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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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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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.

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Southeast Division Preview: From Salary Capped to Salary Floored

Welcome to the fourth 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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Pacific Division Season Preview: Not Just the Battle of LA

Welcome to the third 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 “Pacific Division Season Preview: Not Just the Battle of LA”