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1974Pace prediction

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  • aaronkoo
    Apr 12 4:55 PM
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      I finally did what we talked about a long time ago here. I looked at
      how well we can predict the pace of a single game based upon the two
      teams' average paces. I used a formula like Stratomatic uses:

      GamePace = TmA_avgpacediff + TmB_avgpacediff

      So if TmA is 4 possessions per game faster than normal and TmB is 1
      possession per game slower than league average, then they
      are "expected" to play at a pace 3 possessions faster than average.

      Over the last few years, this has an average error of -0.07 poss per
      game. It actually slightly underpredicts pace, which surprised me,
      but not by any large amount. The mean absolute error was 3.1, as
      opposed to 3.8 using just the league average as a predictor. It
      predicted about 71% of games correctly with regard to whether they
      would be faster or slower than average.

      This implies to me that a team's average pace has a pretty small
      impact on the actual game pace. Reducing 3.8 to 3.1 is only about
      20%. There is a fair amount of "other" factors that may account for
      pace changes. I'm not sure how much we can identify in those other
      factors, though.

      Time to brainstorm: What independent factors are there that can be
      used to a priori predict the pace of a game? Playoffs used to be a
      significant one -- the pace used to get a lot slower in the playoffs.
      I haven't looked in a while. If that's the case, competitiveness
      (how close the teams are and how good they are) would be another
      factor (correlated to playoffs). Not sure what else.

      Note: I did correct for overtime games.

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