How Safe is an NBA Lead in the 2016-17 Season

Here is an update on how safe an NBA lead is for the 2016-17 NBA Season. Last season, we found that the Bill James’ bound was violated twice in the 2015-16 NBA season. This year, the bound was violated one time: January 4th, 2017 by the Miami Heat against the Sacramento Kings. The same Sacramento Kings who erased a 15 point lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder on the same day in 2016!

Refresher on Bill James’ bound can be found here.

Here’s the scenario…

  • January 4th, 2017
    • Miami Heat up 19 over the Sacramento Kings; Kings Ball
      • 19 point lead = 240.25 seconds
      • Lead lost in 240 seconds
      • Game in Sacramento
      • Third Quarter: Heat 87, Kings 68 with 2:11 to go
      • Fourth Quarter: Heat 89, Kings 89 with 10:11 to go
      • Heat won 107 – 102

Distribution of Time to Comeback

Here, we again plot a mere 10% of the occurrences of comebacks in the NBA season. It’s a cluttered plot if we add more. There was only one instance all season, indicating a 99.999+% success rate in the Bill James bound.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 5.21.25 PM.png

One thing is clear… be wary of the Sacramento Kings on January 4th games. They will erase large deficits.

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One thought on “How Safe is an NBA Lead in the 2016-17 Season

  1. Pingback: How Safe is an NBA Lead in the 2016-17 Season — Squared Statistics: Understanding Basketball Analytics | Advance Pro Basketball

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