Basketball isn't a sport – it's a statistical network
In an article published Dec. 7 in Wired, Brian Mossop writes about the innovative way Arizona State University researchers are parsing data and how that could revolutionize game analysis for basketball.
Lead investigator and School of Life Sciences professor Jennifer Fewell, along with math professor Dieter Armbruster, explain the results of the 2010 NBA playoffs through network analysis.
Fewell and Armbruster’s research team mapped passes and game progression from 16 teams in the first round of the playoffs and studied more than 1,000 ball movements and 100 ball sequences. Their research showed teams that best used entropy – the unpredictable movement of the ball – and connected their players more effectively were most successful. Teams that used the point guard position as the central piece of their offense did not fare as well during the playoffs.