LeBron continues to do things that defy logic, and the Cavs are on a collision course with Golden State in about two weeks for Round 3 of the NBA Finals. Do I feel like a fool thinking Boston could take a game? Of course I do. But let’s move on to another topic that deserves some spotlight: How advanced stats have been mostly rendered meaningless in the NBA playoffs because LeBron James has broken math.
ESPN’s political/sports site, 538, uses advanced metrics to try and project games. The advanced metrics have said all season that the Cavs don’t play defense (which is true). Because of that 82-game regular season, the advanced math said Toronto and Washington and Boston all had chances against Cleveland.
LeBron has laid waste to all those numbers. Throw out the regular season numbers when discussing LeBron – none of them matter. Why would he try really hard to secure home court advantage in the regular season when he can just snatch it back in 48 minutes?
Since we determined the NBA regular season doesn’t matter, and it’s all about the playoffs, why haven’t we decided to toss all those regular season numbers out the window?
Still, here we go with ESPN, this week: The Warriors have a 94% chance to beat the Cavs in the Finals. Because … of stats. Cleveland’s 9-game sample size of the playoffs isn’t putting a dent in what happened over 82 games. Plus, the Warriors have been equally as dominant in the postseason, which is why you see this:
Las Vegas, of course, disagrees. The Cavs were enormous favorites (-707) to win the series against the Celtics when I checked before Game 1. The advanced stats said Boston had the advantage. Who do you trust more, Vegas or advanced stats?
Right now, I’m seeing the Warriors -340 to win the title. So if you risked $100, you’d win about $29. That still seems way too high.