Thursday, October 24, 2013

Coming soon: More NBA data than you can imagine

It was recently announced that the NBA is partnering with a company that will record and release data for all of the games (similar to all of the MLB data that is currently available, such as pitch placement).  You can read the full article here.

The article mentions: "For the first time, all 29 of the NBA's arenas will have software-packed cameras that will record players' every move, mapping 25 images per second."  This is a ton of data, so I am sure that they will not be releasing all of the raw image/mapping data, but some summarized version, such as where on the court each shot came from.  Here are a few statistics that I would love to see made available:

  • Number of times a ball is dribbled per game.
  • Number of times a player travels but no call is made.  I'm thinking about fast breaks where players take 4 steps without a dribble.  It would also be cool to see this breakdown by player/team.
  • The arc of each free throw shot.  For a given player (this will vary a lot between players), how consistent are their arcs, and how well can you predict if a free throw is made or missed based on its arc?
  • The distance that each player runs during a game.  
Leave a comment if you have any other ideas.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Getting a shoutout from Sports Illustrated

After writing my last post arguing that women should not blindly challenge calls more often in professional tennis, I sent a quick summary to Jon Wertheim at Sports Illustrated.  It sounds like he appreciated my side of the argument, as he published part of my response in his weekly article.  Pretty cool!