How Three Kings Bloggers Breakdown The LA Kings Playoff Points Threshold And How They Could All Be Wrong.
By Paul Armbruster • KingsNewsDaily.com •
The consensus among 3 Kings bloggers is that the Kings will need 55 points to make the playoffs, give or take a point. But is that really true? Or could the playoff point threshold be considerably lower?
Quisp, doing his best Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys impersonation said:
“In the several million simulations run every day by Sportsclubstats, 55 points is enough to make it into the playoffs in over 90% of simulations.”
Well ok then. Based on a site that gave the Kings almost no shot to make the playoffs last year, let alone win the whole shebang, he filters the rest of his game-block projections through a faulty probability matrix. He finishes with this, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that every game is a playoff game now. And it’s a fact that a losing streak at any point is almost certain to be the kiss of death.”
But it is an exaggeration. It’s not the playoffs. Yet.
Neisy, who appears to get the magic number 55 from Quisp, says:
“an unusually high number of 3-point games in the West, though, it could take even more.”
Well yes, but so could an unusually low number of 3-point games make it even less. Again, a faulty probability matrix spits out a number that may or may not be a true benchmark.
Player-X, on the other hand, broke it down this way:
“The West has averaged a requirement of 93.8 points over the last 5 years, being 95, 97, 95, 91 and 91. 93.8 out of a possible 164 equals getting 54.91 points from a possible 96. So, we round to 55, and our range is likely to be 54-56 points for the lowest team to get in with.”
I imagine Sportsclubstats takes all these numbers into account as well, but maybe not. Regardless, it certainly makes sense given the averages cited that the playoff threshold could end up being in that range.
However, it appears that no one has considered the only other 48 game season (in the modern era) as a means of calculating the possbile outcome of this season. At the end of the shortened 1994-95 season only 3 teams in the West had point totals 55 or above to make the playoffs and only 4 in the East. The Sharks and Stars made it in with only 42 points!
Yes, yes, I know. 3 point games weren’t invented by Bettman yet. But does that mean these numbers are irrelevant? Maybe. Maybe not.
A cursory examination of the final standings that year reveal that even with 3-point games added in, many teams would have made the playoffs with less than 54 points.
Take San Jose, for example, who finished in 7th place with 42 points. They had 4 ties. Let’s be generous and give them 4 more wins and points. That’s only 46 points, good for 7th place and a playoff berth. Or take Vancouver who had 12 ties and finished in 6th place with 48 points. Giving them a reasonable 6 more points lands them at 54… and that’s good enough for 6th place.
Perhaps a math whiz can explain why the only other lockout-shortened season means absolutely nothing from a statistical standpoint. Or maybe there’s something to it and Kings fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their team is far from out of it, even with a losing streak built in.
Editor’s note: The clip above of Quisp, er, I mean Brad Pitt got me thinking about another aspect of the 1994-95 season. What if the entire approach to a 48 game season, with all the truncated game decision permutations and incalculable human emotions has an effect on the outcome that is vastly different than an 82 game season? Strategy, preparation, mindset, focus, travel, etc. All these things are not equal to a simple slicing of game numbers from a full season through a suspect Artificial Intelligence algorithm that does not calculate critically important factors.