So ESPN's resident hoopsnerd John Hollinger, apparently bored by the proceedings of the season thus far, has invented something called "Hollinger's Playoff Odds 2007-08." You can read JH's explanation of it here; it seems fairly complicated but also weirdly simplistic, if that makes sense.
Hollinger tends to do pretty good work, though, so we're tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt, EXCEPT... his playoff predictor has the Celtics as a 42.6% likelihood to win the NBA Finals. They are roughly 3 times more likely to win the Finals than the next most likely contender, the Orlando Magic (choking on my bowl of cereal). Third most likely? Wait for it... ladies and gentlemen, your Detroit Pistons! Yes, you read that correctly: the 13-5 Pistons have a greater likelihood of winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy than the 16-3 San Antonio Spurs, who have a fairly decent track record in these sorts of things.
I mean, I like Hollinger and he's certainly a sharp dude, but even he has to realize this is fucking crazy. I'm one of the more biased Celtics fans on the planet, and while I'm absolutely ecstatic that they're 15-2, I wouldn't give them more than a 20% chance against San Antonio, Phoenix or Dallas. I dunno, I feel like this is one of those moments in Looney Tunes where Wile E. Coyote blows himself up and then mutters something about going back to the drawing board.