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Michael Jordan or Lebron James?

Using mathematics to analyze who is a “better” player By: Dr. Ikjyot Singh Kohli It seems that nowadays one cannot escape the never-ending debate of “Who is better? Michael Jordan or Lebron James?” The situation is made worse by organizations like ESPN that have endless debates on their various shows combined with releasing lists of […]

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What if Michael Jordan Played in Today’s NBA?

By: Dr. Ikjyot Singh Kohli It seems that one cannot turn on ESPN or any YouTube channel nowadays without the ongoing debate of whether Michael Jordan is better than Lebron, what would happen if Michael Jordan played in today’s NBA, etc… However, I have not seen a single scientific approach to this question. Albeit, it […]

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Basketball – A Game of Geometry

In a previous post, I described the most optimal offensive strategy for the Knicks based on developing relevant joint probability density functions. In this post, I attempt a solution to the following problem: Given 5 players on the court, how can one determine (x,y) coordinates for each player such that the spacing / distance between each […]

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Breaking Down the 2015-2016 NBA Season

In this article, I will use Data Science / Machine Learning methodologies to break down the real factors separating the playoff from non-playoff teams. In particular, I used the data from Basketball-Reference.com to associate 44 predictor variables which each team: “FG” “FGA” “FG.” “X3P” “X3PA” “X3P.” “X2P” “X2PA” “X2P.” “FT” “FTA” “FT.” “ORB” “DRB” “TRB” […]

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Optimal Positions for NBA Players

I was thinking about how one can use the NBA’s new SportVU system to figure out optimal positions for players on the court. One of the interesting things about the SportVU system is that it tracks player coordinates on the court. Presumably, it also keeps track of whether or not a player located at makes […]

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The Three-Point Shot Myth Continued…

I’ve been ranting a lot about the so-called “value” of the three-point shot in “modern-day” basketball. I know! But, here is yet one more entry. The common consensus is that teams are shooting more three point shots as discussed in the articles below: http://www.businessinsider.com/nba-three-point-shooting-2016-3 http://www.nba.com/2014/news/features/john_schuhmann/11/07/history-of-the-three-point-shot/ http://nyloncalculus.com/2016/03/08/three-pointers-and-skill-displacement/ There are several more where these have come from. […]

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Basketball Chicago Bulls Data Analytics Data Science Mathematics NBA NBA Playoffs Sports Statistics

New Paper on Machine Learning and Basketball

A new and formal paper of mine describing how one can use machine learn methodologies to help determine which NBA teams will make the playoffs is now online:  arXiv link SSRN link Have a look!   

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Basketball Chicago Bulls Data Analytics Data Science education Mathematics NBA NBA Finals NBA Playoffs Science Sports Statistics Uncategorized

Stephen Curry and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf?

As usual, Phil Jackson made another interesting tweet today: Never seen anything like SCurry? Remind you of Chris Jackson/ Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a short but brilliant run in NBA? — Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) February 28, 2016 And, as usual received many criticisms from “Experts”, who just looked at the raw numbers from each players, and […]

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Basketball Chicago Bulls Data Analytics Data Science Mathematics NBA NBA Playoffs Sports Statistics

What Do NBA Playoff Teams Have in Common?

I’ve been interested for some time on figuring out an analytical way to determine what characterizes an NBA team as a playoff team. Looking at the previous six seasons, I pulled together almost 65 different statistics that characterize how a team plays, and then performed a classification tree analysis. I found the following result:    […]

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Basketball Chicago Bulls Data Analytics Data Science education Mathematics NBA NBA Finals NBA Playoffs Sports Statistics Toronto

The Three-Point Shot Delusion

The vast majority of NBA analysts claim today that the NBA has changed. It has become more fast-paced, and there is a significantly greater emphasis on teams attempting more three point shots. The evidence for this is the repeated recital of the fact that over the last number of years, the average three-point attempt rate […]