Twitter Facebook Facebook Previous articleJesus earns EPL leader Man City 1-0 win over Sheffield UtdNext articleLewandowski takes Bundesliga tally to 24 in Bayern’s 4-1 win Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Pinterest TAGS NEW YORK (AP) — Calling a hospital to see if a bed was available for a COVID-19 patient isn’t part of Houston television news anchor Chauncy Glover’s job description. Neither is guiding a viewer online to find a place to be vaccinated. He’s done both, and isn’t alone. Listeners and readers across the country are reaching out directly to journalists for help during the coronavirus pandemic, and many are responding. “We are now doing more than we bargained for,” Glover said. “We have to be smarter on these topics. We have to know more. For so many people, it may be life or death.” It began for Glover last spring, when he came down with COVID-19 and told his story to KTRK-TV viewers. By phone, email and text, he was peppered with questions after getting back to work: What did it feel like? Should I be worried if I have this symptom? What did you do during quarantine to keep from going crazy? One viewer described symptoms that made Glover suggest he go to the hospital, and the news anchor followed up with calls to find space for him. During the past month, inquiries about how to get vaccinated have become most common. Southern California Public Radio, which has an aggressive community outreach program, had 275 questions about that in a two-day period last week, said Ashley Alvarado, director of community engagement. Listeners have also asked Alvarado’s team about unemployment benefits, about whether or not they should cancel a family wedding or if it was illegal to hold a graveside service for a relative who died. Alvarado frequently tips reporters to potential stories based on what her department hears. Similarly, questions that science and medical reporter Lisa Krieger gets are fodder for features and consumer tips published in the Mercury News of San Jose, California, and partner newspapers in the Bay Area News Group. CC Davidson-Hiers, a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida, has lost track of how many requests she’s gotten, many from elderly readers who can’t navigate online vaccination sign-ups. It’s an abrupt turnaround from last year, when her inbox was filled with vitriol from people who called her an alarmist or worthless human being trying to scare people, just because she was writing about COVID-19. Now, she emails links and suggestions to readers who contact her. When she gets calls, she will stay on the line and walk people through the process when they’re struggling with the internet. “I absolutely love doing it,” Davidson-Hiers said. “I have to keep an eye on how sustainable it is. It’s something we’re all facing — the pressure of the pandemic and the stress of it all.” Alvarado has staggered the work hours of people answering calls and similarly guards the mental health of colleagues who hear stories of trauma over and over again. Several of the people Krieger speaks to are simply grateful to hear another human being, instead of speaking to machines and getting calls dropped, or directed to an alienating online experience. Krieger has spent nights and weekends answering messages. She speaks to church groups and her newspaper has set up online seminars. She realizes that her first responsibility is to report and write stories, but said management has supported her efforts to help readers. “This is payback time for us,” she said. “These are readers who are very loyal and they need us. The least we can do is return their calls and emails.” Glover has spent considerable time trying to convince people in Houston’s Black community that the vaccines are safe. He’s met with hardened skepticism, including people who disparage “Trump’s vaccine.” He and colleague Mayra Moreno host televised town hall meetings aimed particularly at Black and Latino residents. Alvarado similarly tries to break down cultural barriers, and sends out a regular text message of coronavirus news to listeners who don’t have Internet access. “For me, it’s rewarding,” Glover said. “You work so hard to become that voice that people turn to and they trust what you’re saying. To me, that’s the ultimate goal of a journalist — to be trusted.” Davidson-Hiers generally guides people to help themselves. But on two occasions — once for a person who had no internet and another for someone at a loss for how to use it — she has set up vaccination appointments for readers. In retrospect, she was queasy for ethical reasons. Journalists are trained to observe and report, not to get involved in their stories. There’s nothing wrong with doing your best to help people with information, said Kathleen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin. But it’s wise to avoid situations where you learn someone’s medical records, or make a specific medical appointment or recommendation, she said. What if something goes wrong? “I make sure I stay within my boundaries,” Glover said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with helping people navigate a website. I’m not picking people up and taking them to doctors’ appointments or driving them to the hospital.” Despite the extra work involved, San Jose’s Krieger and many of her colleagues are happy to find another way of connecting their news organizations to the communities they serve. “Over recent years we’ve been told that journalism is dying and is becoming obsolete,” she said. “It’s gratifying to be a comfort to readers and provide them with information they literally can’t get anywhere else. It’s so rewarding and it’s why we’re in this business.” People desperate for COVID-19 guides seek local journalists WhatsApp Local NewsStateUS News Pinterest WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – January 30, 2021
