This week the NBA will announce the KIA most valuable player award (MVP). The decision has already been made and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the winner. All that is left to find out is whether, for the first time in history, he has won this award unanimously.
How do his and recent seasons of James and Durant stack up against each each other or some of the alltime greats? Who had the greatest NBA season of all time? Which player contributed the greatest amount of offensive production to their team?
Start out this activity by asking students to consider what stats should determine the value of a player? Have kids brainstorm considering points, assists, rebounds, shooting percentage, steals, blocks and so on. Are all stats created equal? Should scoring points count more than rebounds or steals? Let students grapple with this, let them come up with some ideas or rough formulas. Then let them go through our lesson as we give weight to the various elements of a player’s stats to create a model for analyzing the production of these terrific players. Use our formula or allow students to create their own weighted model to analyze the greatest player ever and be able to calculate how these players rank in their best seasons. We have provided, arguably, the best season stats for Jordan, Johnson, Bird, O’Neal, Bryant, James, Anthony and Durant. Consider having your students research other great players, past or present. Stats for NBA players can be found at basketball-reference.com. At the end of this lesson we ask students to tweak our formula (or their own) so that it is more favorable for their favorite player(s).
Students work with order of operations, expressions, formulas and the distributive property as they consider different ways to write or compute with our formula. How many different ways might your students write the expression:
Total Offensive Production = p + (2.1)a + (1.05)r + (1.05)b + (1.05)s + (-1.05)t
This is also an excellent time to introduce formula use in Excel to your classes. Enjoy!
The Activity: best-NBA-season-ever2016.pdf
For members we have an editable Word doc, an Excel file, and solutions.
CCSS: 5.OA.1 , 5.NBT.7 , 6.NS.3 , 6.EE.2 , 6.EE.3 , 6.EE.6 , 7.EE.1 , 7.NS.3, HSA.SSE.A.1, HSA.SSE.A.2, MP.4 , MP.7