Pistons can top predictions

Andre Drummond is a big reason the Pistons might be better than you think. Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images

One of the fundamental reasons for using a quantitative system to build projections is to create a baseline of expectation. It's really the same reason people do subjective predictions, such as human polls. We want to know what to expect so we know when we should -- and shouldn't -- be surprised. The storylines of the season are based on the chasm between reality and expectation.

It's always interesting to zero in on the teams that have system-based forecasts that veer away from opinion polls. Systems like SCHOENE and my ATH system aren't always right, and it wouldn't be any fun if they were. However, even though a system of aggregated subjective predictions like ESPN Forecast performs well, it's not 100 percent correct, either.

As we prepare for the new season to tip off, let's look at the teams with the biggest degree of disconnect between the systems and mainstream consensus. I've used the ESPN Summer Forecast (East, West) as a proxy for mainstream expectation. And just so you can't dismiss the musings of my beloved ATH system as the crank output of a madman, I've averaged the forecasts from that system with those of SCHOENE.