Saturday, November 13, 2010

Raptors vs. Heat: Miami Favored To End Losing Streak With Extinction Level Event

The Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors enter tonight's game in surprising roles. The Heat have lost two home games in a row while the Raptors are trying to be the second underdog this week to sweep through the state of Florida after last night's defeat of the Orlando Magic.

Based on the formula for determining a team's probability of winning a single game, the Heat have a 96.6 percent chance of beating the Raptors and sending their two-game losing streak into extinction.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers used to determine the Heat's probability of winning:
  • Miami Heat
    • Average Wins Produced Per 48 Minutes: 0.154 (see the Heat Produced page)
    • Average Possessions Per Game: 91.5 (see
    • Days Rest: One (last game was 112-107 loss to Boston Celtics on 11/11/10)
    • Location: American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL (low altitude)
  • Toronto Raptors
    • Average Wins Produced Per 48 Minutes: 0.076 (according to the Wins Produced Viewer)
    • Average Possessions Per Game: 95.9
    • Days Rest: Zero (last game was a 110-106 win in Orlando on 11/12/10)

There are several big questions surrounding the Heat in this game, but the biggest one will be whether or not Chris Bosh can breakout of his own two-game slump and dominate his old team after being outplayed by Paul Millsap and Kevin Garnett this week. The figure below illustrates how Bosh's performance this season compares to the replacement power forwards in Toronto, Reggie Evans and Amir Johnson.

It looks like the Raptors have not missed Bosh at all so far, and he has another uphill battle coming his way in the paint tonight but I don't think Toronto will be able to exploit that match-up enough to win the game.

Predicted score: Heat 105, Raptors 92

Stats for the Raptors were taken from the NBeh? blog. Chris Bosh's stats were taken from the Heat Produced page.

For more information on Win Score and Wins Produced see the article Wins Produced vs. Win Score.


  1. Just a quick comment on your win probabilities. The formula you're using is based on a linear regression that's not really designed to handle predictions when one team is a lot better than the other. For example, using that formula, if the home team were expected (by WP) to win 82 games, and its opponent were expected to win 0, you would get a (nonsensical) win probability of 160.6%. Given that the Heat are a lot better (in WP anyway) than just about every team they face (think of all the Wizards-Heat matchups where that's basically the situation), that means you're giving probabilities almost exclusively in the part of the curve where this model doesn't work very well.

    If you were posting these numbers for an average team, they would probably be pretty accurate. For the Heat, you're going to see a lot more losses than these probabilities suggest (even if it's not a lot in the grand scheme of things).

  2. Yeah, on the one hand that sucks - but on the other hand, I really want them to dominate. But it may be better to set proper expectations. Thanks for the comment.