The NBA Playoffs Sleepers Favorites And Best FirstRound Matchups

4Cavaliers50-3216251444510 At long last, it’s time to put regular-season basketball in the rearview mirror and move on to the NBA’s main event — the playoffs are finally here! And FiveThirtyEight is here, too, to help predict how it’ll all go down. With the help of our CARM-Elo projection model, and the betting odds1According to Sportsbook.ag. as a second opinion, what follows is our survey of both the Eastern and Western Conference postseason landscapes. And in a departure from last season, when the Warriors were near-universal favorites on the eve of the playoffs, there’s actually some uncertainty in the playoff outlook this time around. TeamRecordRatingWin Conf.Win TitleWin Conf.Win Title 7Bucks44-3815001<120 CARM-Elo chancesVegas chances How Elo is forecasting the Western Conference playoffsAs of April 12 8Wizards43-391487<1<121 7Spurs47-3516226310 Vegas odds based on the implied probability of betting line.Source: VegasInsider.com 6Heat44-381491<1<110 5Pacers48-3415473<110 1Raptors59-23168342%17%29%7% 5Jazz48-3416639531 TeamRecordRatingWin Conf.Win TitleWin Conf.Win Title Vegas odds based on the implied probability of betting line.Source: VegasInsider.com 376ers52-3016593011175 CARM-Elo ChancesVegas Chances Statistical favorite: The numbers say this might finally be a breakthrough year for the Toronto Raptors, who are in the playoffs for a fifth straight season but have only one conference finals appearance (and zero NBA Finals berths) to show for it. Everything seemed to come together for Toronto this season, from a mega-efficient offense to a defense that improved to fifth-best in basketball. Add in a career year from DeMar DeRozan and a world-beating second unit, and the result was the top seed in the East — with a 42 percent chance to win the conference, according to CARM-Elo. That number is much higher than the 30 percent chance that CARM-Elo is giving the 76ers, the team our model thinks has the second-best chance of making it to the NBA Finals. And it’s hugely better than the 14 percent we’re giving the three-time defending conference champion Cavaliers. If the regular-season indicators mean anything, Toronto has earned every bit of its favorite status.Betting favorite: Another year, another case of the stats underrating the Cleveland Cavaliers’ chances in the East. Our model struggled to assess the Cavs last season too, and LeBron James’s squad proved the data wrong by tearing through the East with only one loss en route to the NBA Finals. The same scenario is shaping up to happen this season — and Vegas knows it. That’s probably why the Cavs are favored by the markets to win the conference again (albeit as less of a favorite than in the past), despite a regular season that was unimpressive by the standards of a LeBron team. In the battle between skepticism over Cleveland’s inconsistent form and trust that James can will his team to an eighth consecutive NBA Finals,2Including his time with Miami and his second stint in Cleveland. the bettors are still giving LeBron the benefit of the doubt.Dark horse: Although our ratings are higher on the Philadelphia 76ers than the Las Vegas odds are, both predictions think the Sixers are an intriguing pick to contend for the East crown. On the one hand, Philly’s near-total lack of playoff seasoning is a troublesome indicator for the postseason, where experience matters more than we sometimes acknowledge. (A late-season injury to star big man Joel Embiid also complicates matters; Embiid is recovering but probably won’t be ready for Game 1 of Philadelphia’s opening series with the Heat.) But Philadelphia is loaded with talent, from Embiid down low to likely rookie of the year Ben Simmons at the point and No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who on Wednesday became the youngest player to post a triple-double. The Sixers are also playing at something close to peak form going into the playoffs, having won 16 straight games to close out the regular season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest winning streak ever for a team entering the playoffs, and it’s one big reason why both our model and the Vegas odds list Philly as the only East team other than Cleveland or Toronto with a double-digit probability of winning the conference title.Best first-round series: The East doesn’t have as many quality first-round duels as the West, but the Celtics and Bucks should be an interesting matchup. Boston lost its star player, Kyrie Irving, with just a week to go before the playoffs. The Celtics have home-court advantage and enough supporting talent to win a postseason series without Irving, but the onus will be on Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier to cap off their breakout seasons with great playoff performances. On the Milwaukee side, the Bucks have largely underachieved this season, although they’ve been slightly better after firing Jason Kidd in January. They also have the best individual player in the series by far, according to Basketball-Reference.com’s Value Over Replacement Player, in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak had an MVP-type season this year, and he possesses the skills to potentially take over a series all by himself. It’s been a year since the Bucks put a scare into the Raptors before losing in the first round, and Milwaukee could be poised to actually win this time around. 