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…

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…

How Safe is an NBA Lead in the 2016-17 Season

Here is an update on how safe an NBA lead is for the 2016-17 NBA Season. Last season, we found that the Bill James’ bound was violated twice in the 2015-16 NBA season. This year, the bound was violated one time: January 4th, 2017 by the Miami Heat against the Sacramento Kings. The same Sacramento…

Analyzing Steals in the 2016-17 NBA Season

Over the 2016-17 NBA regular season there were a total of 18950 steals. This amounted to roughly 15.4 steals per game; effectively 7.7 steals per team per game. Over the 236,547 possessions in the NBA last season, this amounted to 8.0111% of all possessions ending in a steal. Think about that for a second. Roughly…

Rebounding Rates: Good for Teams; Bad for Players

Pop Quiz: Who are the top ten rebounders in the NBA for the 2016-17 NBA Season? If you said… Andre Drummond DeAndre Jordan Hassan Whiteside Rudy Gobert Karl-Anthony Towns Dwight Howard Anthony Davis Russell Westbrook Marcin Gortat DeMarcus Cousins … you might be right. These are the players that have the most rebounds for the…

Applying Tensors to Find Optimal Match-Ups in the NBA

A common methodology for NBA analysts to develop a metric that quantifies scoring ability of a player through the position a player is put in when taking a shot, and the association of a closest defender when the shot is taken. Some such metrics are kernel density plots of field goal percentages on the court, assist adjacency matrices, measure…