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The NBA season is over ... (no, really!)

Hooray! Now that the NBA season is halfway through, it's time to grab the popcorn, pull up a seat and watch the dramatic playoff races unfold, right? Um, not so much. Unlike the NFL, MLB and NHL, where playoff races are as exciting as the playoffs, all the jockeying for seeds in the NBA is pretty much done by the halfway point of the season. Since 1984, when the playoff field moved to 16 teams, 80 percent of the variability in the final standings can be explained purely by the standings today, on Jan. 20, (around the halfway mark of the season). Don't believe us? Let's roll out the data!

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