Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lakers - Thunder Series

This post is actually an expanded comment to Sekou Smith's Hang Time Blog on concerning the Lakers - Thunder series.

This series is one everybody has been waiting for since the start of the season.

Experience VS youth.
Kobe VS Kevin.


A blowout in game 1.
An incredible comeback in game 2.

What's in store for the next 2 + X games?

5's experts on Sekou's blog give their predictions after 2 games: one says 4, two say 5, and 2 say 6.

But what do the stats say?

I recently updated my model from the last two posts (here and here) in two ways: homecourt advantage is now incorporated (another post soon on this topic, namely how we can quantify it, whether all teams have a significantly higher probability of winning at home than on the road, and which teams have the greatest delta in home ganes vs away games), and by providing more details on each series with not only the probability of one team winning it but also the breakout in how many games the series will play out.

Which is exactly what I did here for the Lakers - Thunder series.

And now for the results:

Winner Number of games Probability
Thunder4 22.2%
Thunder 5 30.4%
Lakers 6 5.8%
Thunder 6 17.2%
Lakers 7 9.5%
Thunder 7 14.9%

So Thunder in 5 is actually the most likely scenario, followed by Thunder in 4 and in 6. Overall, if you're a Laker fan you should feel depressed with Lakers having only a 15.3% probability of facing the Spurs. But I have to admit that I haven't factored Kobe-back-against-the-wall variable in my models :-)

Let me know your thoughts!

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