Whenever I get the chance, I talk to customers about what excites them about technology. The conversation often leads back to how they can use data in a meaningful way across their organization.This is not surprising since data is now collected everywhere. Fifty billion intelligent devices have created a flood of edge data. Data analysis has advanced with different flavors of artificial intelligence to provide significant impact on your business. It is natural to assume that data is the critical factor in meeting your customers’ requirements.But in truth we have been collecting and assimilating data throughout history from libraries of papyrus rolls to the first computers. It just took us a long time to find it, understand it and see a pattern. So, while these additional access points are driving analysis today, they require fast processing to bring value to your business and customers. When you stop and consider it, the need for edge devices is related to speed as well as data. For example, one use case at the edge may be reporting weather at various locations. Quick analysis would not only ensure accuracy but also peoples’ safety.Our customers have told us the speed that they deliver, and process information is critical to their business. Last year, we introduced 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with Intel Deep Learning Boost to our PowerEdge portfolio and saw large performance leaps in a variety of workloads. Intel Optane™ Persistent Memory enhanced these benefits by placing large memory capacity right next to the processors. Our customers have already expressed excitement about the performance results from these new technologies.“Not only are we excited about 2nd Gen Intel Xeon processors and the performance improvements, but adding persistent memory in large capacities offers a full array of benefits. We can definitely see space and cost savings potential by supporting more databases or VMs per Dell EMC PowerEdge server with Intel Optane Persistent Memory. We have already seen faster transactions per second with SQL Server 2019 and Intel Optane Persistent Memory and having the ability to recover quickly is critical for our business,” said Antony Messerli, Principal Engineer of Global Infrastructure Engineering at Rackspace.Of course, the nature of modern business demands more and more rapid results. So just this week we are adding the latest 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors to select PowerEdge servers. These enhanced processors drive everyday workloads to AI, with up to 33 percent improved performance with a less than three percent price increase. They include Intel Xeon Gold, Silver or Bronze processor options that let you balance energy-efficiency and cost while delivering improved speed to meet increasing demands. Service customers more quickly with up to 33 percent more cores, up to 28 percent faster frequencies and up to 62 percent more memory cache. Plus, faster data analysis can help you deliver benefits for your customers and business more effectively.“Building upon decades of close collaboration with Dell Technologies, it’s exciting to deliver these latest innovations and the foundation for our customers’ AI-infused, data-centric infrastructure. Dell EMC PowerEdge systems fueled by the latest 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors extend customer value through workload-optimized performance enhancements, built-in AI acceleration, hardened security and other unique platform capabilities including Intel Optane persistent memory, enabling unprecedented results and amazing digital experiences,” according to Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president and general manager of the Xeon and Memory Group, Intel.Essentially, the speed of the data processing and transmitting is what is changing our world — not the just the data itself. We need to be able to process data in any location — in a way that it is instantly useful while making it secure and easy to manage. Talk to your Dell representative about how to improve performance for your workloads and get more value from your data. And feel free to reach out on Twitter to tell us about your journey from the edge to the core and the cloud.—- Preliminary results are based on Dell EMC internal testing January 2020 comparing a PowerEdge R740 with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Gold 6242R processor vs PowerEdge R740 with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Gold 6242 processor running SPECcpu2017 int_rate_base. Actual results will vary. Dell internal analysis Feb 2020 based on Dell US list price comparisons of 6242R and 6242 CPUs, does not include variables like heatsinks or PSUs, pricing subject to change and may vary by region. Based on published data from Intel® for the Intel® Xeon® Gold 6246R vs. the Intel® Xeon® Gold 6246 processor. Based on published data from Intel® for the Intel® Xeon® Bronze 4215R vs. the Intel® Xeon® Bronze 4215 processor. Based on published data from Intel® for the Intel® Xeon® Gold 6242R vs. the Intel® Xeon® Gold 6242 processor.
