Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 NBA Finals

Although they lasted longer than expected, the young guns have been eliminated now leaving only two members of the (kinda) old guard standing: the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. This sort of performance was expected from the Heat (I predicted they would win 67 games. I was wrong, but after these playoffs it seems pretty reasonable). They Mavericks have come our of nowhere, even in the playoffs, starting off with less than a 5% chance of winning it all. Two of the games best scorers have taken over (with the help of some serious luck) and Lebron and Dirk will be on a collision course for not just their first ring, but their first Finals MVP also.

It turns out though, that the finals may not be the close battle you'd expect from two teams that dominated their respective brackets. Through out the regular season the Bulls were consistently better than the Mavs, and they only managed to last 5 games (although there were some pretty lucky Lebron J's to keep the Heat in games 4 and 5). The free throw discrepancy which was the story of the 2006 finals also is apparent between the Heat and the Mavericks regular season attempts. Even without Bennett Salvatore's help, the MiAmigos will likely get to the line more. Here's the breakdown of the occurrence rates of possible results:

Miami in 4: 9.9%
Miami in 5: 15.1%
Miami in 6: 23.0%
Miami in 7: 20.1%
Dallas in 4: 3.1%
Dallas in 5: 9.5%
Dallas in 6: 9.3%
Dallas in 7: 10.0%

Because of the 2-3-2 format things break down a little bit differently, and the home team is almost always most likely to win in 6 games. The overall odds of winning don't change though, the Heat should take the Larry O'Brien trophy 68.2% of the time. While as in any sport, there's enough chance involved to make all outcomes possible, but the most likely outcome is Miami in 6. A dynasty of the MiAmigos may be upon us.

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