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Fear the Sword playoff prediction contest

As with all worthwhile contests, it requires manual scoring and offers no prizes.

NBA: Finals-Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season has ended and the playoffs are finally here. This gives us all the opportunity to forget our mistakes anticipating what the regular season would bring and make a fresh set of predictions backed by flawed logic and irrational confidence (at least until the first game tips off). In that spirit I decided to create a contest for Fear the Sword commenters. Here's how it works:

Each entry must pick the winner of every series, and the number of games they expect it to take. Format as follows:

Sample entry

EC R1: BOS in 7, CLE in 4, TOR in 5, WAS in 6

EC R2: WAS in 6, CLE in 6

EC R3: CLE in 5

WC R1: GSW in 4, SAS in 5, HOU in 6, UTA in 7

WC R2: GSW in 5, SAS in 6

WC R3: GSW in 6

NBA Finals: CLE in 7

A pick that is exactly right (both the series winner and the number of games) will be worth:


4 games = 6 points

5 games = 5 points

6 games = 5 points

7 games = 6 points


4 games = 12 points

5 games = 10 points

6 games = 10 points

7 games = 12 points

If you are off by one game you will receive 75% credit. If you are off by two games you will receive 50% credit. If you are off by three games you will receive 25% credit. If you pick the series winner incorrectly you will receive no credit.

The value of a correct pick will be doubled in R2, tripled in R3 and quadrupled in R4.

The team with home court advantage will always be considered the favorite and the opposing team the underdog. I know, I know; how could I consider Boston a favorite in any series? But it’s just simpler on my end if we use the standard seeding to determine the favorite. After all, I’ll be computing the scores manually. And by manually, I mean with a nifty spreadsheet that I’ve yet to build.

One entry per person, and no copying existing entries. You could also be disqualified for using team abbreviations I don’t approve of (acceptable abbreviations can be found at Basketball Reference) or predicting Boston to make the NBA Finals. The contest winner becomes an unquestioned member of #TeamICalledIt for one year. Yes, that really is the best I can offer.

Please post your entry in the comments so that it may be mocked and ridiculed for the next several weeks, but eventually forgotten as Fear the Sword unites in the joy of a second straight NBA Championship for the Cavaliers.