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Podcast: Nadal’s Decline, Every NBA Team Ranked, And Whether Stars Matter
Hot Takedown

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:

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Chadwick Matlin is a deputy editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Jody Avirgan hosts and produces podcasts for FiveThirtyEight.

Kate Fagan is a writer for espnW and a regular panelist on the FiveThirtyEight sports podcast Hot Takedown.

Allison McCann is a former visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight.

Carl Bialik was FiveThirtyEight’s lead writer for news.

Reuben Fischer-Baum is a visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.