# 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…

# 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…

# Kinematics of Player Motion

After a couple special topics posts in Sketching and Voronoi Tessellation, we take a step back and look at the basic mechanics of player motion: position, velocity, and acceleration. Understanding computation and estimation of such quantities allow us to perform more important calculations such as trajectories, coverage, and crashing. The easiest way to capture these…

# Measuring the NBA MVP Race and Solomon Hill

In two days, we will find out who is the NBA MVP: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook. Each player has their pros and cons, and have been heavily debated over the past month since the finalists have been listed. Despite Leonard leading the Spurs into the second best record in the league (61-21)…

# Markov Simulation: NBA Playoffs

With the NBA Playoffs set to get underway, we take a quick look at the probabilities for each team becoming the NBA Champions. Common consensus would place any combination of the five strongest teams: Golden State – Houston – San Antonio versus Cleveland – Boston. But the question is how likely? To answer that, we…

# NBA Data Science: Breaking Down NBA Data

Recently, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs played to a frenetic 112 – 106 OKC win on October 28th. It was one heck of a statement to open the year for the NBA as the Thunder returned to the court as a complete, healthy unit; the first time since February of last…