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The Numbers Game

NBA Playoffs Matchups

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the playoff preview edition of the Numbers Game. Regular readers will be familiar with the objective, stat-based approach I take each week, and today's column is no different. For each first-round playoff matchup I'll offer four pertinent outlooks:

 

1) Head-to-head splits comparing each team's season-long stats with their production vs. their first-round opponent.

2) Advanced stat comparison which juxtaposes each team's stats for things like points in the paint, rebound percentage and pace.

3) Key injuries

4) Vegas odds

 

For an in-depth look at NBA playoffs fantasy outlooks, be sure to check out Mike Gallagher’s ‘Fantasy Postseason Rankings’. If you’re already looking ahead to next season, Matt Stroup has you covered with takes on Rudy Gobert, Zach LaVine, Kenneth Faried, Nerlens Noel and many more in his final edition of the ‘Roundball Stew’.

 

Editor's Note: Play one-day fantasy basketball during the NBA playoffs! Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 league for Saturday’s NBA games. It's just $2 to join and first place wins $8,000. Starts Saturday at 12:30pm ET. Enter now!


*The information below is all drawn from Rotoworld's Season Pass, NBA.com/stats or Basketball-Reference.com.

Visit those sites if you'd like to peruse the full data-sets from which I selected this information, or you can check out my Google Drive for an expanded view of the stats below.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

 

Atlanta Hawks (1) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

Hawks vs. Nets

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Nets vs. Hawks

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Advanced Stat Comparison

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*Here are the definitions for each category, as explained on NBA.com.

OffRtg: Measures a team's points scored per 100 possessions.

DefRtg: Measures a team's points allowed per 100 possessions.

Net Rating: Measures a team's point differential per 100 possessions.

Pace: Represents the number of possessions per 48 minutes for a team.

eFG%: Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal

Ast%: The percentage of made field goals which were assisted.

Reb%: The percentage of available total rebounds recovered by a team.

TO Ratio: The number of turnovers a team averages per 100 possessions.

2nd-chance PTS: Any points other than technical foul shots resulting from the possession following an offensive rebound.

PTS in the paint: Exactly what it sounds like.

 

Key Injuries

Hawks: Paul Millsap has fully recovered from his recent shoulder injury. Mike Scott is dealing with a bruised back. He was a limited participant during Friday's practice and appears to be 50/50 for Game 1. Thabo Sefolosha is done for the season after having surgery to repair his broken fibula.

Nets: Alan Anderson (ankle) said that he's ready to go for Game 1, though Darius Morris (flu) is questionable. Sergey Karasev (knee) and Mirza Teletovic (lungs) are both done for the season.

 

Vegas Odds

Hawks Conference Champs: 4/1

Hawks NBA Champs: 15/1

 

Nets Conference Champs: 100/1

Nets NBA Champs: 300/1

 

 

Toronto Raptors (4) vs. Washington Wizards (5)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

Raptors vs. Wizards Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

Wizards vs. Raptors Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Raptors: The Raptors enter the playoffs at full strength, with Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson both returning from extended absences toward the end of the regular season.

Wizards: Otto Porter (ankle) practiced on Friday and he's ready to go for Game 1 on Saturday. Nene will also play, though he doesn't appear to be 100 percent healthy due to lingering ankle, foot and shoulder ailments. The biggest concern is another bout of plantar fasciitis, though he said his recent rest days were precautionary. Garrett Temple (hamstring) has already been ruled out for Game 1.

 

Vegas Championship Odds:

 

Raptors Conference Champs: 30/1

Raptors NBA Champs: 75/1

 

Wizards Conference Champs: 35/1

Wizards NBA Champs: 85/1

 

 

Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs. Boston Celtics (7)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

 

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Celtics vs. Cavaliers Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Cavaliers: Anderson Varejao (Achilles) is done for the season, but otherwise the Cavs are at full strength.

Celtics: The Celtics have no substantial injuries to report now that Avery Bradley (bruised quad) has returned to action.

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Cavaliers Conference Champs: 5/12

Cavaliers NBA Champs: 11/5

 

Celtics Conference Champs: 75/1

Celtics NBA Champs: 250/1

 

 

Chicago Bulls (3) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

 

Bulls vs. Bucks Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Bucks vs. Bulls Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Bulls: Joakim Noah (hamstring) will play in Game 1 and he expects the Bulls to lift his 30-minute limit in the postseason. Kirk Hinrich (knee) didn't practice on Friday and he's iffy for Saturday's Game 1 matchup. Taj Gibson (strained shoulder) and Derrick Rose (knee) are both expected to play in Game 1, though Rose will remain on a minute-limit.

