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We’re Changing How We Think About The NBA

With the NBA preseason officially underway, we’re unveiling something new. Since 2015, FiveThirtyEight has put out forecasts for the NBA season based on player ratings from ESPN and But this year, we created our own player rating metric — called RAPTOR — which will power this season’s forecast. FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver joins for a segment of Model Talk to help us understand how RAPTOR works.

After a pro-Hong Kong tweet from Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, the NBA found itself plunged into a geopolitical scandal. FiveThirtyEight senior sportswriter Chris Herring joins the show to unpack why a league that is no stranger to political confrontation is struggling to respond.

Finally, our Rabbit Hole pays its respect to Sara’s Minnesota Twins. After a record-breaking season, their playoff hopes ended in a far more unfortunate record.

Here’s what we’re looking at this week:

Grace Lynch is the former producer of Hot Takedown.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

Chris Herring was a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.