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Showing posts from March, 2015

### Who Controls the Pace in Basketball, Offense or Defense?

During a recent chat with basketball analyst Seth Partnow, he mentioned a topic that came up during a discussion at the recent MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Who  controls the pace of a game more, the offense or defense? And what is the percentage of pace responsibility for each side? The analysts came up with a rough consensus opinion, but is there a way to answer this question analytically? I came up with one approach that examines the variations in possession times, but it suddenly occurred to me that this question could also be answered immediately by looking at the offense-defense asymmetry of the home court advantage.
As you can see in the R output of my NCAA team model code in one of my public basketball repositories, the offense at home scores points at a rate about $$e^{0.0302} = 1.031$$ times the rate on a neutral court, everything else the same. Likewise, the defense at home allows points at a rate about $$e^{-0.0165} = 0.984$$ times the rate on a neutral court; …