Posted by Neil Paine on March 3, 2010
On Monday I looked at the most competitive playoff series of all-time by the point differentials of the games, and I got some good feedback from readers about how to more accurately capture the "competitiveness index" of a series. Chief among the suggestions was what to do with overtime games, especially in light of the way Boston & Chicago's epic series last spring was perhaps being underrated by my initial metric. My favorite suggestion was that we simply count the point margin at the end of regulation time, which sets the margin of an OT game at 0 no matter what the final score was. I liked this because it was directly comparing apples to apples -- point differential at the end of regulation for both games that went into OT and games that didn't -- instead of forcing OT games to remain close for another 5 (or more) minutes. Also, I made the arbitrary choice to average raw point differential per game for each series rather than squared differentials, since it seemed like one blowout was being unfairly punished in an otherwise-close series. The results of these modifications are as follows:
Bulls-Celts is still probably not as high as we'd like, but at least it ranks much higher than it did under the old method.