Seeing this argument about hot streaks coming up again has motivated me to gather up both flox and everyone else's opinions from different sources, look up the facts, and attempt to figure out what this is all about. Here is a very nice and really kind of neat article summarizing both points of views. It is about the game where Brandon Rush and the Kansas Jayhawks got hot against Tyler Hansbrough and the Tar Heels which is really pretty neat considering that they are both on the Pacers:
Now this is the study that that article was referring to. Take a quick look at this:
I obviously didn't read the whole thing, or got relatively close to reading ten pages. But the overall summary is that there is no evidence that "hot hands" or "hot streaks" exist. According to this study, the statistical probability of a player hitting ten shots or so in a row every once in a while is just that: statistical probability. Not a hot streak, not a hot hand. Such as our third quarter vs. Denver. That hasn't been done before in our franchise's history, but eventually in due time it was bound to happen due to statistical probability.. For example:
If I flip a coin 10,000 times, will I eventually flip heads 20x in a row? Most certainly.
If the Pacers play 82 games over multiple decades, aren't we due to have a 20/21 shooting quarter? Most certainly.
Here is another source that would agree with this opinion and it makes sense regarding Ray Allen's 7 threes game in the Finals:
Look at the table and it makes sense. I'd also I'd recommend reading the comments as it falls directly into what we are discussing here on PD.
Here is the middle-ground, hands on piece that is very interesting to maybe help you form your opinion on the topic:
The last paragraph is key to gauge the overall opinion by the overwhelming majority of this board. The majority on this board is going to say, "Of course they aren't going to be hot too long; They are being guarded tighter and being double-teamed." Which, of course, makes sense.
Here is a very good piece that explains about 99% of ours, basketball fan's, and players themselves opinion on the hot hand:
This is where I personally stand. It is really as simple as other players aren’t going to get hot at certain times good shooter or not? Would Kyle Korver or, oh God, Troy Murphy have had 8 points in nine seconds under the spotlight like Reg did? Of course not. The numbers don’t consider defenses, situations, and overall make players look like robots.“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
The numbers are just numbers, it is up to the people presenting or reviewing the numbers to determine what they mean. It isn’t the statistics that lie, it is the people that use them incorrectly. Intentionally or not. As is the case with any study, how you define the parameters can skew how the results look.
An All-Star player hits three shots in a row. What is the chance of him hitting again? According to stats, it doesn’t matter, he has a whatever % chance to hit again. But mathmaticians and psychologists, take this into effect:
Maybe after the fourth possesion, the team doubles up on the All-Star player and he is forced to take a bad shot?
What if the fourth possesion there are 5 seconds on the clock and the player has to do a half court heave?
What if on the fourth possesion the shot that will be taken will decide the game , and the player doesn’t have the balls to stick it?
This little article right here puts everything that I am trying to say in a nutshell so I will conclude my "research" (or whatever you want to call it. Googling basically) It shows both sides of the spectrum in the best way that I can put it:
So I just wanted to put out both opinions on here, put up a poll, and just try to gauge some interest on an otherwise boring Monday. Discuss.By some magic (know any witches?) you're the head coach of an NBA basketball team. You're down one with twenty seconds to play. Looking around the huddle, you see a power forward who normally shoots 40% from the floor, but is a scalding hot eight of ten so far tonight, and has hit his last three. Then there's your shooting guard, who normally shoots 50% from the floor, but has oddly made just two of ten so far tonight, and has missed his last two.
One of them is going to be the first option in the play you draw up. You have got a decision to make -- and if you're like just about every basketball coach on the planet, one of the many things that will inform your decision is the reality that your power forward has some magic coursing through his veins right now. Everyone in the gym knows that right now he is hot, which means he's more likely than usual to hit his next shot.
And that matters.
But does it, really?
The idea that a player can be hot ... is that something you know, or something that you think you know?