Sports Reference Blog

NY Times: Early Indicators Point to Stellar Season for 76ers

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 30, 2012

I forgot to mention this last week, but I'll be writing for the New York Times again this season. My first piece was on the hot start of the Philadelphia 76ers:

Early Indicators Point to Stellar Season for 76ers

Although this particular column did not appear in print, future columns should appear in the Friday edition of the paper.

4 Responses to “NY Times: Early Indicators Point to Stellar Season for 76ers”

  1. jwmann2 Says:

    The Sixers don't have the depth to even come out of the East. Look at their roster.

  2. Justin Kubatko Says:

    @Jwmann2: The Sixers have 11 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game and seven of those players average at least 10 points per game. That seems pretty deep to me.

  3. Neil Says:

    Yeah, saying they don't have "depth" is a curious complaint. They lack a true centerpiece star, but they have a lot of decent players.

  4. Ben Says:

    Hey Justin,

    One thing that would be interesting to look at (although perhaps difficult to do) is what the expectations were for those 38 teams going into the season. I would guess that in most of those instances, the team was expected to be very good. That definitely wasn't the case with the Sixers going into this year (the average prediction on ESPN was 33 wins and the eighth seed). I feel like that expectation provides a prior that is informative. So when a team everyone expects to be good (e.g., Chicago this year) gets off to a great start it is probably a better indicator than if a surprising team has the same kind of start. That's not to say that we shouldn't pay any attention to how well Philadelphia has played. This start likely means they are much better than a .500 team, but I think if you delve into that group of 38 teams the ones who regress back to a lower level of performance are more likely to be surprise teams. Maybe you could use the wins in the prior season or, even better, preseason Vegas odds as a measure of preseason expectation. Just a thought!