2Warriors58-241628844435 3Trail Blazers49-3316126332 4Thunder48-3416589532 2Celtics55-2715789231 6Pelicans48-3415954210 1Rockets65-17177257%44%44%35% 8Timberwolves47-3515651<110 How Elo is forecasting the Eastern Conference playoffsAs of April 12 Statistical favorite: After years of taking a backseat as Golden State dominated our pre-playoff predictions, the Houston Rockets are now front-runners to win the West. Specifically, CARM-Elo gives soon-to-be MVP James Harden and friends a 57 percent chance of making their first NBA Finals appearance this summer. Incredulous? Fine, but doubt Houston at your own peril. Remember that this season’s Rockets team shares many of the same characteristics with the Warriors back when Golden State was first making the climb toward transcendence. Teams that produce all-time great seasons like Houston has this season tend to win NBA titles at a tremendously high rate. Nothing in the regular-season numbers suggests that the Rockets should be anything other than solid favorites to take the conference — if not more.Betting favorite: There is a huge disparity between the chance our model gives the Golden State Warriors of winning the championship and what the betting markets say. CARM-Elo gives the defending NBA champs only an 8 percent chance of winning the West, tied to the team’s relatively unexceptional 58-win campaign that ended with Steph Curry injured and Steve Kerr calling his team out over a series of listless final-month losses. And yet, Golden State remains the betting market’s Western Conference co-favorite (alongside the Rockets), with an implied 44 percent chance of going to the NBA Finals for a fourth-straight season. Similar to the situation with the Cavaliers, the Warriors’ strong odds can be attributed to disagreement over how much we should read into a talented team’s regular-season struggles. The oddsmakers are clearly putting a lot more weight on Golden State’s track record than what we’ve seen on the court in 2017-18 — and considering how well we know the Warriors are capable of playing, that’s probably a good call.Dark horse: The West is so crazy that we could highlight a few teams here, but the Utah Jazz stand out in particular. According to CARM-Elo, they rank as the NBA’s third-best team going into the playoffs — trailing only the Rockets and Raptors — even after making our adjustment for playoff experience (of which the Jazz have very little). Utah put itself in a bit of an unfortunate position by losing to Portland on the final day of the regular season, which dropped the Jazz from the No. 3 seed down to No. 5. As a result, Utah lost home-court advantage in the first round, and the formidable Thunder were locked in as its first-round opponent. (It also set them up for a potential second-round collision course with the Rockets.) Even so, our model lists the Jazz as tied with OKC for the second-best chances of winning the West, and they could prove a dangerous opponent for the top seeds if they make it out of the first round.Best first-round series: CARM-Elo says the closest matchup of the first round is the aforementioned clash between the Thunder and Jazz. Oklahoma City is a slim favorite at 52 percent, by virtue of having home-court advantage. But these teams are very evenly matched: Both posted 48-34 records, and only 5 points of CARM-Elo separate their ratings. This one might be a referendum of sorts on the importance of playoff seasoning — the Jazz are the least-experienced team in the postseason field, while the Thunder rank fourth-highest behind only the Cavaliers, Warriors and Spurs. That edge might be enough to push OKC over the top, although whoever wins the prize likely has a date with the Rockets in the next round. Enjoy these teams while they last.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (April 12, 2018, 4:45 p.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the possibility of the Utah Jazz facing the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round if the Jazz had won their final game. Although Utah would have been the No. 3 seed if it had won, it could have played several different teams depending on the results of other games. read more

