PROJECTION: Nuggets Favored Over Lakers In Potential Upset

Few are looking for potential upsets in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, and those who are likely aren't guessing that it would be the L.A. Lakers-Denver Nuggets match-up that would produce such an upset. But according to the Log5 projection system, based on Bill James' baseball program and adapted to the NBA by Ed Kupfer, this series is exactly where you're mostly likely to find an upset.

We map out the potential outcomes below the jump.

Lakers-nuggets_medium

Log5 uses regular season Pythagorean win percentage, which is basically an adaptation of win percentage that uses point differential at its basis. The easiest way to explain why we use Pythagorean win percentage when possible: if you have two 40-26 teams, and one wins a lot of close games but the other wins a lot of blow-outs, the team that wins the blow-outs is probably better. Pythagorean allows you to compare those.

As it turns out, by Pythagorean win percentage and point differential, the Nuggets were a good bit better than the Lakers this season. In fact, they were good enough, according to the numbers, to go into their series with L.A. favored despite conceding home court advantage. Log5 gives Denver a 56 percent probability of winning the series.

While regular season point differential doesn't realize that Nene got traded for JaVale McGee, keep in mind that Denver's numbers didn't shift too much after the deadline, and that the Brazilian struggled with injury for much of the season. The most likely outcome in this series is Denver in 6, and there's a 64 percent probability the series goes to at least six games. It tips off on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

PICK: Nuggets in 6

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.