Comparing West vs. East: If the NBA Playoffs Were Seeded Like the NCAA

Over the past couple decades, we have heard effectively the same complaint that the NBA’s Western Conference is simply too tough and that the Eastern Conference teams have it relatively easy. During the last decade, it’s the primary reason that people dismiss LeBron James’ run through seven consecutive NBA finals as a result of the…

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Measuring the NBA MVP Race and Solomon Hill

In two days, we will find out who is the NBA MVP: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook. Each player has their pros and cons, and have been heavily debated over the past month since the finalists have been listed. Despite Leonard leading the Spurs into the second best record in the league (61-21)…

NBA Finals: Review of the MCMC

Now that the Finals are upon us (finally!), let’s take a look back at the Markov Chain simulator that we built for this post-season, evaluate how we did, and take a look at the NBA Finals!   Round 1… 7 for 8 There were no surprises in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. In…

Identifying Player Possession in Spatio-Temporal Data

In a previous post, we took a look into some spatio-temporal data obtained through SportVU technology for the NBA and identified how to use that data to perform basic tasks such as building convex hulls to illustrate offense and defense coverage on a court; as well as provide basic Python code for the reader to…