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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

Asia faces massive new COVID surge

Photo: Anuwar Hazarika/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Several Asian countries are facing new coronavirus waves, with some struggling to keep up with some of the worst outbreaks since the beginning of the pandemic.

The big picture: While India accounted for half of the global infections this past week, per the World Health Organization, cases are surging in countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia, CNN reports.

Cyberattack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of an apparent cyberattack.

The big picture: Colonial Pipeline "carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies," the N.Y. Times reports.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

The end of quarantine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Long quarantines were a necessary tool to slow the COVID-19 pandemic during its first phases, but better and faster tests — plus vaccines — mean they can be scaled back considerably.

Why it matters: Quick tests and regular surveillance methods that identify who is actually infectious can take the place of the two-week or longer isolation periods that have been common for travelers and people who might have been exposed to the virus, speeding the safe reopening of schools and workplaces.

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