Friday, October 17, 2014



Big men sitting behind their ivory computers would have you think that math is hard, and that you aren’t equipped to use it to predict the future like they are, the big math men with their magic computers:

Look at Herr Siler’s judgemental eyes: “I invented PECOTA and you don’t even know the names of any baseball teams. I can predict how elections are going to turn out because the Wizard taught me SQL while passing you over, because he knew you were too stupid to wave his magic wand. I used an equation to pick this flower and it smells fantastic, better than any flower you would have picked.”

I say ENOUGH. I took math classes. YOU took math classes! Math lives in the bones of every human being, waiting for a person of considerable will to reach inside themselves and scoop it out! Anyone can make a basketball projection system! And to prove it, I will use a systems of my OWN INVENTION to predict the results of the upcoming NEW YORK KNICKS BASKETBALL SEASON. Take it away, numbers!

METHOD ONE: THE STUCKEY (Super Truthful Ultra Cool Exploration, Yes!) PROJECTION SYSTEM

What we have here is a chart that tracks the Knicks winning percentage “over time” or every year they have played professional basketball. That line is a “trend line” and it indicates that the Knicks have, over their 69 Years of existence, been getting slightly worse. Now, it’s not a SUREFIRE thing, but if the trend continues, it stands to reason that the Knicks will win 48.5% of their games this year, or, 40 games. BUT:

If we use the “polynomial” line, we get a curved line. As you know, the earth is curved, so using curves in your graphs while on Earth makes them more accurate. Straight trend lines on a chart only REALLY make sense when you’re standing on a straight planet, like Cubeator. (Astronauts in Zero-Gravity on the Space Shuttle use Space Shuttle shaped trend lines, that look like this:

You can plainly see that if the Knicks were playing in space this year, they would be very bad.) If we look at the polynomial line, the Knicks will win 37 games (or, at the very least, have the point differential of a 37 win team).

METHOD TWO: THE FREDETTE (Free Reader, Explaining Draining Expectations, Time Telling Explorations)

Then again, the Knicks haven’t had the same players for their entire 69 year existence. Walt Frazier was on the team in the 70s, for instance, and he doesn’t play professional basketball anymore. In the recent past, Carmelo Anthony has been the team’s leading scorer and possession user. In his full seasons with the Knicks, they have won:

36 54 37
There are a lot of ways to cook this pancake. For instance, we can run a simple “Average Regression”:

(36+54+37)/3=42 ⅓ (Round Down) = 42

Now, some people will say, “But Corbin, the season where the Knicks won 36 games was a shortened season.” But for these types of calculations, you need to use win totals. Look at what happens when you try to use win percentage in this equation:

(.54+54+37)/3 = 30.5133333333 (Round Up) = 31
Now does it really make ANY sense to say the Knicks are going to win 31 games? They’re A LOT better than that, like 7 games better at least. Whenever you do math to try and figure out sports, you need to trust your eyes at least a little and filter out unreasonable results.

Another way to deal with win totals is with a logarithmic regression:

log(36)*log(54)*log(37)*10=42.2 (Round Down)=42

As you can see, the result of a logarithmic regression reveals a result consistent with traditional average regression within a tenth of a game. Math really is the King of analytic tools!

METHOD THREE: THE RIVERS (Relativity Instructs Viewer, Explains Ring Suppliance)

The real question on everyone’s minds: Will the Knicks Win the Title this Year? For this question, we consult Einstein’s Theory of Energy-Mass Equivalence.

Last season, the Knicks won 37 games and didn’t go to the playoffs at all.

37*0=0% (Chance of winning the title)

Not good, at all! But this year, things are going to be different. Carmelo lost some weight, and there were other trades and maneuvers and such (new coach, Felton for Calderon) that were designed to add energy to the team’s style of play. But how much energy?

(5.4KG, the weight Melo lost*the speed of light ^2) + 12*10^18 (that’s felton’s -10 energy rating replaced by Calderon’s 2) -1*10^17 (Chandler’s + 6 energy rating replaced with Dalembert’s -1) * 3 (triangle offense) = 47.7 * 10 ^ 17

Then you pick out the relevant numbers from the answer and get:

48 Wins * 0 (The 10th seed does not qualify for the playoffs) = 0% chance of winning the title

This projection foretells a STRANGE season for the Knicks: 48 wins but not even in the playoff conversation! I have a hard time believing that the East is going to be that good. I suspect this result indicates a problem with Einstein’s math. I will submit these results to CalTech and they can get to reconsidering some things about relativity.

METHOD FOUR: THE ALCINDOR (A Lively Creator in New Destinies of Reality)

In THIS method, we put down the calculator and consult the mathematics of the spirit world:

The four fires represent the elements of the four Watchtowers of basketball: Scoring, Rebounding, Passing, and Screening. The five point star, upside down, is the traditional key to the world of the spirits and the dead. I used pastels instead of the traditional blood and ash, because I was just looking for some answers about the NBA, not trying to kill someone or something. Pump the breaks, hahaha! Then, I spoke a brief chant, the one transcribed by Wilt Chamberlain in the book where he talked about having sex with 20,000 women. After a minute, a pillar of fire emerged from the altar and a form appeared to me:

It was the form of Frank Williams, a guard who averaged a career high 3.9 points per game with the Knicks in the 2003-04 season. Whether it was the actual spirit of Frank, or a different presence in the form of Frank, I cannot say for sure. He spoke through spiritual channels:

“Cooooooorrrbiiinnn: the Kniiiiicks are gooooooing to win thiiiiirrrttyyy seveeen gameeesss this yeeaaarrrr.”

“Wait. Win 37, or have the point differential of a 37 Win team?”

Before he could answer, a chill ran down my spine. Frank had entered my body. I took on all of his memories: his career at Illinois, where he was the Big Ten Player of the Year, an NBA career marked by frustration, every shot he took in Argentina, his 2009 arrest for marijuana possession. It flooded my mind, another person’s life and memories merged with my own. Then I started to lose control: Frank was trying to expel me from my own body! Thankfully, I was prepared: I ran to the kitchen and drank a glass of Emergen-C. The extreme Vitamin C flooded my body and flushed out Frank’s spirit immediately. When I went number one a few hours later, I heard his ghostly moans leaving my body. I listened close to hear if Frank had any more answer about the Knicks season: he did not.

Even with that little hitch, I still feel that the ALCINDOR method is the most reliable way to predict season totals.  

(Caitlin Obom edited this piece. She is is the sketch comedy group Drop the Root Beet and Run. They are performing at The Pocket Theater in Seattle, WA on Halloween.)

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