NBA Playoff Predictions 2015/2016 – Update April 15 2016

Updated April 15th 2016 –  Round 1 Playoff match-up and outcomes.

EAST:

  1. Cavs vs Pistons
    1. Cavs in 5
  2. Raptors vs Indiana
    1. Raptors in 5
  3. Miami vs Charlotte
    1. Charlotte in 6
  4. Atlanta vs Boston
    1. Atlanta in 6

West

  1. GSW vs Houston
    1. GSW in 5
  2. San Antonio vs Memphis
    1. San Antonio in 5
  3. OKC vs Dallas
    1. OKC in 6
  4. Clippers vs Portland
    1. Portland in 7

Here are the questions this post will attempt to predict:

  • Rank the top playoff seeds in the EAST and WEST.
  • What will be the outcome of each round
  • Who will meet in the NBA Finals
  • Who will be NBA Champions for 2015/2016
  • Who will be Playoff MVP

End of season records and playoff rankings:

Teams Conference Regular Season Record Seed
Cleveland E 57-25 1
Toronto E 53-29 2
Miami E 48-34 3
Boston E 44-38 4
Atlanta E 43-39 5
Charlotte E 43-39 6
Washington E 43-39 7
Indiana E 42-40 8
Golden State W 74-8 1
San Antonio W 63-19 2
OKC W 55-27 3
LA Clippers W 53-29 4
Memphis W 47-35 5
Portland W 47-35 6
Dallas W 42-40 7
Houston W 41-41 8
Round 1 Team Team Result
EAST Cleveland Indiana Cleveland in 6
EAST Toronto Washington Toronto in 6
EAST Charlotte Miami Charlotte in 7
EAST Atlanta Boston Atlanta in 6

 

Round 1 Team Team Result
WEST GSW Houston GSW in 6
WEST San Antonio Dallas San Antonio in 6
WEST OKC Portland OKC in 6
WEST LA Clippers Memphis LA Clippers in 6

 

Round 2 Team Team Result
EAST Cleveland Atlanta Cleveland in 6
EAST Toronto Charlotte Toronto in 7
WEST GSW LA Clippers GSW in 6
WEST OKC San Antonio OKC in 7

 

Conference Final EAST:

Finals: http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats/_/sort/paceFactor

Prediction: Toronto over Cleveland in 7

Raptors leads the season series 2-1

 

Category Details Details Result
Player Depth Chart
Lowry/Joseph Irving/Williams Advantage Toronto
JV/Biyombo Thompson/Mozgov Tie
Caroll/Johnson James/Jefferson Advantage Cleveland
DeRozan/Ross Smith/Shumpert Advantage Toronto
Scola/Patterson Love/Frye Tie
Grade Toronto with the Advantage
Category Detail Detail Result
Defensive Efficiency Cleveland Toronto
101.4 102.4 Virtual Tie
Offensive Efficiency 106.7 106.4 Virtual Tie
Pace 95.2 95.3 Virtual Tie
Turn Overs 12.3 12.4 Virtual Tie
TS – True Shooting Percentage 55 55 Tie

The EAST Finals will be a test between two teams that are virtually tied almost all categories. The factor that will put Toronto over Cleveland in my estimation is the MVP play of Lowry this season. Add the stellar play of DeRozan and the return of Caroll’s defensive on LeBron. The Raptors should take this one in a 7 game series.

