Friday, March 8, 2013

Crazy end of season!! (a.k.a. "For the 100th time, will the Lakers make the Playoffs?")

When I posted my predictions for the end of the season, I felt like I had some time before having to update these. However, in light of recent results, namely the Lakers pretty hot streak and a back-from-25-down comeback in New Orleans, the hype is back as to whether or not the Lakers will make it into the finals. Some have even argued that given how tight the last Playoff spots are in the West, the Lakers can even hope to get in the 7th or even 6th spot. But their future is not entirely in their hands, a lot depends on how the Warriors, Jazz and Rockets perform.

Let's see how the odds of each of these teams making it into the Playoffs has evolved and upadte our forecasts based on most recent games:

Only in Hollywood-land could an NBA team's probability of making the Playoffs jump from 10% to 40% in a matter of three weeks with only a quarter of the season remaining. All experts (and stats bloggers like me :-)) agreed that the Lakers' Playoff run would require a big slip by one or more of the team's ahead, and that is exactly what the Jazz is handing the Lakers on a silver.... scratch that, golden platter, with a probability drop from 90% to 55% over the same three weeks! Talk of a big slip! But to make this the perfect Hollywood script, the Lakers should clinch that 8th spot with a win on the final regular season against Houston...

Here's a table summarizing most recent values as of 2013-03-08:

Team Playoff Probability
SAS 100%
OKC 100%
LAC 100%
MEM 100%
DEN 100%
GSW 98.9%
HOU 90%
UTA 55.2%
LAL 43%
POR 7.3%
DAL 5.6%
MIN 0%
PHO 0%
NOH 0%
SAC 0%

Given the current excitement and hype, I'm guessing I will be posting updates sooner rather than later!

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