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Wed, 16 Jan 2019 (by Clifton Neeley, Creator of Baseball VMI and Basketball VMI - Visual Memory Index)
Today is probably a good day to mention something I've begun to notice in the NBA as related to the VMI. On Tuesday night Golden State went ballistic on the Denver Nuggets The Warriors set NBA records.
This points out two, maybe three things I've stated in this website, one (at least) that I'm going to need to change. It also pointed out one thing I'll keep without changing.
The Warriors came into Denver from their sea level location and sported a Plus 21.59 VMI. That means they were used to launching the ball with additional power by about 4 inches more than they needed to use in Denver. The adjustment normally means that accuracy in shooting should suffer like it did in October when they last visited Denver and shot only 24.1% three pointers.
Not only did the Warriors kill the Nuggets from every distance and angle, they shot 53.8% from downtown.
The thing I've been noticing lately that appears to be incorrect is this:
I have stated that it matters not whether a team is a plus VMI or a minus VMI, the fact they need to adjust should return similar results. I now believe that is a wrong assessment in the NBA. It is beginning to appear that visiting teams to Denver, Utah, Phoenix, Atlanta and Minnesota sporting a higher than normal Plus VMI, have an easier time adjusting to accuracy than teams leaving those arenas and traveling to sea level. A team leaving a higher altitude location would naturally sport a high Minus VMI and their normal thrust would leave the ball a few inches short.
The data is showing that being able to shoot further in a more relaxed state of being while arriving in Denver and other higher elevations is returning a little better results than the opposite situation. That is; it is better to be in the plus VMI, than the minus VMI.
Something that appears to be wrong, may be only a temporary issue:
Recently, I wrote that the three-point percentages in all the higher VMI Ranges had fallen below those in the low VMI Ranges. With the Warriors' very high shooting number and percent on Tuesday, the range (probably temporarily) exceeds the shooting percent of the low VMI ranges.
I will make changes to the text in our website as soon as I feel comfortable that these issues are not just temporary.
2018-19 Season Premium Data as of January 20
Mon, 07 Jan 2019 (by RotoGuru)
Starting January 20, 2019, some data will be available only via premium subscription. The cost for this data for the 2018-19 NBA season is $32. For details on which data reports and formats are impacted, please click HERE.
Data for the past several NBA seasons continues to be available. Note that each NBA season's data requires a separate subscription. Details and subscription links appear on the same page, underneath the info for the current season.
Premium data subscriptions deferred until January
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 (by RotoGuru)
Due to a confluence of personal priorities, migration of some 2018-19 data files to premium subscription status will be delayed until January. Subscription details will be announced sometime in the second week of January.
Until then, continue to enjoy the 2018-19 data for free. Happy Holidays!
VMI Ranges Beginning to Tell a Story
Thu, 13 Dec 2018 (by Clifton Neeley, Creator of Baseball VMI and Basketball VMI - Visual Memory Index)
As many of you have also been doing, I have been watching the NBA performances aligned with the VMI formulas. Of course, we still have many games to go and a number of data points to gather before we know the truth, but there are some signs that are taking shape.
As of today, another marker followed suit, as was expected. That is; if one looks closely at the three point shooting in the NBA, the percentages made within all the ranges of the VMI have now dropped below the percentages made in the zero to 5.99 VMI Ranges shooting percentages. That, of course, was expected to occur and certainly by the All Star Break.
Based on the understanding that the heavier air would hold the ball back by more than an inch in the minus VMI ranges above 6.00, which track the teams' exposure throughout their individual schedules, all those accuracy percentages in the ranges above 6.00 have now dropped below the accuracy percentage achieved where the shooting is minimally affected by the air.
At this point, less than 1/3 of the season is behind us, but whether plus VMI, or minus VMI, all the ranges show less accurate shooting the further from zero the VMI identifies the teams' need for adjustment. It is doubtful that the 3-point shooting in the higher ranges will exceed the minimally affected production for the remainder of the season.
