2016 NBA Playoff Predictions

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Here's the short answer.  It's either Warriors or Spurs.  That's it.

I told you why a year ago.

Before I explain, let's add to that link (my picking the Warriors to win last year's finals): here's my playoff prediction from last year (when I picked the Warriors to win the finals) and my pre-season picks for this year (when I picked the Warriors to win the finals, beating the Cavs again, after having just gotten by the Spurs).

So, let's go back to last year.

The first NBA season was 1946-47 (actually, it wasn't the NBA yet, but it's the lineal forerunner).

Since then - here are the teams that have hit 10 SRS (that's basketball-reference's simple rating system, I make a lot of reference to it for historical comparison).

1971 Bucks 11.92 - NBA Champs
1972 Lakers 11.65 - NBA Champs
1972 Bucks 10.70 - Lost to Lakers in Western Finals
1992 Bulls 10.07 - NBA Champs
1996 Bulls 11.60 - NBA Champs
1997 Bulls 10.70 - NBA Champs
2015 Warriors 10.01 -

That's it.  That's the list.  The greatest teams of all time; Oscar and Kareem; the Wilt/West team that won 33 straight.  3 of Jordan's teams.  The only team that didn't win the finals was that '72 Bucks team and they lost to the Laker team.

The Warriors, of course, won the title.  So, 70 years down and the condition remains the same.  Hit 10 SRS, win the title.

2016 Warriors 10.38
2016 Spurs 10.28

It's 1972 all over again.  Look at the list again, the '71 Bucks, like the '15 Warriors are both there.  They won the title and then turned around and made the list again the following season.  Back-to-back 10 SRS seasons.   

But the '72 Bucks lost.  See that - in the Western Conference Finals they lost to another team on that list, the Lakers.  Only time in NBA history there were two 10 SRS teams in the same season, and one beat the other in the Western Conference Finals.

And here we are again.

So, I'm not saying the Spurs will beat the Warriors.  I am saying it's a coin flip, and while you should not bet the Warriors to win the whole thing because the odds are terrible, the Spurs price is great - and were you to invest in the 2016 playoffs, invest in the Spurs.  

There's not a third choice.  OKC is in the low 7s, making them an excellent team, better than most NBA Champions, but an excellent team has never beaten a super elite team, and they'd have to beat two.  The Cavs are 5.45, making them a very good team and they probably make their way to the Finals, where, like last year, they will lose, regardless of opponent.  

It's Warriors or Spurs, there's no other option.  

I'm picking the Warriors - they're my team, by no real margin at all they're the better team, they've got home court advantage.  But it's really a coin flip.  If the Spurs win it's not an upset, it's 1972.  

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