29 November 2005The new Hoerikwagga Trail on Table Mountain is both a conservation and job creation project.Built as part of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s contribution to the Expanded Public Works Programme, the trail is the second new Table Mountain trail – with two more still to come.Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk says the new trail is a model for the success of linkages between conservation, tourism and job creation.The projects to upgrade the footpaths and create the trail infrastructure have so far created employment for 416 people.Launching the Hoerikwagga Trail project on Thursday, Van Schalkwyk said his department would be investing R35-million over three years in the Table Mountain National Park through public works projects.People’s TrailThe first trail, the People’s Trail, was designed to expose young people from all communities to both the national park and conservation.“Of course this project is part of a much wider programme of investment by our department in all 22 National Parks,” the minister said.For the three years from 2004 to 2007 we are spending more than R296-million through poverty relief projects, focusing mainly on new infrastructure like these trails, and through projects like our Coast Care programme.Before March 2007, this investment should deliver, among others, five new rest camps with 124 new tourist beds.“The projects also focus on the upgrading of 145 existing tourism accommodation units; the construction and upgrading of 323km of tourist roads; 397km of new fences for park boundaries needed to protect our new land; and the upgrading and major renovation of more than 320km of footpaths and trails,” Van Schalkwyk said.Important prioritiesTable Mountain National Park projects manager Brett Myrdal said the trails combined some of the most important priorities for all South African communities by empowering people, providing employment, and creating a sense of ownership and pride in the park’s conservation efforts and tourism facilities.“Perhaps the most heart-warming aspect of this suite of trails is that profits from the mountain’s trail will be used to make access to the People’s Trail affordable to the youth of Cape Town,” Myrdal said.He said Table Mountain’s trails would have an eventual annual capacity of about 4 000 hikers who would be professionally introduced “to the wonders of overnighting” on Table Mountain by accredited guides.Myrdal added that the park planned to open the third trail, the more advanced six-day, five-night Tip to Top, in November 2006, with the final Top to Tip trail targeted for launch in November 2007.He said all four trails would be marketed extensively by South African National Parks and at national and international trade shows like the annual Tourism Indaba.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
SharePrint RelatedMore Geocaching Vacation Destinations Closer to HomeJune 23, 2014In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Get Inspired By These Epic GeoToursMay 27, 2016In “GeoTours”Inside Geocaching HQ Podcast Transcript (Episode 15): GeoToursJune 18, 2018In “Community” Location:New CaledoniaFavorite Points:8Why the Passeport pour le Nord GeoTour is unique:If you are curious about nature, keen on open spaces, and dream of wandering through green forests, then the North New Caledonia area was made for you. This untamed natural land is breathtaking and home to endemic plants & wildlife stemming all the way back to prehistoric time. It’s also an an area with a strong sense of culture, incorporating much of the local Kanak people’s historic traditions and beliefs into modern day life.Geocaching NCBest time of year to visit:Blessed with a temperate and tropical climate, New Caledonia is a great place to visit all-year-round! Those who love sunbathing and lazying around generally prefer the summer months from December to March. For those who enjoy sports and hiking, the winter months from June to September are ideal. In October, November, April, and May, the weather is mild. This tends to be a popular time of year for photographers who dream of capturing the best shots.Hienghene – GC558EXMust-see attractions:Don’t miss the Broody Hen in the Hienghène Bay. This geocache (GC558EX) will reward you with one of the most beautiful panoramas, if not the best, in all of New Caledonia!Boat Pass is the northernmost point of the Caledonian mainland. You’ll get a breathtaking 360° view from this cache (GC558GJ).The village of Voh on the west coast is known for its heart-shaped “natural art piece” which has been sculpted into a mangrove by the elements over time. You’ll also learn a lot about the local history and customs while tasting a cup of coffee at the eco-museum (GC558H9).The famous Voh HeartHidden gems only locals know about:The GR Nord, a 70 km (~43 m) magnificent hiking trail marked by the French Hiking Federation, is a must-see. The trail runs through the most authentic, unexplored, and beautiful parts of the Northern Province, between the villages of Ponerihouen (GC556A1) and Touho (GC556B1).Prizes: If you complete your Passeport pour le Nord by finding at least ten geocaches, you’ll receive a special Geotag! Also (GC558FA) is still unfound. Be the geocacher to grab our last FTF Geocoin!The collector Nord GeotagWhat Geocachers are saying about the GeoTour:“I had driven all day from Hienghène, and I was exhausted. It took me ages to find the box which was about 8m from where my GPSr was pointing. The hint suddenly made sense! What a splendid location with a view of the biggest waterfall that I have seen in NC. After driving through the mining blight, which upset me very much, it was good to find this peaceful and reverent spot. On my own, I gave my thanks in a firm voice. This is the final Geotour find of my trip. Thanks for everything NordAddict!” – clickcraftsman“Great hike to this view point. We enjoyed the spot to the coastline with the rocks of Hienghene.