We are urged: "Try not to get too excited. It's only one game." In Hypnowheel's Pistons vs. Hawks recap, while warnings of caution seem reasonable, they ignore the numerous data points burbling under the surface of Game 1. Imagine, if you will, eating your favorite brand of potato chip. That crispy, crunchy morsel slathered in oil and just a sprinkle of salt atop the mounds of salt already on it... Yes, delicious isn't it? You reach in the bag for a second one. Why? Because potato chip number one was delicious, so you know potato chip number two is going to be the exact freaking same thing. All the potato chips in the whole bag are delicious and that's why you find yourself staring at the silvery glisten of the bottom of the bag with oil-drenched fingers and a guilt-drenched heart. Well, basketball games are like potato chips. Once you open a bag with a good one, you can chomp away happily knowing there are 81 more in the bag juuuust like it.
As a classically trained statistician (I took a statistics course for three weeks before dropping out from the school that statistical guru, Nate Silver, rooted for), I am quite cognizant of the fact that numbers don’t lie. The raison d’etre of statistics is to judge past performance to allow us to predict future performance. Using a self-created algorithm that is too advanced for the puny minds of my readership to wrap their squishy minds around, I have come up with a model that predicts various outcomes of the season based on the data we have already received. I call these statistics the On Pace For (OPF).
Here is what our OPF is showing thus far. Remember, this is math.These numbers are immutable, unblemishable, indentable, unscrutinizable, unwrinkleyournoseatthemmable. In short, this IS what will happen. The numbers say it is so and they are never wrong*:
-- Andre Drummond will hold the modern era record for most rebounds per game with an astonishing 19.0. He will also finish the season with 82 double doubles, up from 48 last season. His free throw percentage will shoot up from 38.9% to 60%.
-- With 21 PPG on over 57% 3-pt shooting, Caldwell-Pope makes his first All-Star Game.
-- While Brandon Jennings’ injury sadly does not heal this year, he will set a record with 492 gameday tweets this year (820 if we’re including retweets).
-- Detroit will become the first team in NBA history to have every player on their team average a whole number of points, assists, turnovers, rebounds, and every other major stat. This will lead to the moniker of The Detroit Decimal Decimators.
-- We will finish the season as the first 82-0 team in the history of the NBA. With nowhere to go but down, all Pistons will be frozen in carbonite a la Han Solo and be encased under a glass floor at center court.
--Anthony Tolliver’s wife, God bless her soul, will finish the season giving birth to an astounding 82 children. The Tolliver Effect multiplied by eighty two should be enough to eliminate war and famine from the planet.
Quick OPF notes from around the league:
-- How about 40 ppg for Steph Curry putting him behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Wilt Chamberlain?
-- On the other end of the spectrum, In 17 minutes/game Noah averages an astounding 0 ppg and 0% free throw shooting.
-- President Obama is apparently in "F*** It" mode and will attend all 82 games of both the Cleveland Cavaliers AND Chicago Bulls this season. Any pardons, vetoes, trade deals, and responses to imminent threats to national security will be dealt with exclusively during TV timeouts.
-- The Golden State Warriors get 82 championship rings a piece. After fingers and toes run out of space, ears, noses, eyebrows, belly buttons, nipples, ballsacks, and esophagi will be pierced to accommodate.
-- Last, but certainly not least: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers end the season 0-82!
There is a God and it’s inside the TI-82 calculator that churns out these beautiful, beautiful numbers. Enjoy the final 81 wins of the season!
*The only time my OPF numbers were "wrong" was on that fateful trip to Vegas where I lost all my cash, my prized chinchilla, my house, my inheritance, my soul, my prized chinchilla's soul, and my first through third born children. I watched the roulette table once. The number was 17. It was on pace to be 17 all night long. So what the hell happened? Obviously, the game was rigged. The. Numbers. Are. Never. Wrong.