Saturday, 18 April 2015

NBA Play-Offs 2015

The NBA play-offs begin today, with "my" long-time favourite NBA team finishing the season with the best record (67:15) but with 'only' a 29.4% implied probability of winning the title.

Since 1984, when the NBA expanded to a 16-team play-off system, 14 best regular season teams have gone on to win, i.e. 45%. The Golden State Warriors are also a better than average best team, and of the nine teams finishing with a record of between 65 and 69 wins, seven have gone on to win it all.

I suspect the relatively easy route to the final for LeBron James and his Cavaliers in the weaker Eastern Conference is a factor, as is the late season form of the current champion San Antonio Spurs - 11 consecutive wins before dropping the final (meaningless) game of the season. 

The Spurs may also have a psychological edge having won in Oakland and taking the season series 2-1. San Antonio also has the edge on experience,  although arguably their most valuable player is the young Kawhi Leonard. I think there is value on San Antonio right now - I have them at 1.47 to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the First Round and 1.6+ is available, or you can back them to win the Championship with a view to trading out later of course.

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