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New ESPN projection has Brooklyn Nets at 29 wins, up nine from summer

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Back at the end of July, Kevin Pelton of ESPN wrote up the network's summer consensus of how all 30 teams would do this season. The ESPN panel put the Nets number at 20, one fewer than last season's win total.  His colleague Bradford Doolittle, using a statistical model, had the Nets at 16.  Pretty bad.

But wait! In a projection published this week and based primarily on ESPN's real plus-minus  (RPM) model as well as his "guess" at rotations, Pelton upped the Nets projected win total from 20 to 28.8.  Here's his reasoning...

14. Brooklyn Nets
Projected wins: 28.8 (Summer Forecast: 20-62)

A full season from second-year wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (plus-1.2), along with improved play at point guard with Jeremy Lin (minus-0.3), should make the Nets a bit more competitive this season.

Pelton doesn't specifically discuss the math behind the new projection, but we'll take it.

Here's something else: That 8.8-win increase represents the biggest increase between the summer forecast and the new projection.  The Kings were second, jumping 7.7 wins in the new projections. Who dropped the most?  The Mavericks and Clippers at 5.7 fewer wins. Pelton's projection dropped the Knicks as well, by 5.3 wins. That would put them at 35.

Well, that's progress, we guess.