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Thread: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

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    Tyrant maragin's Avatar
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    Default ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    We all know that Hollinger lives in the world of numbers, and that reality doesn't always reflect well. I appreciate his stats articles partly because they try to remove bias, and reveal trends that are hard to see when watching highlight reels and Gatorade commercials.

    On a personal note, I've been happy to be wrong so far about our Pacers. I'd pegged them at 31 wins at the beginning of the season... a half game under where Vegas put them. A team that exceeds expectations is a very exciting thing indeed. I look forward to catching a game with my Dad when I come home to visit for the holidays.
    -----------------------------

    Hollinger Playoff Odds 2007-08


    Hollinger's NBA Playoff Odds are based on the Hollinger Power Rankings, designed by ESPN.com's John Hollinger.
    The Hollinger Power Rankings are a measure of each team's performance in the season so far.
    Based on those rankings, each day the computer plays out the remainder of the season 5,000 times to see the potential range of projected outcomes. The results reveal the most likely win-loss record for each team -- and how likely it is for each team to make the playoffs, win the NBA title, win the lottery, and so on.
    For more on how the system works and what it means, see Hollinger's explanation.
    Hollinger's NBA Playoff Odds are updated automatically each night.
    Record Alert: The current chances of Boston posting a 72-10 record or better are 1.0%.
    Eastern Conference

    ACTUAL PROJECTED ODDS (%)
    Team W L W L Best Worst Playoffs Division No. 1 Finals Champs Lottery
    Boston
    152641877-551-31100.099.978.653.642.60.0
    Detroit
    135582470-1244-38100.0100.04.420.213.20.0
    Orlando
    164602270-1247-35100.0100.017.023.014.60.0
    Toronto
    109463658-2434-4899.70.10.02.10.50.0
    Washington
    99443857-2532-5098.60.00.00.80.20.0
    Indiana
    910414157-2528-5493.40.00.00.10.00.2
    Cleveland
    911374550-3223-5963.30.00.00.00.00.8
    Atlanta
    710374550-3224-5859.90.00.00.00.00.0
    Milwaukee
    89334946-3620-6221.10.00.00.00.03.1
    Philadelphia
    513334947-3520-6221.00.00.00.00.03.1
    Miami
    413325047-3518-6414.80.00.00.00.04.2
    New Jersey
    910334948-3421-6114.20.00.00.00.03.1
    Chicago
    511325043-3919-6312.10.00.00.00.04.6
    New York
    611285441-4115-671.70.00.00.00.08.9
    Charlotte
    611265639-4315-670.30.00.00.00.012.5
    Western Conference

    ACTUAL PROJECTED ODDS (%)
    Team W L W L Best Worst Playoffs Division No. 1 Finals Champs Lottery
    San Antonio
    163582470-1244-38100.096.855.027.89.80.0
    Phoenix
    154562671-1143-39100.077.323.516.94.70.7*
    Utah
    136552767-1539-4399.999.217.221.66.50.0
    Golden State
    108513163-1938-4499.012.72.413.43.30.0
    LA Lakers
    118513162-2038-4498.910.01.611.42.90.0
    Dallas
    127483459-2334-4892.41.70.23.80.70.0
    Houston
    109473559-2334-4892.21.30.13.80.80.0
    New Orleans
    127443858-2431-5159.70.20.00.70.00.3
    Denver
    118424054-2830-5245.20.80.00.50.00.2
    Sacramento
    710384450-3225-579.30.00.00.10.00.8
    Memphis
    612364647-3524-583.30.00.00.00.01.3
    Portland
    612325045-3720-620.10.00.00.00.05.3
    LA Clippers
    611255737-4514-680.00.00.00.00.013.5
    Minnesota
    214196335-478-740.00.00.00.00.022.7
    Seattle
    415245838-4412-700.00.00.00.00.014.7
    Hollinger Playoff Odds Glossary
    Wins = Average number of wins from 5,000 computer-simulated seasons, based on the Hollinger Power Rankings
    Losses = Average number of losses
    Best = Best record from simulated seasons
    Worst = Worst record from simulated seasons
    Playoffs = Likelihood of making the playoffs
    Division = Likelihood of winning the division
    No. 1 = Likelihood of holding the top seed for the conference
    Finals = Likelihood of making the NBA Finals
    Champs = Likelihood of winning the NBA title
    Lottery = Likelihood of winning the lottery

    * Phoenix owns Atlanta's first-round pick.