“ – andringitra“Heading around the north on a caching adventure from Australia. This is my first find of the trip!” – The Artful Dodgers“Very quiet here this morning, we enjoyed reading about the local history and looking at the displays, this is a very well presented museum. Another great cache in the series, thanks for bringing us here. TFTC NordAddict” – waiiti20“Sans aucun doute ma préférée du géotour qui vaut le détour!” – Chup’a“Can see the sea from here!” – JEiken“Woohoo! It took me ages to find – it’s well hidden!” – smkodila“Not easy, but a beautiful location!” – jhwordsmithAdditional Information:Find more about the North Province of New Caledonia on the official website.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.Share with your Friends:More
RELATED ARTICLES Combustion Safety and the Worst-Case Depressurization TestFarewell to the Chimney?Makeup Air for Range HoodsHow to Provide Makeup Air for a Wood Stove Making Your Home Safer with a Sealed Combustion Closet Sealed Combustion Combustion Equipment Safety Erik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog. Sealed-combustion appliances are apt to become more common as the new energy codes introduce residential airtightness standards. This means that you’ll need to pay close attention to heating system safety. Fortunately, the new codes lay out explicit guidelines for combustion appliances.Building and energy codes often get adopted piecemeal around the country. In Maine, we’ve adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), but have exempted towns below a certain population level.The 2009 IECC requires that new wood-burning fireplaces get their combustion air from outdoors. The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) requires that tightly constructed buildings get all of their combustion air from outside the building enclosure.This is the trend in building codes: requiring that combustion appliances get their air from the outside. That’s where sealed-combustion appliances comes in. What’s the problem? As the house becomes tighter, traditionally vented combustion appliances are increasingly apt to spill flue gases or backdraft. BLOGS BY ERIC NORTH Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Costs?Should I Insulate My Garage Door?My First Energy AuditEnergy Audits in New EnglandThe Worst House I Ever Audited Was Built in 2008What is Thermal Bridging? Sealed-combustion appliances and the hot tub partyWhat cause this backdrafting? Atmospherically vented appliances pull air from indoors (the combustion air zone, or CAZ). The tighter one makes a house, the smaller the CAZ.In a tight house, exhaust fans and combustion appliances fight over a smaller pool of air and can begin fighting against one another. Think of it like a house party. Everything is fine when some folks are out on the porch, some in the kitchen, some in the pool. There’s more than enough Merlot and potstickers to go around.Everything is fine until some genius suggests that everyone should pile into the hot tub. And it is crowded. Folks jostle elbows and knock over drinks — plus you will probably run out of guacamole. (I think this metaphor just got away from me.)If the house is too tight and the ventilation appliances (the range hood fan, atmospherically vented water heater, atmospherically vented heating system, clothes dryer, and bathroom exhaust fans) run simultaneously, the appliances start fighting for elbow room. And if the other appliances are stronger than the heating system’s draft strength — BAM — backdrafting occurs and nasty gases from the heating system flue are pulled into the house.If you install traditionally vented combustion appliances in a tight building envelope, you’ve set yourself up for potential problems. One solution: sealed combustion! Tighter buildings, better heating systemsSealed-combustion appliances have burners and flues that are separated from the interior environment, eliminating the possibility of spillage and backdrafting. There is a ducted outdoor air intake and an outdoor exhaust flue; these two pipes are usually combined as a single concentric pipe. This means that the combustion air and flue gases never interact with the interior. No problems! Everyone gets guacamole!Folks sometimes say that a house shouldn’t be too tight. One reason (they say) is the potential for mold; another is moisture accumulation; and another is the concern about backdrafting combustion appliances. All of these problems can be avoided, however, if the home’s HVAC system and ventilation system are designed properly.If you install gas-burning sealed-combustion appliances, you will still need to have your fuel lines and flues regularly inspected by a gas contractor. But potential issues with backdrafting or the spillage of flues gases shouldn’t be a problem. What is sealed combustion?Sealed-combustion appliances have burners and flues that are completely disconnected from a building’s interior. Traditional heating and hot water systems — often referred to as “atmospherically vented appliances” — pull combustion air and dilution air for the flue gases from the building interior. As we build tighter, more efficient houses, these old-fashioned appliances become (not to put too fine a point on it) increasingly dangerous and stupid.
