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.
Miami Heat (#1) vs Milwaukee Bucks (#8)
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)
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)
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)
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.
Oklahoma City Thunder (#1) vs Houston Rockets (#8)
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)
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)
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)
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!