A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Location-Based Services#web Related Posts Craigslist: Right From The SourceAs someone who moves once a year (at least), I’m frustrated that Craigslist’s pseudo-innovation is just an 11th-hour effort to stymie worthy competitors. But I grudgingly dragged myself back to the site to see if thumbing through its apartment listings has gotten any less painful.True to Craigslist’s lo-fi esthetic, the new maps feature resides under an ugly little green button in the site’s housing sub-sections. Prior to the update, the site’s geographical filters were abysmal at best. For New York and San Francisco, you could (and still can) filter listings by neighborhood, but in most major cities you had to wade through a whole metro area’s worth of posts, tossing keywords into the search box and hoping for the best.Now, the maps tab, built using Leaflet, organizes those housing results on a zoomable city map. Listings near each other are clustered. Individual listings do show photos, but the “more info” button proved buggy almost every time I clicked it. Still, the new feature maps price, small photos, and other basics at a glance. Overall, the mapping interface is an improvement, but when it comes to the lumbering UI dinosaur that is Craigslist, that isn’t saying a whole lot.Pros: Some at-a-glance info, big improvement over no mapping utility at all.Cons: Very limited features, no sorting and saving, manual zooming is a hassle. Lovely: The Refined AggregatorCompared to its peers, Lovely is… well, lovely. I spoke with founder and CEO Blake Pierson about what sets his newly national service apart. “The renting process is very broken,” he says. He describes Lovely as both “a product and a data company.” meaning that not only is Lovely a pleasure to use, but even if Craigslist data blinked out, other rental data partners would be pick up the slack. If Padmapper is a quick-and-dirty pet project, Lovely is its refined successor. The site features the most elegant design by a mile. A full-window map makes it easy to see listings in neighborhoods at a glance or to drill down into individual posts without ever needing to leave the main interface. Lovely is extremely quick and rich with filters for price, pets, neighborhood and other essentials. Lovely is the only one of the three that ties into Facebook, which makes signing up and maintaining a consistent login a breeze. The design is responsive and clean, but the map itself didn’t feel quite as smooth as Padmapper, nor did it have an option to annotate a listing (I use this constantly) or hide a place you’re not interested in. Still, the Lovely experience does handle saved searches and a centralized user profile very well, so you don’t have to double back or waste time figuring out which places you’ve seen and which you haven’t. Like Padmapper, Lovely employs the 3Taps workaround to populate its Craigslist data, but it also pulls listings from other sources. Pros: Very feature rich, best design, account and profile emphasis, indexes the most non-Craigslist listings.Cons: Lacks a few of Padmapper’s handiest tricks.Craigslist’s mapping effort is predictably too little, too late. But the listings giant’s shortcomings did inspire Padmapper and Lovely, which are both amazing resources. I found no compelling reason whatsoever to use Craigslist’s “new” interface, but the site still boasts the biggest trove of rental data around. Too bad it insists on locking up its treasure and throwing away the key. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… I’m about to embark on the nightmare that is apartment hunting in a major city… again. Craigslist has a near-monopoly on online housing listings, but two upstart virtual real estate brokers are bent on beating the hoary king of Web classifieds at its own game. Let’s see what they have to offer.Craigslist virtually buried the print classifieds of yore, but it has done nothing to keep up with the Web’s brisk evolution since. Adding dynamic location data seems like a no-brainer, but Craigslist’s Spartan design never bothered with such geographical niceties. That is, until it recently decided to keep up with the Joneses.Rather than patting Craigslist on the back for adding a feature that any other site might have included oh, ten years ago, I’ll look at how it stacks up against the competition – and hopefully find a place to live while I’m at it. