200 Helens agree: predicting the NBA playoffs is fun!

Over 200 participants can’t be wrong…can they? In graphical form, here is how all of the entries for the Wages of Wins NBA Playoffs contest look.

Eastern Conference

Miami Heat (#1) vs Milwaukee Bucks (#8)

wow_contest_round1_miami

With the exception of a lone participant (you know who you are, Mr. Bucks-in-four), everyone picked the Heat to beat the Bucks. The only real question: is the series going to get to five games? Almost 80% of our participants don’t think so.

New York Knicks (#2) vs Boston Celtics (#7)

wow_contest_round1_knicks

Over 90% of participants believe the Knicks will beat the Celtics. The most popular options were 6 games (44% of voters) and 5 games (32% of voters). There would probably be a lot more people picking the Knicks in four games if the Knicks weren’t so banged up at the moment.

Indiana (#3) vs Atlanta (#6)

wow_contest_round1_indiana

As with the previous series, this one is rather one-sided: over 90% of participants believe the Pacers will beat the Hawks. This time 5 games (47% of voters) is more popular than 6 games (37% of voters). The real question about this series is not whether the Pacers will win, but whether anyone will be watching when it happens.

Brooklyn Nets (#4) vs Chicago Bulls (#5)

wow_contest_round1_brooklyn

Ah, finally we have a series with some intrigue. This series is (obviously) our closest call, with nearly a perfect 50-50 split. The most popular selections were Bulls in 6 and Nets in 7 at 25% each, followed by Bulls in 7 (22%) and Nets in 6 (18%). Here’s hoping that the Bulls can overcome their injuries and a poor game one to make this series interesting.

Western Conference

Oklahoma City Thunder (#1) vs Houston Rockets (#8)

wow_contest_round1_okc

After Heat-Bucks, this series is our next most one-sided matchup: 97% of participants think that the Thunder will beat the Rockets. But even though the Thunder are an excellent team, the Rockets are a very strong 8th seed, which is probably why only 13% of participants think that OKC will get out the brooms.

San Antonio Spurs (#2) vs Los Angeles Lakers (#7)

wow_contest_round1_spurs

Another series that our participants are quite sure about: 93% believe that the Spurs will beat the Lakers. The most popular option was Spurs in 5 (43% of voters), followed by Spurs in 6 (29%). Will Steve Nash‘s return make this series any closer? If game one is any indication, probably not.

Denver Nuggets (#3) vs Golden State Warriors (#6)

wow_contest_round1_denver

Another series where one team has about 90% support: 89% of participants think that the Nuggets will beat the Warriors. Few picked a sweep for the Nuggets, and participants were split between Nuggets in 5 (35%) and Nuggets in 6 (32%). But with David Lee likely out for the rest of the playoffs and Kenneth Faried returning from an ankle injury, a sweep might be more likely. Even the George Karl Effect can only go so far.

Los Angeles Clippers (#4) vs Memphis Grizzlies (#5)

wow_contest_round1_clippers

After Nets-Bulls, this series is our second closest matchup, with “only” 60% of participants siding with the Clippers over the Grizzlies. But 35% of participants think that the Clippers will prevail in 7 games, so people aren’t expecting the Clippers to run away with things. The next most popular selections were Memphis in 7 (25%) and LA in in 6 (17%). My x-factor for this series? Ed Davis‘ minutes.

Reminder: once the first round is finished, we’ll be posting the first-round leaders, so keep checking back!

- Devin

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