Fantastic read on Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors

ESPN had a great feature that dug into the 2016-17 season of the Golden State Warriors. Highlights include:

  • How Draymond Green was the lead in recruiting Kevin Durant as a free agent, not Steph Curry.
  • How the shoe companies affect the dynamic of the Warriors.
  • How owner Joe Lacob is an unappreciative prick about Curry’s astonishing development.

To check out Ethan Sherwood Strauss’s profile, click here. I can even forgive how he misrepresent Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States and broadway inspiration.

Unfortunately, Strauss was among those employees laid off by ESPN recently. Hopefully, this doesn’t imply fewer profiles like this.

2016 NBA Finals series win probability

nba_champ_trophyFor the NBA playoffs, I developed rankings that use both data from games and the markets. These numbers give the following win probability for the finals.

Golden State has a 75.3 percent chance of winning the series.

This number has changed since the start of the playoffs.

Back on April 16th, the Warriors had just won a record 73 games during the regular season. My numbers said the Warriors were 4.5 points better than the Cavs on a neutral court, which implies a 83.4% series win probability.

Since then, Steph Curry got hurt, and perhaps hasn’t played up to his MVP form since his return. The Warriors struggled in a seven game series against Oklahoma City, getting outscored by 7 points during the series.

Meanwhile, Cleveland has played exceptional during the playoffs, as they have lost only two games (both in Toronto). Shooting 43.4% from three compared with 36.3% during the regular season has helped.

Now, the numbers imply Golden State is three points better on a neutral court than Cleveland, which gives the 75.3% win probability.

As of Tuesday morning (May 31st), the markets imply a 65.5% win probability for Golden State.

NBA playoff win probabilities for 2015

nba_playoffs_2015You want to know which team will win the NBA playoffs.

Can Golden State continue their magical season and win the championship? Or will another contender like San Antonio or Cleveland steal the crown?

I had a tough time calculating playoff win probabilities this year because of Cleveland and San Antonio. Both these teams started the season slow.

However, San Antonio has an aging core that won the title last season, and Cleveland has the best player on the planet in LeBron James.

I calculated win probabilities based on my NBA team rankings that take the margin of victory in regular season games and adjust for strength of schedule. It gave Golden State a 56% chance to win the title, which seemed too high.

As an alternative, I estimated the late season form of San Antonio and Cleveland through the betting markets. I took the closing point spread in all games since late February and applied my ranking algorithm to adjust for strength of schedule.

In these market rankings, Golden State is still the best team. However, their rating is only about one point better than San Antonio and Cleveland. The difference was more than 3 points in my team rankings.

With the market rankings, Golden State has a 39.5% to win the NBA championship. They benefit from a first round matchup between San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers, their toughest competition in the West.

To see all of my NBA win probabilities, check out this interactive visual from Andrew Phillips of Chartball. Hover over a team to see its chance to advance through each round. Hover over a circle to find the likelihood that each team wins a round.

This list gives the title chances for all 16 NBA teams in the playoffs.

1. Golden State, 39.5%.
2. Cleveland, 26.8%.
3. San Antonio, 14.3%.
4. Atlanta, 5.2%.
5. Los Angeles Clippers, 5.1%.
6. Houston, 2.8%.
7. Memphis, 1.7%.
8. Chicago, 1.2%.
9. Toronto, 1.0%.
10. Portland, 0.8%.
11. Washington, 0.7%.
12. Dallas, 0.5%.
13. Boston, 0.1%.
14. New Orleans, 0.1%.
15. Milwaukee, 0.1%.
16. Brooklyn, 0.1%.

I will update the interactive visual the morning after each day of games, so check back for the latest win probabilities.