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Padmapper: The Scrappy Little Tool That Rolls With The PunchesEric DeMenthon built Padmapper as a side project to help him and his friends find a decent place to live in New York. The tool, which collects housing listings from sites like Craigslist onto an interactive map, has remained quietly useful for years. Unfortunately, Craigslist ordered it to cease and desist this year, but thanks to a workaround through data distribution platform 3Taps, Padmapper is still kicking – for now, at least.For Padmapper, the map is the name of the game. Pull up the site and you get a full window’s worth of city blocks. You can ask the map to display listings based on a robust set of filters including ranges for price, number of bedrooms, age of listing and more. Dig in a little deeper and you can display very granular sets of listings, like pet-friendly sublets featuring the keyword “vegan” (here in Portland, that didn’t winnow things down much).Unlike Craigslist, Padmapper remains useful after you’ve closed your search window. Log in and save favorite listings, annotate potential future homes right from the map, or set up email alerts for a fine-tuned search. Pros: Extremely useful filters, fast and dynamic map interface, save listings for later easily, includes listings from Apartments.com, Rent.com and more.Cons: Craigslist data may become unavailable, making PadMapper a lot less useful. UI isn’t particularly attractive. taylor hatmaker 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Find InspirationImage via Shutterstock.What inspires people varies greatly from person to person. If the mountains inspire you, then go to the mountains and study them. If photography inspires you, then go to a photography exhibit. Finding the right inspiration will help to train your eye by helping you understand more fully what you like and why you like it.ExperimentDon’t wait until your next time on set to experiment with a new lighting style or approach. If you’ve been thinking about starting to double diffuse your light sources, then do it in between shoots. Work out the kinks so you can really hone your approach to the aesthetic that you’re seeking.Taking the time to train your eye as a cinematographer is a great habit. Be wise with your time in between shoots and invest in yourself and your education. By doing so, you can become a better cinematographer.Looking for more cinematography tips? Check out these articles.4 Cinematography Tips for Filming During Magic Hour How to Stylize Your Cinematography Like Wes Anderson3 Cinematography Tools for Capturing Perfect ExposureCinematography Tip: The Benefits of Using a Light MeterBasic Camera Filtration to Elevate your Cinematography Training your eye to be a better cinematographer is an ongoing process. Here are some tips that can help you improve your craft.Cover image via Shutterstock.Training your eye is something that you will work on throughout your entire career. However, there are many ways you can keep building your aesthetic and selecting the best shots for your work — especially between shoots. Let’s take a look.Take More PhotosImage via Shutterstock.Cinematographers can learn a lot from photography. Whenever I walk into a new place, I immediately start to think about how I would frame the place if it were a shot. By constantly taking photos, you can compare your initial framing instincts to a photograph. If the photo didn’t turn out as expected, then you know it would require a different approach. It’s much like going to the gym: by constantly experimenting and challenging yourself, you will build up your aesthetics and inclination to light and cinematography.You can really challenge yourself by taking a camera with only one prime lens. Working under these limitations will force you to be more creative. Once you find an enticing frame, play around with the composition, focus, and angle. Approach it as an experiment — in some way that you may have never tried in the past.Be a StudentSometimes you just come across beautiful lighting occurring naturally. You may be seeing a beautiful beam of light punching through a window. Or it may be direct sunlight creating a beautiful texture on the the wall. By stopping and analyzing what you see in those moments, you can train your eye to find (or create) them more readily. If you see a beautiful, naturally occurring lighting scenario, stop and determine why it is that you like it — and how you could recreate it on set.
