Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (June 9, 2015), we discuss whether LeBron James can continue to win NBA Finals games by himself, whether Serena Williams can set the record for most Grand Slams ever and what we’ve learned after the first batch of women’s World Cup games. Plus, a special Significant Digit — Nate Silver talks with 12-year-old Simon Bazelon (son of New York Times writer and Slate podcast host Emily Bazelon), who has some criticisms about FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Elo ratings.
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Below are some links to what we discuss in this week’s show:
- Nate Silver takes on the adage, “Live by the three, die by the three.” It’s mostly not true.
- Neil Paine on the Cavs’ Game 2 win, in context.
- Williams is really, really clutch.
- Grantland assesses Williams’ remarkable career arc.
- We’re offering continually updated women’s World Cup predictions, and our latest model shows that Germany is slightly more likely to win than the U.S.
- Significant Digit: 11 championships. That’s the number Bill Russell’s Celtics won, in 13 years, but our Elo ratings still say they weren’t the most dominant dynasty of all time. Special guest Simon Bazelon (12 years old) debates Nate and presents his own data. Simon is the son of Emily Bazelon, who recently mentioned his analysis on Slate’s “Political Gabfest” podcast.
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