Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (March 22, 2018), Neil, Chris and Kyle break down the Houston Rockets’ potential. Has James Harden all but locked up the MVP award this year? And is a Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors Western Conference final inevitable? Next, the Utah Jazz are on an impressive tear, moving up in the playoff rankings despite a crowded field. The crew discusses the Jazz’s success and breaks down the unique challenges facing a small-market team. Plus, a significant digit on the Boston Celtics.
Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:
- Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.
- Kyle wrote about the Houston Rockets this week, asking: Why can’t they be the Warriors?
- The Atlanta Hawks ended the Utah Jazz’s nine-game win streak on Tuesday.
- Significant Digit: 1-and-884, the record (per ESPN Stats and Info) for NBA teams who trailed by 5 or more points in the final 20 seconds of a game this season. The Boston Celtics are the only team to have won. They stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night by overcoming a 5-point deficit with 16.8 seconds to go.