A fancy simulation found at ESPN Insider says the Wolves will win 32 games this season. That number is probably a little high, since simulations are not predictions and tend to be optimistic, but here is the methodology:
Just before the start of the 2014-15 season, we sorted teams into tiers based on projections, and we’re repeating the process today to see where teams stand after a tumultuous offseason. Team baseline win projections have been formulated by combining earlySCHOENE forecastswith team projections generated by the sameRPM-based methodologywe used last week to rank players.
The hope is to balance out any inherent biases within the two systems and, in reality, the forecasts are pretty close for all but a couple of teams. Baseline wins were plugged into a Monte Carlo-style simulator of the 2014-15 schedule that accounted for home-court advantage and other scheduling factors. Finally, the top eight players on each team were used to calculate a postseason baseline, and using the seeds from each simulated regular season, the playoffs were played out. This process was repeated 1,000 times.
The results of all those probabilities and random numbers serve as the basis for separating the teams in tiers below. A lot has changed since last season. (To see just how much, just click on the final version of last spring’sHollinger Playoff Odds.) Each team’s average win total in the 1,000 simulations is listed in parenthesis.
The Wolves are in the tier of teams expected to win more than 25 games but not make the playoffs, which sounds about right. As for 32 wins? We’d take that, and we imagine those with the Wolves would as well.