Stat Exploration: Modeling Field Goal Percentage

With the release of player shotlogs, providing a variety of information on every single shot during the season, there’s a lot of potential for studying field goals. One area of interest is how the proximity of the closest defender affects the conversion rate of the shot. Then, building on some insights there, how can we […]

NBA Week 2 in Review: Is It Time to Panic?

As teams have a few games under their belts, wild projections are being made based on paltry three-game winning streaks and a few surprising wins — or losses. People don’t know if it’s time to panic and a little patience here to led the season unfold would ease concerns. Take last season, for instance. Toronto […]

Stat Exploration: SportVU Data

A few years ago, some mathematically-inclined minds decided to tackle the NBA and mine its secrets — we’ve seen industry after industry taken over by numbers, at least partially, and sports was next. One disciple of Bill James, the father of sabermetrics in baseball, gave everything in the box score a value, summed it together, […]

NBA Week 1 in Review: Welcome Back, NBA

As the sports world is obsessed with the return of Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant from injuries and LeBron’s new team, a few storylines have gone under the radar. There have only been two or three games for most teams, but a few observations are noteworthy — and we have some new toys from SportVU, […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: San Antonio Spurs

Historically, the Spurs title last season is an important beacon in the time of the super-team and all-stars joining forces. It was a true ensemble squad with no one averaging more than 17 points per game or 30 minutes where the only all-star and all-NBA player was Tony Parker, who probably wouldn’t have earned those […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland as a city hasn’t won a major sports championship in half a century. But LeBron’s back. He’s somehow made Cleveland a top destination. As tough as his title runs were in Miami, this will be his most interesting test. He’s been on a mythic journey so far as a hometown hero and so-called “chosen […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Los Angeles Clippers

No team could be happier with new ownership. The Clippers are now a legitimate franchise with two superstars, one they even drafted, and a stable of useful supporting guys and a solid coach. They’re due for yet another high 50’s win season, and the future is bright. Now all they have to deal with is […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Index

NBA predictions are made by crazy people who believe they can actually tell the future, full of twists and turns like injuries and emergent players. As such, even the best set of predictions will be partly awful at the end of the season — who saw Phoenix coming last year? Let’s not forget that. Here’s […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Chicago Bulls

Cautious optimism: welcome to the 2015 season for the Chicago Bulls. After a few years of waiting for Rose to come back, it may finally be time. With the lack of contending teams in the east, the basketball world needs them to be competitive for pure symmetry and for a more exciting set of playoff […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder

Lightning strikes the plains. The darkness, for but a brief moment, has vanished. As the storm moves in, we await the coming thunder. But there’s nothing yet. How near? How long will we wait? Then, in the back of our minds, we wonder if this was a fabrication, a complete phantasm of light, and the […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Toronto Raptors

Toronto set a franchise record in wins — one win better than what they had in the Vince Carter era and one win better than what they had in the Bosh era — and with steady, wise management from Ujiri the future is still bright. With the rewritten history books, Charlotte was given its Hornets […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Portland Trail Blazers

After years of toiling through a Jail Blazer era and the collapse of the Brandon Roy-Greg Oden team, Portland broke through with a trip to the second round thanks to an all-star season from Damian Lillard and a starting lineup that clicked immediately. Forgotten was Portland’s rich history with the sixth best winning percentage among […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Miami Heat

Inertia is a powerful tool in the NBA. Even with all the forces at play, stars usually make boring decisions and stay with their teams or sign a contract with the highest bidder. But LeBron turned heads and signed with Cleveland, leaving Miami confused and apoplectic. It’s the dawn of a new era, but at […]

2014-15 NBA Preview: Golden State Warriors

The Warriors haven’t had this kind of consistent success since the days of Rick Barry in the 70’s, and the fans have been tortured long enough; they deserve this, regularly being one of the loudest arenas in the league. Turning down Kevin Love, Golden State is riding their current core, all following the coattails of […]

2014-15 NBA Previews: Washington Wizards

There has been little wizardry in Washington over the past few years. The Arenas-Butler-Jamison core failed, and Arenas went into a tailspin. Washington got so bad they were granted the first pick, and finally after a few tries they made it to the post-season. After paying premium to make it there, there’s a question of […]