Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Trailblazers have had the most heartbreaking losses this season (on average)

Portland Oregon - White Stag sign
Choking away victory is
alive in Portland
I have a new NBA feature on the site: Team Season Profiles. This page aggregates win probability information at the season and team level. My previous post covered the four factors numbers on the right side of the table. This post will cover the columns on the left labelled "Game Profile".

The first column, "EI", is the average Excitement Index for each team's games. This is a "live" version of the table I shared in my recent FiveThirtyEight article on "exciting" NBA games. The Excitement Index is measured at a game level, and represents how much the win probability graph "travelled" over the course of the game. The Phoenix Suns still lead the league in excitement, with an average index of 6.78, but the Lakers have now overtaken the Spurs at the number two spot.

There are also two columns called "wCB" and "lCB". This is the average comeback factor for each team, split by games won versus games lost. The comeback factor is the winning team's odds of winning at their lowest point in the game. The higher the comeback factor, the bigger the comeback.

When sorted by losing comeback factor (lCB), the Portland Trailblazers "lead" the league, meaning the games they lost have a high average comeback factor, such as allowing the Mavericks to comeback from 830-1 odds last month. You could also consider this a "choke" index. Mathematical note: to minimize the effect of outliers, I take the geometric mean of the comeback factor, rather than a standard arithmetic mean.

One of the nice side effects of the NBA's data explosion is that no matter how awful your team is, you're bound to find something at which they excel. The Philadelphia 76ers don't win too often, but when they do, it's dramatic, as they have the highest average comeback factor for their wins (all 13 of 'em).

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    "The Phoenix Suns still lead the league in excitement, with an average index of 6.78,"
    Can you make the interpretation of the value 6.78 ? How should it be read ?

    Also, the same for the wCB and lCB. I understand what it tries to explain - or at least I think - but I don't understand how to read the value you produce.

    thank you

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