# Understanding Trends in the NBA: How NNMF Works

Over the past decade a true emphasis on three point shooting has emerged. This can be credited to the understanding of effective field goal percentage being a better underlying parameter for points per field goal attempt than raw field goal percentage. And it’s become an emphasis for some top-tier teams such as the Houston Rockets.…

# Second Chances and the Rebounding Specialist

A tried-but-true strategy in pick-up (and grade school) basketball is the “dump-and-chase” offense. This offense takes as many jumpers as possible, regardless of capability, fully knowing that the team can either out-hustle their opponent for rebounds; or they have a behemoth of a rebounder on their team. As players become older, or more technically sound…

# An Absurd and Effective Way to Combat Tanking and Make the Playoffs Insane

This post is long overdue, and you may completely disagree with everything I am about to lay out; but hear me out: Here’s a way to beat up tanking, redistribute the lottery system for the NBA Draft, and make the playoffs a little more intense. When the new probability structure came out for the NBA…

# 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…

# Computing in the Stream: Schedule Compactification

When we learn about computational mathematics, software engineering, or data science in general, one of the most important questions we have to answer is how many operations are required. The answer isn’t to show the prowess of our algorithm, but rather identify how quickly the algorithm can perform. We need to know if the answer…

# Usage and Efficiency

The usage of an NBA player consists of the number of chances a player takes out of the possible chances a team has when that player is on the court. A chance being the number of possessions that can result in a scoring possession. The higher the usage for a particular player, the more likely…

# Minnesota Timberwolves Offense: Stability, Screens, and Mid-range Game

As of the morning of November 19th, 2017, the Minnesota Timberwolves have found themselves at 10-5, atop the Northwest Division and third on the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors (12-4) and the Houston Rockets (13-4). In a recent match-up, the Timberwolves dispatched the San Antonio Spurs 98 – 86 in Minnesota. With the…

# Testing the Quality of a Binary Classifier: ROC Curves

Let’s suppose that we have a methodology for classifying players into Hall-of-Fame status. This methodology can be of any type: it can be a random forest that uses proximity matrices or it can be a simple measure that uses a threshold, such as Kidd Score. Either way, the result is the same: a certain number…

# Developing a Cross-Product Analytic: Kidd Score

In a recent podcast by Sixers Science, an analytic called the Kidd Score was unveiled. The goal of the analytic is to identify players who are great at two ancillary tasks: assists and rebounds. These two components are part of the big three statistical categories that make up the traditional triple double: points, rebounds, assists.…

# Distributional Analysis of Free Throws and the Denver Nuggets

In possession models and analytics such as RAPM, the ability to count free throws is crucial. Any miscalculation in computing free throws can result in an unintended dire consequence. In the case of a possession, a team’s possession may be calculated with bias and therefore comparing two teams using per possession stats becomes a flawed…