The East is still the inferior conference — the average NBA team would stand to gain about two extra wins by moving from West to East. How much is two wins worth? It’s nothing to sneeze at, but it also isn’t going to make or break a team’s fortunes. The top-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers, for instance, would still be projected to win more than 60 games if they were given the schedule of a typical Western Conference team.Then again, the Cavs have a rare stockpile of talent by the standards of the East — we think they’re far and away the best team in the conference. That’s not exactly a bold prediction; perhaps more interesting is the No. 2 ranking CARMELO bestows on the Boston Celtics, who finished last season with the eighth seed in the East. Boston’s scoring attack wasn’t very good last year, but CARMELO thinks the team’s turnaround will be fueled by major improvements on the offensive end.As for the rest of the conference, the Atlanta Hawks’ projected decline — from 60 to 46 wins — might surprise their fans, but because many of last season’s stars are expected to regress to the mean, CARMELO thinks they’ll take equal steps backward on offense and defense. Along the same lines, the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets are projected to fall out of the playoffs (particularly Brooklyn, who we project to be in the East’s cellar), while CARMELO calls for the Charlotte Hornets to ascend to the postseason after sitting it out last year.WESTERN CONFERENCE 3BullsCentral+0.115+2.04+2.147.8 7HornetsSoutheast-1.0170.017-1.039.4 10PistonsCentral+1.210-3.127-1.936.6 Here at FiveThirtyEight HQ, we’ve been pretty excited about the upcoming 2015-16 NBA season.OK, that’s a bit of an understatement.For starters, we rolled out CARMELO,1Short for, ahem, Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization. our system for predicting the career of every NBA player, and we’ve been encouraging all who will listen to check out their favorite player’s projection. (Yes, our friends and families have asked us to stop.) We also used CARMELO to preview all 30 NBA teams.In each of those previews, we listed a “projected record” for the team in question to get a sense of what their fans should expect this year. But the trouble with writing these previews over such an extended amount of time is that we didn’t really get a chance to run the numbers for every team all at once. And if we had, injuries and transactions would have rendered those projections out of date by now.So to our eagle-eyed readers: Yes, we know, the projected wins for each team did not perfectly average 41-41 across the entire NBA.2They came close; on average, we were about 0.9 wins too high per team. We also didn’t adjust the numbers for strength of schedule. But we have now. Here’s an overview of each conference’s projected standings, which takes into account CARMELO’s ratings and each team’s schedule.3Our original predictions have a .996 correlation with these updated ones, so very little changed when we plugged our talent ratings into the 2015-16 NBA schedule. Unsurprisingly, the main difference came between conferences, where the same amount of generic talent in the CARMELO model will buy you more wins in the East than the West.EASTERN CONFERENCE 15NetsAtlantic-3.828-3.929-7.721.7 8JazzNorthwest+0.514+0.88+1.343.8 15LakersPacific-1.923-4.830-6.722.1 8PacersCentral-1.219-0.219-1.437.7 1CavaliersCentral+8.210.018+8.163.2 5RocketsSouthwest+4.03+0.610+4.752.6 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 13NuggetsNorthwest-4.329-0.923-5.226.3 11MagicSoutheast-1.420-0.721-2.136.1 10SunsPacific-2.624+1.96-0.738.2 In the West, the Golden State Warriors are once again our pick for No. 1 in the conference. But beneath them, there are some shake-ups: The Oklahoma City Thunder, who finished out of the playoffs last season after an incredible spate of injuries, are right back near the top of the standings, as are the new-look San Antonio Spurs. Those teams push the Los Angeles Clippers down to No. 4, highlighting just how stacked the West continues to be.CARMELO also thinks the Houston Rockets will fall from second to fifth in the conference, thanks to a declining defense. And it forecasts an extreme decline for the Portland Trail Blazers — without LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland is projected to drop from fourth in the West to 12th. