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BBR News: Playoff Probabilities Report

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 20, 2009

Today I would like to introduce a new feature, BBR's Playoff Probabilities Report. The report will be updated on a daily basis from now until the end of the regular season. Although complete details will be kept under lock and key (for now), the method has been tried and tested: it was used to win the TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown in both 2007 and 2008.

7 Responses to “BBR News: Playoff Probabilities Report”

  1. Ben Says:

    Very nice!

  2. Westy Says:

    Good stuff, Justin.

    My only question, does this take into account someone like Al Jefferson going down for the Timberwolves?

  3. Justin Kubatko Says:

    Westy, no, it doesn't. I suppose you could come up with a method to make those types of adjustments, but my preference is always to keep things simple. :-)

  4. Jacob Says:

    Justin, I'm curious as to why your formula gives Portland a better chance to win the west than San Antonio. Portland has a slightly better efficiency differential on the season but the Spurs have the better record and seem to be playing better of late-- do you preferentially weight recent games?

  5. Ben Says:

    In Westy's particular example, I don't think playoff probabilities would be affected much.... ;)

  6. Gabe Says:

    Something interesting I'm seeing (as of today, at least). The Lakers have the best projected record in the West at 65.0 projected wins and a 99.8% chance of making the top seed, while the second best team is the Nuggets with 54.4 projected wins and no chance of making the top seed. However, the third best team, San Antonio, gets the other 0.2% chance of the top seed, even though they have fewer projected wins (53.7) than the Nuggets. Is that just a quirk of the simulations?

  7. Justin Kubatko Says:

    Jacob, the Blazers have a better point differential and have played a tougher schedule so far this season.

    Gabe, that just means that in two of the 1000 simulated seasons, the Spurs got the top seed. I think that should fall into the category of "stuff happens".