2010 NBA Playoffs Predictions: Conference Semifinals

With the first round now over, we’ve updated our 2010 NBA playoffs predictions for the eight remaining teams.

First, let’s recap the first round and check in on Henry Abbott’s TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown 2010 competition over on ESPN.com. We’re happy to report that we correctly picked the winner of all eight first round series. In addition, we correctly picked the length of four of the series.

Those results are good enough to land us in first place in the TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown. The scoring system for the smackdown is 5 points for each correct pick plus a 2 point bonus for picking the correct length of the series. Our total for the first round is 48 points – putting us 4 points ahead of John Hollinger (who currently leads the “official” contest).

As we look to the Conference Seminfinals, here are our picks:

– Cleveland/Boston: Cleveland in 6
– LA Lakers/Utah: Utah in 7
– Phoenix/San Antonio: Phoenix in 7 (barely … very close to Phoenix in 6)
– Orlando/Atlanta: Orlando in 6

As we mentioned in our previous post, Utah is most likely the contrarian pick. Our algorithms see the series as being razor thin close, but ultimately gives Utah the slight edge. Two further comments:

(1) Our algorithms do not make any specific adjustments for injuries – both Utah and LA have some injuries they are working through, although Utah has taken the bigger hit.

(2) We did some further analysis that indicates if the series does indeed go 7 games, the Lakers would have the edge in that deciding game because it would be played on their home floor.

With all of that said, we stick by the numbers here at TeamRankings.com and will stick with the Utah in 7 pick.

Remember to keep tabs on how series win odds change after every completed game with our NBA Playoffs Current Series Win Odds.