CLEVELAND — With so many computer models and stats systems being able to project a complete picture of how entire seasons will turn out, it’s no question that people will turn to these algorithms to get a hint of how each upcoming NBA season will turn out.
While there is a lot of variance among the different models, one common theme seems to be emerging.
“As soon as (Tyronn) Lue announced that Kevin Love is going to start at center for the Cavs, the scoring rate of centers in our projections went up to a level we haven’t seen since the era of dominant bigs like (Shaquille O’Neal) and (Hakeem) Olajuwon in the ‘90s,” said Kevin Summer, who runs the system BasketHoops in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“With Love defending them, guys like Dwight Howard in Charlotte and Willy Hernangomez from the Knicks are suddenly posting up wherever they want.”
Lue confirmed that Love would be the starting center after the Cavs signed Dwyane Wade, bumping Tristan Thompson to a bench role. With a reputation of being unable to body up against power forwards, it stands to reason that people would be concerned about Love defending centers.
Summer explained that Love’s own scoring abilities made the scoring average go up slightly, but that really only affected the first quarter of games.