The Cleveland Cavaliers have almost no shot at winning the NBA title this season, according to ESPN’s NBA Basketball Power Index (BPI).
In fact, if you’re to believe ESPN’s NBA BPI playoff odds, the Cavs are less likely to win this year’s NBA Finals than the New England Patriots were to win Super Bowl LI when trailing the Atlanta Falcons 28-3 in the second half.
According to ESPN’s NBA BPI, which is a measure of team strength developed by the ESPN Analytics team, the Cavs have a better than 99.9 percent chance of making the playoffs but only a 0.1 percent chance of winning the NBA Finals, as of Tuesday.
For comparison, the Patriots had a 0.3 percent chance of winning Super Bowl LI when down by 25 points late in the third quarter, according to ESPN’s win probability for that game. New England had just a 0.4 percent chance of winning when trailing 28-12 with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
This doesn’t make much sense when you step back and consider everything, but it’s a testament to how shaky the Cavs have been this season after reaching the NBA Finals three years in a row. Cleveland completely revamped its roster at the NBA trade deadline, and while the initial results were good, the Cavs since have hit another rough patch, likely playing into the ESPN NBA BPI results.
Of course, the Cavs aren’t alone in being an extreme long shot to win the NBA title despite being a lock to reach the playoffs, according to ESPN’s NBA BPI. Only the Houston Rockets (34.1 percent), Golden State Warriors (32.2 percent), Toronto Raptors (26.2 percent) and Boston Celtics (4.4 percent) have a better than 1 percent chance of winning this year’s championship.
The Philadelphia 76ers (0.7 percent) and Washington Wizards (0.3 percent) even have better odds in the Eastern Conference to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy, according to ESPN’s NBA BPI.
Maybe this is just the type of motivation LeBron James and Co. needed.
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