Germany were made to regret a hatful of missed opportunities after Netherlands came from behind to snatch a late draw against Joachim Low’s side in Gelsenkirchen on Monday.The home side led 2-0 for the majority of the match after first half strikes from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane, only for Quincy Promes and Virgil van Dijk to strike late on to level the scores and send the Oranje through to the Nations League finals.Low’s side are yet to win a competitive match since their dramatic victory over Sweden during the World Cup group stages and registered just two points in their Nations League group. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The Germany boss, who remains the longest serving European national team manager as it stands, spoke of his frustration at full time after his side failed to kill the game.”I am a little disappointed with the result. When I see the whole season, I have seen more positive than negative,” Low said.“In the end we were punished, that is of course bitter. It was clear that Holland throws everything forward. That’s the price you sometimes have to pay because we have a young team. “We have to learn to bring a 2-0 home. These are empirical values that still have to be collected.”RB Leipzig forward Werner, who scored Germany’s opener and was one of their better performers on the night, was also downbeat following the match and said the result epitomised what has been a hugely disappointing year for the 2014 World Cup winners.”It is a pity. We had everything under control until the 1-2 and chances to make the game even clearer,” Werner explained.“Then we get a stupid goal against us – and that we get even and the 2-2 is bitter. “If you play as we do today, you can not give away a lead five minutes before the end. “The game showed what happened in 2018. We saw that it worked – and in the end things went wrong again.”Midfielder Toni Kroos set up Germany’s second goal with an excellent pass through to Manchester City winger Sane, who eventually finished past Oranje goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.The Real Madrid star believes his side were made to pay for not adding a third goal before Netherlands’ forged a comeback.”It is bitter because we did not decide on the game,” Kroos said.“We had a to score the third goal. If we do that, the game is over, I think everyone on the pitch felt it was good before, we did it well, but now the result stays.”The draw was Germany’s final match of 2018 and it remains to be seen whether Low will be in charge for the upcoming set of international fixtures next March.
198476ers52-30+2.4Lost 1st Round15871572-15 ELO RATING IN PLAYOFFS 2012Heat46-20+6.4Won Title16131712+99 2009Cavaliers66-16+8.9Lost Conf. Finals17251742+17 1979Bullets54-28+4.8Lost Finals15811554-27 Average* * Average excludes 2017 Cavaliers.Source: Basketball-reference.com 1982Celtics63-19+6.4Lost Conf. Finals16861703+17 2007Cavaliers50-32+3.9Lost Finals15981621+23 1999Bulls13-37-8.6Missed playoffs1355—— 2000Spurs53-29+5.9Lost 1st Round16371625-12 2001Lakers56-26+3.7Won Title16471779+132 2011Heat58-24+7.5Lost Finals16721702+30 2007Heat44-38-1.2Lost 1st Round15051479-26 2006Spurs63-19+6.7Lost 2nd Round16851675-10 1988Lakers62-20+4.8Won Title16431662+19 2010Lakers57-25+4.8Won Title16131695+82 2003Lakers50-32+2.7Lost 2nd Round16551651-4 1981Lakers54-28+3.3Lost 1st Round16101595-15 2013Heat66-16+7.0Won Title17571754-3 Forget looking at defending champions, though. The more important variable, as far as sports bettors are probably concerned, is LeBron. Between his experience, his toughness, and his ability to thrive in crunch-time situations, he has a game well tailored to the playoffs. And that shows up in the data: 2014Heat54-28+4.8Lost Finals15811604+23 1993Bulls57-25+6.2Won Title16791726+47 1986Lakers62-20+6.8Lost Conf. Finals16521647-5 How defending NBA champions fared the next season 2002Lakers58-24+7.2Won Title16761738+62 1996Rockets48-34+1.6Lost 2nd Round14851497+12 2005Pistons54-28+3.3Lost NBA Finals16131689+76 1994Bulls55-27+2.9Lost 2nd Round15751607+32 16441658+15 1990Pistons59-23+5.4Won Title16661716+50 1989Lakers57-25+6.4Lost NBA Finals16371677+40 2012Mavericks36-30+1.8Lost 1st Round15471525-22 2016Warriors73-9+10.4Lost NBA Finals17881756-32 2013Heat66-16+7.9Won Title17571754-3 1987Celtics59-23+6.6Lost NBA Finals16761659-17 2004Spurs57-25+7.5Lost 2nd Round17341719-15 1997Bulls69-13+10.7Won Title17661802+36 2017Cavaliers51-29+3.2TBD1566TBDTBD 1998Bulls62-20+7.2Won Title17281785+57 ELO RATING IN PLAYOFFS LeBron James’s teams usually find a higher gear in the playoffs 1985Celtics63-19+6.5Lost NBA Finals16681685+17 Average* 2008Spurs56-26+5.1Lost