During the All-Star break, I brought win probabilities in trying to analyze the rest of the season. You'll remember that I said the Kings would have to win all the games they should win and a bunch that they probably shouldn't.
Since then, the Kings have went 9-2. They didn't lose any matches they should've won, and they won at least a couple they probably shouldn't have.
So I readjusted the figures based on the Kings win percentage since Ron-Ron came to town, and ran a probability chart for the rest of the season. The following graphic shows the matchup and the Kings' estimated probability of winning that matchup, based on whether it's home or away, the winning percentage of the opponent and the days of rest for each team.
The games are ordered from the least likely Kings wins to the most likely Kings win.
A couple of things jump out to me. First, that's a lot of winnable games! When @GSW is a middle-of-the-pack, I'm somewhat confident in our teams' chances.
Tonight's game is the sixth most difficult remaining, yet our equation has the Kings winning 55 out of 100 matchups with this Indiana team on this much rest. It's not real scientific or anything - it's measuring expectations. But still. I like it.
To the lineups!
PG - Mike Bibby
SG - Kevin Martin
SF - Ron Artest
PF - Kenny Thomas
C - Brad Miller
PG - Anthony Johnson/Jamaal Tinsley
SG - Stephen Jackson
SF - Peja Stojakovic
PF - David Harrison
C - Jeff Foster
The line: -1.5. I'd put several dollars on the Kings had I not gotten tourney fever.
Fun bet o' the night: How early in the game will Grant Napear follow a Peja three with, "We've seen that before!" (So, the question really is how early will Peja hit a three?)
Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Indiana is getting its players back. But the Pacers have looked good without J.O., and the Pistons might have peaked too early. One Dwyane Wade injury (and that's not to be unexpected) and Indy could be in the Eastern Finals. So, how about the Triple Ewing Theory candidate? No Reggie, no Ron-Ron, no Jermaine and the deepest run in years? That'd be awesome. (Yes, I'm incoherent thanks to several doses of headache reliever.)
Best matchup: Artest vs. Peja. The real breakdown on who wins and who loses the trade won't be known for years, probably. The early battles are fun to win, though.
Four o'clock tip. I might actually overdose on basketball today. Cheers, and happy St. Patrick's Day!