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the playoff picture, our numbers call for the Dallas Mavericks to cede their No. 7 slot from a year ago to the Pelicans, while the Utah Jazz and (shockingly) the Kings battle over the conference’s eighth and final postseason berth.As mentioned above, the West figures to once again dominate the East. While the Cavaliers project as the NBA’s most talented team (by fractions of a ratings point over the Warriors), each of the next six best teams are in the West, as are six of the seven teams we project to win 50+ games. But there might be slight hope for improvement in East-West relations: CARMELO thinks the East will gain five total wins on the West, compared to last year’s split between the conferences.No matter what happens between the conferences, though, we think they’ll be represented again in the Finals by the Cavaliers and Warriors come next June.4Cleveland has a much higher probability of getting there. And we’re really looking forward to seeing how their paths potentially take them there. 12BucksCentral-3.326+0.79-2.634.4 2ThunderNorthwest+6.12+0.513+6.658.0 SEEDTEAMDIVOFFNBA RKDEFNBA RKTOTWINS 1476ersAtlantic-6.730-0.822-7.522.0 9HeatSoutheast-0.316-1.324-1.637.7 9KingsPacific-1.018+0.414-0.638.3 3SpursSouthwest+2.37+4.22+6.457.1 5RaptorsAtlantic+0.712+0.116+0.844.5 6WizardsSoutheast-1.721+1.57-0.341.0 2CelticsAtlantic+2.08+0.415+2.449.2 4HawksSoutheast+0.711+0.611+1.345.7 13KnicksAtlantic-3.527-2.926-6.424.8 1WarriorsPacific+3.05+5.01+8.161.3 4ClippersPacific+4.04+1.95+5.956.1 12Trail BlazersNorthwest-1.822+0.612-1.336.2 11MavericksSouthwest+1.49-1.925-0.638.0 7PelicansSouthwest+2.36-0.620+1.844.9 6GrizzliesSouthwest+0.613+3.13+3.750.5 14TimberwolvesNorthwest-2.625-3.128-5.724.9
Siemens wields axe, but little blood351 viewsSiemens wields axe, but little blood351 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Siemens wields axe, but little blood351 viewsBusinessThe axe is dropping at Siemens. Europe’s biggest engineering company has announced it’s slashing 7,800 jobs worldwide. That’s about 2 percent of its global workforce. Siemens has been implementingVentuno Web Player 4.50The axe is dropping at Siemens. Europe’s biggest engineering company has announced it’s slashing 7,800 jobs worldwide. That’s about 2 percent of its global workforce. Siemens has been implementing
Five road accidents, as reported, at different parts of the country claimed at least 12 lives on Friday, the weekly holiday in Bangladesh.NIne people were killed in three separate accidents in Narsingdi, reports UNB. The accidents left two dead in Sherpur and one in Cox’s Bazar.In Raipura, Narsingdi, four persons lost lives when a bus hit a motorbike on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Charabagh area in the morning.The victims were identified as Ramjan Miah, 17, son of Asad Choukidar, Dalim Miah, 14, son of Hafizuddin, Sohagh Miah, 18, son of Sharif Miah of Morjal in Raipura upazila, and bike driver Yamin, 25, of Putia in Shibpur upazila.A Dhaka-bound bus from Bhairab smashed the motorbike carrying the four around 8:10 am, leaving all dead on the spot, Raipura police station officer-in-charge Delwar Hossain said.In Madhabdi, three people — a rickshaw-puller, a passenger and a pedestrian — were killed as a Habiganj-bound bus losing control over its wheel hit a rickshaw from behind on the Dhaka-Habiganj highway in front of Birampur Palli Bidyut office around 1:30pm.The deceased are rickshaw-puller Ilias Ali, 32, passenger Ratan Miah, 45, and pedestrian Makbul Miah, 40.A couple was killed when a private car hit their motorcycle on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Panchdona area around 3:30pm.The victims are Aminul Haque, 35, and his wife Mansura Begum, 30, according to Ilias Miah, officer-in-charge of Madhabdi police station.In Sherpur, two persons were killed after a motorcycle hit a tree by the side of Kamaria-Nakla road in Baniapara of sadar upazila in the morning, reports UNB.The deceased are Janu Mia, 17, son of one Makbul Hossain and Rajib Ahmed, 18, son of one Abdus Salam of Poladeshi village in Nokla upazila.The accident occurred around 9:30am when the motorbike carrying the two dashed a roadside tree on their way home, leaving Janu killed on the spot and Rajib injured, Sherpur sadar police station officer-in-charge Shamsul Islam said.Rajib died on way to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.A woman was killed and six others were injured in a head-on collision between a minibus and a human hauler on the Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway at Rashidnagar in Sadar upazila on Friday afternoon, according to UNB.The deceased is Kulsum Akhter, wife of Abdur Rahim, a resident of Chander Ghona in the upazila.Witnesses said the accident took place when the minibus tried to overtake the human hauler, leaving Kulsum dead on the spot.Being informed, the police recovered the body from the spot and sent it to sadar hospital for autopsy, said Mozahidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ramu highway police.The injured persons were admitted to the same hospital, he added.
