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  • 17 May
    导出博客文章Lets look at ESPNs Basketball Power Index?for what to expect this season on some
    key questions. BPI is a statistical projection system that ESPNs sports
    analytics team uses to simulate the entire NBA season 10,000 times every day.
    The BPI simulations provide a window into what to expect as the 2016-17 season
    unfolds.No surprise that the preseason BPI put the Warriors at the top of the
    league, or that the most likely NBA Finals matchup is a third consecutive
    Warriors vs. Cavaliers series (29 percent). Looking more closely at the data,
    however, allows us to offer some perspective on some of the more interesting
    questions this offseason has posed:Can the Warriors match their 73-win
    performance? Not likely. Despite replacing Harrison Barnes with Kevin Durant for
    Death Lineup 2.0, BPI is projecting the Warriors to win 62 games and gives them
    less than a one percent chance to win 73 or more games.In no way does this
    diminish how good the Warriors are going to be, but rather puts last years
    incredible regular season into perspective. They were a great team, but to get
    to 70-plus wins, some luck was involved (especially in terms of close games,
    injuries and scheduling), and there is no reason that everything that went right
    for the Warriors last season will go their way again this season.Will the
    experiment in Chicago work? Maybe. The Bulls have assembled a roster that has
    most people wondering how Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler will play
    together and if Paul Zipser can have the breakout season that no one is
    expecting.BPI ranks the Bulls 20th overall and projects them to be below average
    on both ends of the court. But Chicagos schedule is the eighth-easiest in the
    league. BPI gives the mysterious Bulls a 42 percent chance of making the
    playoffs and projects them to win 39 games.What should we expect from the
    Durant-less Thunder? Another playoff appearance. BPI puts the angriest team in
    the league squarely in the playoffs (81 percent chance) and ranks them eighth
    overall.They will likely be carried by a 2000-01 Allen Iverson-type performance
    from Russell Westbrook. Look for Westbrook to challenge usage-rate records while
    leading what BPI projects to be the third-best offense in the league.Despite
    having a defense that is projected to be below average, the Thunder still have a
    7 percent chance of returning to the conference finals. That may not seem high,
    but considering that two of their three best players were replaced by Victor
    Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova, it would be truly remarkable for OKC to be one of
    the last four teams standing.Can anyone win the Finals besides the Cavaliers and
    Warriors? Yes. Collectively, the Warriors and the Cavaliers have a 68 percent
    chance of being crowned champion at the end of the season. That is the same odds
    that Hassan Whiteside has of making a free throw -- so it is possible someone
    else can pull it off.Behind the top two, the leading contenders according to BPI
    are the Spurs (13 percent), the Celtics (6 percent) and the Clippers (5
    percent).BPI gives us a peak through all of the noise of the offseason to get a
    sense of what we may be about to witness as the 2016-17 season unfolds. Cant
    wait to see what actually happens.For more analytics content, head to
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    .Y. - Rob Manfred was promoted Monday to Major League Baseballs chief operating
    officer, which may make him a candidate to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner.
    This is DeAngelo Halls 13th NFL training camp, and yet it feels like his
    first.Thats because after a football lifetime of playing cornerback Hall is
    transitioning to safety full time at 32. He just doesnt feel his age right
    now.Its taking me back to my younger days, Hall said. I feel rejuvenated.Hall is
    making the switch alongside fellow converted cornerback Will Blackmon, while the
    Washington Redskins try hybrid rookie Sua Cravens at linebacker and have already
    moved Trent Murphy from linebacker to defensive end and back. Its a defense with
    plenty of moving parts, but one the team hopes thrives thanks to its
    versatility.Its always valuable to have that, Hall said. We always joke around
    in this league and say the more you can do the better. Any time youve got
    multiple guys who can do multiple things and play multiple positions, it gives
    you an advantage.After the departure of Terrance Knighton, the Redskins could
    have no nose tackle in the traditional sense, but Kedric Golston, rookie Matt
    Ioannidis and others could fill the void. Safety Dashon Goldson left, but that
    opened room to move Hall and Blackmon and sign strong safety David Bruton Jr.And
    then there was the addition of All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman.Its not as if
    general manager Scot McCloughan, coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Joe
    Barry wanted to shake up the defense like a snow globe. And they didnt take the
    position changes lightly.You cant just say, `Hey, hes been in the NFL for 10
    years, he can go play another position, Barry said during minicamp in June.
    There are subtle intricacies to every position. ... Its hard when you move
    positions, no doubt about it. They have attacked the position change and are
    really working their tail off.Golston, the graybeard of the group entering his
    11th season with the Redskins, figures all the moving and shaking cant be a bad
    thing.The versatility I think is whats key because, as you know, injuries will
    happen, Golston said. You dont want them to, but thats just the National
    Football League. So to be able to move guys around and have that familiarity
    with those positions, its super important.dddddddddddd.It already proved
    important when Washington lost outside linebacker Junior Galette for the season
    with another torn Achilles tendon. Murphy spent the offseason putting on 20
    pounds and learning defensive end, but earlier this week the Redskins moved him
    back to linebacker to compensate for Galettes injury.Even though hes a
    linebacker again, that doesnt meant Murphy should forget everything about the
    transition.On game day, if you dress five defensive linemen, four outside
    backers, he can also be an extra defensive lineman, Gruden said. Or three
    outside linebackers, count him as a defensive end, he can be an outside
    linebacker. His value will be big because he can play both.Cravens, a
    second-round pick out of Southern Cal, can play safety and linebacker.
    McCloughan called that a good problem to have.For now, Cravens is working at
    inside linebacker with plenty of time to change course.He can bang like a
    linebacker and he can run like a safety, Gruden said. He needs to learn the
    defense, so we figured inside linebacker in nickel and dime situations is the
    spot to teach him the defense first. From there we can branch off, see his skill
    set, move on and try him at safety.Expect plenty of experimentation from the
    Redskins when they open the preseason Thursday at the Atlanta Falcons, and in
    the weeks to come. Hall and Blackmon have to speak up in their new roles as
    defensive communicators, Murphy has to get back to the basics of being a
    linebacker and Cravens has to figure out the first things about playing in the
    NFL.Theyll all be leaning on each other along the way.The cool thing about our
    group is that everyone helps each other, Blackmon said. Everyones just sharing
    information, everyones really smart, everyones real versatile.---AP NFL website:
    www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '