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2011 NBA Finals Series Win Probability After Game 3

Posted by Neil Paine on June 5, 2011

Miami's Series Win Probability Graph after Game 3 (Miami leads 2-1):

Miami's Quarter-by-Quarter Series Win Probability Data:

Minutes Elapsed p(win)
0 53%
Game 1
12 52%
24 51%
36 58%
48 66%
Game 2
60 66%
72 65%
84 71%
96 46%
Game 3
108 54%
120 54%
132 54%
144 69%

(For more info on the Series Win Probability methodology, click here)

40 Responses to “2011 NBA Finals Series Win Probability After Game 3”

  1. sean Says:

    Wow. Terrific series thus far. Wade and Dirk are their respective teams' MVPs, no question. Haslem should guard Dirk more... Wade can get open 3s all day on Kidd, who's terrified to have him blow by him.

  2. huevonkiller Says:

    Yeah right I bet you're praying for a Mavs win.

    Wade needs to stop taking threes this is just small sample size.

  3. huevonkiller Says:

    That's what happens when a 38 year old Kidd is defending you, and Jason Terry. It was bound to happen.

  4. Anon Says:

    Miami definitely got lucky on the Wade 3 and long 2 in the 4th. But that's basketball, and Dallas had several fortunate breaks. (The no-call when James was behind the 3 point line was just bizarre. Lots of quick whistles on rebounds was giving DAL 2 points ever time. When they are calling like that you have to abandon the offensive boards and just get back on defense. Call it a wash with Chalmers' back-court violation 3).

    They have to play through Bosh, and he came up huge in the 4th quarter despite a slow game. I get the sense that Wade and James are very close and good friends, and they aren't that close with Bosh. When he has a good game, they talk him up, but when he's cold, that's when they go isolation so much. He's still a very efficient scorer and even if he's "cold" the numbers bear out that he should keep getting the ball.

    Time for Chamlers to start and Bibby to come off the bench. I wonder if this is some promise that the Heat made to get Bibby to give up the $6 million. The best lineup by far is Wade-James-Bosh-Haslem and Miller/Chalmers.

  5. huevonkiller Says:

    Anon, Erik is just a slowpoke with changes, it took him forever to bench Z after having the worst point differential in the post-season.

    Yeah I think you're right about Bosh, but over the years things will change I bet. Wade won't be able to use as many possessions, I think that will help Chris get into a flow. He still had that great series against Chicago which is a tougher D.

  6. JTaylor21 Says:

    I don't what's wrong with Bron but dude's so passive out there. I understand that he has to play a team game and not force shots but the guy needs to be more aggressive out there. You know the guy's been passive when Chris Bosh has taken more shots than him in the first 3 games. I know DWade has it going the past 2 gms and has the more favorable match-up between the two but there's no way in hell that CB should be taking more shots than him.

  7. Anon Says:

    When LBJ shoots the ball, people get mad and say he should make Wade shoot more. When LBJ doesn't shoot the ball and facilities for others, people get mad for him not being "the man".

    This nitpicking is laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

  8. marparker Says:

    Throughout the playoffs Lebron leads the team in pts, reb, assists, steals and has less turnovers than Wade in more minutes yet Wade is definitely the MVP. Really?

  9. Nick Says:

    They should just give the Finals MVP to Dirk (no matter who wins the series), just to mess with people. I could totally see LeBron and Wade going for that if they could pick the MVP.

  10. Greyberger Says:

    I figured he was talking about Finals MVP, since that's a real thing unlike 'playoffs MVP'.

    After Game 3, Wade is in the lead for finals MVP, which is certainly a surprise.

  11. huevonkiller Says:

    LeBron doesn't always pass, or always shoot... There's an entire career ahead of him and the Heat if you're still not satisfied. Not to mention 2 or 4 more games in this series.

  12. huevonkiller Says:

    The media folk are pretty obnoxious though, the Bulls has the #1 defense in the NBA I guess people forgot.

  13. Anon Says:

    "I figured he was talking about Finals MVP, since that's a real thing unlike 'playoffs MVP'."

    It's silly if you ask me. Reminds me of the discussion about if last second shots are more important than other shots in the game - the Finals are only more important than other playoff games when taken on its own, but within the context of an entire playoff run it's the same as the other playoff games.

  14. sean Says:

    At #10... yes, I am talking about FINALS MVP.

    At #2... So it's NOT been a terrific series so far?