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad “I’m not happy we gave up 23 points in the first, 28 in the third, and we limited them to 13 points in the fourth and maybe that’s how we came out with the win.”Matt Nieto led Ateneo with 22 points while Thirdy Ravena put up 12 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists.Marvin Lee and Jordan Sta. Ana had 22 and 21 points, respectively.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Read Next Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Ateneo’s Matt Nieto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo kept its immaculate slate in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament after brushing off University of Santo Tomas, 94-84, Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Blue Eagles remained on top a 5-0 record while the Growling Tigers reeled to 0-5 in their worst start in more than a decade.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UST, which trailed by as much as 22 points, 69-47, tried to fight back in the fourth quarter with Marvin Lee hitting a transition three to cut the margin to one, 81-80, at the 6:25 mark.Ateneo, however, responded with a 13-3 game-closing run that Matt Nieto capped off with a fadeaway jumper to give the Blue Eagles a 94-84 lead with 32.2 seconds left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd as the Blue Eagles lit up in the final five minutes of the game, they also stopped UST from scoring a field goal in the same time stretch.“We’re happy that we won the game, but at the same time we’re not happy with our performance,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “I’m not taking anything away from UST, those guys played well.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Rain or Shine nips TNT, forces do-or-die for semis slot View comments
The CBI may file the first charge sheet in the Commonwealth Games scam on Friday against Suresh Kalmadi and other former officials of the Organising Committee with the agency claiming to have enough evidence to nail them for alleged bunglings in a Rs 141 crore contract.The agency may name sacked OC chairman Kalmadi along with the then officials; Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, Director General V K Verma, Deputy Director General (procurement) Surjeet Lal besides beneficiary company Swiss Timing for allegedly inflating the cost of contract causing Rs 95 crore loss to exchequer, top CBI sources said.The CBI had claimed in its FIR that the contract for Timing Scoring and Results system was awarded by “wrongfully restricting and eliminating competition” from other suppliers in a pre-meditated and planned manner.The CBI is also likely to send Letters Rogatory to Switzerland seeking details about beneficiary company Swiss Timing from local authorities after the first set of charges are levelled in the case, they said.According to sources, the sleuths have found details of an alleged bribe of Rs 23 crore which exchanged hands for awarding the contract for framing the eligibility requirements in such a way that competing firms may be sidelined.The agency has to file the chargesheet before May 23 as the 90-day mandatory period for levelling charges against Bhanot and Verma, arrested on February 23, will be getting over making the duo eligible for bail. Kalmadi was arrested on April 25.Sources said Indian representatives of Swiss Timing were in constant touch with Kalmadi and other officials of the OC much before the tender was floated.advertisementThe contract worth Rs.141 crore was awarded for setting up Timing Scoring and Results system during the mega sporting event last year.It is alleged that the Committee for shortlisting prospective bidders for TSR was constituted by selecting handpicked officials, CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra had said after the arrest of Kalmadi.Investigation has also revealed that members of the tenders evaluation committee were coerced and threatened to disqualify other bidders, she had said.The agency has registered 11 FIRs in the cases related to Commonwealth Games scam.- With PTI inputs
Chelsea appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager on Thursday, as owner Roman Abramovich turned to a familiar face rather than an experienced hand to replace Maurizio Sarri and lead the club into a new era.Lampard, adored by Chelsea fans as the heart and soul of the club’s midfield during a trophy-laden 13 years at Stamford Bridge, was handed a three-year contract having left second tier Derby County.”I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard told the club website”Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.”I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”‘You can expect a young manager that will give everything, every hour in the day, to bring a team that fans can be proud of.’Watch Frank’s first interview in full on the Chelsea website and app. #WelcomeHomeFrankChelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 4, 2019A relative rookie as a manager, the 41-year-old Lampard earned plaudits for taking Derby into the Championship playoff final in his first year in the dugout — even if they just missed out on promotion to Aston Villa.He faces no small task in returning Chelsea to the status of Premier League title contenders following Sarri’s departure to Juventus and Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid.His rebuilding efforts at Chelsea will also be