Are Mavs 98-Percent NBA Playoff-Bound? The Computer - And Houston's Daryl Morey - Say It Is So

Mike Fisher

I did not predict that the 2019-20 Dallas Mavericks would qualify for this year's NBA Playoffs. The fancy prediction machines - and a smart enemy named Daryl Morey - are combining to proclaim me to be a happy idiot.

The Mavs' convincing win at the Lakers on Sunday (see our game story here, our Mavs Step Back Podcast here and the best notebook in the business in our Mavs Monday Donuts here) propelled Dallas to a 13-6 record. To begin the week, the Mavs are in fourth place in the West, dancing up top with the likes of the Lakers and Nuggets and Clippers ... and technically ahead of the Houston Rockets, who also begin the week at 13-6 ...

But Dallas somehow won at Houston, so yeah, tiebreakers and stuff!

Our old pals the Rockets come into play in another way as well. On Twitter, when the subject of Dallas as a playoff contender was broached, none other than Houston GM Daryl Morey stepped in, proclaiming the Mavs to be "one of the best teams in the NBA.''

Is all of this - Luka Doncic's work and the work of his helpers - sustainable? Mavericks voice Chuck Cooperstein points out that the first 20 games are a great historical indicator of playoff likelihood. And there's more. The website FiveThirtyEight deals in daily updates, feeding all sorts of data into a gigantic computer to reach likelihood conclusions.

And those proud geeks tell us that as of today, the Dallas Mavericks have a ... NINETY-EIGHT PERCENT CHANCE of making the playoffs. Really!

I guess I'm an idiot for not being able for forecast the 13-6 start, and I know I'm an idiot for not fully understanding the "98-percent'' stuff. But through the first quarter of this NBA season? I'm a happy idiot.