Out Indefinitely (04/26/13)

By John Ewing

Russell Westbrook is out indefinitely, how does this impact the Thunder's chances of advancing to the next round? What would the playoffs look like had Westbrook been injured before they began?

Out indefinitely. Russell Westbrook was injured in Game 2 of the Thunder’s playoff series against the Rockets when he collided with Patrick Beverley. Westbrook will have surgery to repair cartilage in his knee. So how will this impact the Thunder’s title chances?

Before the playoffs began we gave Oklahoma City an 18.9% chance to win the title; second behind only Miami. To see all of the 2013 NBA Playoff Odds click here. The Thunder, with Westbrook, had an 82.5% chance of winning the series against Houston before the playoffs began. Up 2-0 over the Rockets, with a healthy Westbrook, the Thunder’s odds had improved to 95.1% chance of winning the series. With Westbrook out, their odds of winning the series drops to 86.8%. With a two game lead the Thunder are still prohibitive favorites to advance to the next round. Only needing two more victories in five chances the injury is not a big concern in this series. Going forward the absence of Westbrook will hurt the Thunder.

We will have updated odds for each matchup before the next round but to illustrate how much Westbrook meant to his team below is a look at what the playoffs would have looked like had Westbrook been injured before they began.

Region Seed Team First Round Conf Semis Conf Finals NBA Finals
Eastern 1 Mia 96.9 90.6 74.2 56.8
Eastern 8 Mil 3.1 1 0.2 0
Eastern 4 Bkn 61.2 6 1.8 0.3
Eastern 5 Chi 38.8 2.4 0.6 0.1
Eastern 3 Ind 78.7 45.3 11 4.9
Eastern 6 Atl 21.3 6.5 0.7 0.1
Eastern 2 NY 78.3 42.3 11 4.1
Eastern 7 Bos 21.7 5.9 0.6 0.1
Region Seed Team First Round Conf Semis Conf Finals NBA Finals
Western 1 OKC 70.2 38 19 6
Western 8 Hou 29.8 8.6 2.3 0.5
Western 4 LAC 67.6 38.6 18.3 6.4
Western 5 Mem 32.4 14.8 5.3 1.3
Western 3 Den 73.9 24.9 11.3 3.1
Western 6 GS 26.1 4.7 1 0.1
Western 2 SA 89.1 67.4 42.2 16.1
Western 7 LAL 10.9 3.1 0.6 0.1

The Miami Heat are still our most likely champion but with slightly better odds (56.8% with Westbrook injured, 54.8% healthy).  The Thunders odds plummet from second best at 18.9% to only 6.0% (4th most likely). An injury to Westbrook helps the Clippers the most as their odds increase from 2.3% to 6.4% to win the championship. The Spurs become the most likely representative from the Western Conference reaching the NBA Finals 42.2% of the time.