hampered by a FIFA transfer ban.advertisementSarri, who departed after one season at Stamford Bridge, guided Chelsea to the Europa League title and third place in the Premier League but was never loved by Chelsea fans.”Lamps” will have no such problems.The former England midfielder played a key role in Chelsea’s golden era, making 648 appearances and scoring a club record 211 goals between 2001-2014. In that time, he won three Premier League titles as well as the Champions League.Chelsea director delighted with Lampard’s return, as manager”After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said.”We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.”Lampard’s former Chelsea team mate Petr Cech joined the club as a technical and performance advisor last month, and the pair will play a key role in the overhaul of the playing squad.Chelsea, however, have been handed a two-window transfer ban by world soccer’s governing body FIFA for breaching rules regarding the international transfer and registration of players under 18.The club appealed against the ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month.The ban could force Lampard to put his trust in youngsters, a blueprint he developed at Derby where he blooded a number of Chelsea loanees.Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham were all involved in the playoff final at Wembley and they could all be back in west London next season.With teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi having made the breakthrough under Sarri last season, Lampard may appear the ideal choice to construct a Chelsea side based on youth.Chelsea, who finished third in the league last season, kick off their 2019-20 campaign against Manchester United on Aug. 11.Also Read | Netherlands top Sweden 1-0, to face US in Women’s WC finalAlso Read | Peru crush Chile 3-0 to set up Copa America final against BrazilAlso See:
Eden RichardsThe girls of Chancellor State College and the boys of Warners Bay High School have taken out their respective divisions of the Harvey Norman National Schools Cup.Chancellor were near unstoppable against Helensvale in the Girls Grand Final, running out 8-3 winners in a one-sided affair.The girls from Sippy Downs scored the first four touchdowns of the match to lead 4-0 at half-time, before continuing to pile on the pressure in the second stanza.The score blew out to 6-0 early in the second half before Helensvale hit back to add some respectability to the scoreboard, but the damage had been done to give Chancellor a well-deserved victory.Courtney Fietz scored a double for the victors, while Nikiah Campbell crossed twice for Helensvale in what was a good performance in a losing side.After watching the girls leave it all on the field, it was time for the boys to show the onlookers on the Sunshine Coast what they were capable of.In what was an exciting contest, Warners Bay and St Edward’s College traded touchdowns early on in their grand final, with neither side able to form any sort of a lead.It hit 3-all halfway through the first half before Warners Bay began to run over the top of their opponents late in the first stanza.Warners Bay used their superior field position and strong possession to jump to a 6-4 lead at half-time, and St Edward’s were going to need a huge effort in the second 20 to mount a comeback.St Edward’s had to be the first to score in the second half and they did just that, crossing the line after a 12-minute stalemate in which both teams continued to turn the ball over.At 6-5 with five minutes to play it was anyone’s match to win, but Warners Bay simply wanted it more, crossing twice in a row to lead 8-5 with four minutes to go.St Edward’s scored a consolation touchdown in the dying minutes, but it was Warners Bay who secured a hard-fought victory.Joshua Fredrickson and Kobe Mcwilliams scored doubles for Warners Bay, while Sandon Smith crossed twice for St Edward’s.
ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines watches his team warm up before the game against the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)The best bit in sports radio is The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz‘s “What He Looks Like Game.” Le Batard, Stugotz and Co., with the help of their listeners, try to come up with perfect descriptions of what people in sports look like. Some examples:Paxton Lynch looks like the old school Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo.Vin Scully looks like the one real human in a Disney movie filled with animated talking animals.Dan Gilbert looks like the guy who shaves in the locker room mirror at the gym while totally nude.They’ve come up with one for Jim Harbaugh and, Ohio State fans, it’s pretty perfect, right?Jim Harbaugh looks like the guy who yells at his wife in front of everyone when they lose at Pictionary on gamenight pic.twitter.com/Whz6ERQVAI— What He Looks Like (@WhatHeLooksLike) May 8, 2016He totally does.
