Clark Matthews already covered this a few weeks back, but a reader mentioned in the comments an incredible website that calculates your playoff chances and tells you who you should be rooting for or against on a night-to-night basis. It’s quite time-wastingly great.
So obviously, let’s look at the Thunder. For this week, Oklahoma City’s playoff chances improve if on Wednesday the Thunder beats Denver (obviously), the Kings beat the Rockets, the Clippers beat the Suns and the Pacers beat the Blazers. If all that were to happen, OKC’s playoff odds would jump from 98.1 percent to 99.5. Clearly that could drop down or bump up again the following night, but it’s a cool way to follow the season.
It also has the spiffy chart that calculates based on “What If”. For instance, what if OKC goes 14-10 the rest of the way and finishes with 49 wins. That would give the Thunder a 100 percent chance of being in the playoffs. But what if OKC slides and goes 9-15 to finish. That would give the Thunder just a 66 percent chance at the postseason. There’s actually a 33 percent difference (99 to 66) between OKC finishing 12-12 and 9-15.
Plus, it’ll tell you what OKC’s potential seeding would be if it achieved that record to finish. 24-0 to finish? The Thunder had a 45 percent chance at the top seed in the West and a 55 percent chance at the second seed. A more realistic finish of 15-9 to wind up with 50 wins? 16 percent to finish fourth, 44 percent to be in fifth, 31 sixth and five percent in seventh. Observe the chart:
One thing I just really realized today is that there are just 24 games left for OKC. And right now, the Thunder holds a 5.5 game advantage over Houston and NOLA, the two teams closest to the playoffs on the outside looking in. Things are looking good right now. As long as OKC doesn’t finish 4-20, that is.