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 (May 26, 2015), we discuss Rafael Nadal’s rough spring and whether he’s still a favorite at the French Open, as well as FiveThirtyEight’s comprehensive look at the Elo ratings of NBA teams over time. We also debate how much having a “star” player affects a team’s chances of winning a championship. Plus, our Significant Digit of the week on the very rare, and very weird, practice of underhand tennis serves.
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Below are some links to what we discuss in this week’s show:
- Rafael Nadal is 80 percent of what he used to be.
- Tennis stars are staying great later in their careers.
- Why you don’t always need a star in the NBA.
- NBA history, in Elo ratings, and a ranking of the best teams and dynasties ever.
- Significant Digit: Two serves. Virginie Razzano used an underhand serve twice in one French Open match, including on match point.
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