Categorizing 8 years of NBA offenses Much ink has been spilled over the NBA's analytics revolution, most of which has been focused on the consequences of teams fully realizing that 3 pointers are worth 150% as much as 2 pointers. I've previously looked at categorizing offenses from the 22-23 season with machine learning. The same… Continue reading Analyzing the NBA Offensive Revolution with Machine Learning
Finding the Best Pokemon Types A couple of years have passed since I used game theory to find the best Pokemon type, time I spent enjoying the vast riches that this discovery has brought me, sleeping soundly knowing that the world was safe from worrying about what Pokemon type is the best, as I had… Continue reading The best Pokemon type combinations according to game theory
Image from https://reason.com/2020/05/18/vermin-supreme-says-this-time-hes-serious/ While analyzing some approval voting election results, I came across a problem that I attributed at least partially to "junk candidates": candidates who, whether due to their radical political views, dearth of charisma, or general weirdness, can't realistically achieve substantial support. When approval elections featured lots of candidates, voters didn't vote for… Continue reading Four types of “junk” candidates and some thoughts on how to model them
In an age where old heads are complaining that every team plays the same (but anyone who watches games can tell you this is not at all true), I got to thinking about how many different types of offenses there really are in the NBA. I wondered, as any normal person would, "How well can… Continue reading Categorizing NBA Offenses with Machine Learning
The lottery balls bounce your team's way, and they jump to the 4th overall pick despite having had the 6th worst record. How much better off should you expect them to be because of their good luck? How much worse off would they be if they had dropped to the 8th pick? How much better… Continue reading How valuable is each NBA draft pick?
The NBA uses a variation of what is called a Borda Count voting system to select its MVPs, where voters (100 American and Canadian media members who aren't affiliated with teams) are asked to rank their top MVP candidates, and then those candidates are given points based on where they are ranked on each ballot.… Continue reading The NBA MVP voting system is actually good. Voter fatigue might make it better.
I was messing around, making some graphs with advanced stats from Basketball Reference's Advanced stats, when I noticed something interesting. Something remarkable. There are two ways you can give your team an advantage in possessions: you can force turnovers from the other team, or you can grab offensive rebounds. Players can excel at one or… Continue reading Tari Eason is an extra possessions savant
Game theory offers an excellent tool for thinking about game balance: the Nash Equilibrium. Nash Equilibria tell us how often players should pick each possible strategy in a competitive game if they are playing optimally. But there's a problem -- describing how different options (characters, civilizations, etc.) in a game perform against each other in… Continue reading A better way to measure game balance using game theory
Approval voting offers a simple solution to one of the most annoying problems in the Pick one #link voting system we use in most US elections: If you're ever stuck deciding whether to vote for one candidate or another, you can just vote for both. Do you like Al Gore and Ralph Nader? Vote for… Continue reading How to be a Smart Approval Voting Voter: An Approver’s Guide
NBA teams have gotten worse at drafting. I look into why and what this could mean for future NBA drafts.