Bucks Diary

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Handicapping the NBA Playoffs: Round One


I used this formula and my own calculations of each NBA play-off teams home and away efficiency differentials to determine each team's percentage chance of getting out of Round One of the NBA Playoffs. I withhold actual series predictions until I can look at the Head-to-Head numbers.


Method

I took each team's Home and Away efficiency differentials, and used them to create "representative efficiency scores" for games played at the higher seeded teams home facility and games played at the lower seeded teams facility. I then plugged those numbers into the efficiency formula to determine each team's expected winning percentage in the series, both at home and away. I then took those results and multiplied the results for games at the higher seeds' facility by 4, and the results for games at the lower seeds' facility by 3, added the numbers together, and divided each by 7 to arrive at each team's "chances of winning". (Note: The "representative scores" are not actual "predicted scores" because the score I would predict would be dependent on the number of possessions I would expect in each game.)

Discussion Points

1. Karma is abusing the Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets have gotten to the NBA Finals four times in the modern era, and won two championships. By my reckoning, they did not deserve to be in any of those Finals. Now they have a team worthy of the Finals, and the odds are very high they won't get out of the first round. The thing that pisses me off about that is all the NBA talking heads will feel vindicated in their assessment that the Rockets were never a contender, when in fact they were.

2. To a far lesser extent, the same for the Sixers
The Sixers have gone from a joke to what I think is the fourth best team in the East. Of course that would make them the 12th best team in the play-offs, but all things are relative. I think the Sixers are slightly better than both the Cavs and the Bullets, but people will not see it that way because either the Cavs or the Bullets will advance to Round Two, and the Sixers will not.

3. Most likely First Round victim: the defending World Champs
By my numbers, the most likely upset victim in the First Round is the Spurs. I'm not predicting an upset yet, but my initial numbers say its quite possible.

1 Comments:

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