Probabilistic Effects of a Play-In Tournament
Chapter 1 Introduction
In 2020, we saw the first ever NBA season that held a play-in tournament for the final 8th seed in both conferences. While the tournament was fun to watch, it made me think about the objective of this project:
How does a play-in tournament effect the preseason playoff odds of teams?
The code for this project can be found in my Github Repository at https://github.com/jsiwinski/Play-In-Tourney.
In this bookdown, I will analyze the probabilistic effects of a play-in tournament style through the following steps:
1) Create a game level win prob model
- This model will only include preseason variables as it is designed to predict outcomes before the season starts.
2) Simulate a “fake” traditional 82-game schedule and calculate each team’s playoff probability
- Simulation will be based on predicted win probabilities from the trained win prob model from step #1.
3) Simulate play-in tournament for seasons in step #2 that qualify for a play-in tournament and calculate each team’s playoff probability.
- Play-in tournament only occurs for seasons where the #9 seed is 1 GB or less from the #8 seed. The #8 seed must win 1 game while the #9 seed must win 2 games to advance into the playoffs
4) Compare the playoff probabilities in step #2 to step #3.
- This is where we will see the impact of a play-in tournament when compared to a traditional season set up.