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September 14, 2011

Stathead is Closing Down

Stathead is Closing Down

With apologies to our dedicted users, we’ve decided to stop publishing the Stathead blog. The blog just never generated the needed readership to be profitable, so we’ve decided to end the project and put our efforts into other projects.

Thank you to the readers who supported us. Thank you for the publishers for putting so much great content out there. And especially, thank you for Neil Paine, our intrepid users affairs maestro, who waded through hundreds of articles each week distilling them down to their essence.

If anyone cares to pick up the torch and run with this idea (or if you just want to get the articles for yourself), I’ve attached an OPML file from the list of RSS feeds we were using for this blog. Feel free to grab it and add it to your favorite RSS reader.

Stathead RSS Subscriptions in OPML format

September 8, 2011

August 29-September 8 Recap: While we were away… KnickerBlogger.Net assessed Mike Woodson’s ability as a defensive coach… Zach Lowe challenged Paul Pierce’s clutch rep… BP continued redrafting the NBA (see Rounds 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11) and kept us updated on the status of their books… ESPN pressed onward with their NBA player rankings… Tom Haberstroh compared LaMarcus Aldridge to a young Tim Duncan… Jason Friedman looked back at Hakeem Olajuwon’s 1990 quadruple-double… Ken Pomeroy introduced NCAA player similarity scores… Harlan Schreiber reflected on Gary Payton’s career and looked for the next Hall of Famer from each Atlantic Division franchise… Finally, Sebastian Pruiti analyzed why David Lee’s on/off-court rebounding impact is negative.

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August 29, 2011

Redrafting the NBA – Round Five: Picks #33-40 in BP’s NBA fantasy draft/player rankings.

Trade Partners: Basketball-Reference has added a Trade Partners feature that lets you find all-time trades between any combination of teams.

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August 26, 2011

When Will the Pistons be Good Again?: Sport Skeptic looks at how long it takes for a team to make the playoffs again based on their winning percentage. His findings support the theory that it’s better to be either really good or really bad — mediocre teams that were in between had the longest waits.

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August 25, 2011

Redrafting the NBA – Round Four: Picks #25-32 in BP’s effort to rank the NBA’s Top 96 players in fantasy-draft form.

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Andre Roberson: Ken Pomeroy extols the underrated virtues of Roberson, who plays for the University of Colorado and is rebounding/defensive beast.

NBA negotiations in a handy chart: TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott posted a neat graphic illustrating the offers made so far in the CBA negotiations.

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August 24, 2011

Best position for Aldridge is up for debate: SI’s Zach Lowe looks at lineup efficiency data to determine the best way for Portland to use LaMarcus Aldridge.

Redrafting the NBA – Round Three: Picks #17-24 in BP’s fantasy draft of current NBA players.

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August 23, 2011

Best and Worst Means Something Different for Each NBA Team: At the Wages of Wins Journal, David Berri writes about efficiency differential, looking at each team’s best and worst seasons by the metric since 1974.

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Redrafting the NBA, Round Two: Picks #9-16 in BP’s inaugural NBA player fantasy draft.

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Tracy McGrady’s Lost Season, 02-03: Hardwood Paroxysm’s Scott Leedy writes about T-Mac’s 2003 campaign, one of the most underrated all-time great seasons ever.

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Taking the Next Step – Derrick Rose ($): BP’s Kevin Pelton breaks down how D-Rose can improve going into 2012.

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August 22, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell on the NBA lockout: At Grantland, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the ‘psychic benefits’ of owning an NBA team, and why those can offset actual losses in the minds of some owners.

Redrafting the NBA: Rather than putting together a list of player rankings (like everyone else seems to be doing this offseason), BP’s staff will conduct a hypothetical draft of 96 NBA players… Here’s round one, picks #1-8.

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Fort Wayne Mad Ants Bring Sebastian Pruiti Aboard: Congrats to Sebastian Pruiti, who will be a member of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ basketball operations staff next season. His ability to combine traditional scouting with new metrics and video analysis is hopefully the new prototype for people being hired in basketball ops.

How much time does Duncan have left?: Zach Lowe looks at the history of big men in Tim Duncan’s current age range for clues about how much the Big Fundamental has left in his tank.

August 19, 2011

Taking the Next Step – Blake Griffin ($): Using Synergy data, Sebastian Pruiti of Basketball Prospectus breaks down the areas in which Blake Griffin can improve his game.

ACC Best at Recruiting: BP’s Drew Cannon looks at the best and worst major-conference recruiting classes since 2002.

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August 18, 2011

Some clarification of the Top 100 rankings: SI’s Zach Lowe resolves some of the confusion surrounding his player rankings.

