NBA height and weight diversity

Should everyone in a NBA team be super tall? Or a team can benefit having diverse set of players?

In this article, we'll take a look at NBA diversity in regards to height and BMI (weight-height ratio) and how they have been changing since 1980 till present days.

Height over time

NBA height over time
NBA avg height over time

Average height trend line doesn't seem to change much (maybe just a little upward). On the other hand - we can observe dispersion becomes less of a thing since 2000. The cluster though means - there is still difference from one team to another, however as time goes by - we see less of super tall or super short players.

Weight (BMI) over time

Here we have certain upslope with its' peak around 2010. As we talk about atheles - we can rely on the assumtion that weight comes from muscle mass rather than fat. That's being said, we can conclude that that players work out in GYM way more, and average player is about 22 lbs (10 kg) heavier than before.

NBA height over time
NBA avg weight over time

How Height diversity contributes towards results

NBA height over time
Results over height

The data is not certain as of course physical measurements are not main contributors. However even here we can observe a trenline. A team with average between 6'6" and 6'8" (199-203 cm) together with standard deviation of 0'2" - 0'4" (6-11 cm) yields best results in Playoffs

How Weight diversity contributes towards results

The distribution is flat, meaning on a given timeframe - weight is less of a factor for the game. Nevertheless we have around 198-231 lbs (90-105 kg) average with 13-35 lbs (6-16 kg) standard deviation.

NBA height over time
Results over weight

Building a dream team

What it gives us in total? There is no golden numbers that bring a victory, however the analysis provides us with some kind of boundaries. If I were given a task to build up a team - I would go with 6'7" +-3" (200+-8,5 cm) height and (98+-12 kg) weight.
My starting lineup would go then as:

POSH (ft)H (cm)exemplar
PG6'3"191K. Irving, D. Lillard
SG6'5"196R. Allen
SF6'7"201K. Leonard
PF6'9"206M. Beasley
C6'11"211T. Duncan

The estimate above should be taken with a grain of salt of course, as
Skill, talent, diligence, dedication and teamplay matter much more in the end.
And the statistics in general does not guarantee the best result, however does provides some certanty about avoiding the worst - ie the team example not nessesary would be a champion, however would be among the top.

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