  2. #2
    Formerly PacerFanInAZ Cactus Jax's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    .1% chance at the Finals.....so you're saying Ive got a chance.
    "It's just unfortunate that we've been penalized so much this year and nothing has happened to the Pistons, the Palace or the city of Detroit," he said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it. They should be ashamed of themselves to let the security be as lax as it is around here."

    ----------------- Reggie Miller

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    I like Hollinger's stats because they do remove all bias. It's like the polar opposite of what would happen if Simmons did the power rankings for ESPN.

    What I don't like is the complete absolute nature of them. How can you really say the Bobcats have absolutely chance of making the playoffs when in reality they're only a couple games out?

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    I'd like to see if he looked at injuries and strength of schedule.

    Then, again, most teams are one injury away from missing the playoffs.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    What I don't like is the complete absolute nature of them. How can you really say the Bobcats have absolutely chance of making the playoffs when in reality they're only a couple games out?
    Because that's what the simulation determined. It's all math.
    Read my Pacers blog:
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I like Hollinger's stats because they do remove all bias. It's like the polar opposite of what would happen if Simmons did the power rankings for ESPN.

    What I don't like is the complete absolute nature of them. How can you really say the Bobcats have absolutely chance of making the playoffs when in reality they're only a couple games out?
    so what i'm hearing you say is that you hate them and like them for the exact same reason.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I like Hollinger's stats because they do remove all bias. It's like the polar opposite of what would happen if Simmons did the power rankings for ESPN.
    I'd trust Simmonses(sp?) more than Hollinger's.
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    I'd trust Simmonses(sp?) more than Hollinger's.
    Simmons always did say he was the Locke to Hollinger's Jack. It's about preference, I guess. I much prefer Simmons. Although, the best power rankings seem to consistently be Stein's.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    I like Hollinger, Simmons and Stein a lot.

    Come to think of it, ESPN.com has a pretty fantastic stable of NBA writers. Along with those three they have the solid Chad Ford and Chris Sheridan, as well as the awesome Henry Abbot and TrueHoop.

  10. #10

    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Hollinger's math really doesn't mean much until about half way through the season. By that point the real trends have been established and the numbers do reveal some valid points. Right now a 2-3 game winning/losing streak by any number of teams on the bubble would drastically change the way those standings look.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    That is really wacky stuff.

    When he suggests the Warriors have a better chance of making the finals than do teams such as the Mavs, Rockets.

    Just wacky stuff from Hollinger as usual

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That is really wacky stuff.

    When he suggests the Warriors have a better chance of making the finals than do teams such as the Mavs, Rockets.

    Just wacky stuff from Hollinger as usual
    Maybe not as whacky as you think. They had a better chance last year than the mavs and didnt they get just as far as the rockets.. maybe the computer knows lol

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    That is really wacky stuff.

    When he suggests the Warriors have a better chance of making the finals than do teams such as the Mavs, Rockets.

    Just wacky stuff from Hollinger as usual

    Why is that wacky? The Warriors got alot closer to the Finals than the Mavericks or Rockets did last year.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    The whole thing is Wacky - but then Im not a stats guy. Sometimes I wonder of Hollinger ever watches a game

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    Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Jax View Post
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    .1% chance at the Finals.
    Never tell me the odds!
    You're caught up in the Internet / you think it's such a great asset / but you're wrong, wrong, wrong
    All that fiber optic gear / still cannot take away the fear / like an island song

    - Jimmy Buffett

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The whole thing is Wacky - but then Im not a stats guy. Sometimes I wonder of Hollinger ever watches a game
    you do realize this is strictly math, right? it has nothing to do with watching a game or not. it is strictly stats. he has nothing to do with it. it isn't an observation. he is just saying mathematically, this is what is projected.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by avoidingtheclowns View Post
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    you do realize this is strictly math, right? it has nothing to do with watching a game or not. it is strictly stats. he has nothing to do with it. it isn't an observation. he is just saying mathematically, this is what is projected.
    I get that and that is why I object.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by avoidingtheclowns View Post
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    you do realize this is strictly math, right? it has nothing to do with watching a game or not. it is strictly stats. he has nothing to do with it. it isn't an observation. he is just saying mathematically, this is what is projected.
    Yeah, but you're assuming the models are correct. I'm not sure how you could calibrate a model without watching the games, but then that's never seemed to bother Hollinger.
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Yeah, but you're assuming the models are correct. I'm not sure how you could calibrate a model without watching the games, but then that's never seemed to bother Hollinger.
    i'm not assuming anything. he has a formula. this formula projects these records and standings. that is all.