Bucks: Milwaukee expects to have both Jared Dudley (back) and Jerryd Bayless (neck) in the second unit for Game 1. Jabari Parker (knee) and Damien Inglis (foot) are done for the season.

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Bulls Conference Champs: 6/1

Bulls NBA Champs: 15/1

 

Bucks Conference Champs: 100/1

Bucks NBA Champs: 300/1

 

 

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (8)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

 

Warriors vs. Pelicans Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Pelicans vs. Warriors Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Warriors: David Lee is questionable for Game 1 on Saturday due to a strained lower back.

Pelicans: Jrue Holiday (leg) doesn't appear to be 100 percent healthy and he's likely to stay on a minute-limit, but he's in no imminent danger of sitting out Game 1.

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Warriors Conference Champs: 1/1

Warriors NBA Champs: 11/5

 

Pelicans Conference Champs: 75/1

Pelicans NBA Champs: 150/1

 

 

Portland Trail Blazers (4) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (5)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

 

Blazers vs. Grizzlies Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Grizzlies vs. Blazers Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Trail Blazers: The Blazers began the season with limited depth and they enter the playoffs with a small mountain of injuries -- Wesley Matthews (Achilles surgery) is done for the season, and the list of players 'questionable' for Game 1 includes Arron Afflalo (shoulder), Nicolas Batum (bruised knee), C.J. McCollum (sprained ankle) and Chris Kaman (back). Afflalo sounds closer to 'doubtful, while Kaman sounds closer to 'probable'. Dorell Wright's fractured left hand is also expected to keep him out until at least early May, so he won't play in the first round.

Grizzlies: Mike Conley (foot) and Tony Allen (hamstring) both practiced on Friday and they intend to play in Sunday's Game 1, though they're officially questionable. Allen: “I’ve been doing a lot of (treatment). We’ve been working. I feel good today.” Conley: “I’m progressing each day. That’s all I can ask for right now,” Conley said. “The best thing for me is to stay off my feet … But in my mind, I’m playing [in Game 1]. I’m trying to force my mind over my body."

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Blazers Conference Champs: 40/1

Blazers NBA Champs: 75/1

 

Grizzlies Conference Champs: 15/1

Grizzlies NBA Champs: 30/1

 

 

Houston Rockets (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

Rockets vs. Mavs Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Mavs vs. Rockets Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas (back) and Patrick Beverley (wrist) are both done for the season, as is rookie K.J. McDaniels (wrist). Dwight Howard (back) has been on a 30-minute limit since returning to action but that will raise to 32 minutes for Game 1. He hasn't played in a back-to-back set since mid-January and it's not quite clear how the Rockets will handle him during consecutive games in the playoffs.

Mavericks: Chandler Parsons (knee) is officially questionable for Game 1 vs. his former team, though he was able to practice on Friday and intends to suit up. "My conditioning is a little suspect," he said. "I've been doing a lot of extra work, did a lot of extra shooting yesterday, a lot of extra running today. With the adrenaline and the atmosphere tomorrow night, I shouldn't have a problem." Devin Harris is also questionable due to turf toe in his left foot -- it's an injury which is easy to aggravate, and he's had multiple surgeries to his left foot, so it wouldn't be shocking if Dallas played it safe by resting him a while longer.

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Rockets Conference Champs: 12/1

Rockets NBA Champs: 25/1

 

Mavericks Conference Champs: 25/1

Mavericks NBA Champs: 50/1

 

 

L.A. Clippers (3) vs. San Antonio Spurs (6)

 

Head-to-Head Splits

Clippers vs. Spurs Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Spurs vs. Clippers Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Advanced Stat Comparison

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Key Injuries

Clippers: The Clippers are healthy.

Spurs: Tiago Splitter (calf) went through a "light" practice on Friday and he remains questionable for Game 1 on Sunday. Matt Bonner (calf) is also questionable.

 

Vegas Championship Odds

 

Clippers Conference Champs: 17/2

Clippers NBA Champs: 18/1

 

Spurs Conference Champs: 11/5

Spurs NBA Champs: 4/1

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.