Comparing NBA Stars to their Statistical Contemporaries: An Application of Machine Learning

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry reacts after making a 3-point shot against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Warriors won 106-94. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It’s human nature to compare, and nowhere is that tendency more present than with sports. We have an almost debilitating dependency on analyzing players by comparing them to others. And well, if we’re gonna do that, may as well do it in as informed a way as possible. Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

Continue reading

Advertisements

On Analytics, the Hip Hop Era, and the Return of Basketball

Tannehill

Did you know Ryan Tannehill’s box score from last Sunday pegs him as roughly the greatest quarterback in NFL history? He went 18 of 19 for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns. The NFL world was abuzz over him setting the record for most consecutive completions. On the flip side, did you know that 248 of those yards came after the catch? Tannehill himself only technically threw for 34 yards on 19 attempts. That’s an obscene amount of screens and flares and quick slants. It’s also emblematic of what has started to separate the NFL from the NBA.

Continue reading

Clutch City Once More

150518114601-james-harden-dunk-home-uni-vs-clippers-051815.1200x672

Update: This article was originally published for the Houston Chronicle on May 18, 2015. The Rockets ended up falling to the Warriors next round, still sad face.

We’ve got to hold on, to what we’ve got. It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for love. We’ll give it a shot. 

“Oh we’ve got to hold on, ready or not. You live for the fight when its all that you’ve got. Whoa, we’re halfway there, whoa, livin’ on a prayer. Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear, whoa, livin’ on a prayer.”

Bon Jovi

Continue reading

On Tacos and Beyoncé: The Definitive James Harden MVP Guide

110314-SW-NBA-James-Harden-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.37

Update: This story was originally published in the Houston Chronicle on April 10, 2015. Harden did not win MVP, sad face. 

True story- Microsoft Word has Beyoncé in its spell check database to make sure that we plebeians get the accent mark right. When spell check has got your back, you know you’ve made it big. Incidentally, Beyoncé has a poignant line in “Drunk in Love” – We woke up in the kitchen, saying ‘How the hell did this shit happen?’ MVP voters, don’t let that be you. Don’t wake up in the kitchen with Steph Curry thinking how you let James Harden’s 2014-2015 pass you by, unrewarded

Continue reading