Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain't so.Mark Twain. Probably.
Now that our blockbuster series of season previews is over, there's something important I need to share with you: We probably got a ton of it wrong. And when we do, we'll be right here to admit it. That doesn't mean you'll like our explanations about why, but the one thing we are certain about is that predicting the basketball future is hard, because even if we believe our model explains wins really well, there are still lots of variables we are only guessing at. These include but are not limited to: the effects of age (older players get worse, younger ones get better, but it is hard to predict when), injuries (knuckle pushups and weird hairdos), and minute allocations (who knows what players will get in which coaches' doghouses, and why).
Let's consider last year. Even though Arturo's predictions were pretty accurate, we were wrong about a lot of important things. After the draft, we chided Joe Dumars because we thought Andre Drummond was a bust. Well...that's embarrassing, since now we think he's essentially the next Dwight Howard. We thought Jae Crowder would be a solid rotation player, one of the surest bets in the draft. Now I am not sure yet if he's worth a roster spot. We thought Will Barton was a great draft choice, but his shooting was awful (I'm holding out hope on this one. He was a great rebounder. You can't make me give up on Will!!).
We make outlandish claims here at Boxscore Geeks. The world at large thinks the 76ers will be the worst team of all time, and they don't even make our bottom five! Carmelo Anthony shows up perennially in MVP voting lists, but we don't even think he's above average. We disagree with ESPN that Kobe is ranked 25th -- because we don't think he's that good.
Agreed. No way he's top 25. RT @EricPincus: Kobe Bryant just said anyone who thinks he's 25th best player in the world needs drug testing— Patrick Minton (@nbageek) October 25, 2013
Our viewpoints fly in the face of conventional wisdom. The thing is, when you constantly make outrageous claims, and the entire internet is always telling you that you're crazy, you develop a habit of saying "I ****ing told you so!" whenever you're right. For instance, Arturo and I thought Kevin Love was an MVP candidate -- in early 2010. We both compared the James Harden trade to trading away a young Michael Jordan, back when many were arguing that he wasn't even worth a max contract. It's rather amazing how hard it is to find the folks that will admit that they weren't sure about Harden, or the folks who agreed with David Kahn when he called Love the "third- or fourth-best player on a playoff team."
The problem is, though, that if you rub it in people's noses whenever you are right, you must also be humble enough to admit when you are wrong.
Ok, that's a bit of a stretch...no one's ever called me humble. But I admit it when I am wrong, usually in a blog post.
When Detroit drafted Drummond, we thought he'd be terrible because he didn't rebound or shoot well in college. After about 20 games, it was clear that we were horribly wrong about Drummond. He was playing like a man among boys, dominating the boards, blocking shots (while avoiding fouls), and scoring as efficiently as Tyson Chandler. He was so good, in fact, that we wrote about how wrong we were repeatedly. Mostly because, oddly enough, the folks in charge in Detroit -- the very folks who should have been basking in "I-told-you-so-mother****er" glory -- didn't seem to agree. Andre Drummond languished on the bench while far less worthy candidates waltzed up to the Rookie of the Year podium, on the back of heavy minutes and inflated point totals.
So -- here's my last prediction of the preseason. We are going to be horribly wrong about several things. There will be a couple of rookies that will be awful despite our optimistic projections, some projected busts who will have rookie-of-the-year seasons, some teams who will far outplay our projections, and others who will stink when we thought they'd fight for the playoffs.
And we'll be here to tell you about how wrong we were. All we ask in return is that you put up with us when we write that inevitable "We told you, mother****ers!" post.