Basketball:

Can the Cavaliers Find Their Offense in 2016? Sports: by Stats’ own Jordan Cohen writes about the Cavaliers offensive struggles and how they can improve.

Relax, Lakers Fans. D’Angelo Russell Will Be Fine Kevin O’Conner, writing for SB Nation, argues that D’Angelo Russell has played better than most understand and give him credit for. Moreover, he is playing as good as possible considering the Lakers’ circumstances with Kobe Bryant.

Goran Dragic on Suns: “They’re Not Like Miami, San Antonio, Those Teams That Are Really Loyal” Goran Dragic talks to Bleacher Report and claims that the Suns have no loyalty to their players.

PODCAST: Blow Up The Suns? Knicks Quitting On Fisher? Basketball Insiders Steve Kyler and Cody Taylor discuss all things NBA, including: what is going on in Phoenix and why New York’s improvement is not aiding the players in accepting Head Coach Derek Fisher.

Magic Are In A Playoff Spot Now, But That Won’t Last Josh Planos discusses the Magic having their best month in over four years. Yet, Planos argues, the Magic’s lack of a consistently great defense will result in them missing the playoffs. This is because Orlando has a horrifically bad offense. Planos uses regression analysis to prove his argument.

Here’s Proof Lebron James is Exiting the Prime of his Career Seth Partnow shows how the increasing number of Lebron James’ shots that are blocked at the rim is evidence the King is moving past his prime. Partnow posits that it is evidence of Lebron’s decreasing athleticism.

Kristaps Porzingis: Defensive Stopper in the Making? Luke Knox of ESPN examines the area of Kristaps Porzingis’ game that has improved most since he entered the league: interior defense. Knox uses Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Difference Percentage, and blocked shots to prove his contention.

Carmelo Anthony Now Trusts His Teammates Ian Begley, writing for ESPN, examines statements made by Carmelo Anthony about how Anthony now trusts his teammates. Begley uses statistical analysis regarding passes made, assists, and passes to the open man to suggest ‘Melo has begun to mature as a player, and perhaps even buy into Jackson’s triangle offense.

Rajon Rondo: “I Have Nothing But Love” for Dallas Mavericks Rajon Rondo sits down with Tim MacMahon to discuss his time in Dallas. Rondo assures MacMahon that he loved the guys in Dallas, even Rick Carlisle, but insists that it just was not a good fit.

Transition Defense Has Left Offensive Rebounds On The Cutting Room Floor Zach Lowe provides statistical analysis for why offensive rebounding percentage is the lowest it has ever been. In summation, Lowe argues that analytics suggest offensive rebounds harm transition defense. Consequently, in a high pace league, transition defense is more important than multiple shot opportunities, hence the decrease in offensive rebounds.

Scoring-Machine Durant Polishing His Entire Game Now Sekou Smith uses defensive metrics and in-game analysis to suggest that Kevin Durant is no longer a “black hole” on defense. Essentially, Durant has worked with Thunder head coach Billy Donovan to improve the former’s biggest weakness.

Spurs Move Away From Tim Duncan Illustrates Spurs Spurs’ Transition Chris Bernucca examines Tim Duncan’s limited offensive role in the 2015-16 season. He argues that what makes San Antonio such a great basketball team is they are willing to give the ball to better offensive options, and let their future Hall of Fame-r work tirelessly on defense. This has resulted in Duncan having a year worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration, while also making the Spurs potent on both sides of the ball.

Football:

2015 NFL Playoffs: Strengths and Weaknesses of Each Team Bucky Brooks breaks down each playoff teams’ strengths and weaknesses. This is an interactive article with many statistics.

Home-Field Advantage? ESPN utilizes an infographic to argue that home-field advantage is not really as much of an impactful factor in the NFL as it is made out to seem.

Antonio Brown, Matchup Nightmare Ike Taylor analyzes why Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown is effectively uncoverable. He argues that it is because Brown practices so intensely, making him perfectly prepared come game day.

Any Given Sunday: Vikings Over Packers Sterling Xie argues that the Vikings strategy — control the ball and limit risk — allows them to defeat teams that play much riskier, like Green Bay. Moreover, Minnesota’s offense thrives off of medium-yard gains, rather than try to make big plays that are too risky, or short plays that result in third-and-long attempts. Thus, the Vikings are at the forefront of the NFL’s analytic revolution.

Soccer:

Why the Headed Goal is a Dying Art in Serie A James Horncastle examines why the “header” is dying in Italy’s Serie A. In fact, headed goals have decreased by 12% in the division over a two year period. This is because of a lack of crosses, which Horncastle posits is a result of an increasing in dribbling.

Underwhelming Memphis Still Needs Time to Settle Ben McAleer argues that Memphis Depay has clearly not become comfortable for Manchester United. He posits that Memphis, once one of the best young wings in the game, has lost his ability to hold onto the ball in crucial situations. Moreover, he is scoring the ball at a significantly slower pace than at any other point in the young Dutchmen’s career. This is, McAleer argues, a combination of lack of playing time, a different country, a different offensive system, and slower players.

What is Attacking Football? Jonathan Wilson, writing for the Guardian, analyzes the question “what is attacking football?” It is more than just simple possession versus counter-attack. Rather, he posits, it deals with if a team is proactive or reactive, how they attempt to move the ball when they possess it, and finally, how risk-averse they are with the ball.

Rafa Benitez Was Not The Solution For Real Madrid Sid Lowe argues that Rafa Benitez was never meant to be Real Madrid’s solution at Manager. He posits that Benitez did not have control of the direction of the club, and the team’s superstars never respected him as much as they had Ancelotti. This resulted in a bad situation that was never meant to workout or even be effective.

Sports: by Stats:

Premier League Mid-Season Analysis In our first soccer article, Wooyoung Lee analyzes the successes and failures of teams in the Premier League.

Finding Love In A Hopeless Place: Los Angeles Lakers Jordan Cohen examines why, even though the Lakers are having a terrible season, their young core is reason for fans to be excited.

Ten Thoughts on Cavaliers-Raptors Jordan Cohen provides his thoughts on the Cleveland Cavaliers dominating win over the Toronto Raptors.

Serie A Mid-Season Analysis Wooyoung Lee analyzes the mid-season table for Serie A in Italy. He argues that the table is not reflective of the average salaries of the country’s clubs.

The New Metric, Week 4 We update our metric. This week Golden State has maintained its dominance on the top of the ranking, even in the absence of Steph Curry.

Who Is To Blame For The Darkness Facing The Phoenix Suns? Jordan Cohen analyzes why the Suns’ struggles this season are due to their managements consistent roster reshuffling.

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