  15. P Middy Says:

    Definitely a terrific series so far. Heck, the whole playoffs have been amazing. Some interesting story lines last night:

    Wade vs. Nowitzki ala 2006
    Officiating was . . . interesting (allow contact around the hoop on shots and on drives, but call all the ticky-tack positioning, rebounding, and hustle fouls? What's that about)
    LeBron promised attack mode. He did attack (only 5 perimeter attempts), but only took 14 shots.
    CHALMERS is shooting well. He carries a heavy burden, ala Eddie House.
    Terry and Barea still cannot score on the Heat D to Dallas's liking.
    Udonis (DNA) and Bosh hitting clutch 4th quarter shots

    the list goes on and on. Terrific game to follow up the previous two terrific ones. Can't wait for the rest of them.

  16. Ray Says:

    It's easy to see why Bosh is struggling, Dallas is keeping probably their best defender (Chandler) on him. As for LeBron playing just average by his standards, he's being guarded by probably the second best Dallas defender at this point in time (Marion), and although he should still have the advantage over him, "Matrix" is definitely playing out of his mind on both ends of the court.

    This series was tailor-made for Wade, Dallas has absolutely no one to check him without letting LeBron go off. That said, I do think you have to factor in what LeBron did in the last two series to even get Miami here (although Wade was all-world against Boston, he was horrible offensively against Chicago), and if anything these guys deserve co-MVP more than almost any tandem in history.

    Although considering the load he's shouldering, Dirk should probably get the honor regardless of series outcome. Might as well make the MVP award (both regular season and Finals) the NBA's unofficial consolation prize...

  17. sean Says:

    Officiating was . . . interesting (allow contact around the hoop on shots and on drives, but call all the ticky-tack positioning, rebounding, and hustle fouls? What's that about)
    Sez P Middy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yeah, I hear you. The one I remember most (probably because it was towards the end) was when Haslem battled Dirk for a rebound and was whistled-------sending Dirk on an 80 foot stroll to the free throw line because Dallas was in the bonus. I didn't see the foul. To me, it was a clean, hard battle for a rebound.

  18. sean Says:

    Wade has been amazing in this series---but I'm not overlooking LeBron's value either in the Finals or in the overall playoffs.

    It's just that Wade has been THE man in the Finals. LeBron does SO much and did so much in previous series that IF Wade were to be Finals MVP-----nobody should be bothering James about it. But some will.

    I remember the 2004 postseason in MLB. Curt Schilling's bloody sock notwithstanding, David Ortiz was the MVP of that postseason run---most notably the ALDS and of course the ALCS. Manny Ramirez was the WS MVP---and it may have been between him and Bill Mueller. That's no knock on Ortiz---heck Manny didn't drive in a SINGLE run in 7 games VS the NYY, and Boston won an epic series, with Ortiz getting seemingly every big hit. Then Manny was arguably the single biggest standout offensively in the WS, so he won MVP. Just of the WS. I'm talking about Wade being MVP just of the Finals.

    I think LeBron is doing what he needs to do through 3 games. It's just that Wade has been more outstanding.

  19. sean Says:

    @ #16...

    And then of course there is Ray's point.... 'where in the heck would Dallas be in this series without Dirk'... and what's the value to THAT?

  20. Neil Paine Says:

    Which begs the question, should there be two separate MVPs, one for the entire Playoffs and one for just the Finals? The former would probably go to LeBron and the latter to D-Wade, as things stand right now.

    Of course, most sports choose one or the other, and most go the "Finals MVP" route -- World Series MVP, Super Bowl MVP, etc. Only hockey, with the Conn Smythe Trophy, awards an MVP for the entire playoffs.

  21. Nick Says:

    Doesn't baseball award playoff series MVPs?

  22. Neil Paine Says:

    They award MVPs for the LCS and World Series, but nothing for the Division Series and nothing for the playoffs as a whole.

  23. huevonkiller Says:

    *Bulls have the #1 defense


    It is ok so far and I'm a Miami fan. I'm waiting to see what else happens and how Miami can improve offensively.

    Personally I think Dallas should admit they have an issue at the 2, and double Wade more. I haven't seen a mismatch like that in a while. And when Dallas does mix things up I want to see how Miami reacts.

  24. Anon Says:

    They should just make it a PLAYOFFS MVP in sports. After all, you don't win four Finals games to win a title in basketball, you need to win 16 playoff games. It's a misleading term to begin with because then people assume that the Finals MVP is automatically the team's best player - it just looks at one specific series, which isn't any more important than the other when you look at the playoffs as a whole. Can't win the Finals without getting there first.

    LBJ, Wade, Dirk have all played great ball. Only the media bothers with rings arguments and who "the man" is.

