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Hoops Lab: NBA Playoffs Cheat Sheet 2014

Andre' Snellings

Andre' Snellings

Andre' Snellings is a Neural Engineer by day, and RotoWire's senior basketball columnist by night. He's a two-time winner of the Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

NBA Playoffs Cheat Sheet 2014

People call the playoffs the REAL season because that's when things are ultimately decided. But in the NBA it's more than that…the playoffs are the real season because it is the first and only time all year you can be sure everyone is going all out on a nightly basis. No more superstars missing games to rest for the postseason (wooo-hooo!). No more having to scan the waiver wire for backups that could be potential studs when the nominal starter shuts it down for the year. No more teams sitting their entire starting lineups (like the Pacers did last week). No, in the postseason you'll be getting everyone's max effort, which will make a big difference.

But the second big difference is that, in many NBA postseason leagues, you have to choose your players based upon who you think will do the best in the postseason before the playoffs even begin. And games count, so it does little good to pick the No. 1 fantasy player in the league if he's out in the first round after five games. Instead, it might be smarter to invest in a top-20 guy who has a shot to make the Finals and play in 20-plus games. NBA postseason fantasy leagues make you, the fantasy owner, try your hand at predicting what will happen on the court with consequences if you're wrong.

The Matchups

There's a significant difference in the caliber of the average postseason team in the Western Conference vs. the Eastern Conference. Out West, the average playoff team has 55 wins, while in the East the average playoff team has 47 wins. Said another way, the average Eastern Conference team wouldn't even have made the postseason out West…or alternatively, the ninth seed in the West would have had home court advantage in the East. It's just an entirely different world. The upshot is that it is much more difficult to predict which teams will come through the West than it is in the East. This comes into play as we try to figure out which players are more likely to play more postseason games. Here are the seeds in both conferences:

East
1) Indiana
2) Miami
3) Toronto
4) Chicago
5) Washington
6) Brooklyn
7) Charlotte
8) Atlanta

West
1) San Antonio
2) Oklahoma City
3) LA Clippers
4) Houston
5) Portland
6) Golden State
7) Memphis
8) Dallas

Team Tiers

1) Miami, San Antonio
2) Indiana, Oklahoma City, LA Clippers
3) Brooklyn, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, Portland
4) Golden State, Dallas, Memphis, Washington
5) Charlotte, Atlanta

My tier system is based upon who I feel has the best odds to make it the furthest. Miami has clearly been the class of the East, especially since Indiana had such hard times down the stretch. The Nets, Bulls, Wizards and Raptors look to be tough outs in the East but a clear step down. I feel it unlikely that the Bobcats or Hawks will win a round.

Out West, San Antonio is the class of the conference. The Thunder and Clippers are the other contenders, followed by the Rockets and Blazers. The Warriors, Mavs and Griz are unlikely to win their first round matchup, but anything is possible.

The tiers reflect the number of expected games. For uniformity, let's say that tier one is expected to play 18 games, tier two 15 games, tier three 12 games, tier four nine games and tier five six games. The estimates are not meant to be exact but instead to give general expectations for the rankings.

Points system and rankings

These rankings are based on a points-based scoring approach, as opposed to rotisserie. Each points-based league has its own scoring system, but these rankings were generated from this system:

1 point scored = 0.3 fantasy point (fp)
1 assist = 0.5 fp
1 rebound = 0.4 fp
1 steal = 0.7 fp
1 block = 0.7 fp

Based on this scoring system, how the players performed this season, and the team-tier levels above, here are our postseason rankings:

