Things That Caught My Eye
I hope you don’t enjoy hitting in baseball
Ben Lindbergh looked at partial no-hitters, that is games where a pitcher threw a no-hitter threw a certain number of innings, and found that this season so far has had the most no-hitters though the 5th, 6th and 7th innings since the late 1960s. Through May 8, there were 28 no-hitters through the fifth inning, or 5.3 percent of games played. On any given day with a full slate of games, a no hitter through five innings is more common than not. [The Ringer]
Brad Stevens is responsible for something historic in Boston
Since 1980, only six NBA teams that were projected to have a record less than .500 won at least 55 games. One of them is the 2017-18 Boston Celtics, and a lot of that is attributable to coach Brad Stevens, who has an average of 4.9 extra wins per season over his first five years on the sideline. [FiveThirtyEight]
How the Warriors break you
In the four seasons since Steve Kerr has been coaching the Golden State Warriors, the team has put up 10 unmatched points a total of 253 times, the most in the NBA. These 10-0 periods are where the Warriors really shine. These happen in the first quarter (74 such occasions), the second (66), the third (70) and the fourth (43). [ESPN]
Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?
Esports expansion team prices are rising
It appears the $20 million plopped down by buyers of the initial 12 teams in the nascent Overwatch League is panning out, as the reported price for the next batch of expansion teams is reportedly $30 to $60 million. The broadcasts for the three stages that have aired since January averaged 80,00-170,000 and sponsorships and broadcast sales have come close to $150 million. [ESPN]
It’s lotto time!
With a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick after the NBA Draft lottery and a 64.2 percent chance of getting in the top three, the Phoenix Suns have sufficiently tanked to take the top spot probability-wise in the forthcoming lotto. The Memphis Grizzlies have a 19.9 percent of the first pick, followed by Dallas with a 13.8 percent chance of No. 1. [ESPN]
Warriors win in the Rockets’ casino
Here’s a peculiar situation: Tilman Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget Casino in Vegas, and also as of September, the Houston Rockets. The Golden Nugget casino took bets on the Rockets chances of winning the Western Conference prior to Fertitta’s purchase of the team, and later revised the offering to be “best record in the West” and did not offer a Houston option. As a result, anyone who bet on the Warriors has won already, regardless of whether the Warriors are indeed the best in the West. Moreover, this could hurt the Golden Nugget’s sportsbook should the Rockets make the finals. [ESPN]
Some personal news, though, before we get to the big number: I’m leaving FiveThirtyEight to start a forthcoming daily morning newsletter, Numlock News, and work on other exciting projects. Beside the Points will absolutely continue, but if you’ve been a fan of my run, please subscribe to my new newsletter!
The U.K.-based Perform Group is planning a billion-dollar disruption to U.S. boxing, with the war chest intended to entice American talent to box with their production partner Matchroom Boxing. The plan is to fight back against a domestic boxing establishment predicated on hiding its best content in $100 pay per view packages. [Bloomberg]
Leaks from Slack:
Here’s some context from SIG: If Casey wins the “official” coach of the year award (yesterday’s thing was a COTY voted on by other coaches; the real COTY is voted by journalists), he’d be the fourth coach to win Coach of the Year and then not return to that team the next season (Dolph Schayes in 1965-66; Pat Riley in 1989-90; George Karl in 2012-13).
were the other guys fired, though? karl was, right?
Yeah, Karl was fired
Schayes stepped down to become the supervisor of NBA referees
Oh no, Schayes was fired
“He was named the N.B.A. coach of the year in 1966 for taking the Philadelphia 76ers, the successor to the Syracuse franchise, to a 55-25 regular-season record and the Eastern Division title, only to be fired after they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the powerful Celtics in a series in which the two dominant centers of that era, Boston’s Bill Russell and Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain, went head-to-head.”
Russell was to Schayes as LeBron is to Casey — Boston beat Philly in 65 and 66