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The NBA’s Biggest Playoff Underperformers and Overperformers of the Past Three Decades

On Monday, we published a piece detailing a new metric, expected titles, to help measure how teams and players over- or underperform expectations in the playoffs, given factors such as team quality, opponent quality, and playoff series structure. In that piece, we examined conclusions for individual players throughout their careers. Today, we switch to a team-centric view. Related How Many Titles Should Jordan Have Won? For a full methodological explanation, check out Monday’s piece. For this edition, let’s start with the following chart. Since the postseason bracket expanded to 16 teams in 1984, nine teams have had a 50 percent chance or better to advance past all four opponents to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy.

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