FiveThirtyEight’s annual NBA projections are in and Miami Heat fans are going to be less than pleased, though many across the NBA realm are down on the team’s prospects this season.

The site employing a heavy dose of advanced statistics predicts the Heat to win 33 games this season, good for the sixth worst record in the NBA and 28 percent odds to make the playoffs.

Last year, the same formula projected the Heat to finish 37-45. The Heat shredded that prediction, winning 48 games en route to a nice playoff run that ended in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Questionable Eastern Conference teams ahead of the Heat in this projection are the Knicks (35-47), Pacers (37-45), Hawks (38-44), Magic (38-44), Wizards (38-44), Pistons (39-43), Hornets (45-37), and Bulls (45-37).


I think Miami will surprise folks and win somewhere between 42-48 games, though I’m still riding with 45-37.

Their methodology: “This forecast is based on 50,000 simulations of the season and accounts for team fatigue, travel distance to games, and home courts with higher altitudes. Elo ratings are a measure of team strength based on head-to-head results and quality of opponent, while our CARMELO projections estimate a player’s future performance based on the trajectory of other, similar NBA players. Our CARM-Elo ratings, which power the forecast model, blend these two metrics to measure a team’s quality based on both its game results and its roster.”