Playoff Probabilities (02/15/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
NBA Playoff Probabilities – Odds to win the NBA Championship



The West's rout of the East wrapped up the NBA All Star festivities in Toronto. With the All Star break in the rearview, the focus of the league is now on the push for the NBA postseason.

If the NBA Playoffs started today, which team would win the title?

In the weeks leading up to the postseason, we will simulate the rest of the regular season and playoffs 50,000 times with updated player and team statistical information to provide up-to-date projected records, standings, playoff probabilities and odds to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for each team in the NBA.

Top Storylines:

It is a two horse race for the title. The Warriors, who are on pace to break the 1995-96 Bulls' record of 72 wins in the regular season, are nearly 50 percent likely to repeat. If it isn't Golden State, the No. 1 team in our Power Rankings, then it'll likely be San Antonio. The Spurs are No. 1 in defensive efficiency and top three in offensive efficiency. Combined the two best teams in the NBA have an 83.1 percent chance of winning the title.

Should the East fear the results of an exhibition game? The LeBron led Eastern Conference got trounced in the All Star game and the East's chances of winning the title aren't great. The Cavs, Raptors, Celtics and Pacers, the four best teams in the conference according to our Power Rankings, have just a 6.1 percent chance of capturing the championship.

The playoff picture is far from set. Only six teams – Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, Cavaliers, Raptors and Clippers - are locks (made it in 100 percent of the 50,000 simulations) to make the postseason.

Only five teams – Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Lakers and 76ers - are eliminated (zero percent chance) from playoff contention.

The most likely teams to make the playoffs that aren't currently in: Detroit (61.3 percent), Houston (59.9 percent) and Sacramento (13.8 percent).

Portland is currently the 7th seed in the West but the Trail Blazers are 50.3 percent likely to not make the postseason.

2016 NBA Playoff Probabilities

Team Playoff% Conf. Quarters Conf. Semis Conf. Finals Finals
Golden State Warriors 100.0 98.5 56.1 47.2 45.1
San Antonio Spurs 100.0 99.1 43.6 39.3 38.0
Oklahoma City Thunder 100.0 91.1 71.1 12.5 9.7
Cleveland Cavaliers 100.0 79.5 49.4 34.4 3.2
Toronto Raptors 100.0 72.3 33.4 20.3 1.5
Boston Celtics 99.8 67.5 38.9 19.5 1.1
Atlanta Hawks 95.8 49.3 23.5 8.7 0.4
Los Angeles Clippers 100.0 79.4 23.5 1.0 0.3
Indiana Pacers 91.2 42.2 21.0 8.0 0.3
Miami Heat 89.0 30.6 11.7 3.3 0.1
Charlotte Hornets 73.2 19.0 6.9 1.8 0.1
Chicago Bulls 71.3 20.4 8.1 2.1 0.1
Memphis Grizzlies 99.0 13.8 1.9 0.0 0.0
Dallas Mavericks 88.9 7.0 1.3 0.0 0.0
Utah Jazz 85.1 6.9 1.7 0.0 0.0
Detroit Pistons 61.3 16.9 6.8 1.8 0.0
Houston Rockets 59.9 2.3 0.4 0.0 0.0
Portland Trail Blazers 49.7 1.7 0.4 0.0 0.0
Sacramento Kings 13.8 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Washington Wizards 9.4 1.3 0.3 0.0 0.0
Orlando Magic 7.4 0.9 0.2 0.0 0.0
Denver Nuggets 2.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
New Orleans Pelicans 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
New York Knicks 1.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Milwaukee Bucks 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Minnesota Timberwolves 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Brooklyn Nets 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Phoenix Suns 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Los Angeles Lakers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Philadelphia 76ers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0