April 20, 2012 - by David Hess
We added a new section to the site today that’s designed to be an automatically updating and very comprehensive NBA Playoffs preview.
There are a lot of new pages, but the basic idea is that we’re using our projected NBA standings to seed the NBA playoffs, then creating detailed forecasts and matchup pages for not only every first round series, but every possible future series (given the projected final standings).
Here are the new additions:
This page may look familiar, as we’ve published something very similar during the playoffs in past seasons. It gives you an overview of the entire NBA Playoffs, assuming our projected seeds are correct.
At the top is the Latest Series Win Odds table which lists the first round matchups along with the projected winner and their odds of emerging victorious. Click on any series to view a detailed matchup page (more info on that below).
At the bottom of this page is a Round-by-round Survival Odds table which lists each team’s chance of advancing to any specific round of the playoffs (again, given our projected seeding).
Want a bit more info on all of the projected first round series? This page has a chart for each of the most likely first round matchups, which shows the odds of each team winning in a set amount of games, based on our power ratings:
For example, the first chart shows that if the Bulls play the Sixers in the first round, the most likely outcome is Chicago winning in 5 games, with a 26.4% chance. These odds will update automatically every day, as team ratings change.
Not only have we created those charts for the projected first round series, but we’ve made them for every possible NBA Playoffs matchup, based on our projected seeding.
Want to see our forecast for a possible Spurs-Thunder Western Conference final? Just click on the “W1 San Antonio” link in the left menu, and you’ll go to a page which shows series length prediction charts for the Spurs versus all 15 other projected playoff teams:
The most likely first round opponent is highlighted at the top, along with head-to-head results and a power ratings comparison. Below that are predictions for possible opponents from the same conference, and matchups against teams from the opposite conference are at the bottom. As you can see above, our ratings give San Antonio a slight edge against Oklahoma City, but the series is likely to go 6 or 7 games.
Finally, to really dig deep into a projected series, check out our Series Matchup pages. These can be reached via the series links in the left sidebar (which appear once you are already viewing any NBA Playoff projection page), or by clicking the “Series Detail >>” links found below each chart on the first round projections overview page.
There’s quite a bit of info on these pages, so we’ve color coded it here for reference:
Red — This should look familiar. It’s the same series projection chart from the other pages, which displays the chance of each team winning the series in a certain number of games. Above, you can see that the Lakers winning in 7 games is the most likely outcome of an LA-Dallas series, with an 18.8% chance.
Green — Head-to-head results from this season, including results against the spread and the over/under.
Blue — Basic player stats from games against this opponent, as well as each player’s season average, and how much better or worse he did against the specific opponent. For example, the first three numbers for Kobe Bryant show that he averaged only 14.8 points per game against the Mavericks this season, which was 47.5% below his season average of 28.1. We hope that this info can be useful for investigating matchup issues between the two teams.
Yellow — Here are a variety of power rating and team stat comparisons. The stat comparisons are color coded to give a general idea of where a team ranks in the category. From best to worst, the colors go bright green, dark green, brown, dark red, bright red.
Right now, only projected first round matchups have these detailed views available, but we will be adding all possible matchups later today. So you’ll be able to see, for example, how LeBron James performed against the Lakers, or what the projected series length is for an unlikely Nuggets-Knicks NBA Finals.
So there you have it — a plethora of information about all the possible NBA playoff matchups, at your fingertips. As with all of our pages and tools, the info will automatically update every morning with the result of the previous night’s games, so you’ll always be looking at the freshest possible data.
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