Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out

Discuss any and all sports-related topics. From the College Sports to Baseball and everything in between. LANGUAGE RATING: PG-13
Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Sat May 04, 2019 9:24 am
  • https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ho ... t-forever/

    Every year, NBA players take about 200,000 shots. Each season, 30 teams combine to play 1,230 games, and at the end of the regular season, you can bet the sum total of shots taken will be very close to 200,000. In the hands of a cartographer, a season’s worth of this shooting data is a veritable treasure trove of information. But here’s the thing: In the first decade of this century, there weren’t many cartographers working in the NBA league office or for analytics departments in any of the team front offices.

    Back then, basketball analytics was still in its infancy; it was all about spreadsheets and linear regression, not spatial and visual reasoning. Still, whether the league knew it or not, by adding these little spatial references to their game data, basketball analytics was about to become a lot more than spreadsheets. Things like data visualization and spatial analyses were going to be very important.

    Unfortunately, there weren’t many folks with those skills working in pro basketball, and even though countless analysts had access to all the data the league was collecting — including all of the shot data — nobody was applying a spatial treatment. Nobody was mapping the NBA.

    When I first got my hands on these massive haystacks of shooting data, I was teaching cartography at Harvard. I’d found a way to retrieve five seasons’ worth of shooting data from the web, and I built a database that included over 1 million NBA field-goal attempts, who shot them and where they shot them from. As an analyst, I knew there was amazing intelligence waiting to be revealed within the database. As a mapmaker, I was confident I could visualize some of it in cool new ways. And as a huge NBA fan, I couldn’t wait to see the results.



    So Kirk Goldsberry wrote a thing and it speaks to the changes in the NBA. One thing that I love is how something like cartography, something one might not think about when it comes to science ("You are in the science of maps? How is that useful" a nitwit would say) is integral here. Anyone else see this and excited to give it a read?
    mrt144
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Sun May 05, 2019 5:02 am
  • Shooting data for 3 pointers and how to increase them?
    IndyHawk
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Mon May 06, 2019 3:44 pm
  • IndyHawk wrote:Shooting data for 3 pointers and how to increase them?


    I mean, it's obviously more than that but yes, that is front and center in the book.
    mrt144
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Wed May 08, 2019 3:09 pm
  • Time out... Basketball analytics has not evolved past spreadsheets; A shot map is a visual representation of the data inside a spreadsheet. I know they loosely reference that in the article, but it's kind of misleading. They are basically saying, being able to visualize data has changed how we see it, which only tells us how bad people in the NBA were with numbers. It would be like knowing how to solve a quadratic then seeing one graphed and thinking 'wait a minute, the vertex is in the middle?' or 'did you guys realize that x^2 makes a perfect square'.

    Good for you NBA, I'm glad you finally realized that guys shoot better from different areas of the court.
    knownone
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Wed May 08, 2019 5:02 pm
  • knownone wrote:Time out... Basketball analytics has not evolved past spreadsheets; A shot map is a visual representation of the data inside a spreadsheet. I know they loosely reference that in the article, but it's kind of misleading. They are basically saying, being able to visualize data has changed how we see it, which only tells us how bad people in the NBA were with numbers. It would be like knowing how to solve a quadratic then seeing one graphed and thinking 'wait a minute, the vertex is in the middle?' or 'did you guys realize that x^2 makes a perfect square'.

    Good for you NBA, I'm glad you finally realized that guys shoot better from different areas of the court.


    I fully expect you to pick up the book and break down chapter by chapter how this is all old hat.
    mrt144
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Wed May 08, 2019 6:45 pm
  • mrt144 wrote:
    knownone wrote:Time out... Basketball analytics has not evolved past spreadsheets; A shot map is a visual representation of the data inside a spreadsheet. I know they loosely reference that in the article, but it's kind of misleading. They are basically saying, being able to visualize data has changed how we see it, which only tells us how bad people in the NBA were with numbers. It would be like knowing how to solve a quadratic then seeing one graphed and thinking 'wait a minute, the vertex is in the middle?' or 'did you guys realize that x^2 makes a perfect square'.

    Good for you NBA, I'm glad you finally realized that guys shoot better from different areas of the court.