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August 17, 2011

ESPN’s NBA Player Rankings: As everyone seems to be doing nowadays, ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking the top players in the NBA… #401-500 are here, and #351-400 is in progress here.

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Can Jason Richardson Bounce Back? ($): BP’s Sebastian Pruiti analyzes whether J-Rich can return to form after a trade-fueled down year in 2011.

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Highest Percentage of Games Started by Rookies: At BBR, Neil Paine lists the teams (since 1983) that gave the greatest % of their starts to rookies.

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August 16, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players (Nos. 1-10): At long last, the top ten in Zach Lowe’s Point Forward NBA player rankings.

Adjusting Playoff Stats Part III — 30 Post-Merger Stars: The latest from Back Picks on adjusting historical players’ playoff stats for the quality of competition faced.

Real minutes played: TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott writes about the leaders in “real” minutes played — that is, combined playoff and regular-season minutes. Beware hidden mileage!

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August 15, 2011

Defending Rodman: According to a Wages of Wins metric, Dennis Rodman had the two most productive seasons of any player since 1978.

Top 100 NBA Players (Nos. 11-20): We’re almost at the top 10 of Zach Lowe’s Point Forward player rankings.

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A Graphical Look at Turnovers ($): BP’s Dan Feldman plots how teams and players performed in terms of taking care of the basketball (or not) last season.

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August 12, 2011

Far-Away Games: BP’s Corey Schmidt asks whether playing in an foreign exhibition tour will impact a freshman’s playing time during the regular season.

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Today at the Wages of Wins…: James Brocato ranks the top teams from the original NBA Jam (* according to Wins Produced), and Patrick Minton questions the need for parity.

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August 10, 2011

Looking for a Stevens Effect: BP’s Nic Reiner-Parra and Corey Schmidt wonder if the age of 1st-time D-I coaching hires has decreased since Brad Stevens has experienced such success at Butler.

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Top 100 NBA Players (Nos. 21-30): SI’s Zach Lowe continues his ranking of the top 100 all-around NBAers at the moment.

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NBA Owners Do Not Understand Competitive Balance: At the Wages of Wins Journal, David Berri analyzes a statement from the owners that seems to be contradicted by recent league history.

August 9, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players (Nos. 31-40): The latest NBA player rankings from SI’ Zach Lowe.

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The Wages-of-Wins-iest Tandems: Andres Alvarez of The Wages of Wins looks at the top tandems at various combinations of positions, according to Wins Produced.

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August 8, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players (Nos. 41-50): More NBA player rankings from Zach Lowe and SI.

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Player Skill Rankings: At NBA Playbook, Sebastian Pruiti is using scouting, video analysis, and Synergy data to rank the NBA’s best at various skills. So far, he’s tackled pick & roll ballhandlers and post scorers.

August 5, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players, Pt. V (Nos. 51-60): SI’s Zach Lowe is halfway through his ranking of the NBA’s top players at this very moment.

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Half-a-season of NBA? Great idea!: Although admittedly not an NBA fan, Tangotiger has a point when it comes to randomness and the NBA… Pro basketball is so inherently deterministic that 32 NBA games is the equivalent of 162 MLB games in terms of W-L matching true talent levels, with the leftover 50 games amounting to little more than overkill. So an abbreviated lockout season would actually bring the NBA more in line with baseball and hockey when it comes to balancing drama with determinism in the standings.

A Southern League ($): At BP, Dan Feldman looks at the regions that NBA players hail from. It turns out the South has historically produced the most players dating back to the early 1960s, although the Midwest has come on strong in the 2000s.

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Top 100 NBA Players, Pt. IV (Nos. 61-70): Zach Lowe of SI’s Point Forward has the latest installment of his NBA player rankings.

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August 4, 2011

Attendance is Everything: Looking at BCS conference attendance in basketball & football, and adjusting for stadium capacities, BP’s Corey Schmidt determines which sport is more popular at which school.

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The Top 25 peak players (*according to wins produced): The Wages of Wins’ James Brocato ranked players’ peaks based on their 6 best Wins Produced seasons.

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Shooting Fouls Committed in the NBA in 2010-11: As a companion to yesterday’s post about 2011 fouls drawn, here’s Weak Side Awareness’ data on fouls committed in 2011.

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August 3, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players, Pt. III (Nos. 71-80): SI’s Zach Lowe continues his ranking of the league’s top 100 players.

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High School Recruiting Ranking vs. NBA Success: BBR’s Neil Paine looks at how often players of a certain high school recruiting ranking end up with a certain quality of NBA career.

