Basketball On Paper

Dean Oliver


  • Director of Quantitative Analysis, Denver Nuggets, 2006-Present.
  • Statistical consultant to Seattle Supersonics management, 2000-2006, Full-time beginning 10/1/04.
  • Author, Basketball on Paper
    • The basic handbook for doing basketball analysis worldwide
    • Endorsed by Dean Smith, Bill James, and the Seattle Supersonics
    • Available through the publisher,, Barnes & Noble, and major bookstores
  • Coordinator of WNBA Project Defensive Scoresheet
    • Collected new defensive statistics through series of volunteers
    • Identified volunteers to ascribe player/team responsibility for scores and stops
    • Worked with Charlotte Sting to organize project
  • Scout, Bertka Views, 1990-1994 in North Carolina
  • Assistant Coach, Caltech, 1988-1990
  • Point Guard, Caltech, 1986-1988
  • Ph.D., 1994, University of North Carolina – using statistics to make forecasts


Dean Oliver (not the former Iowa Hawkeye point guard) is an expert at the scientific evaluation of assembling players into a team, including quantitative evaluations of player quality, game strategy, and team chemistry. Some examples of his contributions over more than 15 years of work:

  • Points scored and allowed per 100 possessions analyses
    • Team and individual versions
    • Surveyed best offenses and defenses for what made them successful
  • Offensive skill curves for players
    • Methods that show how well players do with different scoring responsibilities
  • Career forecast tools for players
    • Can predict player future and suggest means of improvement
  • Incorporation of play-by-play data with basic statistics and coaching input
  • Rules of thumb for applying zones, presses, and when to call (or force) timeouts
  • Evaluation of effect of new rules (zone, 8-s rule, etc.) implemented in 2002

Also a member of Association of Professional Basketball Research and Society of American Baseball Research (very familiar with Bill James sabermetric methods)


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