    I fully expect you to pick up the book and break down chapter by chapter how this is all old hat.

    lol. I'm sure there is a lot of great content in the book I would enjoy, and it's interesting how things have evolved from an analytics stand point over the years. I'm not trying to poo-poo it or anything, it's interesting, well-written content. It just blows my mind they weren't doing any of this stuff until relatively recently when they've had the data. The media paints it as if it's some kind of statistical, Silicon Valley style, revolution when it's just simple math and common sense.
    knownone
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Thu May 09, 2019 7:43 am
  • knownone wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    knownone wrote:Time out... Basketball analytics has not evolved past spreadsheets; A shot map is a visual representation of the data inside a spreadsheet. I know they loosely reference that in the article, but it's kind of misleading. They are basically saying, being able to visualize data has changed how we see it, which only tells us how bad people in the NBA were with numbers. It would be like knowing how to solve a quadratic then seeing one graphed and thinking 'wait a minute, the vertex is in the middle?' or 'did you guys realize that x^2 makes a perfect square'.

    Good for you NBA, I'm glad you finally realized that guys shoot better from different areas of the court.


    I fully expect you to pick up the book and break down chapter by chapter how this is all old hat.

    lol. I'm sure there is a lot of great content in the book I would enjoy, and it's interesting how things have evolved from an analytics stand point over the years. I'm not trying to poo-poo it or anything, it's interesting, well-written content. It just blows my mind they weren't doing any of this stuff until relatively recently when they've had the data. The media paints it as if it's some kind of statistical, Silicon Valley style, revolution when it's just simple math and common sense.


    It blows my mind as well and why I am so interested in it - where are the blind spots in different things and why do people avoid revealing them sometimes and how do you get people on board once its out there? I see a lot of this in my job where we have some tools and some information but no desire to explore it more or even do some common sense things with it. As much as it might boggle the mind that basic changes in data presentation can influence people, I see that at my job all the dang time...and it hurts! :lol:
    mrt144
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Thu May 09, 2019 11:45 am
  • The NBA died to me in the 90's when Charles Barkley went to the free throw line over 40 times vs. the Sonics. I haven't watched a minute of it since and never will.

    If you want to watch real sport watch the Stanley Cup playoffs.
    Largent80
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Thu May 09, 2019 12:34 pm
  • I will be watching the Stanley Cup playoffs alongside a bunch of other sports including the NBA. I just like sports and games, period and the advancement and evolution and solving of certain questions is of great interest as I want to design a game or two before I expire.
    mrt144
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Re: Book about NBA Evolution Coming Out
Thu May 09, 2019 1:55 pm
  • mrt144 wrote:
    knownone wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    knownone wrote:Time out... Basketball analytics has not evolved past spreadsheets; A shot map is a visual representation of the data inside a spreadsheet. I know they loosely reference that in the article, but it's kind of misleading. They are basically saying, being able to visualize data has changed how we see it, which only tells us how bad people in the NBA were with numbers. It would be like knowing how to solve a quadratic then seeing one graphed and thinking 'wait a minute, the vertex is in the middle?' or 'did you guys realize that x^2 makes a perfect square'.

    Good for you NBA, I'm glad you finally realized that guys shoot better from different areas of the court.


    I fully expect you to pick up the book and break down chapter by chapter how this is all old hat.

    lol. I'm sure there is a lot of great content in the book I would enjoy, and it's interesting how things have evolved from an analytics stand point over the years. I'm not trying to poo-poo it or anything, it's interesting, well-written content. It just blows my mind they weren't doing any of this stuff until relatively recently when they've had the data. The media paints it as if it's some kind of statistical, Silicon Valley style, revolution when it's just simple math and common sense.


    It blows my mind as well and why I am so interested in it - where are the blind spots in different things and why do people avoid revealing them sometimes and how do you get people on board once its out there? I see a lot of this in my job where we have some tools and some information but no desire to explore it more or even do some common sense things with it. As much as it might boggle the mind that basic changes in data presentation can influence people, I see that at my job all the dang time...and it hurts! :lol:

    That's fair. I have an obvious bias because I work in a data science related field, and my least favorite part of the job is representing data in a way that makes sense to people who don't have at least some foundational knowledge of statistics or even algebra. It is problematic because the representation often gives them a false sense of understanding when they don't understand the data it represents.

    100% agreed, it's hilarious how simple presentation can have a massive impact on how people interpret and value the information you are giving them. You can test this theory pretty easily, make a sign that says '32 days since the last Shark attack' with a small caption at the bottom that says 'worldwide', and put it in front of a freshwater lake. Suddenly, people are hesitant to go in the water even though the data they've been given is irrelevant, and the probability of such an event taking place is extremely low.
    knownone
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