Ex-diplomat Salome Zurabishvili hailed her election as Georgia’s first woman president on Thursday but opposition leaders denounced the result as fraud and called for protests.With all votes counted, the country’s election commission said the French-born Zurabishvili, backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, had taken 59.52 per cent of the second-round vote.Her rival Grigol Vashadze, from an alliance of 11 opposition parties led by exiled ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM), took 40.48 per cent.Zurabishvili said her election was a step forward for women and a move closer to Europe for the ex-Soviet republic.”It is now important to show that this country has chosen Europe,” she told journalists after her win. “For that purpose, Georgians have elected a European woman president.””It feels great,” she said, pointing out that she was one of a small number of women presidents in the world.But opposition leaders — who have accused authorities of vote-buying and ballot stuffing — refused to accept the result.”We do not recognise the election results, we demand the holding of snap parliamentary polls,” Vashadze said in televised remarks, calling for “a mass peaceful demonstration” in the capital Tbilisi on Sunday.The election was seen as a test of Georgia’s democratic credentials as it seeks European Union and NATO membership.It was also a trial run for more important parliamentary elections in 2020, when Georgian Dream is set to face off against a range of opposition parties.The party is the creation of billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, who many see as the small country’s de facto ruler.Flamboyant ex-president Saakashvili, who lives in exile in the Netherlands, claimed “mass electoral fraud” even before official results were released.”The oligarch has stamped out Georgian democracy and the institutions of elections,” he said on the pro-opposition Rustavi-2 television channel, referring to Ivanishvili.”I urge Georgians to defend our freedom, democracy and the law. I call on you to start mass peaceful rallies and demand snap parliamentary polls.”International observers said there were problems with the election but that overall it had been “competitive”.- Increasing tensions -“(The) election was competitive and candidates were able to campaign freely, however one side enjoyed an undue advantage,” monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a report after the vote.The elections were “well administered”, they said, but raised concerns about misuse of administrative resources that “blurred the line between party and state”.Tensions increased ahead of the second round, as the opposition accused the government of voter intimidation and claimed that ruling party activists had attacked Vashadze campaign staff.Zurabishvili in turn said she and her children had received death threats through text and voice messages from people affiliated with the UNM.Vashadze, a 60-year-old career diplomat, had criticised Ivanishvili’s “informal oligarch rule” amid growing discontent over the government’s failure to tackle poverty.The vote was Georgia’s last direct leadership poll as it transitions to a parliamentary form of governance. The first round of the presidential election on 28 October saw Zurabishvili take 39 per cent of the vote, against 38 per cent for Vashadze.Street protests against the results could spark concern for the country, which has seen civil wars, mass demonstrations and unrest since gaining its independence in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union.A smooth presidential transition, however, would be welcomed by many as a sign of stability in Georgia, which is emerging as a tourism hotspot and hopes for more foreign investment.- Daughter of refugees -Zurabishvili, a 66-year-old independent lawmaker, is the daughter of refugees who fled Georgia in 1921 for Paris after the country’s annexation by the Red Army.Her career in France’s foreign service culminated in a posting to Tbilisi, where then-president Saakashvili appointed her foreign minister.But Zurabishvili quickly made enemies among the parliamentary majority, with MPs and some senior diplomats accusing her of arrogance and impulsiveness.When she was sacked after a year in the job, thousands took to the streets of the capital to protest her dismissal.On Thursday morning she received blessings from the influential head of Georgia’s Orthodox Church, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, and was later seen by passersby sipping coffee with her children on a sunny terrace in central Tbilisi.The French foreign ministry said in a statement that Paris was looking forward to working with Zurabishvili “to further strengthen” relations.