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Shooting & Loose Fouls Drawn in the NBA in 2010-11: More foul data, courtesy of Weak Side Awareness.

August 2, 2011

Top 100 NBA Players, Pt. II (Nos. 81-90): Zach Lowe continues his ranking of the NBA’s top 100 players at SI’s Point Forward blog.

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The Last Playoff Ranking: At Wages of Wins Journal, Arturo Galletti ranks every playoff team relative to how they either lost to the Mavericks or lost to a team that lost to the Mavs.

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Top 100 NBA Players, Pt. I (Nos. 91-100): At The Point Forward, Zach Lowe plans to rank the NBA’s top 100 two-way players at this exact moment. He starts with # 91-100, as well as those who just missed the cut.

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Fouls Drawn/Committed in 2009 & 2010: Weak Side Awareness has been tracking foul data from recent seasons. Here are the numbers from 2009 (drawn/committed) and 2010 (drawn/committed).

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July 29, 2011

Taking the Next Step – Kevin Love ($): At BP, Sebastian Pruiti analyzes the areas in which Kevin Love needs to improve to build on his breakout 2011.

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Killing their Team: At the Wages of Wins Journal, Arturo Galletti writes about players who posted the worst Wins Produced numbers.

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Top 100 Aftermath: The BP crew discuss Drew Cannon’s list of the 100 best players in D-I college hoops.

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July 28, 2011

Fouls Committed in the NBA in 2007-08: Continuing the theme of foul data, Weak Side Awareness posted a list containing loose-ball, non-shooting, and shooting fouls committed by every player in the NBA in 2007-08.

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July 27, 2011

Boeheim’s Zone ($): At BP, John Gasaway tries to separate myth from reality with regard to Jim Boeheim’s vaunted 2-3 zone D.

Against the top NBA defenses, Derrick Rose was the tops: Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer writes about the fact that Derrick Rose ruled the top defenses in 2011.

Basketball on Paper WAR and the Best Peak Regular-Season Players Since 1978: BBR’s Neil Paine creates an NBA version of WAR using Dean Oliver’s stats, then ranks the players whose peaks were most impressive.

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Shooting & Loose Fouls Drawn in the NBA in 2007-08: Weak Side Awareness continues to bring the data — this time on fouls drawn in 2008.

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Trust and perception rule the legacy: TrueHoop’s Zach Harper with a meditation on clutchness and how the perception of a player can change whether fans think he’s a choker or a hero.

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Cross-Gender Similarity: Awesome idea from BP’s Kevin Pelton — feed WNBA stats into the SCHOENE projection system, and see which NBA players come out as the top comps.

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July 26, 2011

Has the NBA Salary Cap resulted in greater competitive balance?: From The Courtside Analyst, a look at whether the NBA’s competitive balance has actually improved during the salary cap era.

How Tyreke Evans’ Game Changed: Evans’ effectiveness was down quite a bit in 2011, and Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty uses shot tendency data to show a big reason why.

Types of Fouls Committed & Drawn in the 2007 NBA: At Weak Side Awareness, some raw player data on fouls of various types (loose-ball, non-shooting, shooting) drawn and committed during the 2007 season.

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July 25, 2011

Suns use history as reason to avoid rebuilding: The Suns conducted a study and found that teams who stalled at the Conference Finals, then tore up their roster, fared worse than teams who reloaded on the fly. At SI’s Point Forward, Zach Lowe attempted a quick check on their research.

The Latest from The Wages of Wins Journal: At WoW, Mosi Platt writes about lockout myths, and Arturo Galletti converts Wins Produced to net points.

Who Ruled the Top Defenses in 2011?: At Basketball-Reference, Neil Paine asks: Which players excel against the best defenses, and which ones get their numbers by feasting on the weakest Ds?

D-I’s Top 100 Players (#1-10): At BP, the final installment of Drew Cannon’s NCAA player rankings series.

July 22, 2011

Does Your NBA Team Make You Happy Or Sad? An Investigation: SBNation’s Tom Ziller researched how consistently each team has played well (or poorly) since the ABA-NBA merger.

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Percentage of League Games That Were Back-to-Backs: Since 1999, how many games in each season featured at least 1 team playing its second game in two nights? BBR has the answer.

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Yao’s Star Burned Brightly, Briefly: At the WSJ, Carl Bialik gives an overview of the amazing advanced stats Yao Ming was able to produce before injuries ended his career far too early.

D-I’s Top 100 Players (#11-20): The latest from BP’s Drew Cannon in his quest to rank the top 100 players in D-I college basketball.

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Why Being An Impure Point Guard Isn’t A Bad Thing: SBNation’s Tom Ziller discusses “pure” vs. “impure” point guards, and introduces a purity scale (with a chart) to quantify just how shoot-first or -last a given PG is.

