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Playoff Preview: #1 Chicago vs. #2 Miami

Posted by Neil Paine on May 14, 2011

Chicago Bulls

62-20, 1st in NBA Central Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Tom Thibodeau (62-20)

PTS/G: 98.6 (20th of 30) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 91.3 (2nd of 30)
SRS: 6.53 (2nd of 30) ▪ Pace: 90.4 (23rd of 30)
Off Rtg: 108.3 (11th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 100.3 (1st of 30)
Expected W-L: 61-21 (1st of 30)

Arena: United Center ▪ Attendance: 893,462 (1st of 30)

Playoffs:
Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals (4-2) versus Atlanta Hawks
Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round (4-1) versus Indiana Pacers

Pos Roster G MP poMPG SPM RAPM 4yAPM PER WS/48
PG Derrick Rose 92 3466 40.0 5.67 3.4 1.9 23.9 0.211
SG Keith Bogans 93 1675 19.5 -0.61 0.1 0.2 9.4 0.123
SF Luol Deng 93 3683 43.2 1.81 3.6 3.8 15.6 0.152
PF Carlos Boozer 70 2222 30.9 2.17 0.5 2.2 18.0 0.142
C Joakim Noah 59 1936 32.7 3.72 0.7 2.4 18.8 0.208
SG Kyle Korver 93 1850 18.3 0.49 1.7 2.5 12.8 0.145
PF Taj Gibson 91 1935 17.5 -0.66 1.5 0.8 14.6 0.145
SG Ronnie Brewer 92 1934 13.9 1.29 0.9 0.9 13.6 0.144
C Omer Asik 93 1092 9.4 -1.81 2.9 4.0 11.3 0.125
PG C.J. Watson 93 1190 9.0 -1.07 0.0 1.2 12.3 0.079
C Kurt Thomas 58 1234 9.3 0.48 -0.7 1.0 10.2 0.132
SG Rasual Butler 50 777 2.3 -7.07 -1.4 -1.8 6.4 -0.007

Miami Heat

58-24, 1st in NBA Southeast Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Erik Spoelstra (58-24)

PTS/G: 102.1 (8th of 30) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 94.6 (6th of 30)
SRS: 6.76 (1st of 30) ▪ Pace: 90.9 (20th of 30)
Off Rtg: 111.7 (3rd of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 103.5 (5th of 30)
Expected W-L: 61-21 (2nd of 30)

Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena ▪ Attendance: 810,930 (4th of 30)

Playoffs:
Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals (4-1) versus Boston Celtics
Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round (4-1) versus Philadelphia 76ers

Pos Roster G MP poMPG SPM RAPM 4yAPM PER WS/48
PG Mario Chalmers 80 1826 24.8 0.96 1.4 0.1 10.2 0.089
SG Dwyane Wade 86 3220 39.6 6.92 3.8 6.7 26.1 0.225
SF LeBron James 89 3497 43.4 8.61 4.0 10.2 27.3 0.246
PF Chris Bosh 87 3185 39.0 1.94 4.0 4.9 19.2 0.175
C Joel Anthony 85 1776 31.3 -3.76 1.1 -2.2 7.5 0.105
SF James Jones 91 1795 24.6 -0.02 1.5 0.4 11.3 0.148
PG Mike Bibby 90 2490 20.5 -0.94 -0.3 0.3 10.1 0.073
C Z. Ilgauskas 81 1249 11.6 -2.23 -0.8 1.5 12.6 0.117
SG Mike Miller 48 874 5.1 -1.26 -2.1 -0.9 9.2 0.080
PF Juwan Howard 61 619 6.8 -5.37 -0.9 -2.6 8.5 0.077
PG Eddie House 60 999 5.3 -0.96 0.0 0.5 11.5 0.100
PF Udonis Haslem 14 348 3.0 -0.52 0.4 -0.9 12.2 0.121
C Jamaal Magloire 19 161 3.0 1.10 -0.1 0.7 12.8 0.173

Predictions (based on these rankings)

Full-Season Post-Deadline
Games CHI MIA Prob Games CHI MIA Prob
7 4 3 19.4% 5 4 1 21.7%
6 2 4 19.0% 7 4 3 20.5%
5 4 1 14.6% 6 4 2 16.4%
7 3 4 12.8% 6 2 4 13.0%
6 4 2 12.7% 4 4 0 9.8%
5 1 4 10.2% 7 3 4 9.8%
4 0 4 6.0% 5 1 4 5.8%
4 4 0 5.4% 4 0 4 3.0%
CHI 52.1% CHI 68.5%
MIA 47.9% MIA 31.5%

(Player stats are combined regular-season + playoffs. 2011 & 4-year RAPM data courtesy of Jeremias Engelmann.)

