How NBA Draft Lottery Probabilities Are Constructed

On September 28th, the NBA Board of Governors approved changes to the NBA draft lottery system. These changes were construed in an attempt to help avoid tanking in the league in an effort to maximize a respective team’s probability of obtaining a high draft pick. In part, this is not a bad effort as we…

Game Score: Focus on Scoring

While I’m on a flight between Albuquerque to Oakland, let’s take a quick glance at another advanced analytic: Game Score. Game score is a metric that was developed by John Hollinger (one of the Godfathers of basketball analytics) to quickly give a rough estimate of a player’s contribution to a game. If a player scores…

Hammer Offense: Mechanics and Quantification

If there was ever an evolution of basketball that led to present day NBA, it would be the transformation of the misdirection offense starting in the early 2000’s under Spurs’ head coach Greg Popovich. Leading the charge in reducing the number of low percentage shots, spreading the court through a series of flare screens, drags,…

BLUE Defense: Introduction and Analysis

One of the simplest offensive plays in basketball is the pick and roll. The philosophy is relatively straightforward, a ball handler waits to receive a screen from a teammate and reacts accordingly. If the teammate establishes position, gets low and wide, and makes proper contact with the ball handler’s defender, then the defense is forced…

Introduction to Oliver’s Four Factors

In 2004, Dean Oliver expanded upon his “Four Factors” philosophy from his 2002 book, Basketball on Paper, in an attempt to identify how four important strategies relate to success in basketball. These strategies are nothing new, as these were drilled into my head from coaches dating back to the early 90’s. The novelty of understanding…