We’re not predicting games, we’re identifying trends

A passage from an essay on climate change that applies to predictive analytics in general:

People often say that meteorologists' inability to predict weather credibly beyond about ten days bodes ill for climate projection over decades. This misses a key difference between the instantaneous state of the atmosphere - weather - versus its time and space averages - climate. Even though the evolution of atmospheric conditions is inherently chaotic and the slightest perturbation today can make a huge difference in the weather a thousand miles away and weeks hence, large scale climate show little tendency to exhibit chaotic behaviour (at least on timescales longer than a decade).

- Confidence, Consensus and the Uncertainty Cops: Tackling Risk Management in Climate Change, Stephen H. Schneider



Like any good basketball story, this one begins with the Israeli military’s ability to track and shoot down missiles

From Can cutting edge data analytics help the San Antonio Spurs stop the Miami Heat?


Advanced stats in basketball and the new direction of sports writing

Another great article that isn't directly correlating with hockey, but still really interested me.

This feature on Grantland's Zach Lowe:

I work a lot as anyone in the NBA does, as anyone in sports does. I always tell people I have one of those jobs that sounds amazing when you go to parties, and you do, but anyone that covers sports knows there's sort of a de facto "it happens at night and on the weekends when other people are resting" deal. Though I guess every industry is a 24/7 industry.

That article led me to this article about John Hollinger's predictions on the Raptors' season. Hollinger predicted that the Raptors would finish 12th overall with a .402 winning percentage (33-49). Right now at the 50 game mark, the Raptors are 11th overall with a .360 winning percentage (18-32).

Interesting stuff.