These articles start with some philosophy on how to use statistical thinking in basketball, and then take you through articles where I demonstrate how I use these kinds of concepts to analyze teams and players.

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  1. A Roll of the Dice, Part 2
    Scouting beats stats, but scouting plus stats beats anything else. What’s the right way to make front office decisions? There’s actually a science to it. The second in a three part series about the draft.
  2. A Roll of the Dice, Part 3
    If you’re not thinking about risk when you’re thinking about the draft, you’re missing something key. On Giannis, youth, and uncertainty vs. risk. The third and final part in this three part series about the draft.
  3. The Whole is Greater than the Sum
    Why Robin Lopez, Mike D'Antoni, and a game played on beaches should change the way we discuss fit — and sports in general.
  4. Sloan's Evolution
    What the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is — and what it is not. On the evolution of a conference and an industry, and the tensions it's now experiencing.

Team Evaluation

  1. Will the Lakers Make the Playoffs?
    Previewing the Lakers’ season isn’t just about figuring out what they might look like. It also provides a lesson in prediction.
  2. Will the Lakers Make the Playoffs? A Review
    A look back at the Lakers' season through the lens of preseason predictions—especially my own.
  3. Is the Magic Real?
    The Orlando Magic are 5-2, but how seriously should we take them? And what does answering that question tell us about early season results in general?
  4. A Stormy Start
    The Oklahoma City Thunder have the record of a mediocre team but the point differential of a very good one. Which matters more? And what does it tell us about the Thunder's future?
  5. The Panic Button
    Are the Rockets doomed after their slow start? Let’s see what the math says.

Player Evaluation

  1. 2017-18 Questions: Plus-Minus Machines
    Part three of my questions for this coming season: will the plus-minus machines keep humming? On how to think about plus-minus metrics, and the players that will test our conclusions this year.
  2. 2017-18 Answers: Plus-Minus Machines
    Four players who excelled in plus-minus stats switched teams before last season. What did we learn from their performance?
  3. Stat of the Week: Jokic's D
    Analyzing Nikola Jokic's defensive statistics reveals a fundamental challenge in player evaluation.
  4. Worth His Weight
    How Robert Covington went from waiver-wire castoff to a solid-gold defender.
  5. The Other Side of the Ball
    Lonzo Ball's rookie year was a disappointment—on offense. But his defense tells a different story.
  6. Passing the Torch
    Carmelo Anthony has left the Big Apple and the Knicks are now Kristaps Porzingis' team. But there’s one important way that Porzingis is following in Anthony’s footsteps — and it's not good.
  7. Outside the Box Score
    Is Andre Drummond a good defensive rebounder? The answer is more complicated than you might think, and requires us to examine the nature of rebounding itself.
  8. Bridging the Gap
    Why did Miles Bridges draw so few free throws? And how much does it matter? A detailed stats and film breakdown provides one hypothesis, and one approach to thinking about free throw stats.
  9. First-Year Frustrations
    How much do we learn when a rookie struggles?