Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Real 2K Insider and the NBA Playoffs

I guess you could say I have a minute case of playoff fever. I'm sure it will last for a few days before I realize that the first month of the NBA playoffs is dreadfully boring every year with the exception of a few series. Here are my predictions for the eastern conference.


Cleveland (66-16)
112.4 OffRate (4th)
102.4 DefRate (3rd)


Detroit (39-43)
107.4 OffRate (21st)
108.0 DefRate (16th)

Remember when this used to be a matchup we looked forward to? Detroit looked putrid after trading their only true PG for a scorer hell bent on taking away shots from the efficient Rip Hamilton.

Matchups (PER)
PG: Williams (17.2) - Stuckey (14.8)
SG: West (14.1) - Hamilton (16.9)
SF: James (31.7) - Prince (15.0)
PF: Varejao (14.6) - McDyess (16.6)
C: Ilgauskas (18.0) - Wallace (14.9)

Not a whole lot to like here for Detroit. Cleveland has three starters who posted a higher PER than any of Detroit's starters. Not to mention they are catching a player they have struggled to stop before in his most dominant year yet.

By the way, I thought I'd take this time to mention LeBron posted a top 5 all-time PER. Jordan's top year?

Jordan 87-88
31.7 PER (led league)
35.0 ppg (led league)
5.5 rpg
5.9 apg
3.2 spg (led league)
1.6 bpg
40.4 mpg (led league)
.535 fg% (24.4 fga)
.166 3pt% (0.6 3pa)
.841 ft% (10.5 fta)

109.0 Pts per 100 possessions (9th of 23)
105.5 Pts allowed per 100 poss (3rd of 23)
95.5 pace factor (23rd of 23)

James 08-09
31.7 PER (led league)
28.4 ppg
7.6 rpg
7.2 apg
1.7 spg
1.1 bpg
37.7 mpg
.489 fg% (19.0 fga)
.344 3pt% (4.7 att)
.780 ft% (9.4 att)

112.4 Pts per 100 possessions (4th of 30)
102.4 Pts allowed per 100 poss (3rd of 30)
88.7 pace factor (25th of 30)

On paper Jordan has better numbers, but this is also due to the fact that his team averaged 7 more possessions per game than LeBron's (despite being last in pace - times sure have changed in the last 20 years!). Can you imagine the numbers Lebron would have with an extra 7 possessions per game? We're talking 30-9-8 at the very least.

Anyway, the fact that I deviated away from the series says a lot about Detroit's chances. They are evenly matched between the other positions, but have absolutely no answer for LeBron, who is poised to cruise to round two.

SERIES PREDICTION: Cleveland in 4 games.


Boston (62-20)
110.5 OffRate (5th)
102.3 DefRate (2nd)


Chicago (41-41)
108.4 OffRate (14th)
108.7 DefRate (18th)

Matchups (PER)
PG: Rondo (18.8) - Rose (16.0)
SG: Allen (17.3) - Gordon (17.0)
SF: Pierce (17.7) - Salmons (16.0)
PF: Davis (10.7) - Thomas (15.9)
C: Perkins (13.2) - Noah (16.5)

This is going to be a very close series, thanks to the absence of Garnett (21.1 PER). The Celtics enjoy an edge at each perimeter spot, but it may be negated by Tyrus Thomas athleticism against the grounded Glen Davis. Chicago should have an edge in the front court as they also have Brad Miller (18.6 PER) coming off the bench. The defending champs will have their work cut out for them this year as they don't have an edge

SERIES PREDICTION: Chicago in 6 games.


Orlando (59-23)
109.2 OffRate (11th)
101.9 DefRate (1st)


Philadelphia (41-41)
107.9 OffRate (19th)
107.8 DefRate (13th)

PG: Alston (15.6) - Miller (18.6)
SG: Lee (10.8) - Green (11.1)
SF: Turkoglu (14.8) - Iguodala (18.4)
PF: Lewis (16.8) - Young (15.3)
C: Howard (25.4) - Dalembert (13.2)

Howard, as usual, is the difference in this series. Philly might make it interesting and win a game thanks to the Dre 2 Dre connection, but the fact is we have the #19 offense going against the #1 defense. Philly has no realistic shot. It's unfortunate that Jameer Nelson (20.8 PER) is out for the year because it would have made the inevitable Orlando/Cleveland conference final that much more interesting.

SERIES PREDICTION: Orlando in 5 games.


Atlanta (47-35)
109.3 OffRate (10th)
107.6 DefRate (11th)


Miami (43-39)
107.8 OffRate (20th)
107.6 DefRate (11th)

Matchuups (PER)
PG: Bibby (16.3) - Chalmers (13.3)
SG: Johnson (18.2) - Wade (30.4)
SF: Williams (16.0) - Moon (11.6)
PF: Smith (17.2) - Haslem (13.1)
C: Horford (17.0) - O'Neal (15.5)

This is a very difficult series to call. Miami has a huge advantage at SG (+12.2 PER), but they lose every other position (combined -12.0 PER) to make this a series. Michael Beasley (17.2 PER) needs to be a factor off the bench to take advantage of Atlanta's lack of depth, particularly in the front court.

I'm going to side with Miami here, as superstars tend to have the advantage in these settings. Let's not forget Wade already has a ring and a Finals MVP under his belt, whereas Atlanta is still a relatively young team with only that Boston series under it's belt.

SERIES PREDICTION - Miami in 7 games.

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