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

VW Group settles lawsuit surrounding alleged fuel economy overstatement

first_img Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better VW will update fuel economy labels for affected cars. Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow Owners of certain Volkswagen Group models are in for a payday, if a modest one. VW Group of America said on Friday it’s reached a settlement with plaintiffs over a lawsuit that alleged VW knowingly overstated fuel economy in a selection of vehicles.The settlement is worth $96.5 million and does not include an admission of guilt from Volkswagen. The automaker will also adjust fuel economy figures for 98,000 vehicles sold between 2013 and 2017 by 1 mile per gallon to reflect US labeling requirements.Owners and lessees will be paid from the settlement fund to reimburse them for extra money spent on fuel based on the allegedly false fuel economy ratings. Payments will depend on length of ownership with a sum of $5.40 to $24.30 heading to owners for each month they owned or leased the vehicle. The figures are all still subject to court approval, however.Further, VW said it will adjust its Greenhouse Gas Credits with the EPA to remove any additional credits it gained from the fuel economy discrepancy. Eventually, owners will need to submit a claim, but the process to do so isn’t ready just yet.The EPA began investigating the gasoline-powered vehicles following VW’s 2015 diesel scandal. Testing by the California Air Resources Board and EPA found transmission software that caused the models to shift differently during government testing to post better fuel economy than in the real world. According to the EPA, the software was present on 1 million vehicles, but only the 98,000 cars were discovered with lower fuel economy. 1 Share your voice More From Roadshow Comment Review • 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit review: The best daily driver gets better 32 Photos 2:07center_img More about 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2019 Chevy Malibu review: Swing and a miss Volkswagen Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf: 5 things you need to know 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a bargain sport sedan Car Industrylast_img read more

Kapil Sharma Show Karan Johars shocking revelation about Kareena Kapoor and her

first_imgOne friendship in B-town which has stood the test of time and can most certainly be called the strongest bond in the industry is the friendship between Karan Johar and Kajol. So, it was natural to see the incredible camaraderie KJo and Kajol share when the duo graced the Kapil Sharma Show as guests.KJo was at his candid best throughout the show as Kajol laughed incredibly hard at all the jokes and comments he made. While Kajol painted the town pink in her pink Zara pantsuit, KJo opted for his trademark printed jacket and statement glasses.In an interesting segment on the show, KJo was asked to assign cabinets to some of the stars of the industry. Johar assigned Health Ministry to Akshay Kumar calling him the fittest person in the industry and assigned the Ministry of Social Media to Varun Dhawan stating that he doesn’t let his PR team handle his social media and does it himself. He also cheekily added that he can make out that Varun manages his own account due to all the grammatical errors.However, as per a Mumbai Mirror report, the most interesting one was the Minister of Gossip Affairs, which Karan assigned to Kareena Kapoor. He added that Kareena calls up her PR team every morning to get the day’s gossip and then calls Karan to confirm them. He also added that if they feel that the gossip should be spread, they inform about it to Ranbir who then makes sure it is broadcasted.As per a DNA report, Kapil had been trying to bring Kajol and Karan together for a long time. But, owing to Karan’s busy schedule throughout the promotions of Kalank and Kajol’s vacation to Singapore the shoot unable to take place.last_img read more

DU teachers support quota reform but not attack on VC residence

first_imgDU teachers support quota reform, but not attack on VC residenceMembers of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association formed a human chain on the campus on Tuesday, protesting at the attack on Dhaka University vice-chancellor’s official residence.The association held the protest rally at the foot of Aparajeya Bangla of Dhaka University around noon, demanding immediate arrest and punishment of the attackers, reports UNB.However, the teachers of Dhaka University extended their moral support to the demand for quota reform.Dramatist Ramendu Majumdar, who too joined the human chain, said the students’ demand to reform the quota system is logical but the attack on the VC’s house is totally unwanted.The attack was pre-planned, he claimed.The DUTA leaders observed that university students are not behind the attack and the attack was carried out as part of a plot.Sadeka Halim, dean of the Social Sciences faculty, urged the authorities concerned to bring the attackers to book.The association also announced programme to wear black badges from 11am to 11:59am on 12 April suspending their academic activities including classes.The DUTA leaders invited journalists to come to the VC’s residence on Wednesday around 11:00am as they would show the video footage of the attack.The teachers assured the agitating students that they will request the prime minister top bring logical reform in the quota system.However, a section of general students continued their silent protest over the law enforcers’ attack on the agitating students, carrying placards, in front of the DUTA human chain.Different slogans including “Why were attacks in the campus”, “Why were students injured?”, “Teachers (our guardians), we want answer”, were written in the placards.Amid demonstrations in Shahbagh and adjacent areas early Monday seeking reform in the quota system, some unknown attackers entered the VC’s residence breaking its main gate and ransacked several rooms and furniture.The attackers also set fire on two vehicles parked inside the VC’s residence.last_img read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made One Simple Change to Help Him Avoid

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Phone addiction has become such a worldwide problem that even the Pope weighed in this month.Pope Francis warned a group of high schoolers about it during a meeting at their school in Rome, reports the Catholic magazine America. He told the teens to “please, free yourselves from your phone addiction,” explaining that “when the phone is a drug,” there’s a danger of “communication being reduced to simple ‘contacts.'”On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed.Cook was asked about how ordinary people are touching their phones thousands of time a day during an on-stage interview at the Time 100 Summit.He agreed that many kids may be using their phones too much, and that this was the impetus for Apple’s Screen Time reports, whichrolled out in early 2018.”It’s also the parents that are using it too much. We all are, or many of us are,” Cook said.When asked about one study that found people, on average, touch their cell phones 2,617 times per day, he joked, “Ah, well you shouldn’t be doing that.”He explained that the folks at Apple “don’t want people using their phones all the time. This is never been an objective for us,” and said constant phone usage is not Apple’s business model.That’s a subtle dig at the ad-supported apps of the world — like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat — that try to keep people coming back for more interaction with their apps, which helps them sell more ads.”It is clear that there are certain apps that people can get in the mindset of just scrolling through mindlessly and continuously picking up their phones and looking to see what is happening this second,” Cook said.He also echoed the Pope’s assessment about how phones hurt communication, too.He said one change people should make is this: stop paying attention to your phone instead of the people in the room with you.”Every time you pick up the phone, it means you are taking your eyes off the person you are dealing with. If you are looking at your phone more than you are looking at someone’s eyes? You are doing the wrong thing!” Cook said.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesGutting your notificationsCook said he learned that lesson personally by reading his own Apple Screen Time reports, which lead him to make another simple change that keeps him from being distracted by his phone thousands of times of day: He turned off app notifications.”What’s it’s done for me personally? I’ve gone and gutted the number of notifications, because I really asked myself, do I really need to be getting thousands of notifications a day?” Cook said. “It is not something that is adding value to my life or making me a better person. So I went in and chopped that.””I recommend you do this if you haven’t already,” he added.There are multiple ways to limit app notifications on an iPhone while still letting the device alert you to anything important. These include disabling notifications on each app through the “Notifications” tab in “Settings”; using “Do Not Disturb” both manually (while at dinner or the movies) and setting it up automatically (like at bedtime); and selectively earmarking contacts or email strings as VIPs, so you are alerted to their emails and don’t need to constantly check your phone for them. April 24, 2019 4 min read This story originally appeared on Business Insider Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more