Lebron's Comments a Season Ago Come Back Around
Wed, 28 Nov 2018 (by Clifton Neeley, Creator of Baseball VMI and Basketball VMI - Visual Memory Index)
Last year Lebron James made a statement about Denver Nuggets poor shooting. After last Tuesday's game in Denver, Lebron may have a new view of how difficult it is to adjust to and from high altitude 3-point shooting.
In season's past, Lebron has had a good game in Denver and returned later for a bad one. Tuesday in his most recent trip, he had arguably the worst game in his career going 0 for 4 from outside and helping his team to an embarrassing loss to the Nuggets.
The Lakers as a team shot 5 for 35 on three pointers as they sported a +21.88 VMI, meaning their shots would be several inches long and each player must adjust. No Laker hit more than 1 3-pointer in their loss to the Nuggets whose VMI was 5 something, meaning they would probably be less than an inch off from their usual shooting distance.
The truth is, this does not mean it will happen every time a team transitions to Denver or Utah or Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and a couple other higher altitude venues. We don't know the percentages of accurate determination of either wins & losses, or 3-point shooting, or defensive rebounding yet. It may take a full season, or more to determine what the percentages of accuracy the VMI can be trusted for, but it now appears that day is going to arrive.
When I first began to observe the three-point shooting differential was in 2001 to 2005, or about the time Josh Kroenke was playing for the University of Missouri Tigers Basketball Team. The Tigers transitioned from Missouri to the University of Colorado for a game which I was totally convinced would be a "Slam Dunk" win for Colorado due to outside shooting.
The absolute opposite happened. The Tigers adjusted very nicely in that game and sunk 3-pointer after 3-pointer in a blow out win against Colorado in Boulder at 5,500 feet in elevation. In particular, I noticed that the success seemed to come when they stepped back a few feet from the three point arc to shoot. Those longer shots happened to be the perfect way to combat the altitude for that game, but it doesn't always work that way. Kobe Bryant did the same thing against the Denver Nuggets on many occasions, but he too, struggled to make it work all the time.
So, all we can say at this point is that the players need to adjust. Some will adjust better than others and some teams will adjust better, as well. However, there is a percentage that will reveal itself some time this year. It will be repeated over the next couple years to provide us with an answer as to how often do individuals and teams make the adjustment flawlessly, and how often can we count on disaster for the teams trying to overcome the altitude transitions.
VMI and ADI data for all 2018-19 NBA games is now included in the RotoGuru/DHD NBA master file. These two data elements have now been appended to the end of each player data line.
The NBA master file is still available for free, but will eventually convert to a premium basis, available only by subscription. Subscription details will be announced later in November.
Once the file transitions to a premium basis, ADI and VMI values for the current game day will be restricted to those who are also members at basketballVMI.com. (Note that all baseballVMI.com members will automatically be grandfathered with basketballVMI membership for this season.) Historical ADI and VMI data will be unrestricted (i.e., available to all).
(Note: ADI and VMI data are not available for prior seasons.)
Effects of altitude on a basketball three-point shot
Sat, 03 Nov 2018 (by Clifton Neeley, Creator of Baseball VMI and Basketball VMI - Visual Memory Index)
As stated earlier, most people are aware of the differences in flight distance of a baseball, football, or golf ball between sea level and the altitude of Denver, Colorado, which represents the extreme altitude for many professional sports. However, few have given much thought to the three-point shot in basketball as it relates to all the teams in the NBA and College basketball.
Recently, the Golden State Warriors visited Denver, Colorado for a matchup of the best 3 point shooting team in recent history vs the Nuggets who have long been the worst 3 point shooting team in NBA history. Neither team is used to playing NBA basketball in Denver’s higher altitude. It showed.
