Oct 22, 2019

TrueHoop 2020 BPM projections

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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.

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Unicorns have roamed NBA pastures for years, transforming the sport of basketball with their unique blend of size, skill and athleticism.

The intrigue: These generational big men have started to come of age, graduating from "he's going to be an MVP candidate one day" to, well, MVP candidates.

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This decade's MLB wins above replacement (WAR) leaders

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On Friday, we looked back at the champions and MVPs of the last 10 years in the four major U.S. sports. In keeping with that theme, here are MLB's WAR leaders this decade.

  • WAR (wins above replacement) measures a player's value in all facets of the game by defining how many more wins he's worth than a replacement-level player at his position.

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Los Angeles is now the center of the NBA universe

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's been eight years since a team other than the Warriors or Spurs won the Western Conference. That's bound to change this season — and two of the teams that will be battling for supremacy play in the same city.

The big picture: While title contenders are only just now returning to Los Angeles, it's been the center of the NBA universe for a while now.

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