NBA Playoffs: Coldiron’s 5-Star Postseason Success Formula

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With the 2015-16 NBA Playoffs tipping off this weekend, SCIC Writer Jason Coldiron gives us his five-star playoff success formula

Right now nobody knows for sure who will be the 2016 NBA Champion. Nobody.

Not the players, not the coaches, not the talking heads on TV, not the sharps and bookmakers in Vegas, not every fan who has watched absurd amounts of basketball for the last six months, not Bill Simmons (who wrote the greatest and most comprehensive book about basketball ever), not even a professional journalist like myself who has watched an unhealthy amount of NBA Basketball and followed every season since 1983.

I can’t claim to know what will happen for sure and neither can anyone else. Anyone who may claim so is either lying or simply wrong. Nobody knows who will win, but those who have studied and followed the game long enough know that there are exactly five factors that will determine the NBA Champion.

Here, I lay out the template for determining the NBA Champion. My formula has successfully predicted the eventual NBA Champion for seven years running.

Up until this year, this formula was called the ‘4 Factors.’ For the first time, this year I have tweaked the formula to split up two of the old factors, now giving us five Factors. Ironically, I had planned to shrink the formula down to ‘3 Factors’ but after re-thinking it, we now have five.

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The reason for this is that factors 3-5 are in approximate total importance to either of factor 1 or 2. I later decided to give them each their own point, but with various qualifications, as stated below.

In studying the Five Factors, we can narrow down the list of possible champions immensely by eliminating all the teams that do not have what it takes according to the formula. The five factors are in order of greatest importance, but the first two are far more important than the last three.

That said, an extreme dominance in any one can overcome a lot of deficiency in the others. Example: Team A has an advantage in one or both of the first two factors. Unless something wildly unexpected or accounted for happens in one of factors 3-5, Team B will lose. I list the factors in order of most likely (historically speaking) to make the difference.

In breaking down the history that provides the data to create this formula I define the ‘modern era’ of basketball as starting in 1980, when Magic and Bird entered the league. This also works out nicely for math purposes, as this gives us exactly 36 modern era champions to draw data and conclusions from.

In studying these 36 champions and how they won, these five factors come up again and again as the only factors that matter in determining the eventual NBA Champion.

Getting to the playoffs is one skill, but winning once there requires abeyance to the five factors.

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