Learn how probability, math, and statistics can be used to help baseball, football and basketball teams improve, player and lineup selection as well as in game strategy.

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From the course by University of Houston System

Math behind Moneyball

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Learn how probability, math, and statistics can be used to help baseball, football and basketball teams improve, player and lineup selection as well as in game strategy.

From the lesson

Module 6

You will learn how two-person zero sum game theory sheds light on football play selection and soccer penalty kick strategies. Our discussion of basketball begins with an analysis of NBA shooting, box score based player metrics, and the Four Factor concept which explains what makes basketball teams win.

- Professor Wayne WinstonVisiting Professor

Bauer College of Business

Okay, in this video,

we're going to discuss some more advanced metrics in addition

to effective field goal percentage that was discussed in the last video.

Here's the website where you can find them.

John Hollinger you probably know invented the per rating system,

player efficiencer rating, which we'll discuss later in the course.

And he's now a Vice President, I believe, of player personnel for

the Memphis Grizzlies but we still see his stats on ESPN.com.

So let's go through these for the 2014, 2015 season,

because they're very interesting and they're referred to a lot, even on TV now.

Okay so pace is how many possessions per game, per team.

So, Golden State averages about 101 possessions per game.

They seem to shoot the ball almost before they come up the court.

While in contrast, Utah averages 93 possessions per game and

so, that's about eight more possessions in a Golden State game,

per team, than in a Utah Jazz game.

Now, why that's important is looking at points per game given up,

it's not the right way to measure defense.

Golden State, I believe,

is 15th in the league in points per game given up in the 2014, 2015 season.

Okay, but if you look at points per possession, per hundred possessions,

that's what these two columns are.

So Golden State scores 109.7 points per 100 possessions,

a tad below the Clippers for second best.

But even though they were 15th in the league in points given up,

because they have a lot of possessions,

they're actually number one, I believe, here in defensive efficiency.

They give 98.2 points per hundred possessions.

Okay, and Milwaukee, surprisingly, props to Jason Kid on that,

Memphis not surprisingly and San Antonio are below 100 points per possession there.

Per hundred possessions given up.

So Golden State is the second best offensive team, and

they're the best defensive team, if you look at points per possession given up.

But if you look at points given up, they're only 15th.

So that's why you really have to look at that.

Now, below here we have an explanation for all this stuff.

Assist ratio is percentage of the possessions that ended in assists.

And again, Golden State's pretty good at that.

The Knicks are pretty bad at that,

Philadelphia is horrible at assisting, moving the ball around.

Okay, turnovers,

percentage of possessions that end in turnover, you don't want this to be high.

Okay, Philadelphia is really bad at this,

sixteen turnovers per set of possessions end in a turnover.

While for Toronto, they take good care of the ball,

12 possessions out of 100 end in turnover.

This is percentage of offensive rebounds the team gets.

In other words, when they miss a shot,

what percentage of the time do they get the rebound?

And defensive rebound.

When the other team misses a shot, what percentage of time do you get the rebound?

Which is very important, obviously, to do that.

And REBR is Rebound Rate, percentage of

missed shots that the team basically, gets.

Over 50% is good.

Phoenix is not that good a rebounding team.

The Knicks are not that good a rebounding team.

Utah is a very good rebounding team with the Stiple Tower,

who really turned out to be a great player this year as we'll see later and

really keep the Jazz the second half of the season.

I think they're on track to become a much better team.

We talked about effective field goal percentage, but what is TS?

Well, TS sometimes stands for something else, but here it stands for

True Shooting Percentage.

It's what the team's shooting percentage would be,

if you included free throws in there.

And so what you do is you take total points times .5, divided by

the denominator is an estimate of shots, plus possessions used by free throws.

So you can look at every NBA game and you have a dependent variable which is number

of possessions used that ended in free throw attempt.

And you try and predict that from free throw attempts, you roughly get

that 44% times your free throw attempts will give you number of possessions

that free throw attempts used, because a lot of times you get two free throws.

And so the numerator here would be the points on

field goal attempts plus the points on free throws.

So in other words it's good to get fouled.

And you'll see total shooting percentage is invariably going to be higher

than regular shooting percentage and here,

Golden State leads by a wide margin, 57.1%.

Okay.

Very few teams are below 50% when you include free throws.

But Charlotte and Philadelphia seem to be the worst on that.

Okay, so that's a description of some advanced metrics.

And this total shooting percentage is really a good metric

of how good your offense is, how good you are at scoring the ball when

you've got a possession, excluding what happens on turnovers.

Okay, because every time you throw the ball away,

you're giving the other team the ball and your possession doesn't give you a shot.

But these advanced metrics, particularly the offensive efficiency and

defensive efficiency are really crucial, and

they're making their way even into the TV broadcast.

Plenty of announcers this year said Golden State is the best defensive team,

but ten years ago, nobody would have said that,

because they looked at the points given up.

So I think that's a good introduction to the Hollinger metrics, okay,

which are very important.

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