Golden State Warriors Updated Tank Standings and Predictions

Not a tank.

We all know the story by now. In order for the Warriors to keep their lottery pick this year, they have to finish in the top 7 of the lottery. If they finish with the 7th worst record, they will have about a 75% chance of keeping the pick (because teams can jump ahead of them), and if they finish with the 6th worst record, that chance goes up to about 95%. Conversely, if they finish with the 8th worst record or lower, their chances go below 5% of retaining the pick.

Here, I am going to take a look at the teams currently with the 4th through 11th worst records (CHA, WAS, and NOH are pretty much locks for the bottom three), and predict where these teams will finish using my Vegas Power Ratingscalculated a few days ago. If you're interested in seeing our chances, keep reading. If you don't like any discussion of tanking, go do something else.

Methodology

Like I said above, I am using my Vegas Power Ratings (based on regressing Vegas spreads for every game this season). I then predict wins/losses using the remaining schedule for each of these teams based on the full-season set of ratings or the ratings for games played since the trade deadline, which better reflect recent play. Homecourt advantage is also accounted for. If you're wondering about the noise of using a smallish set of games, the beauty of using the Vegas lines is that there is very little noise (i.e. their lines are very predictable within 50 games or so).

I should mention that the full-season Vegas line for the Warriors is approximately -2, but since the trade deadline, it's gone down to -4.5, reflecting what oddsmakers think about the current product on the floor (i.e. minus Curry, Ellis, and Udoh). This is why I calculated the two sets of predictions. If we play like a -2 team, we'll win more games obviously.

Predictions

Current Standings

Right now we're in the 9th spot.

RK

TEAM

W

L

WIN%

4

NJN

16

35

31.37%

5

TOR

16

34

32.00%

6

SAC

17

32

34.69%

7

DET

17

32

34.69%

8

CLE

17

29

36.96%

9

GSW

20

27

42.55%

10

MIL

22

27

44.90%

11

POR

23

26

46.94%

Prediction Using Full Season Vegas Ratings

Nothing much changes here.

RK

TEAM

W

L

WIN%

4

CLE

20

46

30.30%

5

NJN

20

46

30.30%

6

TOR

20

46

30.30%

7

SAC

21

45

31.82%

8

DET

21

45

31.82%

9

GSW

23

43

34.85%

10

POR

35

31

53.03%

11

MIL

35

31

53.03%

Prediction Using Recent Vegas Ratings

Things change quite a bit using the ratings since the deadline, even though the Warriors end up with the same record. We would actually pass SAC and DET. If these are closer to the mark, then GSW does have a decent chance of nabbing the 7th spot and keeping our pick.

RK

TEAM

W

L

WIN%

4

CLE

19

47

28.79%

5

NJN

20

46

30.30%

6

TOR

20

46

30.30%

7

GSW

23

43

34.85%

8

SAC

25

41

37.88%

9

DET

25

41

37.88%

10

POR

31

35

46.97%

11

MIL

35

31

53.03%

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