Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Looking Ahead to 2008, Or, Predicting the Record With Little to No Certainty

Barring errors in calculation...

Have Played.500
Will Play.490

The Hawks have played 16 home games and 12 road games against teams collectively at .500. The Hawks must play 25 more home games and 29 more road games against teams with a collective record of .490.

Let's prognosticate semi-objectively.

Thirteen remaining games (Washington, @Milwaukee, Detroit, @Boston, Miami, @Orlando, @Washington, @New Jersey, @Chicago, Milwaukee, Toronto, @Philadelphia, @Miami) duplicate 2007 fixtures. Atlanta was 6-7 in the original fixtures.

Projected: 21-20

Of the remaining 43 games, Atlanta has home-and-homes with seven Western Conference teams: Portland, Denver, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston, Sacramento, and Golden State. The Hawks should be expected to win between four (Portland, Clippers, Houston, Sacramento) and six (@Clippers, @Sacramento) of those games.

Projected: 26-29 (+/- 2 games)

The Hawks return games @San Antonio, @New Orleans, @Phoenix, @Seattle, @Utah and @Memphis. The Hawks went 3-3 in their home games against those six teams. Winning two out of six on the road seems a reasonable expectation to me.

Projected: between 28-33 (+/- 2 games)

Among Eastern Conference teams, Atlanta has yet to play Cleveland or the Knicks. The Hawks get the Cavs twice in Atlanta. Tonight's game is Atlanta's only trip to Cleveland. The Hawks play two home and two road games against the Knicks. If the Hawks are as good as I think they are (and Cleveland doesn't acquire a guard who can do two things well between and now and February 8th) they win five of those seven games.

Projected: 33-35 (+/- 2 games)

The Hawks play @Indiana and @Charlotte twice with no home games remaining against either team. Expecting to split those four would be optimistic but not unreasonable.

Projected: 34-38 (+/- 3 games)

The Hawks get New Jersey, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Chicago twice each at home (The one road game Atlanta plays against each of the teams is a duplicate fixture and accounted for above.) and should win at least five of those eight games.

Projected: 39-41 (+/- 3 games)

The Hawks play a single game @Toronto. I don't expect them to win there.

Projected: 39-42 (+/- 3 games)

The 80th game of Atlanta's season is home against Boston. That's the 80th game of Boston's schedule as well. If the Celtics are locked into their play-off fate, then Pierce, Garnett, and Allen won't play.

Projected: 40-42 (+/- 3 games)

That projected 40-42 comes via 26 home and 14 road wins which would necessitate a slight improvement in their home winning percentage (from .625 to .634) and a sharp decline in their road form. With four separate road trips of at least three games remaining I'm afraid that's extremely possible..

Ballhype: hype it up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That seems reasonable. It wouldn't surprise me to see the team do a bit better than that and would be a shock if they did significantly worse. The wild card would be a major trade where they converted one of their excess small forwards for somebody like Jason Kidd. That's probably unlikely if it's even possible under the salary cap, but if they did do that, it could push them into the mid to upper 40s in wins.