# Offensive Crashing

Back in high school, it behooved our team to “keep one man back” on offense. The thought process was simple, if the defense were able to get out into transition, our team would at least impede their progress towards the basket with the hopes of them settling into the half-court offense. Sometimes it worked. In…

# Manifold Nonparametrics: Which Way Do Passers Pass?

As a player traverses across the court, they break down and process every event that they see: the assertion of defensive players, the alignment of their teammates, and current state of the game. The ability to perceive all three components simultaneously is what I call court vision. It is one of the primary instigators that…

# Exercising Error: Quantifying Statistical Tests Under RAPM (Part IV)

In the Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM) model, one of the perceived challenges is understanding the error associated with the resulting posterior RAPM value a player receives. In a previous post, we noted that RAPM is a Bayesian model in which we assume that “player contribution” can be estimated through weighted offensive ratings conditioned on the…

# Considering Consistency of an Analytic

Warning: This is a lecture from one of previous statistics courses taught over the years. It will be theoretically heavy, but offers insight on some of the research process required for developing analytics. (End Disclaimer)   Thought Exercise: Perimeter Defense Whenever we develop an analytic to help describe the game, we typically have to ask three things.…

# Transitioning Turnovers: Case Study of Golden State and Toronto

In Dean Oliver’s Four Factors, we are interested in effective field goal percentage, offensive rebounding percentage, free-throw rate, and turnover percentage. If a team cannot dominate a couple of these categories, then it will be unlikely for that team to win. For instance, let’s consider effective field goal percentage. The Golden State Warriors have posted a .558 eFG% while limiting their…

# The Potential Assist

In a fairly comical article back in February 2018, Bleacher Report identified the League’s Least Valuable Shooters. In this article, Adam Fromal examined players around the league by extracting their field goal percentage from four particular zones on the court: 3-10 feet, 11-16 feet, 17′-3pt, and 3PA. Fromal would then calculate each player’s points per…

# Ranks and Percentiles

As of the morning of November 20th, the Four Factors line for the 7-9 Dallas Mavericks read off as follows: Effective Field Goal Percentage: 0.527 (8th in the league) Turnover Percentage: 14.4 (28th in the league) Offensive Rebound Percentage: 22.6 (18th in the league) Free Throw Rate: 0.22 (7th in the league) Opponent eFG%: 0.527…

# Crediting Assists: A Fairly Risky Method

A problem that was posed in Dean Oliver’s Basketball on Paper (2003) revolved around the way one can credit assists. In his book, Oliver laments the lack of data available for crediting assists and he begrudgingly uses the one-half rule: credit both the scorer and the assist man with one-half of the assist. However, in…

# Gravity: Introduction to Bodies

Back in 2014, STATS Inc. introduced the notion of gravity, which was explained by Kevin Pelton as a series of two measures: gravity score and distraction score. In Pelton’s explanation, gravity score measures the relative distance a primary defender strays from their offensive counterpart and distraction score quantifies the amount of attention that same defender…

# March Madness Bracketology: February 23rd Edition

As another three days have passed, only 76 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball games have been played. In total, 8 of the 76 games involved ranked opponents; one of which resulted in a #12 Miami 64 – 61 victory over #3 Virginia on February 22nd. With only seven days before the first Conference Tournament…