March 14, 2008
Written by Cory Chandler
How hot are the Houston Rockets right now? Let’s just say that 99,999 teams would
fail to beat their 20-game streak of wins after a shaky 15-17 start.
Alan Reifman, a Texas Tech University professor who studies sports streakiness and conducts hot hand research, is available to speak about the more than 1-in-100,000 odds of the Rockets boasting a 44-20 record after the team’s slow launch.
"To get some idea of how improbable such a turnaround may have been – albeit in post hoc fashion – let's say for simplicity that the Rockets were a .500 team before they got hot," Reifman said. "How likely is it, therefore, that a previously .500 team could win 29 or more games out of 32?"
The Rockets are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, behind only the Los Angeles Lakers with 33 wins.
Reifman is a professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies who conducts "hot hand" analysis and can speak to sports streaks and statistical probability. His blog can be found at http://thehothand.blogspot.com/.
CONTACT: Alan Reifman, professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3000 ext. 274, or email@example.com