NBA Basketball is back and Seth Partnow is watching

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 9:04 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The NBA returned Wednesday night (July 22nd) kind of, sort of, in scrimmage form. Regular season games will not officially start until July 30th, but after months without the squeaking sound of sneakers on hardwood, basketball fans were thrilled just to have any action to watch. Among those keeping an eye on the early proceedings is NBA analyst Seth Partnow.

In one of the stranger routes to covering the league, Partnow started blogging about NBA analytics from his home in Anchorage as a hobby back in 2013. This was, in part, because he wanted to explore a hobby he could do from home after the birth of his daughter.

His data-driven breakdowns eventually garnered enough attention that the Milwaukee Bucks actually created a position for him within the organization as the director of basketball research. He has since moved on to writing about the league for The Athletic as an NBA analyst.

With a long list of bona fires, Partnow will be casting a watchful eye over this strangest of seasons as the NBA resumes play. So we asked the expert, what he expects when the ball goes up in games that matter later this month.

“I kind of expect offenses to be pretty rough as we start off here. It’s something we see every year in the NBA. For the first two or three weeks of the season teams turn the ball over more, they tend to shoot worse, so I think I would expect to see some pretty rough shooting kind of for the first couple weeks of the restart.” Says Partnow.

I also wanted to know if there was any statistical reason to favor one team over another as we reengage in what’s been a heavily disrupted season but he wouldn’t take the bait.

“Normally regular season kind of performance it’s very predictive of playoff performance but normally you play the regular season and then three days later you start the playoffs. Players will be in different conditions, they’ll be different levels of flow and familiarity. I think you start from a standpoint of the teams that were good in the regular season are still going to be very good now but I’d rather say I don’t know than make up an answer.” Says Partnow.

To be fair, “I don’t know” probably is the answer this year. Technically whoever is the last team standing after all the action in the “bubble” will be champions of the 2020 season.

In practice though, how fans view this title remains to be seen. No matter what happens, regardless of who wins, Seth Partnow will be watching, calculating, and crunching the data for articles and tweets and coverage of the league he loves.

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