Portland at .500?

Another thing from the Simmons NBA preview. He predicts Portland will go 41-41, citing the theory that every year there’s a “You Thought We’d Take Another Leap, But Instead We Went Backward Because Expectations Were Too High, We Tinkered With Our Chemistry And Our Young Guys Tuned Out Their Coach.”

Maybe. But not only did last season’s Blazers go 54 – 28, they had a point differential that would have predicted 58 wins. And point differential is a better predictor of future performance than win-loss record. To merely go 54-28 again would require the team to regress somewhat. To win 41 games would involve a regression as big as the step forward that would be require to win 75 games and become the greatest team of all time. And that would seem like a strange thing to happen to a young team that basically lost nothing of importance during the offseason.