Offensive and Defensive Ratings

The terms offensive rating and defensive rating refers to the amount of points scored by a team and by the team’s opponents, respectively, over 100 possessions. The normalization to 100 possessions allows for the ability to compare teams as pace of games can skew points per game comparisons. Both ratings are still considered box score…

Defensive Ratings: Estimation vs. Counting

Defensive rating, a box score calculation, is an estimation procedure that attempts to identify the points per 100 possessions that an NBA player yields in a game. In this calculation, a player’s defensive rating is effectively eighty percent of their team’s defensive rating plus twenty percent of defensive points per scoring possessions when on the…

Using Random Forests to Forecast NBA Careers

Consider, for a moment, being a General Manager for an NBA team that is faced with determining the number of years for a player contract. The problem seems simple: a team requires a certain skill set that a player possesses and they would like to know for how long a player would be able to…

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…

Is the NBA Draft Lottery Fixed? A Statistical Analysis of 1994 – 2017.

“The New York Knicks, with their first pick, select Patrick Ewing of Georgetown,” called out David Stern in the 1985 NBA draft. A draft that has since been heavily debated for three-plus decades as being the epitome of the NBA draft being “rigged” or fixed. Discussion about bent corners of envelopes, all the way to…

The Real 2017 NBA Draft Lottery Odds

With the NBA recently announcing the tie-breaking procedures, we finally obtain the draft orders up to the first three spots, decided by the lottery. That is, after the first three teams are selected, the remaining eleven spots of the draft lottery are in order of tie-broken winning percentages. If the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New…

NBA Power Rankings – December 6th Edition

This past week, 53 NBA games were played. After Toronto sky-rocketed to the top of the Atlantic Division with a 3-0 run, they proceeded to go 1-3 over this week. Similarly, Oklahoma City went winless 0-2 after a 4-0 week and Cleveland posted an 0-3 run. San Antonio again went 3-1 to continue their sustained…

NBA Power Rankings – November 22nd Edition

This past week 44 NBA games were played as we continued to watch the Golden State Warriors push to a 14 – 0 start; matching the best start to a season for a defending NBA Champion since the Boston Celtics from the 1960’s. Similarly the Philadelphia 76ers continued to have a rough start to the…