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    GameChangers (05/15/14)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    A look at highlights from the most recent game from each NBA Playoff series utilizing Live ScoreCaster.



    Live ScoreCaster allows you to view current scores and play-by-play as well as live, updating projections from 50,000 simulations of the remaining time in each NBA game. Live ScoreCaster is totally free and available at PredictionMachine.com and for download on iTunes.

    After each NBA Playoff game we breakdown some highlights from the Live projections throughout each game. Click each matchup to view the Live ScoreCaster chart that tells the story of that game.

    Heat vs. Nets

    The Miami Heat won their tenth straight playoff series with a 96-94 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The Heat rallied from down eight with less than five minutes remaining to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Ray Allen made a three pointer with 32 seconds remaining to give the Heat their first lead since the second quarter. Allen's jumper was key to Miami's victory but the Heat actually became the projected winner on the previous play.

    During Miami's 12-0 run to take the lead, the Heat forced Brooklyn into nine straight missed shots. Before Allen's three pointer the Nets had missed their seventh shot in a row. Miami became 52 percent likely to win.

    LeBron Free Throws
    James has made 79 of his 98 free throw attempts thus far in the postseason, a respectable 81 percent (league average in the regular season was 76 percent). However, LeBron has missed two critical free throws in each of the last two games. In Game 4 it cost him his first 50-point playoff game. In Game 5, LeBron missed the first of two free throws that would have put Miami up three with nine seconds remaining. The miss at the end of Game 4 could not hurt the Heat but LeBron's miss in Game 5 opened the door for a tie or even a loss.

    Had LeBron made both free throws in Game 5, the Heat's expected win probability would have increased from 75 percent to 85 percent. The key being that the odds of losing were dramatically decreased as the Nets would need a four point play to win.

    Spurs vs. Trail Blazers

    San Antonio advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the third straight year blowing out Portland 104-82. The Spurs were never less than 59 percent likely to win and were 99 percent likely to win for the duration of the fourth quarter.


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