Foul up 3 or Defend?: Analyzing late game strategy

Decisions at the end of basketball games often decide the outcome. There are many difficult choices to be made with shot selection, pace, defensive style, and more. However, basketball teams and coaches may not be maximizing their win probability based on their choices. In this article, I will look at the win probabilities of 3 … Continue reading Foul up 3 or Defend?: Analyzing late game strategy

Generating NBA Archetypes Using K-Means Clustering

The NBA commonly uses five positions to group players: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. However, today's NBA is becoming increasingly position-less. Instead, teams care more about the specific skills and tendencies of players when making lineups. This has led to the need to create new grouping for players. One way … Continue reading Generating NBA Archetypes Using K-Means Clustering

The Keys to a Successful NBA Defense

Most of NBA analysis is pointed towards offense. Popular stats like points, assists, turnovers, and shooting efficiency all evaluate offensive ability, while defensive stats are often neglected. However, a great defense can lead a team to a deep playoff run: in the last 5 seasons, 64% of the teams with a top 5 regular season … Continue reading The Keys to a Successful NBA Defense

Why NFL Teams Should Use Running Backs by Committee

As a football game progresses, players get more and more tired. While players are usually fresh at the beginning of a game, they are usually fatigued by the end after having played for hours. Even though we know that NFL players get tired as a game goes on, we do not know how their fatigue … Continue reading Why NFL Teams Should Use Running Backs by Committee

4th Down: How Aggressiveness Relates to Better Offensive Efficiency

Fourth downs are one of the most intense situations in all of football. A fourth down conversion or failure can change the outcome of a game. Just look at last week's Ravens vs Chiefs game, for example. The Ravens were faced with one of the most difficult decisions in football: go for a 4th & … Continue reading 4th Down: How Aggressiveness Relates to Better Offensive Efficiency

How the Jazz Blew a Chance to Force a Game 7 vs the Clippers

The Western Conference Semi Finals between the 1 seed Utah Jazz and the 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers was set up to be an entertaining series. The Jazz had the best record and net rating during the regular season, ranking in the top 4 of both offensive and defensive efficiency, while the Clippers were looking … Continue reading How the Jazz Blew a Chance to Force a Game 7 vs the Clippers

Isolation Basketball: An Inefficient, yet Necessary Offense

It is the simplest play in the playbook. A player calls out: "Iso!" His other 4 teammates clear space for the player to go one on one against his defender in order to try to score a basket. Isolation basketball is a style that is popular among fans, allowing them to watch their favorite players … Continue reading Isolation Basketball: An Inefficient, yet Necessary Offense

Go For It?: A Guide to Optimal Fourth Down Decision Making

Two weeks ago, the Tennessee Titans faced off against the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC wildcard matchup, where one single play calling decision could have changed the outcome of the game. After Titans' quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw an incomplete pass towards tight end Jonnu Smith on 3rd & 2 from the Ravens' 40 yard line, … Continue reading Go For It?: A Guide to Optimal Fourth Down Decision Making