2018-19 NBA Season Forecast

Fansure developed the Fansure Index, which provides fans a perspective on the quality level to expect from any NBA game. This takes several factors into account, such as the market appeal of the two teams in a given matchup and its players. After one of the most exciting offseasons in the history of the league, this season promises not to lack great storylines.

For fans looking to circle certain games on their calendar, we have identified some of the most highly anticipated matchups. There’s also some games that might take a hit in terms of quality due to the likelihood of star players being out, so we want to give a heads up for those as well. Here’s a list of some of the most anticipated games of the year, along with their Fansure Index ratings:

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As you can see, some of the matchups that look great on paper don’t necessarily translate to a high Index rating. Of course, the games with the highest ratings represent what you probably would have guessed - such as pretty much any Warriors or Lakers games. The ones that we want to point out, however, are the games that MIGHT be good but have a good chance of leaving fans disappointed.

10/16/18 - Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors

On any other day, this matchup carries a rating greater than 9/10. But tonight, Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the game. So after the Warriors receive their rings and raise their 2018 championship banner, don’t expect the quality of the game to meet its usual standards. Not to mention, we won’t get any epic mano-a-mano showdowns between KD and Russ. At least, not until November 21st.

10/16/18 - Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics

Yes, these are the two presumed favorites in the LeBron-less Eastern Conference. Yes, there are plenty of stars in the game. So why is this only rated a 7.3?

First, admittedly, our Index doesn’t yet capture the anticipation of Opening Night as much as we’d like to - at least, not yet. But more importantly, the drop-off in matchup quality after the top teams in the West is so steep, that any East matchup is going to be rated significantly lower than matchups featuring the West’s best.

The most important factor in this phenomenon is simple: LeBron James. The fact that he’s no longer in the East has plummeted the quality of the conference overall. This is also evident in the dynamics of his new team; the Lakers, even though there is little star power aside from LeBron and a relatively low likelihood of them contending for a title, have substantially increased their Index rating from the mere addition of King James.

Lack of parity aside, this is as good of an Eastern Conference matchup as you can expect this season. We hope we’re wrong, but let’s face it: the other stars of the East have very big shoes to fill.

2/13/19 - Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks

As it turns out, games approaching mid-February seem to experience a dip in our Index ratings. That’s not unique to this particular game. Can you guess why?

3 words: NBA All-Star Weekend! With this being the last game before an 8-day break, it is highly likely that Coach Brett Brown gives his injury-prone superstars the night off. Given that the Knicks are likely to be a lottery team without Kristaps Porzingis for most of the season, this game is likely to carry very low importance in the eyes of the Sixers. This is not to say that there’s a 100% chance that Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz are not going to play. But with the higher probabilities that they don’t, the Index rating is taking a substantial hit. So, with the cheapest ticket being priced today at $67 (a mere $2 less than the preceding Warriors game, for context), fans should wait on buying until they know for sure if the stars will actually play. Or, they can insure their ticket in case they don’t!

Be sure to check our website to get the latest Fansure Index ratings before you buy your tickets! We want to make sure you get the best possible experience when choosing which games to attend.

Which games do you think are going to be as good as advertised? Which ones won’t? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!