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Archive for November, 2008

Going Streaking

10th November 2008

Through last night's games, the only undefeated teams in the league are the Lakers and the surprising Hawks (both 5-0), while the Clippers' win against Dallas means that the NBA's lone remaining winless team is the Gilbert Arenas-less Washington Wizards at 0-5.

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Posted in Trivia | 5 Comments »

The “Bullies”

7th November 2008

At first glance, former Rockets forward Matt Bullard appears to be an unlikely hero. Despite standing 6'10", Bullard weighed just 215 lbs. and seldom mixed it up inside at either end of the floor, instead opting to hang around the 3-point arc and spot up for catch-and-shoot opportunities. He hardly ever drew fouls because he didn't attack the basket, and if you saw him dribble the ball more than twice before either passing or shooting, it was a rare event. In other words, Bullard was the kind of player about whom my high school coach would have derisively said, "He plays smaller than his height."

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Posted in Trivia | 7 Comments »

Great Expectations, Part III

4th November 2008

That's right, it's all expectations all the time here. To refresh everyone's memories, on Friday we looked at a very simple way to set up preseason expectations for each team using a linear regression model with the previous season's SRS. Then, yesterday we took that same dataset and added team minute-weighted age as a variable, which helped to (marginally) improve the model's fit.

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Posted in General, SRS | 3 Comments »

Great Expectations, Part II

2nd November 2008

On Friday, in an effort to establish preseason "expectations" for each team, we built a very simple model for projecting future performance at the team level. We included both W-L records and SRS scores from the 5 previous seasons in a linear regression, and we discovered that in both cases the only past season that's significant at the 5% level is the year directly before the one we're trying to predict (year "Y-1"). We also found that past SRS scores (which are essentially average scoring margins, but adjusted for strength of schedule) better predict future W-L than past W-L do -- which just confirms what people like John Hollinger have been saying for a long time. Finally, using our regression model, we ranked the biggest positive ('08 Celtics) and negative ('99 Bulls) surprises in NBA history, and showed what the model predicted for the current season as well.

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Posted in General, SRS | 1 Comment »