  25. Cort Says:

    wade got a similar call to dirk under the boards when kidd was called for "pushing" him in the back in game 3. wade sold it by flying out of bounds with both legs and arms splayed in an embellishment worthy of an emmy. replays showed kidd barely nudged him, it looked like a foul since he had a forearm in his back fighting for position.
    another call miami's way was the long 3 at the end of the 1st period by chalmers. should have been over and back. reminiscent of 2 bad missed calls in game 6 of the 98 finals in utah. eisley made a 3 that was wrongly disallowed, and ron harper made a prayer runner that was definitely after the 24 second clock elapsed late in the 4th quarter. 5 point swing in a 1 point game helped cost utah the game, perhaps even a title. pippen had hurt his back and would likely have been ineffective in a 7th game, at utah too.

    anyone remember that wade shot 25 FTs in game 5 in 2006, same amount as entire dallas team? and 21 FTs in game 6? phantom foul at the end of game 5 gave miami a 101-100 win i believe.
    interesting that i thought i saw dan crawford reffing a mavs game, in the finals no less, in game 3. hmm. his influence on dallas losses is very intriguing. dallas is what, 3-19 in playoff games he has called? he also officiated games 3 and 6 of the 2006 finals, i think, both mav losses. wonder if or how many games of the 2007 golden state upset of dallas he reffed.
    as for kidd, he is playing off wade so much on perimeter defense that he is giving up almost uncontested jumpers. as someone noted, he is scared of wade blowing by him. he can guard wade in the post, but not 1 on 1 outside. need to double him quicker. stevenson is probably the only mav capable of guarding wade with any effectiveness on the perimeter.
    too bad caron butler is hurt. he can create his own offense, which dallas sorely needs. with him they are better than miami. barea is missing the tough drives he made the prior rounds, and terry/marion are streaky and a bit limited. chandler isnt finishing around the basket and kidd has reverted to his typical mediocre shooting. probly need to play peja and zone more to stretch the defense and give dallas more punch.

  26. Cort Says:

    i suggested in a previous post that there should be a conference playoff mvp award just as baseball has for its LCS. only difference is that the nba award would be for play in the first 3 rounds in each conference, and the finals MVP just for the championship series.
    for instance this year, dirk would be the west mvp and james probably the east mvp over the first 3 rounds.

  27. Anon Says:

    "only difference is that the nba award would be for play in the first 3 rounds in each conference, and the finals MVP just for the championship series."

    Still would be misleading though. Who's better, the playoff MVP or the Finals MVP? It would be the Playoff MVP because he plays more games - the Finals aren't any more important when you need 12 other games to win for a title. You don't even always play the best team in the Finals.

  28. Cort Says:

    not about ho is better. since the playoffs are so long 2 awards would help give more deserving players recognition. as you imply, one guy might play great for a couple series but then another 1 or 2 step up in the finals to contribute more.

  29. Anon Says:

    Once again however, you play more games in the rest of the playoffs. Larger sample to go by. Pepole aren't going to care though when they see the words "Finals" and "MVP" put together -the assumption is that that player HAD to be the best player, even if other players were better through the playoffs as a whole.

    Also hate how it goes to a player on the winning team. If the Heat win this series and Dirk plays well (the best player on the court thru 3 games), he'd be deserving of the award.

  30. Greyberger Says:

    My two cents: I'm fine with Finals MVP. I don't see much point in 'Playoffs MVP', or in creating a distinction between that and regular season MVP. Playoffs MVP would only ever go to players who advance to at least the conf. finals - getting that far should be its own reward.

    Furthermore, I can't remember a team that's made it to the Finals recently and had some question left as to who their best player was. The '04 Pistons might have been the last team. You don't need a playoffs mvp award to recognize Duncan as the Spurs' MVP in 2007, even though Tony Parker ended up with the Finals MVP. The award would always be either a formality (99% of seasons) or a travesty.

  31. Anon Says:

    "You don't need a playoffs mvp award to recognize Duncan as the Spurs' MVP in 2007, even though Tony Parker ended up with the Finals MVP.

    Just like you don't need a Finals MVP to see that LBJ was great in the postseason - especially in an ECF that Wade didn't play well in. It's great fodder for the casual fan/media though. "LBJ wins ring but not Finals MVP! Robin!" People aren't even that interested in the Dirk/rings debate with the LBJ sideplot, but you've seen that since LBJ joined the Heat.

    This season exposed alot of "conventional basketball wisdom" for its (mostly) irrational views of the game.

  32. Raoul Says:

    Great website/blog! Here's a stat question. (Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask.) Last night the Heat outscored the Mavs in the paint, and yet the Mavs go to the line more. How often has that happened in the playoffs?

  33. sean Says:

    @ #24... Anon, I like the POSTSEASON MVP idea, myself.

    @ #23... HK, I wonder if Dallas is afraid to double Wade---fearing what LBJ might do. I'm a fan of neither team---I'm just enjoying the series and drama of the last 2 games. I probably would like to see Dallas win, but I'm not rooting against Miami. That neber does anyone any good anyway. Lol. I'd like to see a long series. I don't know if Dallas is up to it.

