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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Carlos Beltran

No.1 vs. No. 2 Seed in NBA

April 7th 2011 14:36
The Spurs clinched the number one seed in the West after a win against Sacramento and a Lakers' loss against the Warriors. Everyone has been talking a lot about it, but I'm here to tell you that all this talk is meaningless. The title of this post is a verbal irony that almost sums up my feelings on this subject.

When you think about it, the one and two seeds are elite teams that are pretty much evenly matched. Only a few games will separate these teams, but a team's record really isn't that important come playoff time. The only advantage the number one seed has over the number two seed is that they get the home court advantage- one game- over the two seed. That one game is further devalued when you take into account that any elite team can still win games on the road.

The number one seed is important when you factor in that there are seven teams they will have the advantage against. I hypothesized that there is a 90 percent chance of the first seed beating the eighth seed and a 65 percent chance of them beating the fourth or fifth seed.

I also hypothesized that there is an 85 percent chance of the two seed beating the 7 seven seed and a 60 percent chance of them beating either the third or sixth seed. The first seed's totals multiply out to be 59 percent, and the two seed's chances are about 51 percent. There is only an 8 percent difference in the probability of the first seed and second seed getting to the conference finals.

Furthermore, there is about a 30 percent chance in total- multiply .59 and .51- of the one and two seeds facing eachother. The only advantage the one seed has on the two seed is that one extra home game that the two seed can easily overcome. Therefore, the difference between the one and two seed is extremely little. I divided one by seven- one extra game in a seven game series- and multiplied it by .38- probability of match-up plus strength of schedule- to show that there is only a 5 percent difference between the top two seeds in terms of playoff advantage.

The Debate is Meaningless

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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Rick Gillispie

April 7th 2011 15:00
Agree totally, In Basketball, Hockey and Baseball the 1-2 seeds are very very close in skill and ability to win it all and that extra home game is a bonus but not that much.

In Football where it is one and done the #1 seed is everything.

Comment by nbageek

April 8th 2011 01:56
I agree with both of you guys. Top two seeds have the easiest road to the finals.

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April 8th 2011 11:54
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Comment by Anonymous

April 8th 2011 12:07
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