The Warriors made 7 of 29 shots for a 24.1 percentage when they normally are almost twice that production clip. The Nuggets, who are playing better to begin this season, made 6 of 32 shots for a paltry 18.8 percentage. Both teams had done some shooting at Denver and Utah, but it did not solve all the issues that come up during game time action.
The ADI that we present at www.basketballvmi.com gauges primarily the barometric pressure and the VMI that we present not only on our website, but will also provide on this site as well, gauges the conditions that are normal for the two teams in any NBA match-up. The Warriors were a plus 14.84 for that game, meaning they were used to shooting about 3-1/2 inches longer to hit their 3-pointers. Not all the players adjusted well, and this is the purpose of the VMI for Basketball. It should tell you something about the additional opportunities for offensive and defensive rebounds, as well as when a team is “out of their element.”
"Actual Barometric Pressure" stated in "Inches of Mercury"
One of the most significant issues for basketball people to understand is actual air pressure. The hidden truth about pressure is inadvertently hidden from the public by the media, because meteorologists speak of barometric pressure from a "sea level" measurement. Meteorologists must present a clear picture of air pressure highs and lows so that they can keep a watch on the small daily pressure changes within "all" altitudes across the nation and around the world. Therefore, they have adjusted the standard air pressure at all locations to "sea level", but this does not represent the "actual pressure" for the elevation.
In order to adjust the standard sea level pressure measurement of 29.92 inches of mercury to the actual pressure at differing altitudes, one must subtract approximately 1 inch of mercury for every 1,000 feet of altitude. Therefore Phoenix, AZ would normally read approximately 28.92 actual barometric pressure; Las Vegas, NV at 2500 feet in elevation would normally read about 27.00 inches of mercury; Lubbock, TX air pressure would be represented at about 26.50 inches of mercury; and Denver, CO normal air pressure is actually measured at 25.42 inches of mercury.
The basketball is larger than that used in most sports projectiles and is full of air, so is light in weight. On a three-point shot and without spin, it does not "knuckle" in flight because it does not have any large smooth surfaces. It probably does not lift due to backward spin either, because there are no exterior protrusions (such as seams) and the lack of speed would also not allow it to lift in flight.
The thrust at the release point is the fastest speed of the shot and, of course, due to gravity, slows as it reaches the top of the arc. The speed then increases from that point to the basketball rim. The air resistance is applied from the beginning of the shot all the way to the rim, therefore the difference in amount of air resistance is the reason the distance of the flight changes from climate to climate. See our discussion about "Air Weight" for a better understanding of the difference between altitudinal air densities.
An interesting side note: When it comes to media discussions of air pressure in weather related events, such as hurricanes, Meteorologists convert the conversation from "inches of mercury" to pressure in "milibars." Why? Well, it keeps the non-professionals guessing as "Terminology" is the great separation between layman and professional. It may be easier to drop the decimals off "inches of mercury" and use milibars instead, but essentially they express the same air pressure.
Sea level "inches of mercury" actual pressure is stated as 29.92 hg (inches of mercury) which can also be stated as 1013 Milibars, as they are the same. Another expression for the same air pressure is 14.7 psi (pounds per square inch).
So at sea level actual pressure is 29.92 hg, or 1013 pa (milibars in pascal), or 14.7 psi. However, actual pressure at Denver, CO at 5,200 feet elevation is 25.10 hg, or 850 pa, or 12.33 psi.
It is this "850 pa" that I want to point out at Denver, Colorado which is standard air pressure for that altitude. Pressure inside a hurricane periodically hits 850 or so milibars, because the centrifugal force applied by wind at the exterior edge pulls the molecules apart with a huge force causing the air pressure to drop to the same as in Denver, but the outside air pressure is 1013 milibars. This pressure differential is what causes extreme damage and extremely high winds. Does that give you pause as it relates to a basketball flying through air in Denver as opposed to air at sea level? It does for me.
Game stats are up
Wed, 17 Oct 2018 (by RotoGuru)
Reporting is now up for regular season NBA player stats.
