Basketball analytics: objective and efficient strategies for understanding how teams win

basketball

Stephen M. Shea, Christopher E. Baker

Basketball Analytics is a must-read for any sports analytics enthusiast or student of the game of basketball. Authors Stephen Shea, Ph.D. (Professor of Mathematics) and Christopher Baker (Software Engineer) utilize their unique skill-set to introduce original metrics for analyzing player performance, team style and team construction in the NBA. While demonstrating an awareness of the industry’s best ideas, the authors present original, objective and efficient strategies for understanding how teams win. New player performance statistics include Offensive Efficiency (OE), Efficient Offensive Production (EOP), Defensive Stops Gained (DSG), and Approximate Value (AV). OE reflects a player’s ability to make the most fundamental offensive decisions. EOP adjusts a player’s points and assists based on his efficiency. DSG gives a complete measure of a player’s defensive contributions, without relying on individual player statistics like blocks and steals. AV is a measure of total player performance that rivals any publicly available statistic. Basketball Analytics introduces groundbreaking metrics on player involvement in the offense. Point, Rebound and Assist Balance aggregate player usage in these critical statistics. New studies on the NBA show whether teams should strive for balance or unbalance. An NBA draft pick value study determines the average value of each pick and the likelihood of landing a star or role player with each draft position. The results of this study are used to discuss topics including the biggest draft blunders and steals, the draft success of each NBA team, and the quality of each draft class dating back to 1977. This valuable understanding of the NBA Draft creates a foundation for discussing various approaches to team development and construction. Additionally, the authors discuss redefining the positions on the court, unpredictability in the game, data visualization, and applications of spatial tracking technology. There are many intensely debated questions surrounding the NBA today. Who are the most valuable players, and how do they compare to past greats? Which players have the greatest impact on their team’s defense? Should Kobe Bryant be concerned with getting his teammates involved in the offense? How do offenses differ in the clutch, and which players thrive in these situations? How difficult is it for a team to rebuild through the draft? Basketball Analytics introduces new statistics and new concepts to explore these questions and more.

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Muslim American Women on Campus: Undergraduate Social Life and Identity

muslimby Shabana Mir

Shabana Mir’s powerful ethnographic study of women on Washington, D.C., college campuses reveals that being a young female Muslim in post-9/11 America means experiencing double scrutiny—scrutiny from the Muslim community as well as from the dominant non-Muslim community. Muslim American Women on Campus illuminates the processes by which a group of ethnically diverse American college women, all identifying as Muslim and all raised in the United States, construct their identities during one of the most formative times in their lives.
Mir, an anthropologist of education, focuses on key leisure practices–drinking, dating, and fashion–to probe how Muslim American students adapt to campus life and build social networks that are seamlessly American, Muslim, and youthful. In this lively and highly accessible book, we hear the women’s own often poignant voices as they articulate how they find spaces within campus culture as well as their Muslim student communities to grow and assert themselves as individuals, women, and Americans. Mir concludes, however, that institutions of higher learning continue to have much to learn about fostering religious diversity on campus.

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The ‘Irish’ Family

irishLinda Connolly

“When situated in the wider European context, ‘the Irish family’ has undergone a process of profound transformation and rapid change in very recent decades. Recent data cites a significant increase in one parent households and a high non-marital birth rate for instance alongside the emergence of cohabitation, divorce, same sex families and reconstituted families. At the same time, the majority of children in Ireland still live in a two-parent family based on marriage and the divorce rate in Ireland is comparatively lower than other European countries. 21st century family life is, in reality, characterised by continuity and change in the Irish context. This book seeks to understand, interpret and theorise family life in Ireland by providing a detailed analysis of historical change, demographic trends, fertility and reproduction, marriage, separation and divorce, sexualities, children and young people, class, gender, motherhood, intergenerational relations, grandparents, ethnicity, globalisation, technology and family practices. A comprehensive analysis of key developments and trends over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is provided”–

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Console wars : Sega, Nintendo, and the battle that defined a generation

consolBlake J. Harris

Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

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