Who knows what to make of the Cleveland Cavaliers right now? A quick recap of the Cavs' season: The first half was incredibly messy, as Isaiah Thomas struggled to fit in. Then, the Cavs made power moves at the trade deadline and totally revamped their roster. Next, the new-look Cavs surged. But as of late, they've come crashing back to earth.
The Cavs are no longer Vegas' odds-on favorites to win the East (that distinction now belongs to the first-place Toronto Raptors), but many still believe King James and company will pull it together when it matters most. It may defy logic, but they still have the most dominant player in the league, and it's hard to imagine LeBron missing the Finals.
Take this for what it's worth: ESPN's stats-prognostication system does not believe in the Cavs. According to the Worldwide Leader's Basketball Power Index (BPI), the Cavs' title chances are now...0.1 percent. The system has the Raptors as the favorite in the East at 26.6 percent. Cleveland has the fourth-highest odds in the East, also behind Boston (4.5 percent) and Philadelphia (0.7 percent).
In the West, Golden State just edges out Houston. The Warriors have a 32.9 percent chance of winning the championship, according to the system, and the Rockets have a 32.8 percent chance.
ESPN's analytics team developed the BPI, which uses advanced stats to compare teams to each other based on offensive and defensive metrics. For a full breakdown of BPI, read this article.
They say numbers never lie, but in this case, you'd be justified in calling the stat a stretch. It's hard to imagine Philly has a higher likelihood of winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy than Cleveland.