Basketball and Graph Theory
Through analyzing ball movement on offense, a graph, or network, is created to model the team’s play. By studying and comparing these networks, ASU mathematicians and scientists are able to start asking, and answering, interesting mathematical questions.
For example, the LA Lakers were identified as a “high entropy” team. This means that the Lakers’ ball movement on offense is less predictable than a “low entropy” team like the Utah Jazz.
Furthermore, analysis suggests that a player’s shooting percentage may not be the most important quantitative characteristic on offense; the shot by itself may be less important than the sequence of plays that led up to it.
Another fascinating and exciting story at the intersection of math and sports!