A glimpse of things to come – 2014 NBA playoffs

Well, I’m back to blogging all things statistical and quantifiable in sports. I won’t bore you with the history of the blog, but instead I will go ahead and dive in with my predictions for the 2014 NBA playoffs. The current model I am using is a simple winning percentage model adjusted for strength of schedule. I will expand on the method in a later post. For now, here are a few simple predictions for how things are going to go down:

The West is a 2.6:1 favorite to produce the championship winner.

The San Antonio Spurs are the favorite to win the championship, with a 33.3% chance of winning. GO SPURS GO!

In descending order here are the probabilities of each team winning the championship:
33.3% – San Antonio Spurs
16.6% – Oklahoma Thunder
14.2% – Indiana Pacers
9.9% – LA Clippers
9.2% – Miami Heat
4.4% – Houston Rockets
4.1% – Portland Trailblazers
1.7% – Golden State Warriors
1.7% – Toronto Raptors
1.6% – Chicago Bulls
1.3% – Memphis Grizzlies
0.43% – Brooklyn Nets
0.36% – Washington Wizards
0.26% – Charlotte Bobcats
0.06% – Atlanta Hawks

The Houston/Portland series is likely to be the tightest first round series.

The Indiana/Atlanta series is likely to be the most lopsided.

Although the Spurs are the favorite to win the Championship, Indiana is the most likely to actually make it to the championship boasting a 41.4% chance of making it out of the east. Overall, this is due to the relative weakness of the Eastern Conference and strength of the Western Conference. Five of the teams that could potentially come out of the West (Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Houston, and Portland) are all predicted to beat Indiana in a 7 game series. Unfortunately for Houston and Portland there is an 84% chance that they will play San Antonio in the second round. That is enough for now. Enjoy the playoffs!