Optimizing the Best NBA Expansion Team

Assuming league recovery post-COVID-19, an expansion team (or more) in the NBA feels like more of a “when” than an “if”. Growing team valuations, marketable superstars, and worldwide interest has turned basketball into the sport of the future, and there are plenty of places that could use a squad (looking at you, Seattle).

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Making the Switch: Which Starters Should Come Out of the Bullpen?

All MLB pitchers were starters at one point in their careers.

Growing up through Little League, college, and the Minor Leagues, anyone who is eventually good enough to pitch in the majors was likely the superstar ace of most of their previous teams. However, at the highest of levels, many pitchers have to make concessions to their new reality – the fact that they may be better served – and better serve their teams –  coming out of the bullpen as relievers.

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Visualizing the NBA’s Trend Toward Positionless Basketball

The NBA has transitioned into a somewhat positionless sport. As the years have gone by, more and more teams have continued to employ lineups that don’t contain centers, or utilize point forwards that guard the paint but facilitate the offense. Players have been thought of less and less as “shooting guards” or “power forwards” and more and more as “wings” or “bigs”. We wanted to visualize this massive change in play style by using data science methods to compare the play style of the current NBA to that of the NBA in the 1980s. Through unsupervised learning, we were able to see how the clustering of player data by position has changed over time, and what that says about how the play style of the league has evolved.

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Left Side, Strong Side – JD Davis & Jeff McNeil

Jeff McNeil and JD Davis are two of the best hitters in baseball.

Hyperbole? You say maybe. I say no.

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An Ode to Mook

Raise a glass.

An ode. A toast, if you will. To Marcus Morris, one of the most respectable yet disrespectable, elating yet frustrating players that have ever played a half-season for the New York Knicks.

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The (Mostly Positive) Early Returns for RJ Barrett

After such a humilating offseason, the New York Knicks need any semblance of hope. They’re currently 1-6 and battling a slew of concerns for this season and beyond. However, they’ve taken solace in the early returns from their #3 overall draft pick in RJ Barrett.

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When Winning 100 Games is Failure – The New York Yankees and What They Say About Baseball Today

In 127 years of Major League Baseball, 21 teams have won at least 100 games at least two years in a row. The 2018-19 New York Yankees are one of those teams.  And consider this: As the decade comes to a close, no team won more games than the Yankees. They won 921 – 57 more than the team’s chief rival, the Boston Red Sox; 100 more than the San Francisco Giants. And 150 games more than the Houston Astros.

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Atlantic Division Preview: Last Year’s – and Potentially This Year’s – NBA Champs

Welcome to the sixth of the Corner Three 2019-2020 NBA division-by-division season previews. In each of these previews, we use RJ Garcia’s player-by-player ratings (based on on/off metrics and career trajectory) and per-game minutes projections (taking into account potential minutes lost to injury) to project overall team quality for the upcoming season. RJ and Derek Reifer also provide their own analyses and commentary to provide any context and additional insights.

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Central Division Preview: The Bucks (Kinda) Run it Back

Welcome to the fifth of the Corner Three 2019-2020 NBA division-by-division season previews. In each of these previews, we use RJ Garcia’s player-by-player ratings (based on on/off metrics and career trajectory) and per-game minutes projections (taking into account potential minutes lost to injury) to project overall team quality for the upcoming season. RJ and Derek Reifer also provide their own analyses and commentary to provide any context and additional insights.

Continue reading “Central Division Preview: The Bucks (Kinda) Run it Back”