Bucks Diary

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Relative Road Strength of NBA Playoff teams


The Win Score method, particularly the "Road" version, served me well in my NCAA picks. And Charles Barkley always says playoff series don't begin until the road team wins. With that in mind, I decided to take a preliminary look at the likely NBA Playoff teams by assessing each team's relative road strength.

Sidebar: For the NBA, I break it down into "Win Splits", which are similar to Bill James baseball "Win Shares", except that Win Splits are half wins whereas I believe Win Shares are 1/3rd wins (and I think Win Splits are way easier to understand). In essence, my theory is that one half of all team victories can be attributed to thier Win Score statistical accumulations by the team ("Offensive Win Score"), and one half can be attributed to the Win Score statistical accumulations they allow their opponents ("Defensive Win Score"). When you look at overall statistics, this turns out to be around 93% accurate, when you look specifically at road statistics, it turns out to be about 89% accurate. Here are my results:


Discussion Points

1. There is an unfortunate situation brewing in the West. The four teams I think are the strongest contenders -- the Lakers, the Suns, the Jazz, and the Rockets -- are set to meet in Round One. Thus, two teams are likely to be eliminated early, when in fact their team strength would dictate a longer run.

2. The Lakers vs. the Suns sets up as the basketball version of "George Foreman vs. Ron Lyle". If you don't get the old school boxing reference... I'm saying it will be a Pier Six brawl -- all haymakers, no defense. During their season series, each team had a Win Score of nearly 55. That means, of course, the defenses of each team were near 55. Remember, the NBA average is 43.3.

3. New Orleans should be afraid of Denver. Denver is an awful road defensive team, that's true, but they've got a puncher's chance because they are an outstanding road offensive team.

4. Same deal with Toronto in the East. On the other hand, Cleveland looks like they might be less than advertised. The third most dangerous team is Orlando, Cleveland doesn't look like a serious threat.

5. It really looks like the Rockets will go out early if they meet the Jazz. Head-to-head, the Jazz have dominated. That's unbelievable for a team that won 20-odd games in a row.

Bucks Diary vs. King Kaufmann's "Pool o' Experts"

Since I was in a goofy NCAA pool, I never got a true objective read-out on how the Win Score/PVOA system really performed visavis the norm in picking NCAA tournament games. But, comparing my picks against the conglomerate known as King Kaufmann's "Pool o' Experts", it did quite well indeed.

If the results below don't underscore the marginal value of Left Brain analysis in the sport of basketball, I don't know what does.

Remember, despite my success, I still couldn't name Kansas' entire starting five if my life depended on it, while I'm sure Seth Davis could tell you where each of them went to high school and whom their coaches were.

King Kaufmann's Pool O' Experts

1. Yoni Cohen, YoCoHoops.com...............1,260
2. Bucks Diary....................................1,240
3. King Kaufman, Salon.com...................1,010
4. Jonah Keri, ESPN/NY Sun...................1,000
5. Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated.............990
6. CBS Sportsline Users..........................980
7. Stewart Mandel, SI.com.....................950
8. Tony Kornheiser, Wash Post................940
9. Seth Davis, CBS...............................900
10. Luke Winn, SI.com..........................860
11. Gregg Dovel, CBS Sportsline...............800
12. Barack Obama, politician..................780
13. Michael Wilbon, ESPNtv..................740
14. John McCain, politician....................710
15. Buster, Coinflip4kids.......................390

2 Comments:

At April 12, 2008 at 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bogut pretty much blew his chance last night for the first season double-double since Vin. Not that 9.8 vs 10 matters that much (Magloire even had what, like 9.5 and 9.5 a couple years ago?).

Heading into the last 8-10 games he needed to average about 13 the whole way out to get there, and he was tearing them down for a little stretch and I thought he might do it. But after getting 9 and 6 the last two games, he'd need 16 per the last 3 games to do it. Oh well, let's see what Hammond's got in mind.

 
At April 27, 2008 at 9:26 PM, Blogger SEO said...

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