Parity in the NBA

November 12, 2019

Going into this NBA season, there has been a lot of talk about how much more evenly matched the league has become. With the departure of Kevin Durant from the Warriors, the leaps and bounds made by the Clippers over the offseason, and the general improvements made by many of the league’s least successful teams, there seems to be much more parity than there was in the previous year. The…

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NBA Preseason: Predictive or Pointless?

October 23, 2019

With the NBA preseason coming to a close, it may be time to actually start watching. At least, that’s what those of us who paid little attention to the preseason match-ups may tell ourselves. Yeah, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George might have got us all excited when they joined the Clippers, but that was months ago, and the NBA regular season has so. Many. Games. But did we lazy fans…

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Usage Rates

June 27, 2019

What is the relationship among usage rating, minutes per game, and  games played per season for the twenty most highly rated usage NBA players over the last five seasons?  Our hypothesis was that higher usage rating will lead to higher minutes played and more games played.  However, we thought that players with a high usage rating will rarely play a full 82 game season due to increased vulnerability to injury….

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Dream Job: Q&A with David Kaplan, Basketball Operations Analyst, San Antonio Spurs

February 13, 2019

On Thursday January 24th, basketball operations analyst for the San Antonio Spurs, David Kaplan, paid a visit to Davidson’s campus to speak to the ‘Cats Stats group about his work and experience in sports analytics.Kaplan graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 with a degree in biological chemistry. He began working for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2014 before working as first a quantitative analyst/systems developer and later manager of basketball…

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Rudy was Snubbed!

February 5, 2019

Every year, hundreds of basketball commentators, writers, and fans discuss the deserving NBA players left out of All-Star honors. Unfortunately, the All-Star vote (with 50% of the vote coming from fans) routinely appears to be more of a popularity contest and a selection of stars from big-market teams. This year provides a perfect case. Klay Thompson of the world champion Golden State Warriors and popular star Russell Westbrook were both…

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Basketball’s Perfect 10

August 13, 2018

What is a perfect game in basketball? We all know about the perfecto in baseball and perfect 10 in gymnastics. Even the NFL’s passer rating metric has a maximum value. But is there a way to quantify that a player had a flawless game in hoops? Do they need to make every shot? A pitcher does not need to throw entirely strikes to pitch a perfect game, neither does a…

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Feeding LeBron

June 29, 2018

Phones pinged like 3-point attempts in the playoffs. LeBron James informed the Cavs that he would decline his option and, indeed, become a free agent. Where could the King fit in his quest to sit atop the NBA championship? While LeBron can take a team far, we saw this season that the road, while possibly long in the post-season, is one that, to LeBron’s dismay, might ultimately have a Golden…

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Injury Impact in the NBA

June 11, 2018

Led by Davidson’s own Stephen Curry and Finals MVP Kevin Durant, the dynastic Golden State Warriors completed the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007 over LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers. The decisive victory showcased both the star power and depth of this juggernaut team over a James- led Cavs squad with minimal other effective role players. The arsenal of weapons the Dubs had at their disposal this series was tremendous, which begs…

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Hustling for a Stat

January 23, 2018

In basketball, you often hear of players that have the “intangibles” or a “knack for the ball.” Some might not fill up the box score with points, rebounds, and assists, but still get consistent playing time because they help the team. Shane Battier, Duke Blue Devil legend, is the most famous example. He did not always have the stats to back his minutes on the court. However, he played in…

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