WASHINGTON — Marijuana has been legal in Canada for a month already but immigration lawyers and cannabis executives say when it comes to getting into the United States, the worst may be yet to come.As Canadians get used to the fact that cannabis is no longer against the law in their country, some experts fear they will forget the perils that past and present marijuana use still poses for those seeking to cross the Canada-U.S. border.Henry Chang, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer, says he’s bracing for a spike in cases of people who end up being banned outright from entering the U.S. for owning up to using pot.Customs and Border Protection officials have made it clear that anyone who admits to using marijuana prior to Oct. 17, the day it became legal in Canada, could be banned from entering the country.And Chang says U.S. law can still keep out anyone deemed to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is diagnosed with a mental disorder with a history of related harmful behaviour — including alcoholism or marijuana use.Investors and employees in the cannabis industry, too, are on shaky ground — one U.S. executive says the risk of being banned for life from crossing the border has become a major preoccupation for his Canadian colleagues.“The bigger issue is people thinking the slate has been wiped clean,” Chang said in an interview.“I think we’re going to start seeing more people getting banned, not because of them smoking marijuana after Oct. 17, but just because they think they have nothing to hide and they blurt out that they smoked marijuana when they were 18. That’s going to happen, because people just don’t understand that it’s still barred.”U.S. border authorities initially warned that any Canadian who gave off a whiff of pot involvement — from using the drug to working or investing in the industry —risked being banned or denied entry. They later softened that stance, saying industry workers would generally be deemed admissible so long as they were travelling for reasons unrelated to their work.Some Canadians travelling to MJBizCon, a major cannabis industry conference last week in Las Vegas, faced additional scrutiny at various border screening points.U.S. border staff at the airport in Toronto steered several attendees through a secondary screening process, said Global Public Affairs’ senior vice president Rod Elliot, who advises various clients in the cannabis industry.Elliot said he was one of roughly 25 people who were selected for additional screening — several of whom missed their flights, including him. He travelled to Las Vegas the next morning without incident.“There has been challenges for people going across the border,” he said. “It’s pretty clear that the border officials are targeting people attending this conference.”Len Saunders, a Canadian immigration lawyer based in Blaine, Wash., told a similar story about a group of would-be attendees and investors who were travelling through the airport in Vancouver. One of them, however, was part of a tour of a Vegas-based production facility in which he’d recently become an investor, arranged by his financial adviser.That investor was unaware of the risks he faced crossing the border, and must now contend with having been banned from entering the U.S., Saunders said.In the U.S., many in the industry — still hamstrung by the fact marijuana remains a controlled substance at the federal level, making it all but impossible to effectively obtain financing and other essential services — are hanging their hopes on bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring states are protected from U.S. government interference.The bill, unveiled earlier this year by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Democrat counterpart Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, is beginning to get traction in the wake of a strong Democratic showing in the midterms, said Derek Peterson, chief executive of California-based pot producer Terra Tech Corp.“That, I think, will be the answer to legalization, and we will start to see some attention paid to that” in the new year, Peterson said.“I think (Republicans) now understand that most of the constituents in the U.S. want to have some sort of federal regulation, a tax-and-regulate program, rather than just kind of leaving it with the black market, for all practical purposes.”In the meantime, Chang has some common-sense advice for anyone who might have reason to be anxious entering the U.S.“Don’t dress like a hippie, don’t smell like marijuana, because then the questions get asked,” he said. “If you are asked the question, your only option is to refuse to answer, say it’s irrelevant, you refuse to answer — you’ll get into trouble, they’ll detain you, you’ll get sent back to Canada, but at least you don’t have anything on the record saying you engaged in controlled-substance use.”— With files from Armina Ligaya in Toronto— Follow James McCarten on Twitter @CdnPressStyleJames McCarten, The Canadian Press
How the Warriors have fared with and without KD and CurrySince 2016-17, playoffs and regular season 4June 7Golden State4080Warriors by 3 Curry + KD✓✓111.796.1+15.6 ✓98.498.9-0.5 GameDateLocationDurantCousinsFTE point spread Curry + Klay✓✓109.097.0+12.0 2June 2Toronto1060Raptors by 5 The most obvious conclusion from the lineup data, in fact, is that Curry is a lot better than Durant. With Durant but not Curry playing, the Warriors outscore opponents by a pedestrian 1.7 points per 100 possessions. But that’s not the same as saying they’re better without Durant. That’s especially true on offense, when there don’t appear to be any diminishing returns from having both Durant and Curry in the lineup at once.Dig a little deeper, and you find that while Curry and Durant work just fine as a tandem, there may be some diminishing returns from playing Durant and Thompson together. Lineups with Durant and Klay playing but Curry off the floor have been mediocre, perhaps because Durant doesn’t like to pass and Thompson relies heavily on assisted field goals. Furthermore, lineups with Curry and Durant but without Thompson have been better than lineups with all three together. The Warriors give up a bit of offense in those lineups, but they make up for it with superior defense by having players such as Iguodala on the floor. 