(Points + Rebounds + Steals + ½Assists + ½Blocked Shots – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers - ½Free Throw Attempts - ½Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Where the computer nerd crosses with the sports nut, we find stats. I've found myself in a surprising minority among my acquaintances, as those I work with in the IT department have no use for sports, and the neighborhood sports junkies have no use for computers. It's a strange place to be in, as I can't find anyone that wants to talk about these things that bounce around in my head. Therefore, as everyone knows, the best way to clear your mind is to blog it!

I've been reading the tremendous "Wages of Wins" blog a lot lately, and liking it more and more as I read. The book was a great read, especially for someone like myself who almost put it back once they saw it was written by a bunch of economists. Luckily I decided to forge through it, and enjoyed the writing as much as the ideas. A few weeks ago I had an idea to use the equation for "Win Score" (a stat introduced in the book) to look at the best individual and team games in the NBA. I left a few comments and saw that Mr. Berri didn't have the time nor the inclination to do that particular research.

I thought this was a good opportunity to start up a blog on something I have a real passion for, and hopefully something that will be interesting to other people as well. That remains to be seen. The plan is to get a few posts up, and then ask Mr. Berri if he would mind adding a link from his site to mine. Failing that, maybe I'll try to find another way to see if anyone is interested.

I'll try to be responsive if there are any questions or requests. I've got the database filled up with tasty data, and I'm ready to SQL the crap out of it, so feel free to ask about anything related to this year's NBA stats. (Remember this isn't about Wins Produced, that's a much more complicated thing, just Win Score and whatever other general stat question crosses your mind.)

I think I'll start with a post on the best games (decided by Win Score) of the year so far. I usually read ESPN.com, so I'll try to always link results to the corresponding ESPN.com page. Again, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy what you see here and come back for more.



David Berri said...

I am looking forward to seeing what you have to say. Be warned, though, this blogging stuff is pretty addictive.

Josh said...

I'm glad to see another site using these metrics and going in more and different directions than the Wages of Wins. WoW is a great site but this type of analysis can be very time consuming and it's always good to see different minds and perspectives.

In reading WoW it's clear that Dave is an economist and NOT a techie. Most every quality fantasy sports site has a customizable database where you can input a scoring system and run it on stats from different periods. If you decide to launch a full site instead of just a blog, I think there would be a lot of folks interested in a searchable, sortable win score database. I often have little questions running through my head that could quickly be answered by such a db but would take significant time to work through with a spreadsheet.

Good luck and remember that the key to building an audience is consistency in both quantity and quality of posting. You are off to a great start.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the wages of wins and a bit of a web newbie. Is it possible to use goodle spreadsheets as an alternative to an SQL database? As I noticed that the table you link to is a google spreadsheet.

Great blog. Good writing and good analysis so far. Good luck!


JChan said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Hopefully I can continue to provide interesting posts. I have been thinking about creating a full site that would allow users to search and sort through a win score database on their own. My biggest hurdle right now (besides finding time to put it together) is finding a good way to automate getting the new information each day.

Keep checking back here and I'll be sure to let you know once I'm able to put this together.

JChan said...

And as far as I know, Google Spreadsheets is not a viable database alternative. No matter, I've got some hosting with MySQL access. The hold-ups are those in my previous comment.