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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Round 2 Odds & A Quickie

Before I get to the odds, during the Spurs-Mavs game today the announcers were talking about the Suns-Clippers series. Dufus-philosopher Bill Walton’s two sentence analysis of the Suns-Clippers series went something to the effect of Phoenix “has found it’s offense” and mentioned the name of “Barbosa, Diaw, & Nash”. That prompted me to do 2 things. The first was to seek out my local bookmaker and consider putting every spare cent I have on the Clippers. (Luckily for Ms. KnickerBlogger, I’m not a gambler).

The second was to officially proclaim Shawn Marion as the NBA’s most underrated player. According to my stat page, he’s 9th overall in PER, two places ahead of his teammate-MVP. Yet Steve Nash wins back-to-back MVP awards while Marion gets a single 5th place vote. “The Matrix” averaged 18 points on 47% shooting (eFG), 9.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks in the first round of the playoffs. He had double digit points in every game, 20 points or more in 4 games (and scored 19 in another), and 3 double-doubles. And poor Shawn is forgotten on national tv.

Funny thing is, if I were forced to pick an upset it would be the Suns. Just because it took them 6.5 games to dispense with the Lakers, while the Clippers bounced out the Nuggets in 5 despite “earning” the road field advantage. However according to the odds based on the season’s records, it’s the Heat and Spurs that are most likely to be upset. Prior to creating the below chart, I wouldn’t have thought the Spurs or Heat to be vulnerable.

San Antonio has won 2 of the last 3 championships and finished this year with the best record in the West, so you wouldn’t imagine them to be in trouble in the second round. However this odd playoff format has pitted them against the second best team in the West. The winner of this series should have an easier time in the next round, against an inferior opponent. Meanwhile a 59 game season from Shaq left the Heat with “only” a .634 winning percentage, close to the Nets .598. So maybe New Jersey doesn’t have as good a chance as the chart below would indicate. On the other hand, if Dwayne Wade takes another hard tumble or any part of Shaq acts up, then the Nets will have a good chance to advance to the East Conference Finals. So in a way, maybe the regular season takes into account the Heat’s fragility, and hence is a true representation of New Jersey’s odds.

  One Game Home Game 5 Game 7 Game 5 Games (modified for home field) 7 Games (modified for home field)
Spurs 54.8% 64.5% 58.9% 60.4% 61.2% 63.0%
Pistons 69.4% 77.3% 82.9% 86.6% 83.6% 87.3%
Heat 53.8% 63.6% 57.1% 58.3% 59.4% 61.0%
Suns 59.0% 68.4% 66.5% 69.1% 68.3% 71.1%

5 comments on “Round 2 Odds & A Quickie

  1. Kurt

    The Clips will beat the Suns, they have a much stronger inside game than the Lakers, which is step one in beating the Suns. They are also deeper with athletes than the Lakers.

    I’ll also take the Nets in Six.

  2. dave crockett

    KB-

    apparently “The Matrix” backs your claims that he is underrated. From yesterday’s (Monday) Arizona Republic:

    Marion received his first All-NBA due last season as a third-team pick, but this run, with Amar? Stoudemire out, has brought Marion a new level of respect – to an extent.

    “If I’m averaging 20 and 10 and I’m 6-7 and 225, am I just supposed to do that?” Marion said late in the regular season as he lay on a hotel bed playing handheld electronic poker. “How the hell do I not get the same credit as Garnett and Tim Duncan and those guys? I’m 225, barely. Is this just what we’ve come to expect of Shawn?”

    Marion sat up and put the game aside as he continued.

    “It’s frustrating because I’ve been doing this since I got here. I’ve been playing with Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury and Steve Nash and been able to adjust my game to everyone.”

  3. Dan

    The Suns will run all over the clippers and dominate as they did in game 1, a 130-123 victory. The Heat will bounce back from their game 1 loss and win in 6. I’ll take the pistons in 5 and the mavericks in 7 as well. Spurs-Mavericks is by far the best series of the second round and will be down to the wire in every game.

  4. Greebo

    That Stephen Martin guy is crazy! There’s NO WAY the Phentermines will upset! They play no D… duh, that’s why they say “there’s no D in ‘Phentermine'”!

    But I’m with him on the Home Mortgage financiers. Those dudes are rough.

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