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This week's issue of ESPN Magazine is called the the "analytics issue." Its focus is on the use of statistics in sports.

First, consider the article "Why WAR is the answer?" Focusing on baseball, WAR stands for "Wins Above Replacement," intended to be the end-all measure of a player's value based on tons of data.

Second consider "You can call them Trailblazers." It focuses on Portland's use of statistics to try to rebuild their basketball team (I suggest a good start would be better drafts!).

Third, "Crazy crap analytics" shows use of statistics to prove anything in sports. Examples explored:

  1. Andrew Luck is a more valuable runner than RG III
  2. Stephen Curry is the greatest outside shooter in NBA history
  3. Matt Barkley of USC is still a franchise QB
  4. Baltimore Orioles will finish in cellar this year
The issue also includes recent research about sports and statistics to be reported at the pending MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Examples:
  1. Field Vision in English Soccer Players
  2. NBA's Dwight Effect: A New Ensemble of Interior Defense Analytics
  3. Value of Flexibility in Building Baseball Roster
  4. Going For Three: Predicting Likelihood of Field Goals using Logistic Regression
  5. Acceleration in the NBA: Algorithmic Taxonomy of Fast Basketball Plays
  6. Live by Three, Die by Three? The Price of Risk in the NBA
  7. Total Hockey Rating (THoR): Comprehensive Statistical Rating of NHL Forwards and Defensemen Based Upon All On-Ice Events
  8. To Crash or Not to Crash: Quantatative Look at Relationship Between NBA Offensive Rebounding and Transition Defense
Get your copy while they remain available!