Conference Final WEST:

Prediction: GSW over OKC in 6

GSW lead season series 3-0

1 Win in OT

Category Details Details Result
Player Depth Chart GSW OKC
Curry/Livingston Westbrook/Payne Advantage GSW
Thompson Waiters Advantage GSW
Bogut/Ezili Adams/Kanter Advantage OKC
Green/Speights Ibaka/Collison Advantage GSW
Barnes/Iguodala Durant/Singler Advantage OKC
Grade GSW with the Advantage
Category Detail Detail Result
Defensive Efficiency GSW OKC
100.2 103 Virtual Tie
Offensive Efficiency 112.5 109.8 Advantage GSW
Pace 102.2 99.4 Advantage GSW
Turn Overs 13.5 13.8 Virtual Tie
TS – True Shooting Percentage 59.2 56.5 Advantage GSW

Prediction: GSW win series in 6 games

Althought the depth chart indicates the teams are tied in player depth chart. No other player in the league has had this level of positive impact on players around him since Michael Jordan. Steph Curry’s play trumps all depth chart matchups giving the Warriors the edge.

GSW has the edge on offensive efficiency, play at an extremely high pace and shoot a higher percentage. The Warriors will take this matchup in 6 games over OKC.

NBA Finals:

Prediction: GSW over Toronto in 6

In order to analyze the head to head matchup between GSW and Toronto, I will consider the following categories.

  1. Season Series = Compare Cumulative scores
  2. Player Charts without their best players
  3. Remove Lowry and Curry from equation
  4. Season Offensive Rebounding & Season Defensive Rebounding
  5. Season Field Goal Percentage
  6. Compare #3 & #4 against season series

Season Series Cumulative Scores

  • GSW 227 > Toronto 219
  • Margin of victory = 8

Player Depth Chart without best player

  • Livingston/Barbosa < Joseph/Wright
  • This matchup comes down to Joseph vs Livingston. Edge to Joseph as he is having his best season and his basketball IQ is through the roof due to prior experience with San Antonio
  • Thompson/Rush > DeRozan/Ross
  • Thompson is a force to be reckoned with however DeRozan and Ross are having excellent seasons themselves. Together they match up to one motivated Klay Thompson when Lowry is around to distribute. Take Lowry away and the Raptors have no one to take away heat from DeRozan.
  • Green/Speights > Scola/Patterson
  • Green is having his best season thus far and is playing with tremendous confidence. His play outshines both Scola and Patterson
  • Bogut/Ezili < Valanciunas/Biyombo
  • With two headed monster of Valanciunas and Biyombo, Bogut is no match for them.
  • Barnes/Iguodala > Caroll/Johnson
  • Take nothing away from young gun Barnes but Andre Iguodala is the X factor in this matchup. He is equal to the task when its his time to bring his A game.

Grade: GSW

Season Offensive Rebounding:

  • Toronto 24.4 > GSW 23.8

Season Defensive Rebounding:

  • Toronto 77.6 > GSW 75.8

Season Field Goal Precentage:

  • Toronto 50.3 < GSW 56.1

Head to Head comparison vs Season Averages

  • Game 1 Field Goal Percentage:
  • GSW: 53.8
  • Toronto: 46.8

Game 2 Field Goal Percentage:

  • GSW: 47.9
  • Toronto 44

Grade: Raptors show they can hold GSW down from their league high field goal percentage

Game 1 Offensive Rebounds:

  • GSW: 9
  • Toronto:12

Game 2 Offensive Rebounds:

  • GSW: 8
  • Toronto: 11

Grade: Raptors show their edge on the offensive glass

Game 1 Defensive Rebounds:

  • GSW: 25
  • Toronto: 28

Game 2 Defensive Rebounds

  • GSW: 35
  • Toronto: 27

Grade: Warriors show their resilience in game 2 by out working the Raptors on the defensive glass by a significant margin

Prediction: GSW win series in 6

The Warriors have proven time and time again that their offense is stellar and second to none. However in the head to head match up, Toronto gave GSW everything they could handle. The Raptors have shown that with some effort, their defensive capabilities can limit the Warriors to second chance points. This assumption is based on the expectation that the Warriors will miss more than they make. Thus far, the best team in the NBA and likely ever, have shown us their propensity to score in bunches and score fast.

I can envision the Raptors putting up a fight, however my prediction is GSW in 6 games over the Toronto Raptors.

MVP: Stephen Curry

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