basketball

33 posts
FiveThirtyEight launches new NBA metric for predications

FiveThirtyEight has been predicting NBA games for a few years now, based on a variant of Elo ratings, which in turn have roots in ranking chess players. But for this season, they have a new metric to predict with called RAPTOR, or Robust Algorithm (using) Player Tracking (and) On/Off Ratings: NBA teams highly value floor spacing, defense and shot creation, and they place relatively little value on traditional big-man skills....

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Exploration of players’ shot improvement in the NBA

Wondering whether if a player’s shot improves over the course of his career, Peter Beshai shows shot performance for all players from the 2018-19 season: To understand whether or not a player actually gets better over time, we need some kind of baseline to compare their current performance against. On Shotline, the baseline is set after a player completes their first season in the NBA and has shot at least...

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Simulation of fan emotions during a basketball game

During a game, the range of emotions can vary widely across a crowd. Will Hipson, making use of some emotion dynamics, simulated how that range can change through a game: What I’m striving to simulate are the laws of emotion dynamics (Kuppens & Verduyn, 2017). Emotions change from moment to moment, but there’s also some stability from one moment to the next. Apart from when a basket is scored, most...

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Using statistics for basketball efficiency

Ivana Seric is a data scientist for the Philadelphia 76ers who tries to improve player effectiveness by analyzing tracking data. Aki Ito for Bloomberg: I really want to see the relationship of winning and teams who more deeply follow statistics. Is it at a place yet where this actually helps or is still more about gut and heart? Tags: basketball, Bloomberg

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Sprawlball, an in-depth look into the evolution of modern basketball

If you’ve seen a basketball shot chart in the past few years, it was probably made or inspired by the work of Kirk Goldsberry. Coming from a cartography and data visualization background, Goldsberry applied his skills to basketball data, and he has a new book called Sprawlball. It tells the story of how this modern era of shooting threes at high volume came to be. Come for the charts: Stay...

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Sprawlball, an in-depth look into the evolution of modern basketball

If you’ve seen a basketball shot chart in the past few years, it was probably made or inspired by the work of Kirk Goldsberry. Coming from a cartography and data visualization background, Goldsberry applied his skills to basketball data, and he has a new book called Sprawlball. It tells the story of how this modern era of shooting threes at high volume came to be. Come for the charts: Stay...

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Damian Lillard’s Game-Winner in Context

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers hit a crazy game-winner the other night. The game was tied, the clock was winding down, and Lillard pulled up from a thousand feet away for the win. Lillard’s straight-faced reaction was as good as the shot. Here’s how that shot matches up with all of the other threes Lillard has made during his playoff career: Just nuts. The R code, in case you’re...

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Does the first to 100 points usually win in the NBA?

Los Angeles Clippers commentator Ralph Lawler has a saying: “First to 100 wins. It’s the law.” The Los Angeles Times checked the numbers to see how true the statement is. It’s been true for over 90 percent of games over the years, but has become less true as pace and the three-point shot has changed dramatically in recent years. Now it’s more like first to 114. Tags: basketball, Los Angeles...

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High school basketball players who make it to the NBA

Right in my wheelhouse, Russell Goldenberg and Amber Thomas for The Pudding looked at where top high school basketball recruits end up in the NBA (if they’re drafted at all). I like how you get the distributions at each level and the path of each player. The distributions build using animation, which is something I’ve been interested in as of late. Tags: basketball, high school, The Pudding

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Goodbye, Mid-Range Shot

There's a space on the basketball court called "mid-range." It's actually not off-limits. In fact, people used to shoot these so-called "mid-range" shots. Read More

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