New User? Sign Up / Forgot Your Password?
All Live
    All Live Projections

    1971-72 Lakers vs. Heat (03/26/13)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics
    By John Ewing

    Who would win, 1971-72 Lakers or the Heat? With the Heat's streak at 27 games we provide the odds of the streak continuing. Stats courtesy of

    With Miami's winning streak now at 27 games it is hard not to wonder how the Heat would match up against the 1971-72 Lakers that own the NBA record of 33 straight wins.

    The streaks by the numbers.

      Lakers Heat
    Wins 33 27
    Avg. Pts. 123.3 105.3
    Opp. Avg. Pts 107.3 93.4
    Avg. Pts. Diff. 16.0 11.9
    Home 18 14
    Road 15 13
    No Rest 9 6
    Total Days 59 51

    Do not get distracted by the amount of points the Lakers scored/surrendered compared to the Heat during their respective streaks. The Lakers played in an up-tempo era; the league played at a faster pace which led to more possessions for all teams. What is interesting to note is the margin of victory for both teams; the Lakers dominated their competition more completely winning by an average of four more points per game than the Heat. Miami has won ten games by nine points or less and three games by one possession.

    Possibly more impressive than the dominance of its opponents is how quickly the Lakers accomplished their winning streak. Los Angeles won 33 games in just 59 days. The Lakers began their streak winning eight games in ten days, something the Heat will never do. It has taken Miami 51 days to win 27 games in a row; it will take 62 days to tie the record and 65 days to break the record. Miami has played in six back-to-back games. If they break the record, they will have to complete their seventh back-to-back in order to do so.

    Comparing the teams (note: top five players by minutes, not starters)

      Points Field Goal % Rebounds Assists PER
    Wilt Chamberlain 14.8 0.649 19.2 4.0 18.5
    Jerry West 25.8 0.477 4.2 9.7 23.1
    Gail Goodrich 25.9 0.487 3.6 4.5 20.1
    Happy Hairston 13.1 0.461 13.1 2.4 15.7
    Jim McMillian 18.8 0.482 6.5 2.6 14.3
    LeBron James 26.7 0.557 8.2 7.4 31.2
    Dwyane Wade 21.5 0.519 5.0 5.0 24.2
    Chris Bosh 16.5 0.534 6.8 1.6 19.9
    Ray Allen 10.8 0.451 2.8 1.5 14.9
    Mario Chalmers 8.5 0.432 2.2 3.4 13.3

    When you compare the teams it comes down to the Big 3 (LeBron, Wade, and Bosh) vs. three NBA Hall of Famers (Chamberlain, West, and Goodrich). LeBron James is the most dominant player in the NBA, his numbers are up across the board in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage compared to his career averages. James fills all categories and rates out as one of the most efficient players in the NBA with a 31.2 PER. If LeBron has an off night, which he rarely does, then Wade and Bosh are capable of picking up the slack. Both players shoot better than 50% from the floor and create second chance opportunities with their offensive rebounding and passing.

    Chamberlain was not as dominant offensively as he had been in the past; he was well below his 30.1 career scoring mark. However, he was more efficient, shooting 64.9% from the floor. Wilt also pulled down 19.2 rebounds per game, which is almost as many as the Big 3 combined. Jerry West led the team in assists with a career high 9.7 and was second in scoring with 25.8 points. Gail Goodrich, the third wheel on this team, led the Lakers in scoring and was second in assists. Goodrich might be the most important player on the Lakers' championship team; he was in his athletic prime in 1971-72 and set a career high in scoring.

    So who wins this matchup? After simulating the 1971-72 Lakers vs. the 2012-13 Heat 50,000 times on a neutral court, the Lakers win over the Heat 54.4% of the time. The average score is 103.1-101.6. In a best-of-seven series the Lakers beat the Heat 57.7% of the time.

    (Note: The simulation takes into account the talent of competition. This is important because some might worry about the talent level on current NBA rosters with 30 teams in the league or that many of the elite players in the 1970s were in the ABA.)

    So the 1971-72 Lakers beat the current iteration of the Heat, big deal. The Heat can break their record. Miami has twelve games remaining this season, and by our simulations, will be favored to win all but one. That one game is March 31st on the road against San Antonio. After 50,000 simulations, the Spurs beat the Heat 56.1% of the time by an average score of 103.9-102.0. We give the Heat just a 26.1% chance of winning their next three games, which includes the road test against the Spurs.

    Overall, the Heat have a 17.0% chance of tying the Lakers 33 game winning streak. The likelihood that they break the record is 15.1%. The odds of the Heat winning their last twelve games are 7.6%. Finally, to put the streak in perspective, the odds that the Heat were to win 27 games in a row was 1 in 5,000. The odds that they win 33 games in a row are 1 in 25,000 and the odds that they break the record 1 in 33,333.

    Below are the Heat's remaining games and their odds to win each.

    Date Team Win % Odds Streak Continues
    27-Mar @ Chicago 71.5% 71.5%
    29-Mar @ New Orleans 80.8% 57.8%
    31-Mar @ San Antonio 45.1% 26.1%
    2-Apr New York 80.9% 21.1%
    5-Apr @ Charlotte 88.2% 18.6%
    6-Apr Philadelphia 91.7% 17.0%
    9-Apr Milwaukee 88.3% 15.1%
    10-Apr @ Washington 81.0% 12.2%
    12-Apr Boston 89.4% 10.9%
    14-Apr Chicago 87.6% 9.5%
    15-Apr @ Cleveland 85.0% 8.1%
    17-Apr Orlando 93.5% 7.6%


    Print This Article
    Playoff Predictions and Odds (04/09/13)
    Heat Streak and Props (03/20/13)
    Want More Tips and Information? Click To Register!





    The Predictalator

    The Predictalator is the most advanced sports forecasting software available today because it has the ability to account for all of the relevant statistical interactions of the players, coaches, officials, home field advantage and weather in each game.

    Picks for every game, including our Play Value Key and Calculator recommendations for optimal bankroll management and access to the Play Analyzer can be purchased in the Shop.

    1/19/2014 Highlight: Using the ResultsFinder for the week of January 12th - 18th, one could find that the Lock of the Week in the NFL Playoffs (Packers +7.5 at Seattle) easily covered. All-time, in the NFL Playoffs, Locks of the Week are 17-2 (89% ATS). All playable against-the-spread picks in this NFL postseason are now 6-3 (67% ATS). All-time on the site, all against-the-spread picks in the NFL Playoffs are now 41-13 (76% ATS).

    On the hardwood, featured, against-the-spread halftime picks continue to provide value. All normal or better against-the-spread in college basketball picks went 46-31 (60% ATS). In the last two weeks all normal or better against-the-spread halftime picks went 88-63 (58% ATS).

    Recommended Features



    NBA Rest of Season - 1/25/2015
    Updating daily, we simulate rest of 2014-15 NBA regular season 50,000 times to project final records and standings for every team.

    Play Props Pick'em - Win $2,000
    Now in its third year,'s Prop Pick'em contest brings a unique twist to props, asking you to select answers to game props including two in-game halftime questions. The Top 50 point scorers will share in a prize pool of $7,000 in site credits including $2,000 to the contest winner, while all participants will get a $10 FREE credit.


    Statistical Information Provided by: SportsData © 2012

    All registered accounts are subject to our General Terms Of Service. Content is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a gambling website.
    Home | The Predictalator | Features | Privacy |  Customer Support |  Media Contact |  Sitemap
    © 2010-2014, LLC. All rights reserved. | Site Designed by