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Friday Press Clippings: The Overtime Spike in NBA Basketball

06/26/09

Friday Press Clippings: The Overtime Spike in NBA Basketball

Basketball Statistician's Digest:
The Overtime Spike in NBA Basketball

From Cheep Talk By Jeff Ely
Download source here: ' The Overtime Spike in NBA Basketball '

"... There have been quite a few overtime games in the NBA playoffs this year. We have had one in the finals already and in an earlier series between the Bulls and Celtics, 4 out of 7 games went into overtime, with one game in double overtime and one game in triple overtime! ..."

"... But the scoring is not independent of course. Similar to a marathon, the amount of effort expended is different for the team currently in front versus the team trailing and this amount of effort also depends on the current point differential. But such strategy should have only a small effect on the probability of ties. ..."

"... Here is a frequency histogram of the difference in points between the home team and visiting team at the end of regulation play. These are data from all NBA games 1997-2009. A positive number means that the home team won, a zero means that the game was tied and therefore went into overtime. Notice the massive spike at zero. ..."

"... It shows the evolution of the point differential in the last 40 seconds of the fourth quarter. At the beginning, the distribution looks close to normal. This is what the crude hypothesis above would predict. Watch how the spike emerges in such a short period of time. ..."

"... By contrast, here is the same animation at the end of halftime. Nothing unusual ..."

Read more in Cheep Talk

To read Today's 'Press Clippings' in Spanish, click above on the 'Español' tab or click here: 'La cuestión es, sobre todo, volver a formar un grupo unido'


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