Settling the Hot Hand Debate with Chandler Parsons

chandler parsons

Can a player get hot in a game?  There has been a lot of discussion as of late about the “hot hand”, especially after more research was presented at this year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.  The “hot hand”  is the belief that a player who has experienced success with a random event has a better chance of making the next shot he or she takes.  The debate has been around for around 40 years and still manages to surface every year.  ESPN’s TrueHoop blog has touched on the hot hand several times over the last few years.  You can find their posts here and here.   So can a player be hot and not hot?

What we’re going to do today is examine the deeper meaning behind the “hot hand” and prove it’s legitimacy through concrete evidence discovered by a team of 24 college grads from Texas Tech.  The player that we’ve chosen to examine is Chandler Parsons.  Chandler Parsons is someone we believe to experience the hot hand several times in a given game.  The game that we are going to show you below is against the Memphis Grizzlies.

As you can see from the below first quarter shot chart, Chandler Parsons was very lukewarm from the field.  He is both  hot and not-hot.

Parsons Hot Spurs


As the second quarter picked up, Chandler Parsons started making his shots.  The more shots he knocked down the harder shots he took.  In real time, we can calculate that Chandler Parsons is experiencing the hot hand.

The below graph shows Chandler Parsons in the second quarter.  As you can see he is starting to get VERY HOT

Parsons Hot Memphis


Once the third period hit, Chandler Parsons started to cool off.  In fact, he was missing almost every shot he took.

The below graph shows that Chandler Parsons was not hot in the third quarter.  Like, at all.

Parsons Hot Bucks


Chandler Parsons tends to hit a lot of shots from varying degrees of difficulties in the fourth quarter.

The below shot chart shows Chandler Parsons’ fourth quarter.  As you can see he is VERY VERY HOTT!!!!!!

Parsons Hot Brooklyn


This concludes our research on the ‘hot hand.’  Thank you for joining us.


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