Author Archives: ben heller

Rocketscience: Time Off

I will be taking some time off from writing for at least a couple months so that I can torture myself in the wild world of financial analysis.    The CFA exam is coming up, and as much as I enjoy dissecting our stats-friendly Rockets (still #10 in the Hollinger Power Rankings?), I need to focus [...]

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Rocketscience: Dragic, Budinger, T-Will Evaluations

A lot of people have asked for my opinion on the Rockets’ moves last week.  My answer was that while the moves were good for the team long-term, we have more or less given up on the season.  That sounds dramatic, and I’m sure anyone affiliated with the Rockets would vehemently disagree, but a 10th [...]

Posted in player evaluation, stats | 16 Comments

Rocketscience: Various Thoughts Heading into the Trade Deadline

A while ago I wrote about various factors that contribute to winning.   Hoopdata has a condensed version of this approach called the “four factors.”   It looks at eFG%, FTR, TOR, and ORR as the four contributing factors to the effectiveness of a team.  As far as I’m concerned (based off my admittedly less extensive research), [...]

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Rocketscience: Analytics Teams vs. Non-Analytics Teams

The Rockets have fared very well this season against below .500 teams.  They have sported a record of 14-6, to be exact, which is right up there with the top-tier teams in the league.   Instead, our problem this season has been against the good teams, with an unimpressive 10-22 mark.   I also noticed that Portland, [...]

Posted in stats | 12 Comments

Rocketscience: On Aaron Brooks

Playing hurt is no fun.   Aside from the actual physical pain, there are a number of psychological hurdles holding you back on the court.  Part of the problem stems from not trusting your injured body part.  There is always the fear of getting reinjured, possibly worse than the first time.  Take Brandon Roy, for instance, [...]

Posted in player evaluation | 4 Comments

Rocketscience: Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry is having a career year, right?  I mean, he’s averaging career highs so far in points (11.1), assists (6.6), offensive rebounds (1.3), defensive rebounds (2.8), steals (1.8), blocks (.4), 3ptm (1.2), and FGm (3.7) (to name a few).   The casual fan might stop there and conclude that he has finally taken the next [...]

Posted in stats | 12 Comments

About Statistics and the NBA

So I’ve been writing for a couple months now, experimenting with a few different angles related to NBA statistics.  If I had to break it down, I would say original research, player evaluation, team evaluation, and interpretive analysis are perhaps the main subcategories.  After watching the old MIT Sports Analytics Conference videos again the other [...]

Posted in questions, stats | 5 Comments

Shot Locations Revisited

While last night’s triumph in Boston was by no means a performance that can be consistently replicated, it highlighted the upside of the Rockets’ offensive strategy. has a wealth of information about team and player shot locations, and it seems like enough games have passed where I might be able to put together some [...]

Posted in stats | 6 Comments

Budinger Cold Streak Over?

Chase Budinger has conveniently started to find his shooting rhythm again.  Since news broke out of the Terrence Williams trade on December 14th, Budinger has had an impressive 62.3 TS%.  That is a big improvement over his true shooting this season leading up to the trade, an uncharacteristic 45.2%.   Last year he finished the season [...]

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The Battier-Gay Trade

Much like U.S. presidents, NBA GMs are often credited (whether in a positive light or not) for actions set forth at the tail end of the previous administration.  Daryl Morey was Assistant General Manager at the time of the Shane Battier / Rudy Gay trade*, so he definitely contributed to the analysis, but Carroll Dawson [...]

Posted in stats | 19 Comments