Daily Fantasy Point Recaps are available for FanDuel, Draftkings, and Yahoo DFS. You can choose to view players sorted by position (default), or in boxscore order. In addition to the standard html output, SCSV (semi-colon delimited values) formatting is available as an option.
As in past seasons, the master file and the SCSV version of the daily recaps will eventually be available only via premium subscription. But for at least the next four weeks, they will be provided for free.
Sat, 13 Oct 2018 (by RotoGuru)
I'm in the process of resetting all of the various DHD/RotoGuru Hoops reporting for the 2018-19 NBA season
As of today, I have tentative working versions of the following:
Sortable Stats, with DFS salary data for FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo DFS. Note that I am only capturing salary data for the "Classic" format with the full daily slate of games. I will not be capturing salary data for single-game formats. Note that if you choose the trailing 7, 15, or 30 day periods, preseason games will be included. If you select "full season", preseason games will be excluded. (So if you want to see any data prior to the start of the season, don't select "full season".)
As in the past several years, I will be producing the premium NBA master data file. This will hopefully be available by Wednesday, October 17. The file will be provided for free for at least the first four weeks of the NBA season. Subscription details will be announced around the beginning of November. (Remember that a separate subscription is required for each NBA season.)
Daily point recaps and the Stat Summarizer will be available by sometime on Wednesday as well. Stay tuned for further announcements as these come online.
As always, if you notice anything that looks to be incorrect, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thu, 11 Oct 2018 (by RotoGuru)
Special announcement from www.BasketballVMI.com:
As many of you already know from having read "Baseball Unraveled" by Clifton Neeley--Basketball is also affected by air resistance.
Since the NBA season is right around the corner, VMI is introducing "BasketballVMI." Within a few days of the opening of the regular NBA Season in 2018, we should be able to present the schedule ahead of game time and track the ADI and VMI for all the teams.
What will be the "Real World" focus for Basketball as it relates to NBA teams?
For Basketball, the issue is not the trajectory, but the distance of flight of the three point shot. Most everyone knows that golf balls, footballs, and other projectiles fly further in higher altitude locations than at sea level venues. Taking this concept a step further, we know that every venue between high altitudes and sea level, such as Oklahoma, Arizona, Atlanta, Texas, Minnesota and others are affected by air resistance differently. Can this be affecting 3 point shooting around the league when teams transition between those venues? How does good or bad 3 point shooting affect the other aspects of the game, such as rebounding and put-backs?
For the three point shot, the sensitive touch of the shooter is highly affected if what the shooter sees and muscle memory remembers as the amount of wrist and finger snap changes due to air resistance either holding the ball back a few inches, or freeing the ball to fly further than he/she is used to.
Since most, if not all, NBA and College basketball is played indoors, then temperature and humidity are not significant factors under normal playing conditions. However, "Actual" barometric pressure is a significant factor verified by Dr. Robert Adair, Professor Emeritus in Physics and author of The Physics of Baseball, Yale University.
We at Air Resistance Technologies will present for you a VMI based on a formula by Clifton Neeley which identifies when a team of players will be used to a shot flying 1 to 6 inches further or shorter than they are used to feeling and therefore affecting the overall shooting percentages, rebounding opportunities and put-back opportunities.
2017-18 Premium Data as of December 20
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 (by RotoGuru)
Starting December 20, 2017, some data will be available only via premium subscription. For details on which data reports and formats are impacted, please click HERE.
Master data file is up
Wed, 18 Oct 2017 (by RotoGuru)
The master data file for the 2017-18 NBA season is now up. After November (exact date TBD), this will become a premium subscription file. But during November, everyone can access it for free.
With the NBA season starting soon, the various DHD/RotoGuru NBA tools are coming back to life. Here are some of the reports that have been activated so far:
Sortable stats: If you select the option for the last 30 days, you’ll get preseason stats. (Defaulting to "Full Season" gets you only regular season stats, which are all zero right now.) Season-opening DFS salaries are provided for FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo. (Preseason salaries are not provided.) If a player salary has not yet been listed at a DFS site, then that player will be shown with a position of X and a salary of $0. If you click on any linked player name, you’ll get some preseason game details.