Player Team Reg Season Average Expected games Expected total
LeBron James MIA 15.4 18 277.2
Kevin Durant OKC 16.7 15 250.5
Chris Paul LAC 14.6 15 219
Blake Griffin LAC 14.2 15 213
Tim Duncan SAS 11.6 18 208.8
Russell Westbrook OKC 13.7 15 205.5
Paul George IND 12.5 15 187.5
Dwyane Wade MIA 11.2 16 179.2
DeAndre Jordan LAC 11.4 15 171
Chris Bosh MIA 9.5 18 171
LaMarcus Aldridge POR 14 12 168
James Harden HOU 13.9 12 166.8
Tony Parker SAS 9.2 18 165.6
Kawhi Leonard SAS 9.1 18 163.8
Serge Ibaka OKC 10.8 15 162
Dwight Howard HOU 13.1 12 157.2
Joakim Noah CHI 12.9 12 154.8
Lance Stephenson IND 9.9 15 148.5
Kyle Lowry TOR 12.2 12 146.4
Manu Ginobili SAS 7.98 18 143.64
David West IND 9.5 15 142.5
Mario Chalmers MIA 7.9 18 142.2
DeMar DeRozan TOR 11.5 12 138
Damian Lillard POR 11.1 12 133.2
Jamal Crawford LAC 8.8 15 132
Stephen Curry GSW 14.5 9 130.5
Nicolas Batum POR 10.6 12 127.2
Roy Hibbert IND 8.3 15 124.5
Chandler Parsons HOU 10.3 12 123.6
John Wall WAS 13.4 9 120.6
Boris Diaw SAS 6.5 18 117
Tiago Splitter SAS 6.4 18 115.2
Deron Williams BKN 9.6 12 115.2
Marco Belinelli SAS 6.2 18 111.6
D.J. Augustin CHI 9.25 12 111
Danny Green SAS 6.1 18 109.8
George Hill IND 7.2 15 108
Darren Collison LAC 7.2 15 108
Reggie Jackson OKC 7.14 15 107.1
Jimmy Butler CHI 8.9 12 106.8
Carlos Boozer CHI 8.9 12 106.8
J.J. Redick LAC 7.1 15 106.5
Robin Lopez POR 8.6 12 103.2
Monta Ellis DAL 11.4 9 102.6
Dirk Nowitzki DAL 11.4 9 102.6
Taj Gibson CHI 8.5 12 102
Matt Barnes LAC 6.8 15 102
Terrence Jones HOU 8.4 12 100.8
Zach Randolph MEM 11.2 9 100.8
Ray Allen MIA 5.6 18 100.8
Wesley Matthews POR 8.3 12 99.6
David Lee GSW 11 9 99
Chris Andersen MIA 5.5 18 99
Patty Mills SAS 5.5 18 99
Paul Pierce BKN 8.2 12 98.4
Jonas Valanciunas TOR 8.1 12 97.2
Marc Gasol MEM 10.7 9 96.3
Joe Johnson BKN 8 12 96
Kevin Garnett BKN 8 12 96
Mike Conley MEM 10.5 9 94.5
Jeremy Lin HOU 7.8 12 93.6
Amir Johnson TOR 7.8 12 93.6
Marcin Gortat WAS 10 9 90
Andray Blatche BKN 7.4 12 88.8
Norris Cole MIA 4.9 18 88.2
Mike Dunleavy CHI 7.2 12 86.4
Patrick Beverley TOR 7.1 12 85.2
Trevor Airza WAS 9.3 9 83.7
Michael Beasley MIA 4.6 18 82.8
Bradley Beal WAS 9.1 9 81.9
Kirk Hinrich CHI 6.8 12 81.6
Al Jefferson CHA 13.4 6 80.4
Klay Thompson GSW 8.8 9 79.2
Thabo Sefolosha OKC 5.2 15 78
Mo Williams POR 6.5 12 78
Glen Davis LAC 5.12 15 76.8
Evan Turner IND 5.1 15 76.5
Patrick Patterson TOR 6.3 12 75.6
Luis Scola IND 5 15 75
Jeremy Lamb OKC 5 15 75
Paul Millsap ATL 12.3 6 73.8
Andre Iguodala GSW 8 9 72
Danny Granger LAC 4.8 15 72
Omer Asik HOU 5.9 12 70.8
Shaun Livingston BKN 5.85 12 70.2
Terrence Ross TOR 5.8 12 69.6
Shawn Marion DAL 7.7 9 69.3
Nene WAS 7.52 9 67.68
Lavoy Allen IND 4.5 15 67.5
Jose Calderon DAL 7.4 9 66.6
Mason Plumlee BKN 5.5 12 66
Vince Carter DAL 7.1 9 63.9
C.J. Watson IND 4.2 15 63
Kendrick Perkins OKC 4.2 15 63
Marcus Thornton BKN 5.2 12 62.4
Greivis Vasquez TOR 5.185 12 62.22
Jared Dudley LAC 4.1 15 61.5
Mirza Teletovic BKN 5 12 60
Tony Allen MEM 6.5 9 58.5
Nick Collison OKC 3.8 15 57
Draymond Green GSW 6.3 9 56.7
Caron Butler OKC 3.78 15 56.7
Omri Casspi HOU 4.7 12 56.4
Steven Adams OKC 3.7 15 55.5
Andrew Bogut GSW 6.16 9 55.44
Samuel Dalembert DAL 6.1 9 54.9
Andrei Kirilenko BKN 4.5 12 54
Devin Harris DAL 6 9 54
Jordan Hamilton HOU 4.5 12 54
Harrison Barnes GSW 5.9 9 53.1
James Johnson MEM 5.9 9 53.1
Brandan Wright DAL 5.7 9 51.3
Jermaine O'Neal GSW 5.7 9 51.3
Drew Gooden WAS 5.5 9 49.5
Alan Anderson BKN 4.1 12 49.2
Jordan Crawford GSW 5.44 9 48.96
Courtney Lee MEM 5.4 9 48.6
Trevor Booker WAS 5.4 9 48.6
Gerald Henderson CHA 7.9 6 47.4
Kosta Koufos MEM 5.2 9 46.8
Martell Webster WAS 5.2 9 46.8
Francisco Garcia HOU 3.9 12 46.8
Josh Powell HOU 3.9 12 46.8
Thomas Robinson POR 3.9 12 46.8
John Salmons TOR 3.9 12 46.8
Tyler Hansbrough TOR 3.9 12 46.8
DeMarre Carroll ATL 7.7 6 46.2
Kyle Korver ATL 7.6 6 45.6
Donatas Motiejunas HOU 3.8 12 45.6
Josh McRoberts CHA 7.5 6 45
DeJuan Blair DAL 5 9 45
Andre Miller WAS 4.6 9 41.4
Nick Calethes MEM 4.4 9 39.6
Tayshaun Prince MEM 4.3 9 38.7
Ed Davis MEM 4.2 9 37.8
Mike Miller MEM 4.2 9 37.8
Louis Williams ATL 6.3 6 37.8
Steve Blake GSW 4.08 9 36.72
Marreese Speights GSW 4 9 36
Beno Udrih MEM 3.9 9 35.1
Jon Leuer MEM 3.8 9 34.2
Shelvin Mack ATL 5.5 6 33
Elton Brand ATL 5.4 6 32.4
Mike Scott ATL 5.1 6 30.6
Gary Neal CHA 4.9 6 29.4
Pero Antic ATL 4.8 6 28.8
Cody Zeller CHA 4.8 6 28.8
Chris Douglas-Roberts CHA 4.2 6 25.2
Luke Ridnour CHA 4 6 24
Bismack Biyombo CHA 3.7 6 22.2

Keeping up with the Professor
If you're interested in my takes throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter @ProfessorDrz. Also, don't forget that you can catch me on the radio on RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today with Chris Liss and Jeff Erickson on XM 87, Sirius 210.
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