Western Conference Round 1 Preview: Thunder vs. Nuggets

For each playoff series I calculated ezPM for the regular season matchup between the two teams (4 games in each sample, except for MIA-PHI, which only played 3 games against each other). I then made a prediction about minutes based on recent play and the previous matchups, and calculated WARP based on the regular season ezPM sample and minutes prediction. The closer a team is to 1 WARP, the better chance they have of winning. Home court advantage is not included in the WARP calculation.

It's going to be really interesting to see exactly how George Karl allocates minutes. The Nuggets go 10 deep, and in fact, that's not including Mozgov, Forbes, or Koufos, all of whom I expect may see some pt during this series. At any rate, according to my WARP estimation, OKC has the advantage (0.717 vs. 0.382). Based on previous matchups this year, Gallinari and Martin should perform well for Denver, while Sefalosha (defensively), Durant, and Harden lead the way for OKC. I won't be surprised if Westbrook struggles a bit.

The City Prediction: Thunder in 6

NAME TEAM POS POSS GS WARP PRED_MIN PRED_WARP EZPM100
Danilo Gallinari DEN 3.5 149 2 0.61 28 0.218 9.63
Kenyon Martin DEN 4.01 221 4 0.49 36 0.154 3.69
Nene Hilario DEN 4.51 273 4 0.45 36 0.113 1.80
Ty Lawson DEN 0.99 230 2 0.38 30 0.095 1.81
Raymond Felton DEN 1 127 0 0.16 24 0.058 0.55
Chris Andersen DEN 4.5 31 0 0.03 18 0.033 -0.43
J.R. Smith DEN 2.01 175 1 -0.29 18 -0.057 -8.83
Arron Afflalo DEN 2 128 2 -0.16 24 -0.059 -7.65
Al Harrington DEN 4 136 0 -0.58 8 -0.066 -17.29
Wilson Chandler DEN 3.49 112 2 -0.35 18 -0.107 -13.52
Thabo Sefolosha OKC 2.01 214 4 0.86 28 0.216 9.48
Kevin Durant OKC 3 318 4 0.81 38 0.185 4.70
James Harden OKC 2 190 0 0.52 30 0.159 5.41
Serge Ibaka OKC 4.49 196 2 0.38 36 0.133 2.71
Nick Collison OKC 4.5 174 0 0.46 20 0.101 5.02
Russell Westbrook OKC 1 264 4 0.15 38 0.040 -1.72
Eric Maynor OKC 0.99 110 0 0.14 8 0.020 0.70
Nazr Mohammed OKC 4.98 57 0 -0.09 12 -0.037 -8.69
Kendrick Perkins OKC 4.99 94 2 -0.16 30 -0.099 -9.08

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