The Lakers have played five games this season where they led by 6 points with less than a minute to play and lost three of them: San Antonio (lost by 1 in OT), Dallas (won by 1), Atlanta (won by 1), Sacramento (lost by 1), Houston (lost by 4 in OT).

Off the top of my head, the Celtics this season have trailed by two possessions with less than a minute in Toronto (won in OT), Phoenix (won in OT), New York (lost by 2), Charlotte (lost by 5), Orlando (lost by 2).

Basketball is a game almost entirely decided by last second shots. The Celtics have benefited from Kyrie Irving’s brilliance in those unlikely wins, while the Lakers have suffered from random guys hitting big shots to lose some games they should have won easily.

It’s just the law of averages, but I would gladly trade a lucky win over the Celtics for those three losses where they had a 99% chance of winning.

There is probably some statistic available for how well teams do when they either have a high probability of winning or losing, and I’m sure the correlation with playoff success bodes well for the Celtics and ill for the Lakers.

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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