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Five Thirty Eight has one projection system that actually likes the Bulls

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Chicago Bulls Introduce Dwyane Wade Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Five Thirty Eight released their NBA projections today. I haven't dug into exactly how it works, but it's a blend of player projections and schedule analysis.

How this works: 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.

It's also one of the more optimistic projections for the Bulls I've found.

Based on their schedule simulations, they peg the Bulls at a 45-37 record, good for a tie for 4th in the East and only behind Cleveland, Toronto, and Boston. They appear to be way less enthusiastic about the Hawks and Pacers then I've seen elsewhere.