Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Dec. 13, 2016), ESPN The Magazine’s Mina Kimes joins us to help preview the NFL playoffs. Next, we delve into high-scoring Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins’s numbers, looking at how good he was expected to be and how good he’s actually been in his three years in the NBA. Finally, Steven Goff of The Washington Post stops by to help us interpret what last weekend’s scoreless MLS final might mean for American soccer. Plus, a significant digit on why the Alabama Crimson Tide’s dominance of college football will probably continue.
Links to what we discussed:
- ESPN’s Dan Graziano takes a look at the NFL playoff picture. (Check out FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions here.)
- In 2015, Andrew Wiggins was named the 2014-15 NBA rookie of the year, but FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine identified some of his underlying problems.
- The Ringer’s Ben Detrick wrote on why Wiggins’s numbers continue to be a concern.
- It’s not just Wiggins who is struggling — the Minnesota Timberwolves can’t finish games, wrote FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring.
- Steven Goff wrote in The Washington Post earlier this year about an increase in ties across MLS.
- Significant Digit: 5, the number of pledges that Alabama and the Crimson Tide have from recruits ranked No. 1 in their respective positions. On Tuesday, the No. 1 junior college defensive end, Isaiah Buggs of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, committed to the Crimson Tide, joining No. 1 prep running back Najee Harris, No. 1 prep athlete Dylan Moses, No. 1 dual-threat prep quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and No. 1 junior-college offensive tackle Elliot Baker.