From Analytics

Why NBA Playcalling Matters: A Defensive Masterclass in Foiling ATO’s

Earlier this week, we published a piece on the surprising analytic findings surrounding after timeout (ATO) situations. The data points show a slight shift favoring the defenses in these situations, despite the offense having the opportunity to reset in a specific and patterned manner under the coach’s direction. Thus, it’s more difficult to score after…

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Does NBA Playcalling Matter? ATO Analytics Tell a Strange Story

Those who follow me on Twitter (shameless plug) are likely familiar with the affinity I have for X’s and O’s. Basketball’s set plays are an incredible form of human manipulation: leading an individual to do something they believe is in their best interest when it really isn’t. The best plays both target an individual to…

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Analytics Predict Positive Changes for These NBA Teams in 2019-20

Caution: The following includes overall plus-minus and lineup analytics to color optimism about the upcoming season. Put this power into the wrong hands and those conclusions can be drawn incorrectly. An over-emphasis on lineup statistics and metrics can lead to seeing players as the sole reason their lineups performed poorly, which is never the case.…

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PODCAST: Seth Partnow on NBA Team-Building, Analytics

In this episode of The NBA Podcast, Bryan Toporek (@btoporek) and special guest Seth Partnow (@SethPartnow) of The Athletic discuss NBA team-building in the player-empowerment era and basketball analytics. Do teams need to shorten their planning windows with players on the move so frequently? How has the discourse around analytics changed over the years? Which…

Let’s Squash the Mid-Range Jumpers Debate, Shall We?

All the Denver Nuggets need is one stop to have a chance. The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, need one more score to give themselves some breathing room. It’s amazing the Blazers are even in this game, much less leading. Damian Lillard has been flinging bricks all day, and his Blazers trailed by nearly…

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The Truth About NBA Playoff Lineups

The Hamptons Five—Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green—is the most prominently named lineup in NBA history, if not the only one that really deserved a name. Most five-man lineup combinations live anonymously and then die the same way, their fate sealed because there really was nothing special about the combination.…

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Be Careful About Your Favorite NBA Playoffs Argument

We’re in the playoffs, and that isn’t just the highlight of the NBA season, it’s peak fallacy season as well. The heightened meaning of each game’s outcome means more attention is put on every play, with results-driven narratives dominating the conversation. Context matters even more in the playoffs, however. Yet, nuance, rather than being the…

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Detroit Pistons Let You Shoot 3’s While They Win

The league’s best perimeter defense was being wasted by the Detroit Pistons. Impressive as their three-ball-killing was, it couldn’t compensate for sluggish, inefficient offense. So, they made a change: scrap the defense. And it’s working. By shifting the defensive focus from the perimeter to the interior—and the offensive focus from the interior to the perimeter—Detroit…

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