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NBA Analytics article from Men’s Journal

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Men’s Journal in June 2015, called “The 4 Fallacies of NBA Analytics,” based on an interview with economist David Berri:

In recent years, basketball fans and writers have shed heavy pixels and ink on the ascendancy of geeks over jocks in pro sports. Heavy number crunching – complete with new stats and endless logarithms – have taken over the games we love.

And yet, according to one of the thinkers who sparked the statistical revolution, most NBA teams still don’t know squat about how to win with numbers. David Berri co-authored his now-classic Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport nearly a decade ago. His work has focused on understanding which statistics most impact the desired outcome: winning.

“Wins in the NBA are determined by possession factors,” Berri says. In other words, getting possessions by rebounding and keeping them by not turning the ball over. “And then your ability to turn the possession into points: your shooting efficiency.” Ergo, putting the ball through the hoop without missing many shots.

Reasonable enough. But decision-makers aren’t always reasonable. Here are four mistakes you can count on NBA general managers making every year:

Read the full article here.

 

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