Limits...
"Hand down, man down." Analysis of defensive adjustments in response to the hot hand in basketball using novel defense metrics.

Csapo P, Raab M - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The hot-hand phenomenon, according to which a player's performance is significantly elevated during certain phases relative to the expected performance based on the player's base rate, has left many researchers and fans in basketball puzzled: The vast majority of players, coaches and fans believe in its existence but statistical evidence supporting this belief has been scarce.However, we find that shooting percentages of presumably hot players do not increase and that shooting performance is not related to streakiness, so that the defenders' hot-hand behavior cannot be considered ecologically rational.Therefore, we are unable to find evidence in favor of the hot-hand effect even when accounting for defensive pressure.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The hot-hand phenomenon, according to which a player's performance is significantly elevated during certain phases relative to the expected performance based on the player's base rate, has left many researchers and fans in basketball puzzled: The vast majority of players, coaches and fans believe in its existence but statistical evidence supporting this belief has been scarce. It has frequently been argued that the hot hand in basketball is unobservable because of strategic adjustments and defensive interference of the opposing team. We use a dataset with novel metrics, such as the number of defenders and the defensive intensity for each shot attempt, which enable us to directly measure defensive pressure. First, we examine how the shooting percentage of NBA players changes relative to the attributes of each metric. We find that it is of lesser importance by how many defenders a player is guarded but that defensive intensity, e.g., whether a defender raises his hand when his opponent shoots, has a larger impact on shot difficulty. Second, we explore how the underlying metrics and shooting accuracy change as a function of streak length. Our results indicate that defensive pressure and shot difficulty increase (decrease) during hot (cold) streaks, so that defenders seem to behave according to the hot-hand belief and try to force hot players into more difficult shots. However, we find that shooting percentages of presumably hot players do not increase and that shooting performance is not related to streakiness, so that the defenders' hot-hand behavior cannot be considered ecologically rational. Therefore, we are unable to find evidence in favor of the hot-hand effect even when accounting for defensive pressure.

Show MeSH
Evolution of FG% Conditional on the Number of Consecutive Hits and Misses and Selected Defensive Metrics.2A. Number of Defenders. 2B. Shot Defense.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256225&req=5

pone-0114184-g002: Evolution of FG% Conditional on the Number of Consecutive Hits and Misses and Selected Defensive Metrics.2A. Number of Defenders. 2B. Shot Defense.

Mentions: Overall, the analysis allowed the observation of only very few trends in the data. For most variables, differences in shooting percentages were small with observed values frequently being lower for hot than cold states (see Figure S3). The t-test yielded significant differences for only one of 19 comparisons, namely for shots defended by three or more players. In this case, FG% increased from 50.70% during cold to 74.00% during hot streaks. In contrast, a decreasing trend in FG% from cold to hot streaks could be observed for shots defended by one and two players, respectively (see Figure 2A).


"Hand down, man down." Analysis of defensive adjustments in response to the hot hand in basketball using novel defense metrics.

Csapo P, Raab M - PLoS ONE (2014)

Evolution of FG% Conditional on the Number of Consecutive Hits and Misses and Selected Defensive Metrics.2A. Number of Defenders. 2B. Shot Defense.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4256225&req=5

pone-0114184-g002: Evolution of FG% Conditional on the Number of Consecutive Hits and Misses and Selected Defensive Metrics.2A. Number of Defenders. 2B. Shot Defense.
Mentions: Overall, the analysis allowed the observation of only very few trends in the data. For most variables, differences in shooting percentages were small with observed values frequently being lower for hot than cold states (see Figure S3). The t-test yielded significant differences for only one of 19 comparisons, namely for shots defended by three or more players. In this case, FG% increased from 50.70% during cold to 74.00% during hot streaks. In contrast, a decreasing trend in FG% from cold to hot streaks could be observed for shots defended by one and two players, respectively (see Figure 2A).

Bottom Line: The hot-hand phenomenon, according to which a player's performance is significantly elevated during certain phases relative to the expected performance based on the player's base rate, has left many researchers and fans in basketball puzzled: The vast majority of players, coaches and fans believe in its existence but statistical evidence supporting this belief has been scarce.However, we find that shooting percentages of presumably hot players do not increase and that shooting performance is not related to streakiness, so that the defenders' hot-hand behavior cannot be considered ecologically rational.Therefore, we are unable to find evidence in favor of the hot-hand effect even when accounting for defensive pressure.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The hot-hand phenomenon, according to which a player's performance is significantly elevated during certain phases relative to the expected performance based on the player's base rate, has left many researchers and fans in basketball puzzled: The vast majority of players, coaches and fans believe in its existence but statistical evidence supporting this belief has been scarce. It has frequently been argued that the hot hand in basketball is unobservable because of strategic adjustments and defensive interference of the opposing team. We use a dataset with novel metrics, such as the number of defenders and the defensive intensity for each shot attempt, which enable us to directly measure defensive pressure. First, we examine how the shooting percentage of NBA players changes relative to the attributes of each metric. We find that it is of lesser importance by how many defenders a player is guarded but that defensive intensity, e.g., whether a defender raises his hand when his opponent shoots, has a larger impact on shot difficulty. Second, we explore how the underlying metrics and shooting accuracy change as a function of streak length. Our results indicate that defensive pressure and shot difficulty increase (decrease) during hot (cold) streaks, so that defenders seem to behave according to the hot-hand belief and try to force hot players into more difficult shots. However, we find that shooting percentages of presumably hot players do not increase and that shooting performance is not related to streakiness, so that the defenders' hot-hand behavior cannot be considered ecologically rational. Therefore, we are unable to find evidence in favor of the hot-hand effect even when accounting for defensive pressure.

Show MeSH