Basketball:

How The Trail Blazers Became The Hottest Team In The NBA: Love, Learning, and Losses Jason Quick discusses the route the Blazers took to becoming an effective NBA team. According to his analysis, it started this summer when the team entirely re-tooled. Afterwards, the environment was dictated by head coach Terry Stotts and locker-room leaders Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

With Or Without Jrue Tom Haberstroh discusses the Pelicans’ most underused player – Jrue Holiday – and why his lack of use is harming the team. The Pelicans’ best two-man combination is Holiday and Anthony Davis, but, head coach Alvin Gentry does not play them enough together.

How Rodney Hood Could Go From Utilitarian Cog To Budding All Star Michael Pina analyzes the development of Rodney Hood in Utah. Originally, Hood was your run of the mill three-and-D utility player. He excelled at no special skills but was good enough at everything to earn playing time. This season, though, his play next to Gordon Hayward has warranted future all star consideration, as his numbers are similar to James Harden’s early in the latter’s career.

Tristan Thompson Made Himself Valuable By Mastering The Dirty Work Mike Prada, writing for SB Nation, analyzes Cavs’ Power Forward/Center Tristan Thompson’s impact for Cleveland’s team. Do to Thompson’s pick-and-roll defense, offensive rebounding, and garbage buckets he has become one of the Cavaliers’ best players. He concludes by arguing that Thompson’s max utility is with the Cavs, and not other teams where more offensively would be asked of the big man.

Statistical Trade Deadline Review The people at Nylon Calculus examined various aspects of the trade deadline. They use quantifiable analysis to suggest that Jeff Green won’t succeed in LA, Markieff Morris will be average, and that Channing Frye will be valuable to the Cavaliers.

Does Orlando Play More Interesting Games Than Golden State? Seth Partnow looks at the number of competitive games Orlando plays and how many Golden State plays. He finds that the Magic is a more exciting team to watch, in terms of game quality, than the Warriors are.

Non-Stars Like Channing Frye Are The Best Kind Of Trade Deadline Pickup Neil Payne looks at the trade deadline historically and statistically. He finds that the most successful trades bring efficient role players to the opposing team. This is because these types of players do not generally disrupt the team’s chemistry.

Raptors Have Defense, Components To Make Deep Playoff Run Shlomo Sprung argues that the Raptors’ improvement to arguably the second best team in the Eastern Conference is due to their increased defensive efficiency. In this article, Sprung traces how their defense has evolved over the past season.

Bringing Hassan Whiteside Off The Bench Should Be A Permanent Move For Heat Josh Planos argues that Hassan Whiteside is a borderline elite player when coming off the bench; however, when he starts, he harms the Heat.

Baseball:

The Cubs Addressed Their Last Big Question Jeff Sullivan argues that the Cubs’ offseason additions addressed their major hole: pitching. Their additions solidified a starting pitching rotations as well as improved their bullpen.

Cliff Lee Had One Of The Best Peaks Of All Time David Schoenfield contends that Cliff Lee’s ability to throw strikes provided him one of the best few season runs of all time. The six year period ranks Lee sixth all time in pitcher WAR.

Soccer:

Europe’s Most Efficient Goalscorers Ben McAleer examines the clear-cut chance conversion rate of Europe’s goalscorers. This statistic allows the viewer to analyze scoring efficiency. He finds, amongst other things, that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund is the most efficient scorer in all of Europe.

Bayern Munich vs. Bundesliga The folks at Goal Impact analyze the peak goal impact score and compare it with the rest of the Bundesliga. They find that Bayern is far superior to any combination of players in the rest of the German league.

Sports: by Stats:

A Note On Dominant Players And What Makes Stephen Curry So Special, For Now Jordan Cohen analyzes why certain players can exert dominance in different ways. He finds that there are two types of dominance: individual statistical dominance, which occurs when a player is historically good at one skill; and total dominance, where a player is fantastic at many subsets, but not historically great at any.

Why The Thunder Can Defeat The Spurs And Warriors Jordan Cohen examines what the Oklahoma City Thunder do well, and why their negatives may be overblown. He additionally coins the term “energy efficiency” and explains how it applies to the Thunder.

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