June 2, 2010

NBA Finals Pick

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 5:34 pm

Usually we like to use all the data from the season to make predictions, but given the amazing Celtics performance in the playoffs as compared to their pedrestian regular season I am only going to use the last two series to estimate the relative abilities of the Celtics and Lakers. During the Jazz and Suns series the Lakers played 13.1 points better than average (after adjusting for strength of opposition. The Celtics played an amazing 14.9 points better than average against the Cavs and Magic. Using an assumption that the Celtics are 1.8 points better than the Lakers we have run the series 5000 times and here are our probabilities.

  • Celtics in 4 9%
  • Celtics in 5 20%
  • Celtics in 6 16%
  • Celtics in 7 14%
  • Lakers in 4 4%
  • Lakers in 5 7%
  • Lakers in 6 14%
  • Lakers in 7 16%.

So we estimate the Celtics have a 59% chance of winning the series.

Key Playoff performers

Here are key Adjusted +/- Ratings and Impact Ratings (based on how chance of winning game changes) for Lakers and Celtics during the playoffs.

  • Ray Allen +14 , +44% Impact.
  • Rondo +12, +29% Impact
  • Pierce +10 +33% Impact
  • FInley An amazing +12 and +66% Impact
  • Kobe +11, +37% Impact
  • Bynum -5, -22%; definitely the Laker’s Achilles Heel.
  • Gasol +5 +11% Impact

Ray Allen has had a great year and gotten no credit. Everyone says Rondo is their key and he is great, but show Ray Allen some love!


  1. Have you run or would you have interest running your Adjusted +/- for lineups across 2 seasons, or even simply averaging your results for the most heavily used lineups of the best teams? Do you think this would help more than it “hurts”?

    Any comment on the argument made by another that Adjusted +/- is “too inconsistent” year to year to mean “anything”?

    Comment by Crow — June 2, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  2. Hi Wayne, does the “points better than average” account for the speed of the game, i.e. games with more possessions (faster) produce more points?

    Comment by John — June 2, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  3. No we just look at the game since you wnat to predict how many points the team wins by

    Comment by wwinston — June 3, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  4. We have done that but I think it is clear the Celtics are a different team the last month than thye have been for 2 years and I think other data is useless here. Also the Lakers sleepwalked thru the regular season.

    Comment by wwinston — June 3, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  5. Hey Wayne,
    Love your work. Just a heads up; Ray Allens odds to win finals MVP is 1:20. I say those are some pretty good odds considering what your data is saying.

    Comment by Garron — June 3, 2010 @ 12:59 am

  6. Ray Allen also was underrated in fantasy league drafts this season – and I used that to my advantage :D

    Comment by vanjulio — June 4, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

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