With the preseason locked up and the regular season set to begin soon, we can now take a more accurate look at how an NBA team's season will shake out.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, expectations vary.
The Cavs finished the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season 21-45 for a winning percentage of 32 percent.
While some would be happy with a team a step above pathetic this season, others expect nothing less than a playoff spot in the East.
This is Cleveland, so let's hold off on the playoff talk for now, shall we?
First let's look at the preseason. Yeah, yeah, they usually mean next to nothing (see 2008 Detroit Lions), but just out of curiosity let's project their winning percentage to a full season's games.
The Cavs finished the 2012-2013 NBA preseason with a record of 2-4 against actual NBA teams. This 2-4 record represents a winning percentage of 33 percent.
Stretched out to an 82 game season, the preseason record prediction would be 27-55.
This may not be too far off, as it represents a slight increase from their mark in 2011-2012.
Moving on from preseason, let's look at the Anderson Varejao factor. Not a single Cavs fan would argue that he was the second most valuable player on the team last year before going down with a season ending injury.
While the Cavs may have finished the season 21-45, they were actually a very respectable 10-15 in games that Varejao played in.
This correlates to a winning mark of 40 percent, a dramatic increase from the 32 percent they finished the season with.
Counting on a healthy Varejao this season, a winning percentage of 40 percent over 82 games would mean 33 total wins. So the Anderson Varejao record prediction would be 33-49.
Our third prediction comes from the increase in wins from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012 during the Cavs rebuilding project.
In 2010-2011 the Cavs were pretty awful, losing 26 straight games from December to February and finishing with a record of 19-63 for a winning mark of only 23 percent.
Given the addition of Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller, C.J. Miles and others to the Cavs' roster, one would assume they would continue to climb the wins ladder.
How many games will the Cavs win this season?
The first two rebuilding years saw an increase in win percentage from 23 to 32 percent, or an increase of nine percent overall.
Adding the nine percent to the 32 percent from last year to stay consistent, this would mean a 41 percent winning mark for the Cavs in 2012-2013.
Spread out over the season, the Cavs annual improvement record prediction would be 34-48.
Given these three samples, it's safe to say they all agree on about where the Cavs will end up.
Simple math tells us that given these three records, the Cavs best guess at a 2012-2013 record prediction would come out to be 31-51.
While 31 wins doesn't seem like anything to get excited about, it would represent a substantial improvement from the previous two seasons.
The Cavs are headed in the right direction, but don't expect a winning season just yet.