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# Math in the News: Issue 48

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In this issue of Math in the News, we look at basketball statistics, in particular the stats for Jeremy Lin.

Published in: Education, Sports, News & Politics
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### Math in the News: Issue 48

1. 1. Basketball Stats• Jeremy Lin is a point guard. And a point guard plays an important role on the basketball team. In some ways, the point guard is like the quarterback in football. Let’s look at this in more detail.
2. 2. Basketball StatsThe point guard manages the movement of the ball on the court. Onoffense the point guard has several choices for managing the play.
3. 3. Basketball StatsHe can make a shot to the basket, attempting a field goal.
4. 4. Basketball StatsHe can also pass the ball to another player on the team and have thatplayer make a basket. This is known as an assist.
5. 5. Basketball Stats • Throughout a game a point guard generates the following statistics: – Points scored – Field goal percentage – Assists – Rebounds
6. 6. Basketball StatsOne of the best point guards in NBA history was Magic Johnson.
7. 7. Year Games Field Goal Rebounds Assists Points per Played % per Game per Game Game 79-80 77 0.53 7.7 7.3 18 80-81 37 0.532 8.6 8.6 21.6 81-82 78 0.537 9.6 9.5 18.6 82-83 79 0.548 8.6 10.5 16.8 83-84 67 0.565 7.3 13.1 17.6 84-85 77 0.561 6.2 12.6 18.3 85-86 72 0.526 5.9 12.6 18.8 86-87 80 0.522 6.3 12.2 23.9 87-88 72 0.492 6.2 11.9 19.6 88-89 77 0.509 7.9 12.8 22.5 89-90 79 0.48 6.6 11.5 22.3 90-91 79 0.477 7 12.5 19.4Basketball StatsThis table shows his career-long statistics from 1979 to 1991 for thestatistics previously noted. These statistics are based on nearly 1000games. (Source: nba.com.)
8. 8. Basketball StatsLet’s analyze these statistics fromMagic Johnson’s career. We’ll also compare the comparable statistics from Jeremy Lin, keeping in mind that Lin’s statistics represent a much smaller data set, one that is still growing.
9. 9. Lin:45.8%Basketball StatsThis box-and-whisker plot is for Magic Johnson’s average field goalpercentage. The median percentage is 52.8%.
10. 10. Lin:14.6Basketball StatsThis is the box-and-whisker plot for the average points scored per game.The median is 19.1.
11. 11. Lin: 6.1Basketball StatsThis box-and-whisker plot is for the average number of assists per game.The average is 12.05.
12. 12. Lin:3Basketball StatsThis box-and-whisker plot is for the average number of rebounds pergame. The median is 7.15.
13. 13. Basketball StatsWhile Jeremy Lin’s statistics are not as high Magic Johnson’s, this is easily explained. Lin has only been playing a short time and his statistics are bound to change. But based on the impact he has made on the New York Knicks’ season, it’s likely that fans will be following these statistics throughout the years he plays.