Saturday, April 13, 2013

Playoff Seeding Probabilities - In Motion

After the All-Star break, I added a new feature to my NBA daily rankings: Playoff Seed Projections.  I used my rankings to simulate the remainder of the season 10,000 times, applied all of the seeding and tiebreaker rules, and summarized the probabilities for each team in a little sparkline-style chart.

Since I archive the projections each day, I can also use Google's Motion Chart API to show how those probabilities have evolved over time.  The Lakers, out of all the NBA teams, have had the most ups and downs in their playoff fortunes since the All Star break.  Click the play button on the chart below to see that in motion (flash-based, not mobile friendly).



Lakers Playoff Seed Probabilities - Feb. 18 to Apr. 13



At the All Star break, the Lakers' had a 19% chance of making the playoffs.  That percentage has basically flipped, with the Lakers now at an 81% chance of making the playoffs.  However, this does not factor in the latest development in the Lakers' season, Kobe Bryant's likely season-ending Achilles injury.

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