Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (April 5, 2018), Neil, Chris and Kyle break down the Eastern Conference ahead of the playoffs.
First, the Philadelphia 76ers have clinched a spot, but the team has also lost star center Joel Embiid to injury. Embiid may miss the beginning of the postseason. How will the Sixers function without him?
Next, the Toronto Raptors are on track to be the No. 1 seed in the East, but the team’s past several playoff runs have been disappointing. The crew takes a look at why Toronto is playing better this season. Plus, a significant digit on Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.
Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:
- Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.
- ESPN reported on Embiid’s surgery to fix his fractured orbital bone.
- Sports Illustrated took a look at how the 76ers are surviving without Embiid.
- Foreshadowing? The Cavs took down the Raptors on Tuesday.
- Significant Digit: 8. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Victor Oladipo is on track this season to become the eighth player in the past decade to have a usage rate of 30 percent or higher and a true shooting percentage of 57 percent or higher while 25 years old or younger.