Analytics Salon, Episode 1: Dion Waiters vs. Bradley Beal

Editor’s Note: This is a HP Basketball Network cross-promotional post, sharing a video project that just began at Nylon Calculus.

Experimentation is high on our list of priorities here at the HP Basketball Network and last night we’re going to try something new — an Analytics Salon. The idea was to bring together some of the bright young minds we have writing for Nylon Calculus and see what context an analytics-based discussion could bring to a big basketball question. In last night’s initial episode, I facilitated this discussion between Ben Dowsett, Kevin Ferrigan, Jacob Rosen and Nathan Walker about the relative merits of Dion Waiters and Bradley Beal.

We focused the discussion around four main questions:

  1. Which is more valuable: Bradley Beal’s shooting or Dion Waiters’ shot-creation abilities?
  2. How important is the difference in age (Beal is about 18 months younger)?
  3. Which player is the better defender?
  4. Is it really possible to separate each player from the context of their team environments and measure their relative value in a vacuum?

This was a trial run and mistakes were made. For example, technical difficulties caused us to start nearly 40 minutes late and we thus squeezed for time towards the end of the discussion. But we have every intention of making a recurring feature out of the Analytics Salon, so if you have feedback or constructive criticism, please let us know!


Ian Levy

Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) writes about basketball from the wilds of Southern Vermont. In addition to his work for Hardwood Paroxysm, he is the man behind the curtain at Hickory-High and a contributor to Indy Cornrows, The Two Man Game and HoopChalk.