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    Playoff Probabilities (03/22/16)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    NBA Playoff Probabilities – Odds to win the NBA Championship

    We are less than a month away from the NBA Playoffs. Four teams (Warriors, Spurs, Thunder and Cavs) have locked up their respective divisions; five teams are officially eliminated from the postseason.

    As the playoff picture becomes clearer and in the weeks leading up to the postseason, we will simulate the rest of the regular season and playoffs 50,000 times with updated player and team statistical information to provide up-to-date playoff probabilities and odds to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for each team in the NBA.

    Top Storylines:

    Just when it was getting interesting, the Spurs suffered an unusual collapse while the Warriors found a way to win (again). One game after San Antonio proved that Golden State was not invincible; Greg Popovich's squad blew a 30-7 first half lead (and a 94 percent win probability) against Charlotte to lose their 11th game of the season.

    The Warriors then bounced back from their defeat in San Antonio, even with Stephen Curry having another off night. The stumble by the Spurs restored the Dubs' four game lead for the top seed in the Western Conference.

    Golden State and San Antonio are the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA Championship. Combined the Warriors and Spurs have a 77.8 percent chance to capture the title. The deciding factor could be home court advantage in the Western Conference Finals, an edge that Tim Duncan and company could have ceded to the Warriors with their rare loss against the Hornets last night.

    LeBron James recorded his 41st career triple double putting up 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 124-91 victory over Denver on Monday night. Cleveland won its 50th game of the season and clinched the Central Division for a second straight year. There are many questions surrounding this Cavs team from chemistry to coaching. Cleveland can silence the naysayers with a return trip to the Finals. LeBron is twice as likely (34.5 percent) to win the East as any other team.

    Is Dwight Howard is a cheater or not? Either way, the NBA issued an official warning (scary) to the Rockets and their center for use of a sticky substance on Howards hands. This seems like ‘much ado about nothing' especially with the Rockets tied for the 7th seed in the West and no real threat to win the title (0.1 percent).

    The most interesting playoff race is for the last spots in the East. Four teams (Pacers, Bulls, Pistons and Wizards) are within two games of the 7th seed. Indiana is the frontrunner with over a 90 percent chance to lock up one of the final playoff spots. Chicago (57.2 percent) and Detroit (41.9 percent) are coin flips to get in while Washington is a longshot (12 percent) to play past the 82nd game of the regular season.

    The most likely teams to make the playoffs that aren't currently in: Utah (55.6 percent) and Detroit (41.9 percent)

    Dallas is currently the 8th seed in the West but the Mavericks have a 31.8 percent chance not to make the playoffs.

    2016 NBA Playoff Probabilities

    Team Playoff% Conf. Quarters Conf. Semis Conf. Finals Finals
    Golden State Warriors 100.0 96.1 54.5 45.5 41.7
    San Antonio Spurs 100.0 97.6 44.4 39.2 36.1
    Oklahoma City Thunder 100.0 86.1 59.5 12.0 8.3
    Cleveland Cavaliers 100.0 81.3 51.0 34.5 5.7
    Toronto Raptors 100.0 69.3 29.8 17.7 2.3
    Atlanta Hawks 99.7 59.7 35.5 17.3 1.9
    Los Angeles Clippers 100.0 86.8 32.9 2.9 1.5
    Boston Celtics 100.0 57.7 31.6 14.4 1.4
    Miami Heat 99.2 40.5 15.7 5.2 0.4
    Charlotte Hornets 99.4 40.1 16.5 5.5 0.3
    Indiana Pacers 91.2 31.9 14.1 4.3 0.3
    Houston Rockets 86.3 11.0 3.7 0.2 0.1
    Memphis Grizzlies 99.8 6.3 0.5 0.0 0.0
    Portland Trail Blazers 90.0 9.4 2.5 0.1 0.0
    Dallas Mavericks 68.2 4.2 1.3 0.1 0.0
    Chicago Bulls 57.2 11.1 3.7 0.9 0.0
    Utah Jazz 55.6 2.5 0.7 0.0 0.0
    Detroit Pistons 41.9 7.3 2.0 0.3 0.0
    Washington Wizards 11.5 1.1 0.2 0.0 0.0
    Denver Nuggets 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Milwaukee Bucks 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Orlando Magic 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    New York Knicks 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Sacramento Kings 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    New Orleans Pelicans 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Minnesota Timberwolves 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Brooklyn Nets 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Phoenix Suns 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Los Angeles Lakers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
    Philadelphia 76ers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

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    Player Moves in the West (03/23/16)
    Player Moves in the East (03/16/16)
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