  34. cort Says:

    yea but the finals do mean more than the previous rounds. it is the championship series.
    jerry west won the first post-season MVP award in 1969 - still the only player from a losing team to win it. i agree that a player from the losing team can be MVP, but he has to be extraordinary, like west was. and boston, other than havlicek, didnt have a star playing great in his prime when they upset LA in 1969. russell and sam jones retired after that series.
    cant think of another person who should have won MVP from a losing team off the top of my head though. i guess moses malone might have won it in 1981, but he shot poorly and the entire rocket offense ran through him so he could run up the numbers. plus half his offensive rebounds were off his own missed bunnies.
    bird deserved some MVP consideration in 1987, as well as isiah thomas in 1988. his 25-point third quarter in game 6 on a sprained ankle was an all-time performance.

    i thought ginobili should have won it in 2005, not duncan. tim missed a ton of FTs and easy shots. manu was clearly the best player all-around, he had 23 points 5 boards and 4 assists on 8-13 shooting in game 7. duncan scored 25 points but was only 10-27 from the floor in an 81-74 win. not to mention manu's fine floor game and clutch play.
    duncan missed 7 FTs in a row in game 5 i believe, and blew a 2-inch tip in at the buzzer that would have won the game in regulation. SA went on to win in OT by one, but manu was the bigger reason.
    NBA and the voters werent ready to give the MVP to a balding foreigner/south american i guess. duncan made just 43% from the field (54-125 i believe) in the series and was only over 50% once, and barely at that at 8-14. he had games of 5-15, 5-17 and 10-27 shooting in the series, despite most of his shots coming close to the basket. won the MVP on reputation and because he was likable.
    id like to see some retroactive playoff MVP awards given. 1958 would be Pettit for sure, and russell would have several in the 1960s im sure. baylor might have even won one in a losing cause in 1962 when he had the 61-point game in the finals at boston. wilt would have gotten it in 1967 for sure. mikan probably 2-4 MVPs in the 1950s when the minneapols lakers won five titles in 6 years from 1949-54.

  35. Greyberger Says:

    Tim definitely deserved the '05 Finals MVP. Sure, he struggled to score some games against the impeccable Detroit defense, but he compensated with it with 4.7 offensive rebounds a game in the series. His game-by-game scoring looked like this: 24-18-14-16-26-21-25. But he won the award on his defense.

    Manu had his struggles too, in game three he was just 2-6 with 6 TO and zero assists. Tim and Manu are very polished offensive and defensive players but couldn't score from the field with any consistency against Detroit. Duncan was more productive on offense, Ginobili more efficient, but it was still about the clash of the defensive titans (Duncan, Ginobili and Bowen vs. Detriot)

  36. cort Says:

    hmm ok we can agree to disagree, but how many of those duncan offensive rebounds were off his own missed layups or bunnies? i just remember while watching it that duncan did not have a vintage series, and missed a lot of FTs and easy shots.
    ginobili's worth is more intangible than tim's in general, i think, because of his savvy floor game and clutch play, not to mention his underrated defense. there is no stat for floor game other than a negative one, turnovers, and to a lesser extent, assists. but manu is the type of guy who stimulates the offense with passes that dont go down as assists, such as the pass before the pass "hockey" assist.
    parker got the playoff mvp in 2007 but is probably the worst player ever to win the honor. billups in 2004 and maxwell in 1981 are probably the others, although all are fine players.
    when the chips were down in the biggest and decisive contest (game 7), it was manu who was the main reason SA won, not duncan. 10-27 (37 percent) for a big man is quite poor. manu scored only 2 less points (23) on 14 less shots. and made some big shots, as i recall, in a close game.
    when SA needed a big bucket, they clear out and let manu create for himself or a teammate with his penetration and passing. not timmy d.

  37. P Middy Says:

    #20 - Seems that the Playoffs MVP would be superfluous. Consider that the sportswriters and analysts that vote heavily weigh winning as their primary criterium, they will likely go with the best player in the Finals anyway, when considering the whole playoffs.

    In most cases, they'd probably be right! More so than weighing it so heavily for the regular season, anyway. This is the only season of which I can think that they MIGHT give a hypothetical Playoffs MVP to one guy (James) and the Finals MVP to another (Wade) - but only if they win, of course.

  38. greyberger Says:

    Many would have been a good 05 finals mvp too. Heck they could have given it to Robert Horry or Bowen the award and I don't think the fans or teammates would care. That was a finals that was as close as it gets and the spurs were deliriously happy to escape with the trophy.

  39. Anon Says:

    "yea but the finals do mean more than the previous rounds."

    Depends on the perspective you use for this topic.

  40. huevonkiller Says:

    Anon definitely has a point, the Conference Finals means a lot more for the 2002 Lakers for example.

    The 2011 Bulls are a lot better defensively than the Mavericks, since people focus mostly on offense that's more to consider.