    no one is saying this should be taken seriously or remotely. it doesn't involve watching games but analyzing stats. how does that model need to be calibrated? it is a mathematical projection. how do you calibrate rick bucher saying the lakers will win the championship if they continue to have ariza elevate his game? wait a few weeks later and the lakers have been on a 10 game losing streak when he makes another projection the lakers will win the #1 pick this season and solve their PG issues for the next 10 years. then a few weeks later...

    it is all projection. some based on observation. some based on circumstance. this one is based on math. none of it can really tell you who will win this season or what their final regular season record will be. so why worry about calibration?
    This is the darkest timeline.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by avoidingtheclowns View Post
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    so what i'm hearing you say is that you hate them and like them for the exact same reason.
    Which is exactly why I like stats over opinions for the bottom line.

    Numbers aren't bad, it's all about understanding the context, that's all. And this set is a particularly fun group to look at. Certainly these predictions are as valid as any person just posting their own opinion of which teams will be in or out.

    Ironically the criticism of predictions like this require a person to make their own outrageously impossible-to-be-sure predictions, such as "23% chance the Magic reach the Finals!!! No way, they're going to fade."

    Translation: "100% chance the Magic don't reach the Finals". Whoooops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Yeah, but you're assuming the models are correct. I'm not sure how you could calibrate a model without watching the games, but then that's never seemed to bother Hollinger.
    Are you assuming they are incorrect? Which assumption is right and how do you know at this point?

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinuven View Post
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    Hollinger's math really doesn't mean much until about half way through the season. By that point the real trends have been established and the numbers do reveal some valid points. Right now a 2-3 game winning/losing streak by any number of teams on the bubble would drastically change the way those standings look.
    I haven't done in in awhile and I can't find the Excel of the work, but to prove a point some time ago (defending the Pacers/East chances of winning it all early in the 61 win season vs some West fans) I looked into the playoff shift from the 20 game mark (25%) to the actual final 16. The hard fact is that IIRC only perhaps 2 of 16 teams fall out of those slots.

    There are always a couple of surprises, but for the most part the good vs bad shakeout has happened by the 25% point. The same is generally true in baseball.

    Also prior to Detroit's title facing the Lakers it had been virtually non-existant for a team lower than the top 3-4 overall to win a title in the previous 20 years.

    Winning in the season isn't the same as winning a title. But it does prove a point about which small group is in or out of it. It's more like a litmus test.


    Also one other thing to consider. Teams that are having trouble in the first 20 are doing so for a reason. Unless that reason is resolved you can expect more problems. And then on top of that, losing breeds bad chemistry and further problems. So not only are you in a hole, but just when you need your best effort to get out of that hole you are feeling the least interested in giving your best effort.

    Certainly I think a case could be made for the Pacers rough finish last year as testament to that factor.

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    Member bulldog's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Did you bother reading the description of how this is made, and what its supposed to do? Essentially, its just a way of evening out the biases of the schedule. It takes how teams have played thus far, and projects how do they would do against the remainder of their schedule if they continued playing the exact same way.

    I really hate knee-jerk reactions like "Does he even watch the game?" He knows the limitations, he spends the entire first portion of the article describing how he built it and what its supposed to mean and be used for. And Rinuven's right, this will be really helpful a few months from now. He probably should have waited a wjile to release it.

    And common knowledge from people who watch the game and profess to be experts is wrong as often as these statistical methods. As you guys said, the Warriors did make it farther the Rockets and Mavs. These methods can just red flag areas where conventional wisdom might fail.

    We have this conversation every time.

  23. #23

    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    As for the "He doesn't even watch the games" argument: I'd advise you to read his player profiles on ESPN.com. There's a ton of good sections on defensive tendencies, shot form, attitude, etc.

    I like Hollinger because he has his opinions about the NBA, he just doesn't let them interfere with the stats.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    What I dont understand is the bias towards the East winning it all. He has Boston+Detroit+Orlando's chances at 70%, while the whole West gets 30%.

    So maybe Orlando had a good West coast trip, but to conclude from that, especially after last season's Western dominance (season & finals), and how well Phoenix, for example are doing on their East coast trip... - I dont get it.

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    Default Re: ESPN - Hollingers Playoff Predict-o-matic

    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
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    We have this conversation every time.
    No kidding. It never gets any less painful either. Freaking Luddites.

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