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WE USE COMPUTER VISION AND AI TO DELIVER THE MOST PREDICTIVE DATA IN THE GAME
HERE'S HOW WE DO IT

The ShotQuality shot probability model has five main components and uses up to 100 variables in total between each of these sections:

Why is this useful Before we learn how a shot model works, we need to understand why we go through all of this trouble in the first place.

All basketball analysis tries to predict the future. We watch film and review box scores to guess what happens next. Unfortunately, past results can lie to us. Players and teams have hot and cold streaks. A great game or poor performance could be luck. It could also be a meaningful change in ability. Elite teams have off nights, poor shooters catch fire on a random Tuesday, and the basketball gods cause chaos every once in a while.

  • In 2022-23, Klay Thompson shot 33 percent from deep over the first month of the season. A legitimate decline or just a cold streak? He returned to form and shot 43 percent over the rest of the season.
  • Over the first five seasons of his career, Andre Drummond only made 38 percent of his free throws. In 2017-18, that number jumped up to 61 percent. Did he improve in the offseason, or just get luck for a few months? In the five seasons since then, he made 57 percent of his free throws. That 61 percent was no a fluke.
  • Marcus Morris shot just under 37 percent from three in his first nine seasons, then jumped up to 47 percent in 2020-21. What happened? Did Morris unlock better shooting touch over the summer? It seems like the season was random, he shot just under 37 percent in the two seasons since.

In the moment we do not know if our eyes and the box score lies to us or tells the truth. Here is where our shot probability model steps in to quantify regression. It analyzes the game at the building blocks of basketball: shots. If we work to predict the likelihood that every shot is made, we can imagine that a single game occurs thousands of times, or a player takes millions of the same shot. Increasing the prediction if teams or players beat it, and decreasing the it if they don’t. We then learn how good players and teams actually are. And if we know exactly how good each player and team is, we can make better predictions about their futures.

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How ShotQuality’s Model Predicts Player Performance

To summarize player’s offensive efficiency, we simple ask, “how many points do you score per scoring opportunity?” Points per possession (true shooting attempt) cuts to the core of a player’s offensive game.

At any point in time, we can review a player’s past performance, and we want to predict future results. The black line on the chart below shows the traditional approach, showing the correlation coefficient between the player’s season performance and their performance over the rest of the season. After one game, it is quite low, trying to predict the result of 30 games from such a small sample. At the halfway point of the season, traditional PPP’s predictive ability improves, since it has a larger sample size, while predicting a large enough sample over the back half of the season to smooth out variance that could occur in one or two games.

The chart also clearly shows a bright orange line above the black line over the entire season. That is the power of ShotQuality’s shot model. At any point in the season, ShotQuality predicts player performance over the rest of the season better than the player’s own performance! It takes ShotQuality five games to reach predictive ability not reached by raw player performance until game twenty!

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How ShotQuality’s Model Predicts Team Performance

We observe a similar phenomenon at the team level. Looking at the first twenty games of the season, ShotQuality points per possession is more predictive of the rest of the season than the team’s own performance.

How we do it

The ShotQuality shot probability model has five main components and uses up to 100 variables in total between each of these sections:

WINNING METRICS

Dive into how teams compare in ShotQuality metrics, play-type styles, and regression statistics.

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SQ Points

How exactly do we calculate ShotQuality?

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SQ PPP

All individual ShotQuality game points

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adjSQ

Adjusted Offensive and Defense Shot Quality

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Record Luck

Adjusted Offensive and Defense Shot Quality

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SQ Rim & 3

Adjusted Offensive and Defense Shot Quality

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Passing stats

Adjusted Offensive and Defense Shot Quality

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