Earlier this week, Apple released a trove of mobility data, published to help cities and the public understand the real-world impacts of the COVID-19 disease on human movement across the world. This data comes a bit after Google’s publishing of Community Mobility Reports, which also seek to provide insight into behavior. While Google’s data, due to their widespread tracking of Android device locations, is able drill into detailed points of interest such as grocery stores, transit stations, and workplaces, Apple’s data, which is based upon Apple Maps direction requests, shows a more narrow slice of user behavior.
As the COVID-19 coronavirus sweeps across the globe, it presents a public health crisis that is daunting to even the best-prepared communities. While most Western nations have resisted the strict quarantine regime that China first implemented in Wuhan, local and national governments are grappling with the best way to contain the spread of the virus, and will need to make critical decisions in the coming days and weeks. For those who have not seen it, the Washington Post put together an excellent model on how infection spreads and the potential benefit of alternative approaches to quarantines, such as moderate and extensive “social distancing”.
When Kevin Garnett joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Boston in 2007, the “Big Three” style of roster construction method came back to the forefront of modern team building. While the Spurs had long employed a Big Three of their own in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker, the rest of the NBA spent the rest of the decade catching up, to various degrees of success. LeBron, with his two stops in Miami and Cleveland, was the most prolific engineer of Big Threes, teaming up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, and then Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to win multiple championships.
Last year, James Harden was an offensive dynamo, averaging a hair over 36 points per game and powering the Rockets to the playoff despite losing Chris Paul and Clint Capela for extended periods of time. He was so impressive that I actually wrote about what an incredible performance he was having, right about this time last year. Hard to top that kind of season right? Well… James Harden is currently averaging 38.
With the 2019-2020 fantasy football season coming to a close, I thought it might be fun to put together a brief retrospective, highlighting some particularly interesting trends and performances by players like Lamar Jackson and Christian McCaffrey. I’m not feeling particularly loquacious, so there won’t be a ton of analysis in this post, but I did throw together a few charts that I wanted to share! Quarterback Performance The rise of Lamar Jackson from Flacco fill-in to prospective league MVP has been the talk of the season, and rightfully so.
One of the most exciting elements of this NBA season is that both LA-based teams are championship contenders, with either LeBron James and Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard and Paul George rolling into the Staples Center nearly every night. As a non-native Angeleno, it’s been super interesting to get a feel for the city’s fan landscape and rooting interests - for as good as the Clippers have been over the past decade, and despite the fact that they are the favorite to win the 2020 NBA Championship, LA is still very much a Laker town.
It’s been too long since I last wrote here! So much has happened in the world that I’ve been a little distracted - my Nationals winning the World Series, the House launching impeachment proceeding over the Ukraine scandal, California wildfires - it’s a crazy time. One undeniably positive development over the last couple weeks has been the return of the NBA, which is about 10 games into the season today. To celebrate the beginning of the season, and dip my toes back into a little sports data, I wanted to carve out some time to dig into the numbers and see what they might tell us about this first chunk of the season.
While baseball’s overarching trends may be leaning the way of the batter, there’s still space for difference-making pitchers to put their own stamp on the game. This year, we’ve been blessed with a plethora of strong seasons from established aces and a number of less-than expected emergences. Just in the past week, we’ve seen Justin Verlander throw his third career no-hitter, Gerrit Cole follow that up with 14 strikeouts, and Steven Strasburg rack up 14 of his own.
Earlier today I was poking through FiveThirtyEight and read a super interesting article chronicling Elizabeth Warren’s rise in popularity since the first Democratic Presidential Debate. Warren, on the strength of particularly high favorable ratings and relatively low unfavorable ratings, currently leads all Democratic candidates in Net Favorability, with a +53 margin. After reading through the table in the article for all 20 major candidates (which is super useful, to be fair), I got to thinking - I bet there’s a better way to show this data!
Two weekends ago, my Nationals lost a tough series to the New York Mets, largely due to clutch late-game hitting from the Mets and some poor relief pitching by the Nationals. What they did do right, however, was grind out tough at-bats against both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom, two of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball. They gave DeGrom a hard time in particular, forcing him to throw 101 pitches over just 5 innings in a game the Nationals ended up winning 7-4.