NBA Playoff Probabilities (03/30/15)

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



With just a few weeks remaining until the NBA Playoffs start, every game matters. How has the playoff picture changed in the last week?

Each week, 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:

The Thunder rallied from 20 points down to beat the Suns 109-97 Sunday, it was the largest comeback since the franchise moved to Oklahoma. The Thunder's win (18% chance to complete the rally) may have sealed the playoff fates for both OKC and Phoenix. The Thunder are now 89% likely to reach the postseason, up eight percent from last week, and Phoenix has just a 0.3% chance (down 6.5%) to play past the 82nd game of the season.

Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey said Sunday that he thinks Houston can ‘beat anybody' in a playoff series. You can see why he would be confident. The Rockets own the second best record in the West, have won at least 50 games for the second consecutive season and have played much of the season without Dwight Howard. Unfortunately for Morey, Houston has less than a two percent chance to win the title.

San Antonio has won 13 of 16 games. The defending champs have averaged 111.6 points per game in March while going 11-3. The Spurs are one of just three teams to rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency in our most recent Power Rankings. San Antonio has a 6.5% chance to repeat.

The East will likely send two teams with losing records to the playoffs. Miami has an 85% chance to reach the postseason. Brooklyn (current 8th seed), Boston, Charlotte and Indiana are all 40% or less likely to sneak into the final spot in the East. Regardless of which two teams decide to play past the third week of April it is highly improbable that any win the title, combined all five clubs have 0.4% chance to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

2015 NBA Playoff Probabilities

Team Playoff% Conf. Quarters Conf. Semis Conf. Finals Finals
Golden State Warriors 100.0 81.9 57.3 39.5 28.4
Cleveland Cavaliers 100.0 87.7 52.7 38.6 19.1
Los Angeles Clippers 100.0 67.9 40.1 24.1 15.0
Atlanta Hawks 100.0 84.6 39.9 26.5 10.4
San Antonio Spurs 100.0 54.4 27.9 11.5 6.5
Dallas Mavericks 99.9 51.6 27.2 9.8 5.2
Toronto Raptors 100.0 61.4 32.0 12.0 3.5
Portland Trail Blazers 100.0 47.4 18.4 6.5 3.1
Washington Wizards 100.0 50.4 28.3 9.5 2.5
Chicago Bulls 100.0 65.7 29.9 10.1 2.4
Houston Rockets 100.0 42.1 12.6 3.9 1.6
Memphis Grizzlies 100.0 36.2 10.6 2.9 1.3
Oklahoma City Thunder 89.0 16.8 5.4 1.6 0.6
Miami Heat 84.5 17.9 7.5 1.8 0.2
Indiana Pacers 40.2 6.6 2.6 0.6 0.1
Charlotte Hornets 24.4 4.4 1.7 0.5 0.1
Milwaukee Bucks 98.0 15.0 3.7 0.5 0.0
Brooklyn Nets 38.7 5.2 1.5 0.1 0.0
Boston Celtics 13.9 1.2 0.2 0.0 0.0
New Orleans Pelicans 10.9 1.6 0.5 0.1 0.0
Detroit Pistons 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Phoenix Suns 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Denver Nuggets 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Los Angeles Lakers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Minnesota Timberwolves 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
New York Knicks 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Orlando Magic 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Philadelphia 76ers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sacramento Kings 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Utah Jazz 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0