Conf. Finals16621678+16 1991Pistons50-32+3.1Lost Conf. Finals15521535-17 * Average excludes 1999 Bulls and 2017 CavaliersSource: Basketball-reference.com 2017Cavaliers51-29+3.4TBD1566TBDTBD 1983Lakers58-24+5.1Lost Finals16051606+1 2015Spurs55-27+6.3Lost 1st Round17331721-12 1980SuperSonics56-26+4.2Lost 2nd Round16391614-25 2016Cavaliers57-25+6.0Won Title16421759+117 1992Bulls67-15+10.1Won Title17691762-7 2011Lakers57-25+6.0Lost 2nd Round16591624-35 2006Cavaliers50-32+2.2Lost 2nd Round15621564+2 1995Rockets47-35+2.3Won Title15311665+134 The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been any good lately. And I don’t just mean their loss Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, in which they became only the third team in NBA history to blow a 26-point fourth-quarter lead. They’re 12-13 since the All-Star break. They have one of the NBA’s worst defenses, having allowed 107.9 points per 100 possessions — in the same territory as the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks. They haven’t won a road game against a Western Conference playoff team all season. But handicappers think LeBron James and company have a pretty good chance of winning their second-straight NBA title anyway.Their view depends on their belief in the existence of Playoff LeBron, a superhero that transcends his already-formidable regular season form to carry his team to ever-greater heights. The good news for Cavs’ fans is that Playoff LeBron exists. He just might not be mighty enough to drag this team to a title.On the basis of their regular-season record and point differential, this season’s Cavs have been in the same general vicinity as teams such as the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz. Those teams are variously 30-to-1 to 100-to-1 longshots to win the title, according to Vegas bookmakers. But the Cavs are nonetheless the second-favorite team to win the championship, with a 20 to 25 percent chance according to bookmakers.Computer systems disagree. All of them have the Warriors as odds-on favorites to win the title, with the San Antonio Spurs as the next-best bet, and the Cavs as part of an undistinguished mass of teams beneath them. ESPN’s BPI puts Cleveland’s chances at just 4 percent. Basketball-Reference’s playoff odds also have them at 4 percent. And FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based ratings1In this article, I’m mostly ignoring the difference between Elo ratings and “CARM-Elo” ratings, which are Elo ratings adjusted for our pre-season CARMELO projections. Our forecasts are based on Carm-Elo ratings, but the Cavs’ Elo rating is 1566 and their Carm-Elo rating is 1562, so this makes little difference at this stage of the season., which heavily weight recent play, have them even lower at just 2 percent.Usually, Elo-type ratings mimic betting markets fairly well. We give the Warriors a 65 percent chance of winning the title, for instance, and the San Antonio Spurs an 11 percent chance — right in line with where markets have them. So what accounts for the huge difference on Cleveland?One explanation is that this is all just sort of irrational: the Cavs are a marquee team and bettors just can’t stomach the idea that they’re just the Raptors with better uniforms. But I’m not sure I totally buy that; NBA betting markets are usually fairly sharp.Instead, bettors expect the Cavs to find a higher gear in the postseason. This isn’t an idea they just came up with; it was already priced into their assessment of the Cavs before the year began. At the start of the NBA season, FiveThirtyEight’s projections forecast the Cavs to win 57 regular-season games. (They have 51 now, so they’ll finish with no more than 53 wins.) That forecast was almost the same as what Vegas gave them, which put their over-under at 56.5 wins. But we also gave the Cavs only an 11 percent chance of winning the title whereas Vegas put them at 5-to-2 against, or a 29 percent chance. In other words, handicappers and the computer models agree on “regular-season Cavs.” It’s just that Vegas thinks that “playoff Cavs” are different — and much better — whereas our Elo ratings make no such distinction.But is there good reason to think that Cleveland can turn it up a notch?It’s not hard to recall examples of defending champions that lollygagged their way through the regular season, only to show up as the best version of themselves in the playoffs. In 2000-01, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers finished with a 56-26 record — better than the Cavs this year, but not by that much — before winning 15 of 16 playoff games and repeating as NBA champion. And Hakeem Olajuwon and the 1994-95 Houston Rockets finished