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  1. #1
    Pylons's Avatar
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    What does "streaky" really mean?

    Players are often described as "streaky" shooters or scorers.

    What does that mean? If you did some analysis, what would look different between the streaky guy and the non-streaky? What sort of threshold would you be looking for on what stat? would it be relative to the players overall average or some sort of absolute?

    Discuss

    Perhaps I'll find enough time and bourbon soon to analyze.

  2. #2
    Gadfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    Players are often described as "streaky" shooters or scorers.

    What does that mean? If you did some analysis, what would look different between the streaky guy and the non-streaky? What sort of threshold would you be looking for on what stat? would it be relative to the players overall average or some sort of absolute?

    Discuss

    Perhaps I'll find enough time and bourbon soon to analyze.
    Good topic, and one in which I've had interest. Scientists have looked at this and concluded it doesn't exist. For more on this, listen to the Radiolab show on Seeking Patterns: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91687-seeking-patterns/

    Jonah Lehrer examined one of the most skilled basketball teams ever, the '82 - '83 '76ers to explore whether or not the mythical "hot hand" actually exists.
    "You live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here...Death ends life, not a relationship. M. Albom

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    Players are often described as "streaky" shooters or scorers.

    What does that mean? If you did some analysis, what would look different between the streaky guy and the non-streaky? What sort of threshold would you be looking for on what stat? would it be relative to the players overall average or some sort of absolute?

    Discuss

    Perhaps I'll find enough time and bourbon soon to analyze.
    Vector
    "That's some catch, that Catch 22!" - Capt. Yossarian

  4. #4
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    I like to define streaky on game performance. A streaky guy is the one who consistently has the largest discrepancy between high and low performances. For example over 5 games player 1 scores 19, 15, 16, 19, 13 averaging 36 minutes per game... Now take player 2 who scores 17, 5, 21, 9, 19 averaging 33 minutes a game. Player one is who many here would consider a consistent scorer, player 2 a streaky one.

    Player 1 averaged 18 ppg for the year, player 2 12. For Hokie fans this is obvious, these numbers both came against ACC competition, player 1 is Malcolm Delaney and player 2 is Jarell Eddie. This is the best way I can try to explain "streaky," as it truly doesn't apply to shooting statistically in a game, but over the course of a season you can see which player are streaky and which ones arent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    Players are often described as "streaky" shooters or scorers.

    What does that mean? If you did some analysis, what would look different between the streaky guy and the non-streaky? What sort of threshold would you be looking for on what stat? would it be relative to the players overall average or some sort of absolute?

    Discuss

    Perhaps I'll find enough time and bourbon soon to analyze.

  5. #5
    Pylons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadfly View Post
    Good topic, and one in which I've had interest. Scientists have looked at this and concluded it doesn't exist. For more on this, listen to the Radiolab show on Seeking Patterns: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91687-seeking-patterns/

    Jonah Lehrer examined one of the most skilled basketball teams ever, the '82 - '83 '76ers to explore whether or not the mythical "hot hand" actually exists.
    thanks for the info...didn't listen to the show, but upon further googling:

    "After analyzing all the shots of the 76ers, the psychologists discovered that there was absolutely no evidence of “the hot hand.” A player’s chance of making a shot was not affected by whether or not their previous shots had gone in; each field goal attempt was its own independent event. The short runs experienced by the 76ers were no different than the short runs that naturally emerge from any random process. Taking a jumper was like flipping a coin. The streaks were a figment of our imagination."

    which kind of mirrors my typical reaction to "he's a streaky shooter." I don't think anyone would describe a coin as streaky, but if you flipped it 100 times, you'd have some streaks of heads and some streaks of tails.

  6. #6
    Pylons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soflahokie View Post
    I like to define streaky on game performance. A streaky guy is the one who consistently has the largest discrepancy between high and low performances. For example over 5 games player 1 scores 19, 15, 16, 19, 13 averaging 36 minutes per game... Now take player 2 who scores 17, 5, 21, 9, 19 averaging 33 minutes a game. Player one is who many here would consider a consistent scorer, player 2 a streaky one.

    Player 1 averaged 18 ppg for the year, player 2 12. For Hokie fans this is obvious, these numbers both came against ACC competition, player 1 is Malcolm Delaney and player 2 is Jarell Eddie. This is the best way I can try to explain "streaky," as it truly doesn't apply to shooting statistically in a game, but over the course of a season you can see which player are streaky and which ones arent.
    yeah I can certainly buy consistent/inconsistent game-by-game...not sure if I'd necessarily link it to "streaky" though

    fwiw, Delaney and Eddie for those years were not nearly as different as those 5-game stretches, where Delaney's average was 16.4 with a stddev of 2.6 and Eddie was 14.2, 6.9...hugely different. For those seasons, however, Delaney was 18.9, 6.1 and Eddie was 12.3, 6.9. Still, a std deviation that's 1/3 of the average is definitely quite a bit different from 1/2 the average

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    yeah I can certainly buy consistent/inconsistent game-by-game...not sure if I'd necessarily link it to "streaky" though

    fwiw, Delaney and Eddie for those years were not nearly as different as those 5-game stretches, where Delaney's average was 16.4 with a stddev of 2.6 and Eddie was 14.2, 6.9...hugely different. For those seasons, however, Delaney was 18.9, 6.1 and Eddie was 12.3, 6.9. Still, a std deviation that's 1/3 of the average is definitely quite a bit different from 1/2 the average
    I think that data might imply that Eddie was a less consistent scorer than Delaney (which is pretty obviously true), but as you point out it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with streaky shooting, per se. And that's what people are usually talking about when they refer to basketball players being streaky: their shooting %. And I would agree that there's essentially no evidence that "streaky" shooting is a real thing.

    I always talk about this on here but basketball is a high variance sport. You will see things happen over the course of a game and season that will drive you crazy as a fan and cause you to try to come up with explanations that fit a narrative that a fan can accept. The myth of the streaky shooter is a great example of that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    What does "streaky" really mean?
    Poor diet, bad wiping, or possibly some sort of medical condition.
    Last edited by 313A; Fri Nov 22 2013 at 01:29 PM.

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