5June 10Toronto5090Raptors by 2.5 Durant is out for at least Game 1, with no clear timetable for his return. Cousins is questionable for Game 1, but from the tone of the Warriors’ comments, he looks highly likely to return at some point in the series.You can see the impact of Golden State’s injuries in the evolving point spreads that our model establishes for each game of the series. In Game 1 — with Durant out and Cousins 50 percent likely to play (based on the very rough science of translating the Warriors’ vague injury guidance into probabilities) — the Raptors are 6-point favorites at home, per our model. In the event of a Game 7 in Toronto, by which point we assume that Cousins is definitely back and Durant is 80 percent likely to play — they’d be only 1-point favorites, conversely. Toronto would also be 4.5-point underdogs on the road in Oakland in Game 6. If the Raptors don’t strike early in the series, the odds will shift dramatically against them. 6June 13Golden State70100Warriors by 4.5 7June 16Toronto80100Raptors by 1 If our NBA model could talk, here’s what it might say about the NBA Finals:Bleep, bleep, bloop. Based on their accomplishments over the past few seasons, the Golden State Warriors are better than the Toronto Raptors at full strength. However, the Warriors will start the NBA Finals without Kevin Durant, and possibly also without DeMarcus Cousins. To state the obvious, being without those guys makes them a worse team. Meanwhile, Toronto is also a really good team, and its regular-season record somewhat understates its performance because its current lineup is stronger than it was for most of the season. Plus, the Raptors have home-court advantage. Run the numbers, and the Raptors come out as slight favorites in the series. Bloop, bloop, bleep.Make sense? Well apparently not, at least not to those of you who are wagering your hard-earned income on the series. Betting market prices imply that the Warriors are about 72 percent favorites to win the championship.We think our NBA forecasts, in their current, improved form, are pretty smart, but we also think sports betting markets tend to be really smart. (Note: This isn’t true for political betting markets, which are mostly pretty dumb.) So we wouldn’t suggest that you go out and wager all your loonies on the Raptors to become the first Candian team to win a title in a “Big 4” sport since … to the chagrin of literally every Canadian NHL team … the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays.Still, it’s interesting to see the series through our model’s eyes. So while we also talked about our forecast on this week’s edition of Hot Takedown, I want to go through it in more detail here. Basically, I’m going to work through everything in the italicized paragraph, starting with the least controversial claims and moving to the most contentious ones.“Run the numbers, and the Raptors come out as slight favorites in the series.”OK, so that’s actually the most contentious claim — we’ll loop back to it at the end. But I do want to point out that “slight” really does mean “slight” in this instance. The Raptors are merely 55 percent favorites in the series, at least based on our current understanding (as of early Wednesday morning) of the injury prognosis for Durant and Cousins. In our election forecasts, we’d label a race like that as a “toss-up.”“Plus, the Raptors have home-court advantage.”In a seven-game series between two equal-strength teams, the home team should win about 54 percent of the time, according to our model. So basically, the entirety of the Raptors’ very small edge in the series is because a Game 7 would be played in Toronto. If the Warriors had won two more regular-season games and had home-court advantage instead, they’d be roughly 53 percent favorites to win the series, per our model.And if anything, our model might be understating the impact of home-court advantage in this series. The Warriors are generally regarded as having one of the biggest home-court advantages in the league, and Toronto is 40-11 at home between the regular season and the playoffs.“Based on their accomplishments over the past few seasons, the Golden State Warriors are better than the Toronto Raptors at full strength.”Our NBA team projections are derived from our CARMELO player projections, which use data from the past three seasons plus the current season.That’s a good thing for the Warriors, because if you based the projections based on this season’s data alone, the Raptors would be more substantial favorites. Three of their five starters — Pascal Siakam, Danny Green, Marc Gasol — have significantly outperformed their preseason CARMELO projections. (Reserve swingman Norman Powell has also outperformed them to a lesser extent.) For the Warriors, conversely, Cousins significantly fell short of his preseason projections — no doubt because of his injuries — and his current projection is probably too optimistic. