# Warping Play Registration

Synergy: Breaking Down Field Goal Types With the creation of Synergy, the basketball world gained valuable access to previously hard-to-obtain data on all field goal events in the league. One of the biggest introductions was the “primary defender” tag on field goal events. With play-by-play data, when a player drives to the basket or attempts…

# 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…

# True 2019 NBA Lottery Odds

Every year the NBA draft lottery takes place in May and every year websites race to get up probabilities of which team has the probability to get a certain spot within the lottery. Many times, unfortunately, these sites forget about trades and instead of conveying the probabilities to the truth, the trades are instead wasted…

# The Randomness of Ratings

Fresh off a Boston Celtics sweep of the Indiana Pacers, across Twitter phrases of “Remember that the Boston starters were -3.5 Net Rating for the series” piped up. The implication was that the Boston starters should have lost the series, and the most common rumblings came about the depth of Indiana’s bench costing them the…

# The “80 Point Club”

Whenever we talk about scoring in the NBA, typically the the conversation points towards heroic scoring feats such as Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game or Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game. Or Wilt Chamberlain’s 78 point game… Or Wilt Chamberlain’s pair of 73 point games… or Wilt Chamberlain’s 72 point game. Of those other spurious 70+…

# From the Ground Up: Points Scored

The end goal for all basketball analytics is to gain wins. In order to gain wins, a team must score more points than their opponent. It may seem like a completely obvious and yet, vague statement; but this is the reality: how does this “newfound” intelligence gain wins? In sports, if this intelligence is proprietary,…

# An Example in Kullback-Leibler Divergence

Consider the following table: This is Kevin Durant‘s percentage of field goal attempts, aggregated by specific distance for the first two seasons of his career. This table gives some information, indeed, however does it really paint the picture of where Durant takes his shots? More importantly, are we able to make proper decisions about the…

# For the Love of 3: Columbia to Houston via China, Angola and Iowa

On February 7th, 1945, basketball was introduced to a new novelty that wouldn’t take hold for at least another 35 years: the three point line. In a game between Columbia University and Fordham University, Columbia head coach Howard Hobson, while on sabbatical from Oregon University (a couple years after winning the inaugural NCAA tournament), proposed using…

# Stop Rate

In a recent game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons, the Bucks employed their typical switch, slip, and show match-up zone defense to clog the paint and swat shooters off the perimeter en route to a 115-105 victory. The methodology is fairly straight forward: On the perimeter, try to slips guards and drop…