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July 21, 2011

Style of play and wins: The Orlando Magic’s actual W-L always seems to fall short of their pythagorean expectation, and Matt Scribbins of Magic Basketball asks why.

Points Scored Off Turnovers in Last 3 NBA Playoffs: Weak Side Awareness continues to compile points-off-turnovers data for recent seasons. This time, it playoff data since 2009.

July 20, 2011

Five Moves That Could Help ($): Following up on his piece about post-lockout transactions that could hurt teams, BP’s Kevin Pelton looks at underrated moves that could pay instant dividends for teams.

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Will running more equate to winning more?: At TrueHoop, Zach Harper looks at the relationship between pace and winning — is running for its own sake really going to help a team’s record?

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Points Scored Off Turnovers in 2009, 2010: Weak Side Awareness has been compiling data on how many points teams scored off of turnovers. Here are the numbers for 2009 and 2010

July 18, 2011

Carmaré –Brotherly Love or Sibling Rivalry?: From KnickerBlogger.Net, a discussion centering around one question: Why aren’t the Knicks better with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony playing together?

Historical Luck ($): Also at Basketball Prospectus, Dan Feldman looks at teams that benefited the most historically from luck (actual wins minus pythagorean wins).

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Five Moves That Could Spell Trouble ($): Kevin Pelton of BP reads the tea leaves and identifies a handful of potential post-lockout transactions that could unwittingly sink teams.

Points Scored Off Turnovers in the NBA in 2010-11: The data — conveniently alongside pace factor — for every 2011 team, courtesy of Weak Side Awareness.

Timberwolves’ fast pace can be deceiving: At SI’s Point Forward blog, Zach Lowe breaks down the following (apparent) contradiction: Minnesota had Timberwolves’ fast pace can be deceivingthe league’s fastest pace in 2011, yet had the NBA’s 8th-lowest rate of “transition” possessions.

North Carolina and UCLA Alums Had the Most Wins Produced in the NBA: Another post from the Wages of Wins Journal, this time looking at schools whose alumni had the highest Wins Produced totals since 1978. (Also, go here, here, and here for a Win Shares-based take on the same topic.)

D-I’s Top 100 Players (#21-35): BP’s Drew Cannon continues ranking college players according to his projections for 2012.

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Games of the Season (*according to wins produced) – 1986 to 1997: At The Wages of Wins Journal, Andres Alvarez goes through the top-ranked Wins Produced games of each season from 1986-1997.

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Estimating NBA Players’ Offensive Production: A new academic paper that attempts to estimate each player’s offensive production by looking at his usage rate while on the court and changes to team efficiency when he leaves the court.

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July 15, 2011

Taking the Next Step – Marcus Thornton ($): BP’s Sebastian Pruiti analyzes Thornton’s game, looking for areas of improvement.

July 14, 2011

D-I’s Top 100 Players (#36-50): More from BP’s Drew Cannon as he attempts to rank the top 100 players in D-I basketball.

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Adjusted Player “dWin%”: From Nathan Walker of The Basketball Distribution, an attempt to calculate adjusted +/- using in-game win probability instead of point differential.

LeBron Units: WoW’s Andres Alvarez Arturo Galletti measured players according to “LeBron Units”, or the fraction of LeBron’s Wins Produced average win metrics that the player had.

Peripatetic Kings are most difficult NBA team to root for: The Business Journals ranked NBA teams according to a “fan difficulty index”. The Lakers are the easiest team to root for, while the Kings grade out as the toughest team to support.

How Much Fun Can You Find in Score by Quarters?: Loads of quarter-by-quarter scoring trivia/curiosities, courtesy of Weak Side Awareness.

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July 13, 2011

D-I’s Top 100 Players, #51-70: Drew Cannon of BP continues to rank the top players in D-I hoops.

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Can Boozer Bounce Back? ($): BP’s Sebastian Pruiti breaks down the numbers and video to assess Boozer’s chances of rebounding in year 2 of his Bulls contract.

July 12, 2011

3-Year Data of Team’s Point Differential by Quarters: Weak Side Awareness provides team quarter-by-quarter scoring differential data from the past 3 years, and looks at which quarter correlates most to total success.

Fixing opening week with ScheduleMatic: Ken Pomeroy shows how the NCAA could use ScheduleMatic (an algorithm that finds interesting, competitive matchups between nearby teams) to create a compelling early-season schedule.

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D-I’s Top 100 Players (#71-100): With some help from his freshman projection system, BP’s Drew Cannon begins to rank D-I’s top players.

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