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Expand chart
Data: TrueHoop, Harrison Chase, Anthony Liu/Kensho; Note: "Change" is based on the player's past three years' average BPM; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In an attempt to predict the 2019-20 NBA season's best players, Axios, TrueHoop and machine learning experts Harrison Chase and Anthony Liu have partnered to present the "2020 BPM projections."

How it works: Chase and Liu built smart models to predict a player's Box Plus-Minus (BPM) — similar to Real Plus-Minus — for the upcoming season.

  • In short, BPM is a measure of a player's performance relative to league average on a per 100 possessions scale. +5 is roughly All-NBA level, 0 is league average, -2 is replacement level, -5 is really bad.
  • For reference, the top 5 players according to BPM last season were James Harden (11.7), Giannis Antetokounmpo (10.8), Nikola Jokic (9.5), Anthony Davis (8.5) and LeBron James (8.1).

Worth noting: "Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell are projected to have career years. Andre Drummond and Draymond Green are expected to have bounce-back years (albeit not career years)," according to Chase and Liu.

  • "Overall though, our model is definitely on the conservative side of things; it will be rare for it to predict any large jumps for players that already have high BPM."

Go deeper: To read more about the methodology, click here.

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

15 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

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