Looking for the best basketball statistics resources
April 29, 2014 1:35 PM Subscribe
I'm a scientist who deals with statistics all day, and my partner is a die-hard basketball fan. He follows some of the basketball stats nerds, and sometimes he wants to talk about basketball stats with me, but I can never find any decent statistical summaries - just a bunch of averages with no context provided. Are there any free resources that provide sports statistics with more than simple averages?
posted by dialetheia to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My problem is that now I know how to interpret statistics, I find that sports stats virtually never come packaged with the information I'd need to know how to interpret them correctly. Sample size is elided, underlying distribution of the data is never addressed, and worst, they never even provide any metrics of variability. The very simplest thing I'm looking for is standard deviations reported alongside all of those means. Ranges, medians, and/or quartiles would be neat too.
I'd really like to avoid calculating everything myself if possible, but I'd consider it if the data were easily available. The calculations are easy, but wrangling all that data is a hassle. I see basketballreference.com lets you download some .csv files, and I can do that if there are no other options, but I thought that surely someone would have had the good sense to include basic variability metrics with their averages.
Along the same lines, I'd love any recommendations you have for resources (forums, blogs, columnists, etc) that do a good job talking about statistics in sports - there have to be some because all of my stats professors have been huge sports nerds, surely they're all huddled together talking about sports stats somewhere on the internet.