• 2017 NBA Off-season Analysis: Biggest Move?

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    NBA Offseason: Which Team Made the Best Move?

    A trio of big-time moves have dominated the start of NBA free agency, and a couple of the biggest moves came via trades. Chris Paul moved from the LA Clippers to the Houston Rockets via trade, while the Indiana Pacers traded away Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In terms of free agency movement, the most meaningful non-Golden State Warriors related move came with Gordon Hayward opting to move to Boston and join the team that finished top of the Eastern Conference. But that the biggest more?

    AccuScore simulated all 82 games of the 2017-18 NBA season using historical data with each of the city-changing player on his previous team and each player in the new city to quantify which of the three players had the greatest impact.

    Chris Paul to Houston:

    First of all, Paul is one of those special players that elevates his teams to elite status. Paul led the Clippers to 50 or more wins in every full season he played in LA, and his arrival at the Rockets promises to have a positive impact. After simulating out the season before and after the Paul trade, AccuScore calculated that CP3 gives Houston between three and four extra wins for the 2017-18 season.

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    Paul George to Oklahoma City:

    George is considered an All-Star caliber talent that ranks as one the top 20 players in the league. After informing Indiana that he intended to move on, likely to the LA Lakers, when his contract expired in the summer of 2018, the Pacers found a trade partner in the Thunder. So what was the impact of the George trade? According to AccuScore, George’s arrival next to Russell Westbrook pushes the Thunder to an extra four to five wins. Yes, George’s arrival in Oklahoma City has a greater impact that Paul’s arrival in Houston, and the computer goes so far as to say that Oklahoma City will push into the top four teams in the West, as the Clippers and Jazz have taken clear steps back during the offseason.

    Gordon Hayward to Boston:

    Interestingly, Hayward’s big move to Boston doesn’t appear to have any notable impact on the team’s win-loss record. Of course, Boston finished with the top record in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17, so one would imagine that the Celtics’ lack of notable improvement is a result of the Celtics already being a well-oiled machine.

    Conclusion:

    George going to Oklahoma City is the more impactful of the three NBA offseason moves, while Hayward’s free agent exit to Boston appears to be the least impactful. Paul, though, is still worth nearly as many extra wins as George.

  • NBA Playoffs: Spurs-Rockets - Game 5

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Rockets vs Spurs: Game 5

    The Rockets-Spurs best-of-seven series heads back to San Antonio for Game 5 with the home team favored by 5.5 points and the total set at 214. With Rockets' backup center Nene done for the playoffs with a groin injury, watch for Houston to keep going with smaller lineups to push the tempo.

    NBA Playoffs - Spurs vs Rockets Game 5
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    Vegas vs AccuScore

    We're always interested when our simulation data differs heavily from the numbers set in Vegas. Simulation data seems to agree with the spread, but it does have a total that's about six points lower than that in Vegas. The Spurs are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games at home, and it’s fair to say that they’re expected to continue that trend Tuesday night.

    The total combined score stays below 214 in nearly 59 percent of simulations, with the data suggesting the line should be much lower at approximately 208. The UNDER is a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.

    Recent trends, however, go against our simulation data.

    • The total has gone OVER in five of Houston’s last seven games on the road.
    • The total has gone OVER in seven of San Antonio’s last eight games.

    Sim data or recent trends? Choose your fate.

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    What to Watch For

    Keep an eye on the production from Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray. With Tony Parker out for the remainder of the playoffs, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of home-road splits the role players for the Spurs have. Mills, surprisingly, is only 8-of-21 in the last two games since Parker went out, but expect him to have a better game Tuesday come back to San Antonio. Mills and Murray are projected to finish with approximately 15 points combined in Game 5. Mills is projected to shoot 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.

    Houston dominated Game 4 with 19 made three-point baskets. A 68-point second half reminded everyone just how dominant that offense can be. AccuScore’s sim data would tell anyone looking at prop bets for Houston’s total made three-pointers to take the UNDER. The Rockets make just 13-of-37 three-pointers in Game 5 simulations.

    After averaging below 17 points per game in the first two games of this series, James Harden has put up 35.5 over the last two. He’s projected to finish with 31 points on 9-of-21 shooting.

  • Warriors Over Rockets in Western Conference Finals

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    Western Conference Finals: Warriors Heavy Favorites

    The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors kick off the Western Conference Finals on Monday, and many people consider this series effectively the NBA championship. Well, AccuScore’s computer has a pretty strong stance on who will win this series with the Golden State Warriors winning 70.1% of AccuScore’s simulations.

    The Houston Rockets aren’t exactly hopeless, but they’re facing long odds.

    To put into perspective the gulf between the Warriors and the Rockets, the latter of whom finished the season with the best record in the NBA, the Warriors have a 39.1% chance of winning the series in either four or five games. As a reminder, the Rockets only have 29.9% chance to win the series in any manner.

    In fact, the longer the series goes, the better the chances for Houston to pull off the upset.

    AccuScore has spread, totals and side value picks for every game in both conference finals and in the NBA Finals: NBA Playoffs Picks

    The Rockets have a 14.2% chance of winning in 7 games versus the Warriors’ 13.5% chance to win if the series goes the distance. Effectively, the Rockets’ best chance to advance to the NBA Finals involves playing the Warriors seven times and banking on the home court advantage to carry them through. That said, the Warriors are most likely to win in 5 games at 26.3% with the next most likely outcome as the Dubs winning in six games at 17.4%.

    To open the series, the Rockets won 52.4% of Game 1 simulations, so Houston is not exactly expected to be a pushover. All the games in Houston expect to be close contests with the Warriors afforded opportunities to win games, while the contests in Oakland fall in an entirely different category. Beating the Warriors four times in seven games with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all healthy is going to take some doing.

    Ultimately, AccuScore calculates that the probability of Houston beating the Warriors four times in a series is about a 30-70 split, with Golden State the clear favorite.

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