NBA Futures: Lakers Chances are Off Peak

There is a 31% relative difference between conference leaders. The Toronto Raptors lead with a 34.1 percent chance of winning the East and the Boston Celtics are at 26.1%. The gap seems to be widening. The Celtics chances are down from 39 percent. There is a 0.84 difference in projected win total between the #6 best record and the #7 best record in the conference. This is a pretty significant difference even if it does not seem to be at first glance. This is a top heavy conference with just 5 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning it.

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Toronto Raptors60.889.0%100.0%6/5 (45.5%)34.1%
Boston Celtics54.210.5%99.9%6/5 (45.5%)26.1%
Milwaukee Bucks53.377.8%99.9%6/1 (14.3%)15.3%
Philadelphia 76ers48.90.5%99.1%7/1 (12.5%)9.4%
Indiana Pacers49.022.1%99.1%40/1 (2.4%)8.0%
Charlotte Hornets45.859.1%95.6%120/1 (0.8%)3.7%
Miami Heat45.040.7%92.8%100/1 (1%)2.6%
New York Knicks38.60.0%43.8%2000/10.3%
Brooklyn Nets38.30.0%39.7%200/1 (0.5%)0.3%
Detroit Pistons36.80.0%25.9%120/1 (0.8%)0.1%
Washington Wizards32.00.2%3.8%80/1 (1.2%)--
Orlando Magic27.10.0%0.2%300/1 (0.3%)--
Atlanta Hawks27.80.0%0.2%2000/1--
Chicago Bulls22.00.0%0.0%2000/1--
Cleveland Cavaliers19.90.0%0.0%2000/1--

The relative percentage difference at the top of the conference is very large at 1255%. The LA Lakers at 5.9% trail the Golden State Warriors at 79.7%. The gap seems to be widening. The Lakers chances are down from 46.5 percent. As far as teams fighting for the final playoff spots go, there is a very small difference in projected wins between the teams with the #6 best record and the team with the #7 best record. There is not a lot of parity and power is concentrated at the top of the conference with just 3 teams having at least a 4% chance of winning it.

Golden State Warriors68.599.9%100.0%1/4 (80%)79.7%
LA Lakers47.00.0%91.5%20/1 (4.8%)5.9%
Portland Trail Blazers49.738.5%98.2%50/1 (2%)4.0%
Oklahoma City Thunder48.931.0%96.5%20/1 (4.8%)2.9%
Denver Nuggets48.526.1%95.6%25/1 (3.8%)2.6%
Houston Rockets43.126.6%65.4%6/1 (14.3%)1.5%
Utah Jazz43.74.2%72.2%15/1 (6.2%)1.2%
San Antonio Spurs44.340.4%77.5%50/1 (2%)1.1%
New Orleans Pelicans43.631.0%71.0%25/1 (3.8%)0.9%
LA Clippers36.20.0%9.1%100/1 (1%)--
Minnesota Timberwolves36.60.1%10.0%100/1 (1%)--
Memphis Grizzlies36.71.9%11.7%100/1 (1%)--
Dallas Mavericks32.20.1%1.1%250/1 (0.4%)--
Sacramento Kings27.90.0%0.0%250/1 (0.4%)--
Phoenix Suns23.60.0%0.0%5000/1--

There may be 12 playoff teams but there are only 5 true championship contenders (at least a 2% chance). At the top, the Warriors have a very large 59 percentage point lead over the Raptors. The separation between the team with the #3 highest chances vs the #5 highest is 3.2 percentage points.

Golden State Warriors2/571.4%69.3%UP
Toronto Raptors6/114.3%10.7%DOWN
Boston Celtics6/114.3%5.8%DOWN
Milwaukee Bucks25/13.8%3.2%--
LA Lakers40/12.4%2.6%DOWN
Portland Trail Blazers100/11.0%1.6%--
Philadelphia 76ers30/13.2%1.4%DOWN
Indiana Pacers100/11.0%1.4%DOWN
Oklahoma City Thunder40/12.4%1.2%--
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