Daily fantasy points: Since I’m not tracking preseason salary data (if any even exists), all players show up as unlisted and unsalaried. But you can at least see some of the statistical parameters. And if you elect to sort by game, you’ll get results organized more-or-less in boxscore order.
The master file for the coming season is not yet available, and will not include preseason data. That file will be created once the regular season begins, and will be free for the first month or so.
If you notice any apparent glitches, please let me know (email@example.com). In particular, preseason data is tricky in that some non-NBA teams are involved, so that does create some data anomalies that will not be present during the regular season. Nevertheless, I hope to have most of the relevant updated and available.
Data at a premium
Sat, 21 Jan 2017 (by RotoGuru)
Beginning February 1, some of the text versions of various reports will become premium-only, and subject to a subscription fee.
Accessing these 2016-17 NBA premium data files after the end of January requires a one-time $25 subscription.
To subscribe, please click HERE. Payment may be made by PayPal or by credit card.
Before subscribing, please review the Terms of service. By subscribing, you agree to abide by these terms.
NBA Fantasy Update
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 (by Adam Hayes)
Fantasy sports are always going to be unpredictable no matter how much studying you do before the season starts. Some superstar players are going to disappoint and other players are going to come out of nowhere to deliver great value to their potential fantasy owners. Making adjustments to the way you value each player during the season is the only way you will be able to compete with the other teams in your league. These are the biggest underachievers and surprise breakout stars in fantasy basketball this year.
Disappointing Stars Worth Dropping
Nikola Mirotic Nikola Mirotic was expected to have a big year after a performing well in the final two months of last season. These high expectations got Mirotic drafted around the 7th round of most fantasy basketball drafts. While he started the season off fine, Mirotic's biggest problem this season has been a lack of playing time. New coach Fred Hoiberg simply does not trust Nikola Mirotic on the court right now. This has caused his playing time and scoring to drop every month of the season. You may have spent a high draft pick on him, but it is time to find someone delivering more playing time and production than Nikola Mirotic.
Aaron Gordon It may seem odd to recommend dropping Aaron Gordon after he just had a huge game with 33 points and seven rebounds, but that performance was an anomaly for Gordon this season. Gordon actually only had 32 points in his previous four games before his huge performance against the Clippers a few days ago. Aaron Gordon is one of the most talented young players in the NBA, but he is far too inconsistent to help fantasy owners on a consistent basis. His playing time issues were also supposed to end when head coach Scott Skiles quit in the off-season, but he is still struggling to get consistent playing time under new coach Frank Vogel.
Must-Add Surprise Players
Maurice Harkless No player has surprised more than Maurice Harkless this season, but he is still available in most fantasy leagues. Harkless has been a great source of production from the small forward position because he is averaging more than 31 minutes of playing time per game. He may not be one of the most talented players in the league, but the extensive playing time is allowing Harkless to average more than 12 points, five rebounds and one steal a game. He may not be known by everyone right now, but it will not be long before Harkless is owned in every league if he continues his great season.
Thabo Sefolosha Thabo Sefolosha has always been one of the most underappreciated players in the NBA, and his balanced game is finally rewarding fantasy owners this season. Sefolosha received limited playing time during his first two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, but that has recently changed thanks to the poor play of Kent Bazemore and Kyle Korver. Sefolosha is getting ignored by most fantasy owners because of he only averages just under 8 points a game, but his ability to help in every stat category is the main reason you want him on your team.
Adam Hayes hails from New York City where he is a marketing associate by day and blogger by night. He is a self proclaimed fantasy guru that spends too much time perfecting his lineup. One summer Adam visited 21 of 30 MLB stadiums (and only caught one foul ball).