Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 18, 2018), tensions between players and referees across the NBA remain high as a slew of high-profile calls and ejections are making headlines. Neil, Chris and Kyle take a look at the data to figure out if this year is one for the record books or just a statistical anomaly. Plus, we get reactions to the news that Kawhi Leonard will be out indefinitely, and we speculate on what it might mean for the Spurs’ Western Conference chances. Next, we’re joined by The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, who reports on the Washington Wizards, to take a look at the team, which is not quite as good as it thinks it is. Plus, a small-sample-size segment on the Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams. Here are links to what was discussed this week:
- Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.
- After Kawhi Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season with a quad injury, the Spurs announced Wednesday that the forward will be out indefinitely.
- For more of Candace Buckner’s insights, you can read her in The Washington Post or follow her on Twitter.
- The Washington Post’s Jerry Brewer writes that in an era of progress, good is no longer enough for the Wizards.