Box Predictions: Why I Am Optimistic About this Squad

As a deep team, we're going to need to divvy up minutes in a way that gives all our quality players some burn while giving our veterans plenty of time to rest their legs.

Estimated Per Position Minute Breakdown:
PG: Calderon (28), Harris (17) Mekel/Larkin (3)
SG: Ellis (30) Ellington (13) Harris (5) Ledo (0)
SF: Marion (25) Carter (23) Crowder (0 until injuries to Carter/Marion or force more Marion at PF or Carter at SG minutes)
PF: Dirk (30) Blair (10) Wright (5) Marion (3)
C: Dalembert (24) Wright (20) Sarge (4)

Normalizing these minutes based upon last year's per minute scoring, rebounds and assists you get:

Dirk Nowitzki
30 16.6 pts, 6.6 rebs, 2.4 asts
Monta Ellis 30 15.4 pts, 3.1 rebs, 4.8 asts
Vince Carter 23 11.9 pts, 3.6 rebs, 2.1 asts
Brandan Wright 25 11.8 pts, 5.6 rebs, 0.8 asts
Shawn Marion 28 11.3 pts, 7.3 rebs, 2.3 asts
Jose Calderon 28 10.7 pts, 2.3 rebs, 6.7 asts
Samuel Dalembert 24 9.8 pts, 8.7 rebs, 0.7 asts
Devin Harris 22 8.9 pts, 1.8 rebs, 3.1 asts
Wayne Ellington 13 4.8 pts, 1.3 rebs, 0.8 asts
DeJuan Blair 10 3.9 pts, 2.7 rebs, 0.5 asts
Bernard James 4 1.1 pts, 1.1 rebs, 0.1 asts

TOTAL: 106.3 pts, 44.1 rebs, 24.3 asts

I calculated but didn't include blocks. We have three of the top 25 shot blockers per minute in our C rotation (Sarge #9, Dalembert #20, Wright #24) and as a team would average 6.2 blocks per game based on the minutes above and last year's rates.

Assuming these rates hold in theory, based on last year's team totals

  • 106.3 PPG = #1 in team points per game (Denver had 106.1) [Last Year #8 @ 101.1 PPG]
  • 44.1 RPG = #5 in total rebounds per game [Last Year #16 @ 41.9 RPG]
  • 24.3 APG = #4 in total assists per game [Last Year #5 @ 23.2 APG]
  • 6.2 BPG = #6 in total blocks per game [Last Year #8 @ 5.5 BPG]
  • 41.3 PPG = still #1 in bench scoring [Last year #1 @ 41.5 ppg]

Assuming our defense can stave off our opponents, that's a pretty damn good place to start the season - in the top 6 in five very important categories. And I realized those numbers are not even counting anything from the 3 minutes I allotted for Mekel/Larkin spot minutes, so they can only improve in theory. With roster adjustments, this might even be able to be maximized more.

But remember this if you need some proof that we're being drastically underrated. We collected productive but underrated players on good value contracts and built a very deep team. I think we could surprise everyone, including ourselves.

Reader Submitted

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