The Nuggets Were Supposed to Lose Last Night, But Emmanuel Mudiay Happened

Emmanuel Mudiay hit a ridiculous buzzer-beater to beat the 76ers last night. How did it all look mathematically?

If you've followed the NBA with numberFire Live, then you know how win probability works. At any given point in a game, a particular team, based on what's happened in history and how that team is likely to perform, is given a probability to win the game. If they continue to do bad things, that probability drops. If they keep hitting shots on their way to getting a big lead, their win probability rises.

The key word here, though, is "probability" -- the most likely of outcomes.

In sports, the most likely doesn't always happen.

Take last night, for example. With 3.1 seconds to go, the Nuggets trailed the 76ers by 2. After inbounding, Emmanuel Mudiay got the ball. And then this happened:

The ridiculously fortunate shot obviously sealed the game.

And it defied the odds. Prior to the inbound, the Nuggets had just 11.53% odds to win the contest. While that number may seem higher than expected, keep in mind that it's not as though Denver had milliseconds left to take the shot. Still, the odds were certainly stacked against them.