As we prepare for tipoff of the 2018-19 NBA season Tuesday night, what should we expect? Our projections based on ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM) give an indication after another busy offseason of player movement.
As compared to the preliminary RPM projections we posted back in August, the final versions differ in two important ways.
First, they incorporate injuries and transactions since then, as well as changes in my playing time estimates. That most notably affects the Spurs, who lost starting point guard Dejounte Murray to a torn ACL during the preseason and also will be without his replacement -- the injured Derrick White -- for an extended period.
Second, instead of simply reflecting the talent level of the roster, these projections also factor in the schedule. I have used them to simulate the season 1,000 times based on the past uncertainty in RPM projections and will report both the average number of wins and the percentage of the time teams make the playoffs. With that introduction, let's start by running through the West and then move to the East.