What's Happening Under the Hood?

Our team is continuously striving to produce the most realistic NBA simulation product on the market. Each person on our data science squad either worked for an NBA franchise or the league itself. With this in mind, we 're excited to announce a major update to the Swoops simulator:

Play Level Simulation

  • The transition from box score based simulations to play by play based simulations will improve the several pieces of the Swoops products including:

    • Continuous game flow

    • Redistributing shots based on each player’s usage. This helps to account for the old adage that there is “only one ball”. This will improve the degree to which shots are distributed among stars on super teams.

    • Adding more granular shot locations based on player tendencies

Defense and Team Adjusted Ratings

  • Revamped NBA player ratings that more closely reflect true ability and impact on the court. This transition from a box score based approach to a more granular approach allows our new and improved NBA ratings to adjust for quality of opponent, time in the game, and other players on the court.

  • By adjusting for other players on the court, the simulator now can more accurately judge how two players will play together who have not done so in the past. How would Draymond fair if he were not on the Warriors? The simulator is able to now paint a better picture of what that might look like.

Outlier Reduction

  • Reduction in extreme outlier games

    • While upsets and 60 point games will surely still happen, as they do in the NBA, the new version of the simulator will see fewer extreme outliers.

Expanded Chemistry

  • With play-by-play level data, we now know exactly who is on the court at any given point in a game. As a result, chemistry will play a bigger factor in the new and improved product. With a richer data source, we can assess the way different skill sets interact with one another. The new simulator adjusts shot types, locations, and likelihood of a make based on the interactions between all players on the court.

  • Version 1 of the simulator only included on ball defense with regards to its defensive adjustments. Now, the simulator integrates team defense in order to adjust shot selection and make percentages. Defenses, even more than offenses, function as systems, which is why we felt treating them as such is an important improvement.

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