Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ESPN.com: Eastern Conference Standings Predictions

The wisdom of the ESPN crowd looks eminently reasonable to me and not just because the collective essentially shares my earlier speculation regarding the Hawks.

My current estimation: 44 wins and the fourth seed.
The professionals' average prediction: 45 wins and the fourth seed.

There are few surprises (to me, at least) in the results. It's interesting that a large sample produces a conservative prediction even a for highly variable team such as the 2009-10 Wizards. Overall, I think the four-tier hierarchy* in the East to be a fair bet even though the bottom of the second and top of the third tiers will likely become enmeshed.

*Championship contenders: Boston, Cleveland, Orlando
Playoff probables: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami
Mid-table mediocrities: Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
Awful also-rans: Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York

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