If you are a fan of the NBA you might be a fan of John Hollinger. If you have never read any of Hollinger on ESPN – you can check him out here. One thing I like to read is the Hollinger Power Rankings which was designed by Hollinger. He uses these power rankings to come up with his NBA playoff odds which updates automatically each night.
Hollinger states on his ESPN page, “The idea is to predict what a team’s odds are of making the playoffs, winning the division, making the Finals, etc., by simulating all the remaining games in the NBA season. We have a computer at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., that automatically plays out the rest of the season every night — not once, but 5,000 times. And we can see from those 5,000 trials how many times a certain outcome resulted, then assign a probability from it. For example, if the Blazers make the playoffs in 2,500 of our trials, we say their odds of making the playoffs are 2,500 divided by 5,000, or 50 percent.”
With a quarter of this lockout shortened version of the NBA regular season completed, we take a look at the updated playoff odds in Hollinger’s system.
The only two with 100% chance to go to the playoffs are the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers while Hollinger has Miami and Atlanta at 99.9% and Oklahoma City at 98.3%.
If these odds are accurate, the New York Knicks will miss the playoffs. It states the Knicks have a 41.2% of making the post season. The current 8th team in the East in these power ratings is the Milwaukee Bucks.
Out West the biggest surprise would be the LA Clippers who are off to a 9-5 start. In a tough Western Conference, the Clippers are the 10th team in the conference with a 61.6% chance to make the playoffs. The top 8 would be Thunder (98.3), Nuggets (87.3), Mavericks (82.5), Trailblazers (80.6), Grizzlies (79.7), Jazz (74.8), Lakers (72.2) and Spurs (70.6).
The rest of the East after the Bulls, Sixers, Heat and Hawks are Magic (98.6), Pacers (97.0) and then a major drop off in percentage points for the Celtics (59.5) and Bucks (54.9).
These teams can start preparing for the draft in the East. Cleveland (24.1), New Jersey (15.2), Toronto (7.8), Detroit (1.5), Washington (0.2) and Charlotte (0.0). In the West, Houston (65.6), LA Clippers (61.6), Minnesota (19.1), Phoenix (4.2), Golden State (2.9), New Orleans (0.5) and Sacramento (0.0) can all cancel postseason plans.
According to Hollinger, the Chicago Bulls have a 27.8% chance to win the NBA Championship.