I recently wrote a guest column for Nylon Calculus investigating whether or not Birthday Bias exists in the NBA.
Could we end up having a Thunder-Raptors NBA Finals?
Before the Conference Finals started, the overall consensus was that the Warriors and Cavaliers would advance and meet up in a re-match of last year’s NBA Finals. After all, the better team usually wins in a best of 7 series and both the Cavs and Warriors had home-court advantage over the Raptors and Thunder, respectively. The Cavaliers had just swept the Hawks while the Raptors were coming off two grueling seven game series and missing their starting Center Jonas Valanciunas. And no one was beating 73-win Golden State in a best-of-7 series without home-court advantage.
Then, a funny thing happened: OKC stole Game 1. Then, coming off a game 2 rout at the hands of the Dubs, they eviscerated the defending champs in Game 3. Then, coming off back-to-back routs at the hands of the Cavs, the Raptors evened up the Eastern Conference Finals at 2 games apiece, with an injured JV now waiting in the wings to steal a crucial Game 5 in Cleveland. Could the unthinkable happen? Could we end up having a Thunder-Raptors NBA Finals?
Why Kevin Durant should wear Green
Another exciting Celtics season capped by another disappointing first round exit. Just when I thought we were primed for a deeper playoff push, the last minute four-way regular season tie left us without home court, an unfavorable matchup with the Hawks (1-3 in regular season), and the unfortunate loss of Avery Bradley in the first game of the series. The rest is in the books and I’m not here to relive a painful Game 5 shellacking or a Game 6 brick fest at home. Instead, I’m here to look ahead and do what fans do best when their teams are knocked out early: make wild speculations about the off-season, play fantasy GM, and pretend to know what I’m talking about. And to kick off this deeply scientific and non-biased dive into what-ifs, We Need to Talk About Kevin…
Nishu Jani is a graduate of Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, PA where he played with John Salmons for three years on the school’s varsity basketball team. He is currently a risk advisory consultant in NYC. His full bio can be found here.
Hi Nishu. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Can you tell us a little about your past relationship with John Salmons?
What effect will ads on NBA jerseys have?
NBA owners have approved the inevitable– that is, ads on the seemingly precious real-estate that we call jerseys. For years, owners have debated the pros and cons of stitching logos for an anticipated additional 100mm to 150mm of revenue per year. If the goal is to maximize profits for owners, then the anticipated additional 3% of revenue (150mm/5.2b) makes sense from an economic perspective. Or, maybe the League’s owners were hoping that these ads would serve as a distraction from the foul play that Knicks fans were forced to endure this past year. I wonder if a 2.5in by 2.5in Gatorade logo on a gargantuan Serge Ibaka could be confused for the OKC Thunder logo by some? After the past many months of this electoral season, nothing surprises me anymore.
Analyzing how Houston can pull off the impossible
The Houston Rockets actually did it! After all the ups and downs of their tumultuous season, the Rockets snuck into the playoffs by beating up on the helpless Sacramento Kings last night. A big thank you to the Utah Jazz as well for their epic collapse over the last two weeks. Thanks Jazz!
Now the really hard part begins as the 41-41 Rockets travel to Oakland Saturday night to play the 73-9 Golden wState Warriors in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals. Will the Warriors even drop a game? The #1 seed defending champs won the most regular season games in NBA history, doing so in dominating fashion with a historically good offense led by greatest-shooter-ever Stephen Curry. The #8 Rockets meanwhile, have been what their record indicates they are – a mediocre team seemingly destined for a quick playoff exit.
But we play the games for a reason. Even though the Rockets are HUGE underdogs, they bring back the same team that played the Warriors close last season, this time with a healthy Patrick Beverley and semi-healthy Donatas Motiejūnas. The Rockets have also played great the last 3 games (granted they were against bad teams), while the Warriors have stumbled a little to close out the season. Can “Clutch City” live up to its name? Can the Houston Rockets pull off the historical upset and shock the world? YES, and this is how they do it.