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green also slightly underperformed their projections, although Green has been great in these playoffs. Andre Iguodala and Kevin Looney have outperformed their projections, but overall, the Warriors are helped by the fact that we’re looking at multiple years of data.So even though both teams played about equally well this year — the Raptors went 58-24 to the Warriors’ 57-25, but the Warriors had a slightly better point differential and played a slightly tougher schedule — our model would have the Warriors as 65 percent favorites if each team was at full strength to start the series (or 69 percent if the whole series were played on a neutral court).1The Raptors’ only current injury is to backup swingman OG Anunoby; our model actually thinks they’re slightly better off without Anunoby since it likes the rest of their reserves better, so his injury actually helps their rating slightly. The 65 percent figure refers to the version of the Raptors with Anunoby healthy. This reflects the Warriors’ accomplishments over the past several seasons in addition to having more playoff experience, a factor that our model accounts for — although the Raptors, with former NBA Finals MVP Leonard as well as Green (118 career playoff games), Kyle Lowry (80) and Gasol (77), have plenty of experience of their own.In other words, our model takes some countermeasures to the fact that veteran, championship-driven teams like the Warriors tend to lollygag their way through the regular season. It looks at longer-term performance, and it accounts for playoff experience, as well as the increased playing time that’s given to top players in the playoffs, which helps top-heavy teams like Golden State. Is it doing enough to account for those factors? Maybe not, and our model has had plenty of challenges with teams like the Warriors and LeBron James’s Cavaliers in the past. But it’s at least aware of these issues, and it doesn’t hold the Warriors’ good-but-not-great regular season all that much against them.“Toronto is also a really good team, and its regular-season record somewhat understates its performance because its current lineup is stronger than it was for most of the season.”The Raptors were often without the services of what our model regards as their two best players. They played 22 regular-season games without Leonard, who was frequently rested for “load management,” as well as 17 games without Lowry. In addition, they only acquired Gasol in February, and he’s a significantly better player than the center he replaced, Jonas Valanciunas, according to our model. It also took some time for Toronto to take full advantage of Siakam, who played fewer minutes and took fewer shots early in the season.Thus, the current version of the Raptors is associated with an Elo rating that would peg them not as a 58-win team, but somewhere in the mid-60s instead.Until recently, however, that elite version of the Raptors existed mostly on paper. The Lowry-Green-Leonard-Siakam-Gasol lineup played only 161 regular-season minutes, although it was highly effective when it did play, outscoring opponents by 12.2 points per 100 possessions. That group has now played 314 minutes together in the playoffs, and — somewhat remarkably given that the Raptors have been playing extremely tough competition in the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers — it’s still outscoring opponents by 12.1 points per 100 possessions.So Toronto’s starting lineup has begun to prove itself — you have to be really good to win four straight games against the Bucks, who were the NBA’s best regular-season team. And I should probably mention that our model also had the Raptors slightly favored against Milwaukee2In fact, as 55 percent favorites, the same as it currently has them against Golden State. despite the Bucks having been heavily favored in Las Vegas.“However, the Warriors will start the NBA Finals without Kevin Durant, and possibly also without DeMarcus Cousins. To state the obvious, being without those guys makes them a worse team.” Curry✓108.296.4+11.8 From ABC News: LineupCurryDurantOff. RatingDef. RatingNet Rating KD + Klay✓✓101.2100.6+0.6 KD✓102.3100.6+1.7 Neither You’d think that all of that seems pretty reasonable. Our model is saying that having Durant and Cousins healthy-ish instead of injured-ish is worth about 5 points per game to the Warriors.But that’s not the narrative surrounding the Warriors at the moment. Instead, the stat you’ve probably heard is this one: 31-1. That is, the Warriors are 31-1 in their last 32 games without Durant but with Stephen Curry playing. This has lead to plenty of talk-radio chatter about whether the Warriors are better off without Durant, who has an option to become a free agent at the end of the season.Like most narratives, that one leaves out some of the messy details. Our ESPN colleague Kevin Pelton has a long, detailed breakdown of the Warriors’ play with and without Durant. I’d suggest you read the whole thing. For one thing, that 31-1 record overstates the case somewhat, since it arbitrarily ignores the first six games that the Warriors played without KD (counting those, they’re 34-4) and since their point differential wasn’t quite as strong as their record in those games would suggest. Those games were also played against a fairly easy schedule.Perhaps more importantly, Pelton finds based on game-by-game data that being without Durant lowered the Warriors’ ceiling. With both Durant and Curry in the lineup, the Warriors had so much firepower that they could take possessions off against mediocre teams, especially on the defensive end. In the NBA Finals, however, the Warriors will presumably be playing every possession at close to maximum effort, with or without Durant. So they’re deprived of a top gear they would have had with him healthy.We can also look at the Warriors’ lineup data over the past three seasons (including both the regular season and the playoffs), which accounts for their performance on a possession-by-possession basis with various combinations of players. With both Curry and Durant on the floor, the Warriors outscored opponents by a dominating 15.2 points per 100 possessions. With Curry only, that number falls to 11.