No series should end up more closely contested than the West's 4-5 match-up between the Memphis Grizzlies and L.A. Clippers. The teams are tightly matched by the numbers, have highly apparent strengths and weaknesses and boast of players who seem to play a little more inspired when the playoffs roll around.
The Log5 projection system thinks it'll be a tight one, too, with the smallest margin of any of the eight first-round series in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. We map the outcome probabilities below the jump.
That's right: the system gives Memphis a narrow 51-49 advantage. (It's actually 50.7-49.3, to be exact.) The two most likely outcomes -- Grizzlies in seven and Clippers in six -- have identical probabilities of happening, according to the numbers (19.4 percent). There's a 62 percent probability that the series goes to at least six games; the Grizzlies have a win probability of .585 in any given home game, and the Clips are at .615. Memphis, of course, gets an extra home game if the series goes all the way, thanks to L.A. losing its final two games of the regular season.
This series begins Sunday night. It should be a doozy.