“The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks” by Ben Cohen

Book Notes

Reading log: The hot hand vs. The gambler #

Steph Curry makes a shot. Then another. Is he more likely to make or miss the third shot?

(Or like Anthony Davis last night in game 2 of the Finals.)

Feed the person who’s hot!

Now go to a roulette table. The last four spins were black. Is the next spin more likely to be black or red?

“The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks” by Ben Cohen goes into the hot hand, the gambler’s fallacy, and more in exploring how we think about streaks.

If you like Moneyball and basketball, you’ll enjoy The Hot Hand. There’s also a few stories about video games and game development weaved in, so it’s even more in my enjoyment wheelhouse.

I’ll try to do a notepod episode on it but, for now, I’ll share some links to videos of players with the hot hand (whether it exists or not):

  • Klay Thompson’s 37 in a quarter — This is one of those videos I’ve watched plenty of times and it just seems like it doesn’t add up. Still unbelievable.
  • Kevin Love 34 in a quarter — Kyrie doesn’t believe in the hot hand.
  • T-Mac with 13 in 33 seconds — I didn’t catch the Klay Thompson or Kevin Love games but I definitely remember watching this Rockets game. It probably sticks out because of the setting: I was eating in the dorm lobby my freshman year. We would try to go near closing because the asian place would give bigger servings to get rid of the rest of the food. Anyway this game was on the TV there and it’s one of those that you don’t think anything of and it’s not a playoff game or anything so there was no way to guess you’d see something historic.
  • Nick Young with 3 threes in a minute —One of my personal favorite games (big bandwagon Lob City fan).

I hope to have the hot hand with some consecutive blog posts, a newsletter, and getting back to the podcast in some form.