Predicting Shot Success in NBA

Predicting Shot Success in NBA

Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 15:00-16:15

Room: Zoom

Presenter: Pliatsikas Anastasios, EWORX S.A.

Basketball teams have expended significant resources in an attempt to measure and identify court locations from which individual players shoot at a higher percentage. In this regard, the current study's main goals are to determine the best approach for predicting shot success as well as gain insights into the performance indicators affecting players' shooting effectiveness. Using player tracking and play-by-play data from the NBA's 2014-2015 season, along with summary statistics and player bios, we are able to investigate a player's performance history and in-the-moment factors that may influence shot success. We also look into each team's shooting strategies, the factors influencing shooting efficiency and the defensive aspect of the game. We develop several classification models and assess their performance using a variety of evaluation metrics. We initially use this methodology regardless of field goal type, and then we apply it while differentiating between two-point and three-point field goals. We conclude that the spatial-temporal aspects of shots and each player's shooting abilities, have a significant impact on a shot’s success. We believe that our study could help in better understanding the game of basketball by quantifying players and teams, and apply it in roster construction and in-game strategy.

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