TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown, Eastern Conference Finals

Some interesting things about the 2008 TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown:

  • Everyone except my mom and Kevin Pelton has picked the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Reigning champion Justin Kubatko picked them in five.

  • With the Spurs' win last night, the game is officially on. Stephen Ilardi and Justin Kubatko are tied at the top. If the Hornets had won, Kubatko would have had a big lead.

  • Jeff Ma is well out of first, but he is a veteran gambler -- the movie 21 is based on his life -- and he says he has a hail mary scheme that just might work out. Consider yourselves warned.

  • How about Stephen Ilardi before the Hornets vs. Spurs: "Based on simple team regressions alone, it should be Hornets in seven, since New Orleans has been about +0.8 points per game better this year, and has the home court advantage for this series. But San Antonio has improved considerably in the post-season from an adjusted plus-minus standpoint, mostly by giving Kurt Thomas (+3.49) more minutes than Fabricio Oberto (-5.57), and by dramatically reducing the playing time of Jacque Vaughn (-5.45) and Damon Stoudamire (-7.21). I have the Spurs roughly four points per game better than the Hornets based on postseason playing time distribution, just enough to offset the +3.6 points per game home court advantage."