The boys from Basketball Prospectus have released their must-read preview for the upcoming NBA season. The Pro Basketball Prospectus 2010-11 is the gift that keeps on giving and a reference you'll want to have handy throughout the NBA season.
Bradford Doolittle and Pacers' consultant, Kevin Pelton have put together a thorough look at each team and player using their statistical analysis to project the expected performance. For the Pacers, they even break out their Loyalty Factor (LOY) to show that despite the reputation of the state, Indiana fans haven't been so loyal to the blue and gold since 2002.
As for the team this year, for obvious reasons, Pelton recused himself from analyzing the Pacers for the book, but Doolittle puts out a very interesting read which projects a 29-53 record for the Pacers. He admits though, that with so many young and untested players, anaylyzing past numbers it tough, so projecting their success this year leaves lots of room for surprises.
SCHOENE foresees another 50-loss season for Indiana, but there is the potential to surprise given the number of young players in featured roles. This could not only kickstart a flagging franchise and energize a shrinking fan base, but the likelihood of a continually evolving roster could make things downright exciting in Indy. With all the money coming off the books, things are looking up, but the clock is ticking.
No doubt, projecting Josh McRoberts, Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison is a crap-shoot at this point and considering those three are starters there's ample room to hope for a break-out year from any and all of those players. I just hope the surprise doesn't go in the other direction.