Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, April 26, 2019

NBA Playoffs Western Conference First Round Prediction Thread!

I thought this might be a fun thing to do…





Since the polls don’t track who voted for what, feel free to make a comment, as well, to take credit for your predictions.

The site seems to have problems with too much script, so I split the conferences up.

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24 comments on “NBA Playoffs Western Conference First Round Prediction Thread!

  1. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The West is a total clusterfuck this year. The SRS order goes:

    Warriors
    Jazz
    Rockets
    Blazers
    Nuggets
    Thunder
    Spurs
    Clips

    With the exception of the lowly Spurs and Clips, you’re looking at an unusually narrow range of SRS for the top 6 seeds at 6.42 to 3.56. Last year, it ranged from 8.21 to 2.6. Year before, 11.35 to 1.14. In 2015-16, the Warriors and Spurs had sky-high SRS at 10.38 and 10.28, followed by the Thunder at 7.09 and dropping to 0.98 for the 6-slot thereafter. If SRS is to be believed, this is historic parity among the top seeds of the West.

    The 538 ELO ranks them:

    Warriors
    Rockets
    Thunder
    Nuggets
    Jazz
    Blazers
    Spurs
    Clippers

    The Warriors, Rockets and Thunder get a small bump for “playoff experience.”

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/good-news-warriors-fans-every-cliche-about-the-nba-playoffs-is-true/

    I’m not sure what to think of their explanation:

    Indeed, having demonstrated an ability to win a championship continues to be a strong indicator of a team’s ability to compete for another for several years. Below is a chart that shows all teams since 1984 that finished within five games of the best record in the regular season arranged by their winning percentage and how many other teams finished within five games of the best record as well (our proxy for competition). The differences between those that had won a title within the previous five years (our proxy for championship experience) and those that had not are withering:

    It seems to me better explained that teams with great players who make the Finals are likely to make the Finals again, but while repeating that the contests are fully independent of each other. Their explanation has a quiet implication that you roll unloaded dice, and by rolling sixes, the dice become loaded toward sixes in the future, while it seems more likely to me that the dice were loaded in the first place.

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    Dang, now Paul George is day-to-day, as well! A lot of injuries right as the playoffs begin.

  3. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    See, I want to look at Draymond and be like, “Well, even great players are never static entities in the league,” and point to his regular season advanced stats, which all say he’s a player in steep decline. And then I think of that player playing 40 MPG for the Warriors and wonder how many people would be shocked if they got knocked out by what look like two amazing playoff teams in the Rockets and Bucks. (Harden and Giannis are playing all 48 if their teams need it.)

    Then I look at his playoff advanced stats over his career and think, “Why the fuck did you just bet money against the playoff Warriors?!?”

  4. Hubert

    Then I look at his playoff advanced stats over his career and think, “Why the fuck did you just bet money against the playoff Warriors?!?”

    I know the feeling.

  5. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Warriors in 4, Rockets in 5, Nuggets in 7, Thunder in 6.

    2nd round: uh, idk Warriors in 7? Rockets in 7? This series is going to 6 games minimum. I’ll just call Warriors in 7.

    Thunder in 6.

    Warriors over Thunder in 6.

  6. Grocer

    Their explanation has a quiet implication that you roll unloaded dice, and by rolling sixes, the dice become loaded toward sixes in the future, while it seems more likely to me that the dice were loaded in the first place.

    Yeah, but the difference is that dice don’t have the ability to learn, while players do. Most of the article is just demonstrating that the playoffs are a functionally different thing to model than the regular season, with a strong implication that it’s a different game on the court as well which would give a significant advantage to teams with more playoff experience*. What’s missing from the article is whether or not general playoff experience matters, instead of just championship experience (which is a really small sample size).

    *Obviously not the only possible factor, but one that’s simple to give a number to, i. e., total playoff games by players over a minutes limit for each team.

  7. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I think it could be both.

    Having won it in the recent past is certainly an indication that you have a very good team (dice were loaded from the start). However, it may also be an indication that you have an edge in experience, confidence, mental toughness etc.. as a result of having already been there and winning it that we don’t know about the other team.

    Another way of saying it would be if the you think Bucks/Warriors are dead stone even statistically going into the finals, the Warriors would have some small edge based on already having won multiple titles with this team.

  8. Bruno Almeida

    I think the Bucks absolutely will give the Warriors a very hard series if they reach the finals. I don’t see anyone in the NBA defending Giannis for 48 minutes, and Giannis himself is a superstar defender who’ll at least bother KD a lot. The problem I see is that when the warriors are firing on all cylinders, they tend to destroy supporting casts, and if Middleton, Bledsoe, Mirotic and Lopez all struggle, there’s no way they can keep up. There will be games where the Warriors just shoot lights out and there’s nothing you can do, but Thompson and Durant are both down relatively to their usual 3 pt shooting, so there’s a chance.

  9. vincoug

    Warriors in 5
    Nuggets in 6
    Blazers in 7
    Rockets in 6

    Warriors should obviously smoke the Clippers. Nuggets should smoke San Antonio but Poppovich is such a good coach I’ll give them 2 wins. Blazers-Thunder is a total tossup. Both teams have injury problems and OKC hasn’t been playing well either. Rockets/Jazz is also really close and Houston has had a tendency to choke in big moments. Wouldn’t be surprised at an upset here.

  10. Grocer

    Do the Rockets have injuries I missed? I think the Jazz get smoked. If Steph’s ankle lingers (they should sit him as long as they can) Houston has the potential to be a real challenge.

  11. iserp

    Here are mine. Jazz are my dark horse, but I guess Rockets and Warriors are too much. Toronto all the way for me in the east.

    Warriors in 5
    Jazz in 6
    Oklahoma in 6
    Denver in 5

    Milwaukee in 4
    Celtics in 6
    76ers in 5
    Toronto in 4

    Warriors over Jazz in 7
    Denver over OKC in 5

    Milwaukee over Celtics in 5
    Toronto over 76ers in 6

    Warriors over Denver in 5
    Toronto over Milwaukee in 7

    Warriors over Toronto in 7

  12. Z-man

    For Me:

    Warriors in 5
    Jazz in 7
    Oklahoma in 6
    Denver in 6

    Milwaukee in 4
    Celtics in 6
    76ers in 6
    Toronto in 5

    Warriors over Jazz in 5
    OKC over Denver in 5

    Milwaukee over Celtics in 7 (fuck the Celtics!)
    Toronto over 76ers in 7

    Warriors over OKC in 5
    Milwaukee over Toronto in 7

    Warriors over Milwaukee in 5

  13. Z-man

    Dark horse in the East: Nets over Philly. Probably won’t happen, but the Nets are one of those teams that could be a handful because who knows if the young players will step up.

  14. Brian Cronin Post author

    Im picking the Jazz in 6 just to be contrarian.

    and then…

    Jazz in 7

    Now that’s really being contrarian. ;)

  15. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    No comments on Luke Walton leaving the Lakers by mutual agreement and rumors that Vlade Divac is interested in him coaching the Kings? This is a buy low opportunity on a potentially very good coach if I ever saw one. It makes me think maybe Divac is getting better as a GM. It would be exquisite Karma if the Kings were good under Walton and the Lakers continued to flounder.

  16. Brian Cronin Post author

    I agree that Walton makes a lot of sense in Sacramento. It’s hilarious that Magic wanted to quit rather than fire Walton and he still leaves.

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