Checking in on the Playoffs

I was hoping I’d get to do this a little sooner, but the NBA teams are dragging their feet on finishing out series.  We’ll start there and then move on to the NHL.  The predictions were made here, here, and here.

Chicago 3 – Indiana 1 (prediction: Bulls in 4).  The Pacers pulled one out, which isn’t surprising since the Bulls have been playing like crap.  The general story is that Rose is the only thing keeping the Bulls in it, but the truth is he’s not doing so hot either.  His effective FG% has dropped from a regular season 48.5% to 38.1%.  The only thing he has been doing well is getting to the line at a ridiculous rate and making them.  That didn’t happen in game 4 and the Bulls lost.  But they should still finish this off without too much worry.

Miami 3 – Philly 1 (prediction: Heat in 4).  Same story as above, without the anti-Rose stuff.  Should be over soon.

Boston 4 – Knicks 0 (prediction: Boston in 5).  Got the right winner here, but wrong number of games.  I’m sure Boston will be happy to rest the old guys a bit.

Orlando 1 – Atlanta 3 (prediction: Magic in 4).  Well, this is obviously not going to be a Magic sweep.  I’m surprised it has turned out this way, despite the Hawks’ 3-1 regular season advantage.  Orlando has shot like crap and no one is helping Dwight Howard.

San Antonio 1 – Memphis 2 (prediction: Spurs in 5).  I haven’t seen any of these games really, so I can’t say what’s going on.  But I would still be surprised if the Spurs don’t pull out the series.

L.A. 2 – New Orleans 2 (prediction: Lakers in 5).  The Hornets are being a little more feisty than I would’ve given them credit for.  And Kobe just tweaked his ankle, which I’m sure we’ll be hearing about for the next few days until game 5.  But I still see the Lakers getting this one.

Dallas 2 – Portland 2 (prediction: Mavs in 6).  This has been a tight series with the home team holding court so far.  The Mavs have the only convincing victory so far though, so I’m still giving them the edge.

Oklahoma City 3 – Denver 0 (prediction: Denver in 6).  I had really hoped Denver would pull out that game the other night (and game 1 for that matter; game 2 is the only one that’s been out of hand).  This was the closest match-up in my book, so I can’t say I’m surprised that the Thunder are going to win it.

Washington 4 – NY 1 (prediction: Rangers).  The Rangers actually had the better goal differential this year, so I gave them a slight edge.  It didn’t turn out that way, but the Caps did have to win one game in OT at least.

Philly 3 – Buffalo 3 (prediction: Flyers).  We get a game 7 on Tuesday.  My personal opinion is that game 7 in the NHL is the best, most heart-wrenching event in sports.  Any odd bounce changes the whole game.  Don’t even get me started on game 7 overtime.  This series has already had 2 games get there.

Boston 3 – Montreal 2 (prediction: Bruins).  According to my model, this was the biggest mismatch in the East and the Bruins still only had a 70% chance of winning.  With two chances to put it away, it looks like a good pick.  Continuing this year’s tradition, there’s been an overtime game.

Pittsburgh 3 – Tampa Bay 2 (prediction: Penguins).  Despite losing Crosby and Malkin, the Pens were still pretty good.  They should wrap this up.

Vancouver 3 – Chicago 3 (prediction: Canucks).  A penalty shot to tie it tonight and the Blackhawks won in overtime to come back from 3-0 and force a game 7.  Tuesday is going to be crazytime for hockey fans.

San Jose 3 – L.A. 2 (prediction: Sharks).  The Sharks have two wins in overtime.  It doesn’t sound impressive, but they only need one more to move on.

Detroit 4 – Phoenix 0 (prediction: Red Wings).  As a Wings fan I wasn’t expecting a sweep, but I’m happy they got it and get to rest.  Hopefully it’ll be enough time for Zetterberg to get healthy.

Anaheim 2 – Nashville 4 (prediction: Predators).  We got the upset pick right here, as Nashville was the 5 seed but had the better goal differential.  Their reward will be the Canucks if they pull it out at home, or the Wings if San Jose takes care of business (after the re-seeding, the Sharks would get the Blackhawks).

That’s it for now.  Tomorrow the Penguins and Sharks will try to end things in game 6, and three other series might end on Tuesday (two will for sure).  In the NBA, the Thunder can complete a sweep of the Nuggets tomorrow and two series may end on Tuesday (the Hawks and Bulls can wrap things up).  So hopefully I’ll have enough new info for another update on Tuesday or Wednesday, and then again when the NHL second round is set for sure.

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2 Responses to Checking in on the Playoffs

  1. Jax says:

    How could anyone pick the Magic in 4 after witnessing what the Hawks did to them in the regular season? I think you need a common sense adjustment for your model.

    • Alex says:

      The Celtics only went 2-2 against Washington this year. I guess it’s a good thing they didn’t make the playoffs! The Lakers split with the Cavs. The Heat split with the Clippers. Chicago split with the Clippers as well, and Golden State, and lost their series with Philly and the Knicks (at least they made the playoffs). Sometimes good teams lose to worse teams in the regular season. Sometimes it happens in the playoffs as well. But the majority of the time, the better team wins.

      We can look at it the other way as well. Chicago went 3-1 against the Pacers this year but are far from dominating their series. The Lakers swept the Hornets but are tied right now. In limited games, weird things can happen. A team’s differential in all games is the best predictor of how they do in the future, in my opinion. If someone has a consistently better common sense adjustment, just let me know.

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