How to Write a Mainstream Speech on Analytics

Sloan is in effect, and sadly Patrick and I won't be in attendance. That means if you see Arturo you owe him three drinks instead of the requisite one! There is a YouTube Channel up so those of us at home can kind of follow along. While every year I get hopeful Sloan will provide the platform for quant thinking to break through, I often end up discouraged. It turns out there's a dance to doing "mainstream analytics." Here's a recipe I've cooked up should you ever need to do a speech on analytics that appeals to the masses.

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The "Easiest Way" to get a Big Three

We've discussed the methods title teams use to get their top player. It turns out the "they find them in the draft" myth was found wanting. As some astute readers pointed out, title teams often need multiple good players. So we expanded our net and looked at how teams acquired their core three players. And again, we find that the draft may not be the only place to look.

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The "Easiest" Way to Win a Title

A common meme among the sports sphere is that you need an elite player to win a title in the NBA. This is where conventional wisdom matches the stats quite well. Historically, a team without a top talent has little to no shot at a title. A related meme is that the best way to acquire such a player is through the draft. This is why teams tank, and why non-protected high draft picks are so coveted. This is where reality and conventional wisdom diverge.

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The Boxscore Geeks Show: Paul Shirley Returns!

Paul Shirley's back to discuss the NBA trade deadline, the defunct Short Corner Podcast, and more "inside the NBA" stories.

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The Perils of On/Off Numbers

As Dre and I have talked about on the air, on/off statistics are poor indicators of an individual's impact on the game. The primary reason is that there are large number of confounding variables...like the four other players who share the court with any given player, and the many other players who might replace that player when they are off the court.

I'll try to illustrate this with an extreme example. Imagine that an NBA team held a contest, and the winner of that contest got to start at shooting guard for the team. Now imagine that I won that contest.

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