Recent Wilmington Real Estate Transactions

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are real estate transactions in Wilmington during the week of August 19, 2018:Address: 269 Ballardvale StreetPrice: $1,320,000Buyer: 16 Robin LLCSeller: 269 Ballardvale Street LLCDate: 8/21/18Use: Office/IndustrialLot Size: 47,480 sfAddress: 44 Cunningham StreetPrice: $419,000Buyer: Thomas P. SheehanSeller: JMF Realty LLCDate: 8/24/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 4,792 sfAddress: 24 Dorchester StreetPrice: $580,000Buyer: Tich B. HuynhSeller: John Houghton & Yiching HoughtonDate: 8/23/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 30,056 sfAddress: 35 Fairmeadow RoadPrice: $559,000Buyer: Timothy J. RairnoSeller: Cosmo Disanto & Giuseppina DisantoDate: 8/21/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 10,890 sfAddress: 41 Lake StreetPrice: $484,900Buyer: Robert J. BrennanSeller: Edward P. White, Trustee for LPMDate: 8/22/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 20,909 sfAddress: 3 Linda RoadPrice: $425,000Buyer: Rocco RanieriSeller: Antonio S. Marino, Trustee for Antonio & Anna V. MarinoDate: 8/24/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 10,091 sfAddress: 1 Sheridan RoadPrice: $620,000Buyer: Matthew R. Griesbach & Whitney J. GriesbachSeller: Wildcats Realty LLCDate: 8/24/18Use: 1-Family ResidenceLot Size: 11,761 sfLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRecent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”Recent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”Recent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”last_img read more

JaPa trying to exploit AL weaknesses

first_imgHM ErshadRuling Awami League is now in a shaky position in view of its declining popularity, according to former military ruler HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party (JaPa).If the principal opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) joins the electoral race with full strength, JaPa leaders believe, the AL will fall into further vulnerability.In such a situation, the JaPa, which is both in the AL’s cabinet and the official opposition party in parliament, will bargain hard with the AL for increasing the number of seats for contesting the 11th parliamentary polls.”The Jatiya Party will demand 100 seats to contest from the Awami League-led alliance,” a senior leader of JaPa told Prothom Alo, adding that Ershad would soon talk to the alliance leader and prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to raise the matter.The JaPa policymakers believe the AL-led government would not have got legitimacy, nor could it have stayed in power in its full term after the one-sided polls on 5 January 2014, had the JaPa not been with the AL government.The party is at the same time the ‘determinant of power’ and a ‘safeguard’ for the AL camp, according to JaPa leaders.The AL will desperately need JaPa, no matter whether the BNP joins the election or boycott it, they added.”If other parties including the BNP contest the elections, it would be tough for the Awami League alone to overcome the challenge. And if the BNP boycotts the election, JaPa’s participation is a must to show the elections as an inclusive one,” said one of them.So, the JaPa leaders said, they have taken the decision in principle to demand more seats. The top leaders held several meetings on the matter.”We will raise the demand for 100 seats. We know as the Awami League is a big party, they have some limitations. We have formed an alliance as well. The election must be held with all. The question is: If the Awami League cannot win or if the election is not possible without us, why will we be deprived of [more seats]?” JaPa general secretary ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader said.The JaPa top leaders feel the party will be more benefitted if they win more seats than securing two or three cabinet portfolios. Leaders and activists of the party at the grassroots may get higher facilities in the respective constituencies, than they receive three cabinet members from the party, the party leaders said.However, some JaPa leaders think the party should bargain for higher number of cabinet portfolios, should the AL-led grand alliance win the next general elections.A senior presidium member of JaPa, who preferred not to be named, said the party had a written agreement with the AL for giving 80 seats for JaPa in 2014. But many of the candidates withdrew their nomination following Ershad’s sudden announcement to boycott the polls, the leaders recalled. As section of the party candidates under Rowshan Ershad’s leadership were still in the race, the party’s candidates were eventually declared winners in 34 seats.The scenario is completely different this time around as the AL government is in trouble with allegations of corruption and killing, apart from challenge arising out of any decision of the BNP.The government’s isolation from the people was exposed in the recent movements for quota reform and road safety, the JaPa leader pointed out.They observed that the joining an alliance with the AL involves certain risks for the JaPa. So, they feel, they should be rewarded.The JaPa policymakers no longer want to play the role of a ‘domestic’ opposition party in the next parliament.The leaders want to become a strong coalition partner if it joins the AL-led government, winning more seats in parliament.Accordingly, the JaPa is trying to expanding its political alliance to enhance negotiation power. The JaPa chairman, Ershad, has already negotiated with the 59-party Sammilito Jatiya Jote including two registered Islamic parties.The JaPa will field candidates in 300 seats if the BNP boycotts and try to exploit the anti-incumbency factor for changing the regime, JaPa co-chairman GM Quader said.He added that the JaPa will form electoral alliance with the AL in case the BNP joins the race.*This piece, originally published in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrinlast_img read more