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s still a very good number — Curry is impossibly good! — but it’s in the same ballpark as the Raptors’ current starting lineup, and the Raptors have more depth and home-court advantage. Likelihood of playing for Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins reflect our subjective estimates based on news accounts about their conditions. How KD, Curry and Klay play togetherSince 2016-17, playoffs and regular season The Warriors will get tougher to beat as they get healthierFiveThirtyEight point spread for the NBA finals 95.699.6-4.0 LineupCurryDurantThompsonOff RatingDef RatingNet Rating Klay only But the thing is, our projections actually account for all of this on-court/off-court data, at least to some extent. One of the metrics we use to fuel our projections, Real Plus-Minus (RPM), is largely based on the lineup data. So the fact the Warriors have played quite well with Curry but without Durant is accounted for in their respective ratings. Our forecasts think that Curry is quite a bit better than Durant — if Steph were injured instead of KD, it would really have Golden State in trouble.You can also go too far in looking at the on-court, off-court stats. They can be noisy, and there are also a lot of technical complications in evaluating so many five-player lineup combinations together. In fact, we’ve found that RPM (which itself is a blend of box score statistics3e.g. points, rebounds, assists, steals. and lineup data) actually goes slightly too far in using the lineup data, so we hedge against it by blending it with another metric based on box score statistics called Box Plus/Minus or BPM.“Run the numbers, and the Raptors come out as slight favorites in the series.”So do I — Nate as a basketball fan, not as a model co-designer — really buy what our model says?I mostly buy the part about the Raptors being better than they’re given credit for. Their current starting lineup has been very good, and I can imagine the betting public sleeping on it a bit because it’s involved several fairly subtle changes (e.g. upgrading Valanciunas for Gasol, Leonard playing every game, etc.). Nor do I see any obvious flaws with the Raptors, who can work effectively as either an up-tempo team (perhaps with Gasol off the floor) or in the half-court, with Leonard draining midrange jumpers and corner threes.Leonard’s health is a concern, however, particularly insofar as it could affect his ability to effectively defend Curry, a tempting matchup for the Raptors.As for how the model is evaluating the Warriors, I’m less sure. As I mentioned, the metrics behind our model (RPM and BPM) don’t actually like Durant that much; while he was repeatedly going off for massive games against the Clippers and Rockets, a few of us were complaining that the model underrated him. But there are a couple of things that worry me. First, although we have a few tricks to try to account for the Warriors’ variable effort level, their indifference during parts of the past few regular seasons may be contaminating the data to some degree. Second, our model tends to assume that building a lineup is a fairly linear process, when it isn’t. The Warriors are insulated against the loss of Durant to some degree because Thompson functions better as Curry’s Splash Brother sidekick than as a third wheel in Curry-Durant lineups.The handful of minutes each game that the Warriors play without Curry on the floor are liable to be a disaster, however, and if Leonard somehow can bottle up Curry the same way he did Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Warriors are probably toast. And I think our model actually overrates Cousins, who isn’t likely to play up to his projections while recovering from his multiple injuries.Overall, I think our model is mostly right about the Raptors, but more wrong than right about the Warriors. Since it only has the Raptors as extremely narrow favorites, that might be enough to tip the balance slightly in Golden State’s favor. But I find it hard to contemplate how the Warriors can be as heavy as 3-to-1 favorites, as they nearly are in Vegas. There is, if nothing else, a lot of uncertainty about how well the Warriors can play against a top-level team without Durant — I’m sorry if I don’t regard the Portland Trail Blazers as a top-level team — and the Raptors are good enough that the Warriors will probably have to bring their A-game.Bleep, bleep, bloop. None of them 3June 5Golden State3070Warriors by 2.5 Curry + KD✓✓115.099.8+15.2 107.195.7+11.4 Lineups are weighted by minutes playedSource: NBA Curry + KD + Klay✓✓✓115.9100.9+15.0 Check out our latest NBA predictions. 1May 30Toronto0%50%Raptors by 6 91.6100.5-8.9 Likelihood of playing Lineups are weighted by minutes playedSource: NBA KD only✓104.9100.6+4.3 Curry only✓