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Russell Westbrook Is Ungodly, But The Thunder Probably Won’t Win It All

Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Nov. 1 , 2016), we take a look at the World Series and wonder if the role of the closer has changed forever after the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians started deploying their closers as long relievers. Then, we chat about Russell Westbrook’s amazing start to the NBA season and ask if teams led by point guards can win championships. Finally, we talk about Tom Brady’s return from suspension, and Neil Paine explains why there’s a 50/50 chance Brady would have won a Super Bowl on every team in the NFL. Plus, a significant digit about the Oakland Raiders’ penalties.

Links to what we discussed:

Also, remember to check the Hot Takedown feed on Thursday for the fourth installment of our documentary series Ahead Of Their Time. The series looks at coaches and players who did something radical for their era and were later proven right by analytics. The new episode is about the two women who invented the double-handed backhand. You can find the previous three episodes here.

Chadwick Matlin was a deputy managing editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

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

Joe Sykes produces our weekly sports podcast Hot Takedown.