New NBA playoff predictions and title favorites

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

With the new 2020 NBA schedule out, how will the playoff races shape up, who will advance to the Finals and which team will win it all in October?

There’s more uncertainty this year about how teams will perform, with players largely sidelined for 4½ months before play resumes on July 30, and with all the games being played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

Still, we can take a look at the players available and the schedule announced Friday by the NBA on ESPN to get an idea what to expect. I’ve used the multiyear, predictive version of ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) to project the eight seeding games, possible play-in matchups and full postseason 500 times.

Let’s take a look at the results, what we can learn from them and who should be favored in this unique NBA postseason.

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