Posted by Neil Paine on June 30, 2011
"By nearly every statistical measure, the Mavs were outmanned by most of their playoff opponents. (According to one statistical analysis, the Los Angeles Lakers had four of the top five players in the series. The Miami Heat had three of the top four.) And yet, the Mavs managed to do what the best teams always do: They became more than the sum of their parts. They beat the talent."
Yep, because the stats guys were the only ones who didn't predict the playoffs with perfect accuracy:
|Round||Team A||Team B||Winner||Adande||Broussard||Ford||Legler||Sheridan||Stein||Wilbon||SRS|
ESPN Experts: 63.5%
I'm not doing this to pick on ESPN's national NBA experts, by the way. It's just my way of showing that nobody predicted the playoffs very well, and nobody saw Dallas going as far as they did. Nobody. For Jonah Lehrer to act as though statheads were the only ones who failed to see the potential for Dallas to upset L.A. and then win 4 games in a 6-game sample against the Heat is beyond absurd. (But you probably already knew that, because you've read the 600 other takedowns of Lehrer's article.)
The point: when it comes to the unpredictability of sports making them look silly, computers hardly have the market cornered.