at 47-35 before winning the title despite being the No. 6 seed. In his last season in Miami, James and the 2013-14 Miami Heat had an uninspired regular season, going 54-28. But they made the NBA finals before losing to San Antonio.I’ve done a bit of cherry-picking there, however. Overall, it’s not clear if defending champs overperform by much in the playoffs. In the table below, I’ve looked at every defending NBA champion since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976-77. If the “higher gear” theory is correct, then they should systematically beat Elo’s expectations in the postseason, in which case their Elo ratings will rise over the course of the playoffs. On average, however, these teams’ Elo ratings increased only from 1644 to 1658 during the playoffs.2This average excludes the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls, the only NBA champion since the merger to miss the playoffs. So there’s a little something there, but in Elo terms, that’s pretty minor — not much more than a rounding error.3An Elo rating of 1644 is equivalent to 55.5 regular season wins in an 82-game season, while an Elo rating of 1658 is equivalent to 56.7 wins. 2010Cavaliers61-21+6.5Lost 2nd Round17011646-55 YEARTEAMRECORDPOINT DIFF.PLAYOFFSSTARTENDDIFF. 2008Cavaliers45-37-0.3Lost 2nd Round15061562+56 2015Cavaliers53-29+4.4Lost Finals16311692+61 2014Heat54-28+4.2Lost Finals15811604+23 2009Celtics62-20+7.4Lost 2nd Round16931653-40 16351669+34 1978Trail Blazers58-24+5.9Lost 1st Round15581551-7 YEARTEAMRECORDPOINT DIFF.PLAYOFFSSTARTENDDIFF. James’ teams have made the playoffs 11 times prior to this season. And they’ve played really well, both in absolute terms and relative to their regular-season performance. James and the Cavs did have a disastrous postseason in 2010 — when, as the No. 1 overall seed, they lost to the Celtics in the second round — but that’s pretty much the only exception. On average, they’ve gained 34 Elo points from the start of the playoffs to the end. And over James’s past six postseasons, they’ve outperformed their regular-season ending Elo rating by an average of 55 points.So let’s say that Elo has the Cavs’ underrated by somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 points. Call that a “LeBron clutch factor” or whatever else you like. I asked my colleague Jay Boice to add 50 Elo points to the Cavs’ Elo rating and rerun our playoff simulations. Their championship odds rose … but only to 6 percent.Instead, you have to add about 150 points of Elo rating to get the Cavs’ odds in the same vicinity as Vegas has them.4With a 150 Elo-point boost, the Cavaliers’ NBA title probability would be 21 percent. That’s a lot. Elo sees the Cavs’ current level of performance as equivalent to a 48-34 regular-season record. Add 150 Elo points to that total, and they’d project to a 62-20 regular season record. That’s a 14-win gain — about what you’d get from adding someone like Kawhi Leonard or Anthony Davis to the roster.Have no doubt: I’d love to plunk some money down on the Cavs at the odds our forecast and the other computer models give them. Playoff basketball is a pretty different specimen from regular-season basketball, and our model isn’t doing anything to account for that. This is something for us to examine for future iterations of the model, even if the Cavs get bounced in the first round.But I also wonder if the bookies aren’t going too far in the other direction. There are plenty of defending champions — and James-led teams — that underwhelmed in the regular season before going on to win a title or at least reach the finals. But few of them underperformed as much as the Cavs have. They also tended to benefit from down periods in the league, as the 1994-95 Rockets and 2000-01 Lakers did. This year, the Cavs will have to get past the Warriors, who might be even better than last year’s 73-9 version5The Warriors’ point differential is better last year’s — and the fourth-best in NBA history — and they have Kevin Durant., or, failing that, probably the Spurs.Nor will the Cavs’ enter the postseason with much rest. Instead, as the East’s No. 1 overall seed has been up in the air between the Cavs and the Celtics, James has averaged 43 minutes per over the team’s last five games. Kyrie Irving has gotten only two days off since the All-Star break. Kevin Love has played heavy minutes despite missing time in February and March due to knee surgery.James has beaten expectations so many times in the playoffs that transcendent things are almost expected from him. If he leads the Cavaliers to another title this year it really might be his greatest accomplishment yet.
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