North Score
North Score

Reporter Chris Hine will feature analytics-based stories about the players and teams we cover. Our goals are to explain trends, answer burning questions and look through an analytics lens to find new stories within Minnesota teams.

North Score

Reporter Chris Hine will feature analytics-based stories that explain trends, answer burning questions and uncover new stories about Minnesota's players and teams.

Houston will get its threes, especially from the corners

Houston’s Trevor Ariza averaged 6.9 three-point attempts per game this season for the Rockets, with his main job taking threes from the corners of t

North Score: From the corners of the court, the Rockets hit at a three-point rate of 39.6 percent.

How the Wild fixed a key weakness to beat Winnipeg

Mikael Granlund fired the the puck past Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck for a first-period goal Sunday in St. Paul.

Minnesota went zone to zone to get better chances and notch a much-needed win against the Jets.

As Wild, Jets grind their bodies suffer – and recover in new ways

Zach Parise, left, and Jay Schroeder.

North Score: Jay Schroeder is not a typical physical trainer you'd see in a team locker room. He works to maximize the players' potential using a training method based on Russian techniques.

The big chill: Cold spring weather dampens Twins' offensive stats

North Score: This spring's wintry weather has had more than an aesthetic effect on Major League Baseball.

Wild's big challenge: Seal off Patrik Laine's prime scoring spots

North Score: Patrik Laine, who is only 19, scored 44 goals in his second season. He scores goals differently depending whether he is on the power play or skating 5-on-5.

Yes, Wolves players run lots during games; no, it's not all on Thibodeau

North Score: Only participants in tennis (3 miles per match), field hockey (5.6) and soccer (7) top basketball players in terms of miles covered in a game, according to Runner's World.

Replacing Suter? Wild needs nobody (and everybody) to fill the void

North Score: No one player is going to fill all that Ryan Suter does for the Wild. The mantra coming out of the dressing room is that everybody on the blue line must step up their game

Why is Wild winning more recently? This stat helps explain it

The Wild's smart defensive strategy near the "high-danger" zones has minimized good shots on goal – and improved its win-loss record.

Villanova knows best:Three-point shot changing college game, too

North Score: The value of the three-pointer has been well known in the NBA for a while now, but it has also fully infected the college game, albeit at a slower place.

Data show Vikings' Cousins strong-armed and dangerous

North Score: Because of Kirk Cousins' arm strength, the revamped Vikings offense could potentially be more dynamic and explosive.

Why new Twins pitcher Odorizzi isn't afraid to throw high fastballs

North Score: Jake Odorizzi comes to the Twins from a Rays staff that embraced throwing frequent high four-seam fastballs in an attempt to generate as many swings and misses as possible.

Jumping in? Picking Gonzaga could spark your NCAA pool picks

North Score: Don't pay attention to Gonzaga's No. 4 seed. Instead, look at how the experts rate the Zags (and other teams) compared to other teams who are part of March Madness.

Speedy deception: Combine speed doesn't measure up to 'game speed'

North Score: Thanks to advanced player tracking, the NFL has begun to measure how fast players are in a game. It doesn't always match data collected at the NFL Combine.

Wolves feeling the pain of Butler's injury

North Score: How much do the Wolves miss Jimmy Butler? He is second only to Houston's James Harden (12.1 to 11.36) in a metric ESPN created that's called Real Plus-Minus wins.

After regaining his scoring touch, Staal's a steal for the Wild

North Score: After a downturn in Carolina and New York, veteran center Eric Staal is lighting lamps again — and making Minnesota's $10.5 million deal seem like a steal.

How Logan Morrison changed his swing ... and how it paid off

North Score: With the help of the Rays, Morrison changed his swing, specifically so he could hit more fly balls in an attempt to hit more home runs.

Do Towns, Wolves have to box out more to be elite rebounders?

North Score: Wolves' center Karl-Anthony Towns is among the league leaders in rebounding, but he doesn't box out opponents as much as you'd think. His teammates? Even less.

Does Jimmy Butler's 'shoot-the-ball' mentality help the Wolves?

North Score: Butler is third in the league in clutch points, but his shooting percentage dips in those moments, too. Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile, rarely shoots in clutch moments.

Will a faster ballgame attract more fans? Attendance figures say otherwise

North Score: We've seen strong attendance for seasons with slower games, and poor attendance during seasons with faster games. Takeaway: Don't expect small tweaks to the rules to impact attendance.

NHL's mystery: Why are power plays more effective this season?

North Score: After pausing to ponder the question, Wild winger Zach Parise was dumbfounded, as was coach Bruce Boudreau.

Two views: Trading is the Twins' best bet, and Archer is a great target

Star Tribune sports staff Michael Rand and Chris Hine take a stab at assessing the Twins' search for starting pitching help.

Eye behind the mask: Dubnyk always working on his focus

North Score: To improve his eyes, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk doesn't have to look too far — only to Edina, where a company called True Focus Vision keeps his sight in line.

Did Pederson's reliance on analytics wear off on DeFilippo?

North Score: Many lauded Doug Pederson for his play calling and willingness to take risks on fourth downs on the Eagles' path to winning Super Bowl LII. Will John DeFilippo bring that to the Vikings?

Will the Twins be no better than perfectly average this season?

North Score: The Twins will be a .500 team this season. That's if you put your faith into an algorithm developed by Baseball Prospectus that predicts each team's record.

Wolves big weakness: Road games with no rest

North Score: Having a day off between games makes a world of difference for the Wolves as they battle for positioning in the Western Conference standings.

NHL scoring is up, and increased slashing calls are partly responsible

North Score: There are a few reasons behind this revival of scoring. First, NHL power plays are converting at a rate they haven't been in a long time. Teams also are putting more shots on goal.

Patriots' defense is the best at 'bend but don't break'

North Score: The Patriots take pride in limiting red-zone TDs.

Tyus or Teague: Who should the Timberwolves rely on more?

North Score: What the in-depth statistics say about Timberwolves point guards Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague, including an advanced metric in which the former Apple Valley star shines.

Here's one measure in which Jamal Crawford is king of the Wolves

North Score: Crawford averages 10 points per game, but leads the Wolves in one advanced statistic. So here's why it's it vital for the Wolves to play well when he's on the floor.

Parise's scoring opportunities have changed markedly under Boudreau

North Score: Under coach Bruce Boudreau, Parise has been utilized for offensive zone starts during 5-on-5 play less than he has at any point since coming to the Wild in 2013.

As Twins continue to shop pitchers, let's ask: Who's most valuable?

What analytics tell us about free-agent pitchers.

How is Wild in playoff hunt despite being last in this statistic?

The Wild has the league's worst Corsi percentage -- a measure of overall shot attempts -- but dig deeper and see how the team limits opponents' scoring chances.

MVP? No. But Butler's shooting improvement most valuable to Wolves

Wolves star Jimmy Butler is getting more buckets from mid-range and torturing defenses while remaining an elite defender.

'A knowledgeable fan is an engaged fan': More leagues turn to analytics

Advanced stats are now readily available, a win-win for leagues and fans.

The North Score: Our new sports analytics beat

The North Score, led by new reporter Chris Hine, will feature analytics-based stories about the players and teams we cover. Our goals are to explain trends, answer burning questions and look through an analytics lens to find new stories within Minnesota teams.

Meet the Star Tribune's new sports analytics writer, Chris Hine

Star Tribune sports is expanding to include analytics-based stories and a reporter fascinated with such things.