Insights from a close watch of Clippers at Rockets

Previously, I broke down film from the Bucks and Lakers game at the Staples Center. Now, I want to talk about what I saw from the March 5th game between the Clippers and Rockets.

Overall, this was a game Houston will want to forget. The Rockets were down 30 points midway through the 4th quarter partially due to 3 of 37 3-point shooting up to that point; they wound up cutting the final margin to 15 points in garbage time. Shooting can run hot and cold and every team throws up a clunker like this occasionally. Going beyond the score though, I think there are interesting things in the tape to break down for each side.

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Insights from a close watch of Bucks at Lakers

There is a play in the Bucks vs. Lakers game from March 6th that captures something fundamental about how Milwaukee plays on offense.  The play begins with 7:03 left in the 4th quarter, after Giannis snatches the rebound from a missed Anthony Davis jumper.  The Bucks are down 8, trying to bridge a gap created by a dominant 3rd quarter performance by LA.

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Will the Electoral College carry Trump to victory in 2020?

The 2016 election had a historic Electoral College/popular vote split. What does this mean for 2020?

As most politically aware observers know, Donald Trump lost the 2016 presidential popular vote to Hillary Clinton.  In fact, Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 by about 2.1% points, which is roughly in line with the 2.4% popular vote margin of victory that George W. Bush secured in the 2004 election.  Mr. Trump won the presidency thanks to his relative strength in the Electoral College; he secured 306 pledged Electoral College votes, a majority of the 538 cast.  To understand his advantage in the 2016 electoral vote, it helps to understand the concepts of the tipping point state and the Electoral College Lean.

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The NBA Storylines I Miss Most

I’m having NBA withdrawal.  We haven’t played any games since March 11th and there are serious doubts now among league executives if this season will even be finished at all, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

With all the uncertainty notwithstanding, I thought it would be fun (and maybe even cathartic) to look back at some of the storylines that made the rest of this season, particularly the playoffs, so compelling.  In no particular order, here they are below:

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What happens to home court advantage when the Lakers and Clippers face off at Staples Center?

With the possibility of an all-LA Western Conference Finals looming, I looked back at regular season data from the past 12 years to see if the home team maintains an advantage.

On Sunday afternoon, the basketball world’s two Los Angeles squads face off at Staples Center, their shared home. Though the rivalry has historically been dominated by the Lakers, this year’s matchup features two star-studded squads at the top of the Western Conference.  With the Lakers and Clippers 1 and 2 in the Western Conference standings, the thought of an exciting Western Conference Finals between the two rivals, with LeBron James going toe-to-toe with Kawhi Leonard, is a real possibility this season.

What makes a potential playoff matchup all the more intriguing is the added drama of knowing that every game would be played in the same building!  That got me thinking about home court advantage in such a series.  Would the home team in an individual game of a Lakers vs. Clippers series not have the full home court advantage that we would expect from a typical matchup?  Or might we see the Lakers, the traditionally more popular team, maintain their home court advantage while the Clippers suffer the effects of a swarm of purple and gold fans invading their “home” games.

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