyone to face, but I don’t think 49 teams will have their nights ruined by Golden State.