Does the Preseason tell us anything?

Posted on 10/16/2010 by


I discovered a great site over the week. It’s called dougstats . The greatness of the site is in that the owner does the public service of collecting real-time stats for the nba and mlb for use and recreation.


For all those who collect data for our amusement. Respect.


What attracted me was that he was collecting pre-season stats for the NBA and as I’m model building to predict wins and project player performance I was curious to see if the pre-season had any kind of statistical significance to the following season. To answer the question I decided to look at 2009 pre-season stats and compare them to 2009-2010 stats and look for correlation.

The first thing I had to do was work out the wins produced numbers (the Basics are here) for the 2009 pre-season. These are here

After I did that I went ahead and worked out the correlation for ADJP48. That’s here:

So the answer to the question does the pre-season tell us anything is kind of. If I look at the top 25 players in the preseason in 2009 (who played more than 40 minutes) we see:

We see 11 guys who were out of the top 50 for the year. We also see Blair and Lawson (the two draft steals). The preseason can show you rookies who are arriving early but for returning players the larger sample size of previous seasons is more appropriate.

Given that I will work out pre-season WP numbers for all rookies in a future post.

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