Will Jeremy Lin Regress to the Mean?

February 11th, 2012

I queried whether his exceptional play of late is a fluke, and posited that he will eventually regress to the mean. Nate Silver did the research:

I searched basketball-reference.comfor other streaks that were in the same general ballpark: players who scored at least 20 points, had at least 6 assists and shot 50 percent over a period of four consecutive N.B.A. regular season games.

Since the 1985-86 season, 41 players have had such a streak in addition to Lin.

It is an extremely impressive list. All but seven of the players made at least one All-Star appearance in their careers, with about two-thirds of them selected to the All-Star team multiple times. The list includes nine Hall of Famers — and a number of other players who are sure to make it once they retire. The players on the list account for 17 of the last 28 M.V.P. awards.

Wait and see?