My very first article, “Los Angeles Lakers 2009-2010 Game-By-Game Predictions” was written in August of 2009. One day I was looking at the schedule for the then defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, and a few days later I had written an article that predicted the Lakers, with the addition of Ron Artest would win 70 games. We now know that that prediction was terribly wrong, but that single article became the beginning of an on-line writing journey that has brought me here, to RandomNBAFan.com.
From that single article a game-by-game predictions series was born. I wrote prediction articles for all 30 teams that season and made predictions for all 1,230 games of the 2010-2011 season as well. My goal with my game-by-game prediction series is not to somehow magically correctly predict the winners of each and every NBA game. I simply use the NBA schedule as a tool to help me predict the number of games that a team might win that season. I go through each game of each team’s schedule and, based on what I think I know; what I think will happen; when and where the game is played; whether it is part of a back-to-back, a three-games-in-four-nights, or a four-games-in-five-nights situation and other factors that I think might be important, decide whether I believe Team A will beat Team B on that given night. This is far from a scientific process and I do not purport that it is a better method than the methods used by others when they predict how many games a team might win in a given season. It is just the method that I use.
Each season my goal is to have my predictions fall within plus or minus five games of each team’s final record. For the 2009-2010 season, I met my goal for 12 teams and correctly predicted that the Denver Nuggets would finish the year at 53-29. On the downside, 12 of my predictions were 10 or more games off, with the Oklahoma City Thunder making me look especially foolish by winning 30 games more than I predicted them to.
Although I didn’t predict any team’s record correctly in 2010-2011, overall my predictions were slightly better than they were the year before. I was again within plus or minus five games for 12 teams, but the number of predictions that were off by 10 games or more dropped to nine. Also, there were no teams that made me look quite as bad as the Thunder made me look the prior season.
For the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season, my margin for error dropped to four games since each team played 66-games. And once again my predictions were a little better than they were the year before. For the 2011-2012 season, I met my plus or minus four-game goal for a total of 16 teams and correctly predicted the records of the Atlanta Hawks (40-26), Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) and Oklahoma City Thunder (47-19). On the downside, 10 of my predictions were eight or more games off.