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 Post subject: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:12 pm 
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I'm in the middle of learning about a wide variety of advanced stats in the NBA and I wanted to create a thread for everyone to discuss advanced stats in baseball, basketball, hockey (now), etc.

In the NBA, advanced stats are based around +/- and possessions. They're an attempt to calculate how much better your team is with you on the floor vs. you off the floor. Through regressions and statistical modeling, it's supposed to adjust for the effect of your teammates and opposition. The other quasi-advanced stat is situation. Every player's movement is now tracked on the court, so we know how well players do in pick and roll situations, driving to the basket, etc. These aren't really advanced stats, but they can often be more interesting. If you know your team needs someone who can create his own shot one-on-one, then you can pull up those stats.

I'll post stuff as I find them. Obviously baseball has had the biggest history with it, which is logical--offensive plays are discrete. The NBA is more fluid. I'm interested in learning about hockey since hockey is probably the most context dependent of any of the four major North American sports.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:31 pm 
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Do you know the biggest differences in how the PER, Win Shares and VORP stats on basketball-reference.com? There's oddly wide variance in some cases and I'm not sure what that reflects.

Obligatory:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:54 pm 
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yeah there are a lot of great NBA stats that aren't really "advanced", just simple numbers but for people with an appetite for analysis that is more in-depth. but the most ultra-specific something is, generally the sample size becomes more problematic. and a lot of times, the more specific numbers just reinforce what we already know. i thought all those passing stats would be really awesome, and it turns out just looking at assists per game tells you a lot. its not perfect, and i still like the idea of looking at a points-per-assist attempt stat, or something similar (which i think you posted something similar recently, but i didn't check it out yet).


anyway, the Mt. Rushmore of basketball stats for public use used to be: basketballreference.com, mysynergysports.com, NBA.com, and 82games (a distant fourth). but synergy shut down its public site. at this point, reference and NBA.com are the kings, but the ESPN +/- stuff is really interesting.


i still take the Bill Simmons approach to statistical analysis with basketball. give me the data and let me sort through it, rather than giving me an equation that spits out one number in the end. i like PER as a sort of "basic productivity meter", to tell me who is accumulating quantifiable basic stats. but i don't take it as anything more than that. i still think the points per play numbers at synergy were some of the most useful, but only if you really really looked at the sample size.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:53 pm 
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monga18 wrote:
Do you know the biggest differences in how the PER, Win Shares and VORP stats on basketball-reference.com? There's oddly wide variance in some cases and I'm not sure what that reflects.

Obligatory:
Image


PER is frankly not a very good stat. I hardly use basketball-reference anymore since NBA.com beefed up its stats. ESPN's +/- based stats have a better backing. But in general, stats per 100 possessions are more useful than stats--especially as possession stats become more accurate (based on actual touches that contribute to the result and not just an estimate of touches).

pave wrote:
yeah there are a lot of great NBA stats that aren't really "advanced", just simple numbers but for people with an appetite for analysis that is more in-depth. but the most ultra-specific something is, generally the sample size becomes more problematic. and a lot of times, the more specific numbers just reinforce what we already know. i thought all those passing stats would be really awesome, and it turns out just looking at assists per game tells you a lot. its not perfect, and i still like the idea of looking at a points-per-assist attempt stat, or something similar (which i think you posted something similar recently, but i didn't check it out yet).


Sample size is definitely problematic in all stats. For example, it takes ~750 3Pt FGAs for the shooting percentage to stabilize. That's not saying they need that many attempts to reach the peak of their shooting, but that on average it takes that many attempts for 3Pt% to be a useful stat for evaluation. There's too much statistical variation based on luck when the sample isn't that big. To put that in perspective, that's more than any player has ever taken in a season. Source.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:03 pm 
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not sure how much ill be able to contribute to this thread but mmm it should be fun to read and learn


can a brother find like K%+ for pitchers? i'd really love to see league adjusted strikeout rates.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:10 pm 
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Learning's good. We could all learn things.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:50 pm 
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Nate Silver on how analytics applied to sports in particular precedes and will advance the use of analytics in understanding real world (political, economical) issues: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/12317383/sports-nerds-too-easy


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:10 pm 
Does anyone have any stats for how many times a center farts in a quarterbacks face when they're getting ready to hike the ball per game? (Would prefer a split between times it was a joke/times it is a sign of blatant disrespect)


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Easy. Subtract interceptions (INT) from total snaps (TSn); the remainder is joke farts (JFx) and the interception total is diss farts (DFx)


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Ranking every team based on their commitment to big data.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:38 pm 
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how did I know instantly without a doubt that the Phillies would be last


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:56 pm 
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glad I am a west coast fan of the NBA so I don't have to entertain myself with advanced basketball stats


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Comfort_Eagle wrote:
how did I know instantly without a doubt that the Phillies would be last


Because they're terrible at it. They finally hired a stats person (even while remaining largely hostile to the idea) and that technicality may put them over the Marlins. If only their scouting was good enough to excuse not fully exploring all options, but their drafting hasn't been all that good and at least evaluating high school players is one area where advanced stats aren't quite as useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:58 pm 
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I like this quote from that ESPN article

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The Lakers infamously had the only NBA front office without a rep at the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, and their old-school approach hasn't progressed much. Exhibit A: signing a 35-year-old coming off an Achilles tear to a two-year, $48.5 million extension.


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Stats Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:03 pm 
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:lol:


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