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8 Responses to “Playoff Preview: #1 Chicago vs. #2 Miami”

  1. Matt, Colombia Says:

    Wow, post deadline says Chicago has a 68% chance to win the series and a 31.5% chance to close this out in 5 games or less. Not buying that at all.

  2. AYC Says:

    Funny how Dallas gets no love for destroying a healthy Lakers team, while Miami gets over-hyped for beating a Boston team that had its all-star point guard injured for the last 2 1/2 games....

  3. Anon Says:

    "...Miami gets over-hyped for beating a Boston team that had its all-star point guard injured for the last 2 1/2 games...."

    ...and beat that same team with a healthy PG in the first two games.

    And I betcha you didn't say anything about Boston knocking off a Knicks team without it's star point guard and a healthy Amar'e in the first round either.

  4. huevonkiller Says:

    Boston beat an injured Cleveland team last year, tough luck brah.

    Yeah Pau Gasol looked so healthy in the playoffs....Or maybe not. He looked beat. And the Atlanta Hawks beat the Bulls twice, neither team was that impressive in the East.

  5. huevonkiller Says:

    #3 Funny how he skims over anything that makes him look bad. There are legitimate reasons to pick anyone out of the East, it'll be a tough series.

  6. JTaylor21 Says:

    This is going to be a very good series. If MIA is able to take one of the first 2gms in CHI, they have a great chance at winning in 6gms. It comes down to how well Boozer and Bosh play for their respective team. It's been proven that Bosh is the key to MIA's success all season long and in the playoffs, when he plays well, they are damn near unbeatable and when he struggles, they tend to lose. The same can be said for Boozer because Chicago is not going to win with Rose taking 25+ shots, so they need their supposed second banana to step up.

  7. Rg73 Says:

    AYC: First, I'm not sure how injuries really factor at this point. Teams inevitably by the playoffs have a variety of acute and chronic injuries. It just happens after 82 games. But, if you're going to pull the healthy Lakers card....do I really need to point out that Mr. Bryant re-injured his already severely sprained ankle in the New Orleans series? Need I remind you his injury was serious enough that the Lakers training staff pleaded with him to get imaging studies done on it (which he refused)? Kobe was very visibly not healthy in that series. I could probably also point out that Bynum suffered a bone bruise to his chronically injured knees a couple weeks before the playoffs and didn't take time off, so he was likely playing on a bruised knee. I'm sure Dallas fans could point out Dirk had some nagging injury...or Kidd, or whoever. While we're at it, we could point out Lebron and Wade were playing with a zombie (Ilgauskas), had an injured Haslem, and probably other injuries as well. In the end Kobe didn't make excuses for himself, nor did Rondo. That is because it is expected you head into the playoffs beat up--if you're not beat up at the end of the season, you're either a machine (like Lebron), young (like Durant), or, you didn't try very hard, and hence, aren't in the playoffs.

    As for the mathematical algorithm that shows Chicago winning...well, there's a reason they play the games. If math could predict everything the Lakers wouldn't have had to endure their sweep. The computer said they'd win, so they could have dispensed playing the games.

  8. AYC Says:

    Come on, guys. Rondo is the best player on the Celts, and he played the last 2 1/2 games of that series with one arm. I'm not saying the Celts would've come back to win that series if he was healthy, but they would've won more than one game. Anyway, my point had less to do with the celts than with Miami. Everybody is assuming they are the favorites to beat Chi and win it all based on 1)beating the Celts handily, and 2) having the most star power. But 1) the celts suffered a major injury to their best player, and 2) three superstars doesn't make a team. Dallas looks like the best TEAM left to me. And if Boozer is playing up to his ability, Chicago has a very good shot of beating the heat