Analytics in sports have gone to a whole new level in recent years with an athlete’s every step detailed and documented.
In the NBA the number of in-depth statistics has become its own topic of debate with several past players ripping the way the game is now looked at, none more so than Charles Barkley.
“I’ve always believed analytics was crap,” Barkley said in 2015 on TNT’s Inside the NBA.
But one NBA fan has decided the amount of on court numbers wasn’t enough and dug into the off court antics, his focus was on one superstar player.
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James Harden is one of the best players in the league and has helped the Houston Rockets to a 5-3 record to start the season.
After leading the league in scoring last season with an average of 36.1 points per game, he’s gone even higher with an average so far of 36.5 points per game.
The offensive onslaught is remarkable, but one fan took an even deeper look with one truly unique twist at the root of the analysis.
The numbers we never knew we needed.Source:AP
Reddit user Ryan Sullivan shone a light on just how Harden performs on the road and his impact can be traced back to the cities strip clubs.
Yes you read that correctly, Harden’s impact in a game has a relation to the quality of strip clubs within that city.
The incredible detective work quickly blew up on the social platform after being posted and at the time of writing this story it had attracted over 4000 comments.
Of course it also made its way on Twitter with the Action Network’s Darren Rovell sharing it to his two million followers and being retweed over 16,000 times.
A reddit user found a correlation between James Harden’s lack of performance on the road and the quality of strips clubs in that city…. pic.twitter.com/xWg0awhp6K
So how does one decide to dig into the numbers and spend their time doing so and comparing them against the cities strip clubs. For Sullivan it all came after the Rockets were beaten by the Miami Heat in Miami.
He didn’t just do the opening eight games of the 2019/20 season either, he went back four seasons to correlate his data and extracted every home game.
Here’s the method to his brilliance.
“Poor Performances were determined by variances in 6 stats: Points, FG%, 3PT%, FT%, Assists and Turnovers. For each of these stats I compared Harden’s overall season average to the city-specific season average. I identified 2 categories of poor performances,” he wrote.
“Sub-Par — Harden performed WORSE than season average, and
“Very Sub-Par — Harden performed 20%+ WORSE than season average.
“I analysed his poor performances across each of the NBA’s 28 different cities (did not look at home games so no Houston, there are 2 teams in LA, and I distinguished between Brooklyn and NYC = 28 cities).
“City Strip Club Rating was determined by the average google review rating for the first 10 strip clubs in each city based on the google search “[CITY] Strip Clubs” (e.g., “Detroit Strip clubs”). Yes, this did involve me making like 30+ searches for strip clubs on my work cpu…
“Finally, I put the City Strip Club Rating into the pivoted game log data, performed a regression analysis and visualised it into charts.”
Harden and one time fling Khloe Kardashian.Source:Supplied
The work was incredibly thorough and the results speak for themselves.
“I have proven, to a statistically significant degree, that James Harden’s game performance declines in cities with higher rated strip clubs,” he wrote.
“Correlation Coefficient – r – (between avg strip club rating and total # of sub-par games) = .4575.
“Given the nature of the subject matter, this would be considered a moderate-to-strong correlation.
“Coefficient of Determination – r2 – (between avg strip club rating and total # of sub-par games) = .21.
“This means that James Harden’s box score is 20% predictable based on the quality of a city’s strip clubs.”
So for teams looking to throw one of the game’s best players off his game, the answer is simple and won’t affect the team’s cap at all.
Invest in your cities strip club establishments and watch Harden deliver a below par game.
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