Many see sports as the ultimate “equal playing field” — where the same rules, regulations, and opportunities exist for all, where the best team will emerge victorious. This isn’t always the case.
We find the existence of a “home court advantage” across sports, where teams are more likely to win at home than away. This is especially true of the NBA, which has the largest home advantage of the four major American sports. …
Generally, I’ve found people don’t put too much thought into predicting the winner of the Most Improved Player award. It’s one of the least-discussed awards in preseason predictions, and gets left off of many lists entirely. When predictions are made, they’re often based more on gut feeling than anything else. And I don’t blame them. The award is not as obvious or easy to pick as MVP, not as flashy as All-NBA, not as important as DPOY.
In addition, MIP seems to be a narrative-based award, with an improvement in points being more important than anything else. You wouldn’t know…
It can be hard to accurately judge coaches (except Jason Kidd) when so much of a team’s on-court results come down to the talent of the guys that hustle up and down the hardwood for forty-eight minutes. One way we evaluate coaches is through the plays they run. But teams go through thousands of possessions over the course of an 82 game season, making it difficult to see in real time the way that minor differences in playtype frequency and efficacy add up to major differences in wins.
So I set out to visualize it, to simplify every NBA offense…
Teams with lots of movement and little defense tend to have faster, skinnier bigs (Mitchell Robinson, Anthony Davis, Dewayne Dedmon, WCS). For all the emphasis we place on these types of bigs, it seems intelligence on defense is signficantly more important (see Lopez, Gasol, Horford).
Also… holy hell Cleveland is lazy.
Miami, Denver, Orlando, and Memphis were clustered together. They all had good defenses with slower bigs, and didn’t have to move as much on defense. While Denver and Orlando ended up faltering in the playoffs, I found (using data from the last 4 years) no correlation between regular season…
Mike Breen’s voice rang out over televisions across America. “It’s over! It’s over! Cleveland is a city of champions once again! The Cavaliers are NBA champions!” (NBA). His excitement was not without merit: The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers had just come back from a 3–1 deficit to win the NBA finals (something that had never been before). Moreover, their win was over the Golden State Warriors, a team which that season had achieved the greatest record in NBA history, winning 73 games and losing only 9. It was the quintessential American sports story: a team of underdogs, defying all odds to…
On February 6th, 2019, the Clippers sent Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Clippers received Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and Landry Shamet, as well as the 76ers 2020 1st round pick, the Heat’s 2021 1st round pick, and two future 2nd round picks from Detroit.
In the deal, the Sixers got an All-Star caliber wing and much-needed bench help. Chandler, and Muscala hadn’t been much help on that front. Shamet was shooting well, but just a rookie, it was unclear he’d have any meaningful impact in the playoffs. But what about the…
The “hot hand” is a popular theory in basketball that has been believed, dismissed, refuted, and unrefuted a number of times . It holds that once a player makes a few shots in a row, they’re more likely to hit their next shot. Once they’ve had a few go in, they become “in the zone”, or, as it goes, “on fire.” It says, for instance, that if you make two shots in a row, you’ll be more likely to make your next attempt than you would if you’d missed your most recent attempt.
And it’s true, to an extent. According…
Here are some things we learned this year:
Mario Hezonja plays better with consistent minutes (and when he’s not hiding an injury) (Side note: Not sure why he’s failed in New York so far, unless he’s injured. It’s worth noting he’s shooting only 63% from the free throw line, despite being an 81% career shooter from the stripe. That’s a fairly controlled area, leading me to believe something might be off)
Let’s take some of the elite talent from the last decade of basketball and put them all on one team. Hmm. We can put Carmelo Anthony in there… Amare Stoudemire was amazing for a few years…Oh! And Dwight Howard! Can’t forget about him. Joakim Noah was a top 5 MVP candidate, so it’s not outrageous to say he deserves to be here. Let’s round it out with DeMar Derozan, a killer, and now, a Spur.
So that puts our lineup at:
Wait, no. Nononononononono.
You can take a…