Welcome to the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. Eight teams gone. Eight teams left. Let us honor those who are no longer with us, with a look back to our first round playoff predictions:
Red results quite obviously indicate that someone was wrong. Green results fairly obviously indicate that someone was right. Slightly darker green results not so obviously indicate that someone predicted which team would advance, and predicted how many games the series would last.
Without having told anyone the rules of this prediction bracket up until now, I’m going to go ahead and tell everyone the rules:
Correct 1st round prediction: 2 pts
Correct 2nd round prediction: 3 pts
Correct Conference Finals prediction: 5 pts
Correct NBA Finals prediction: 8 pts
Correct prediction of series winner and # of games: 1 pt
Correct Finals MVP prediction: 3 pts
Obviously, I’m going by the Fibonacci Scoring System, which scores each round by the sum of the two previous rounds before it. It places more weight on correct early round predictions, compared to the standard Double Ascension Method (1 pt, 2 pts, 4 pts, 8 pts).
By this scoring system, our leaderboard looks like this:
Alton: 14 pts
Chris: 13 pts
Kerem: 12 pts
Paolo: 12 pts
Isaac: 11 pts
Matt: 11 pts
Terrence: 10 pts
Nathan: 10 pts
Danielle: 10 pts
Norris: 7 pts
Beyond just straight picks, I offered each participant the chance to expound on their reasoning via written analysis. Unfortunately, not all of us wrote out in-depth predictions (we will next year), perhaps because Chris hijacked our Facebook thread with his NHL predictions (Lightning over Canucks for the Stanley Cup). I feel bad for those who did write something down, because 95% of it was wrong. Here are some highlights:
THE GOOD (ordered according to the hypothetical Accuracy Scale)
(9.5) “stretch i know but if the hawks can recover from a poor finish to the season i think they can inch it out” -Chris, predicted Hawks over Magic in 7
-Chris was the only person I know who picked the Hawks to win this series, so no matter how tenuous his prediction was, it still merits a high mark on the Accuracy Scale.
(8.3) “You can’t go to J.R. Smith or Nene in the last minute of the game. No closer equals no winning against OKC.” -Terrence, predicted Thunder over Nuggets in 6
-The Nuggets’ failure to close out Game 1 may have been the turning point of the entire series. Their failure to close out Game 5 was the end point.
(7.6) “Igoudala [sic] plays steller [sic] defense and it matters in exactly one game” -Isaac, predicted Heat over 76ers in 5
-A.I.’s defense wasn’t what mattered in the Sixers’ lone win, but something mattered, and it did matter for exactly one game.
(7.1) “[Derrick Rose] is a freak and the playoffs are a bitch. Bitches love freaks.” -Terrence, predicted Bulls over Pacers in 4
-This statement just deserves points, any points.
(5.0) “either spurs lose to memphis or they win the whole nug” -Nathan, predicted Spurs over Grizzlies in ?
-Nathan was sparse on the details, and did predict the Spurs to win the Finals, but his statement, which came hours before Game 1 of that series, remains bizarrely resonant. Can’t decide if it’s false or true.
(4.4) “Duncan is, literally, on his last leg. Parker and Ginobli [sic] arent the same, and the Grizzlies are slightly too immature to take advantage. They’re like the new OKC. We’ll see what they do next year.” -Matt, predicted Spurs over Grizzlies in 6
-Shades of truth here – Matt almost had it right. One question though: What happens when the new OKC beats the actual OKC?
(2.1) “Jump shots just don’t cut it, Gerald Wallace plays out of his mind in several poorly documented ways.” -Isaac, predicted Blazers over Mavericks in 6.
-On a scale of yes to no, this is a “nope.”
(1.7) “What team is Memphis?” -Danielle, predicted x team over Spurs in 6.
-Yup. (This is how Danielle pretty much made all her picks: I read to her the names of two cities, she chose one, and then she chose a number between 4 and 7. Repeated until she picked Chicago over Denver in the Finals “because they have a good strategy.”)
(0.6) Pretty much everything else we said about the six series that were not the Thunder-Nuggets or Heat-76ers.
-Very few people around the country really foresaw the demise of the Spurs and Magic, the struggles in L.A. and Chicago, the newfound grit of the Celtics, Mavericks and Hawks, and most notably the rise of the Grizzlies. I have omitted most of our other incorrect predictions, since they were so embarrassing and so forgivable.
That said, I hope the next round is just as unpredictable. Here’s to a new set of unfulfilled expectations and incorrect assumptions in Round 2.