Monday, March 05, 2007

I've been busy and haven't blogged on this page for a while. I, at least, want to mention some recent basketball streakiness-related developments, some of which I may return to in more detail at a later point.

Just tonight, in the championship game of the Big Ten women's tournament, the nation's No. 12-ranked Purdue darted off to a 21-0 lead over No. 5 Ohio State, en route to a 64-52 victory.

Also as of tonight, the Miami Heat's Jason Kapono, a 6-8 guard/forward swing player out of UCLA ('03), is leading the NBA in three-point shooting percentage at a .516 clip (96-186), similar to Steve Kerr's league record for a season of .524. The erstwhile Bruin also won the three-point shooting contest during All-Star Weekend a couple weeks ago. My friend Gregg in Los Angeles, with whom I attended UCLA in the early 1980s, has been keeping me posted on Kapono's hot shooting. The NBA three-point distance is 23 feet, 9 inches around the arc (22 feet along the baseline), compared to 19-9 all around the arc for men's college play, which makes Kapono's accomplishments all the more impressive.

On February 26, the Dallas Mavericks became the first team in NBA history to assemble three different winning streaks of at least 12 games in the same season, with a 110-87 win over Atlanta.

The Mavs' overall win-loss record is quite gaudy -- 47-9 after defeating the Hawks, and currently 50-7 -- which brings up an important issue. As discussed previously by Gabe Farkas, teams with outsized win totals and very few losses are bound to have long stretches of wins or, stated differently, few transition points between wins and losses. Be sure to take a look at his graph resembling St. Louis's Gateway Arch, which shows a curvillinear relation between teams' numbers of wins and their expected numbers of runs (uninterrupted streaks of wins or of losses).

The Dallas Morning News has a Mavericks Blog, on which statistical issues related to the team's winning ways are often discussed.

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