This is way off-topic, especially on a day when we're probably saying goodbye to 40% of our starting basketball lineup, but it may be interesting to people like me who are both sports fans and spend way too much time trying to quantify human behavior.
The 'hot hand" or 'hot streak' in basketball and baseball have been topics of debate forever, but for 30 years the academic consensus was that they were fallacy, that believers in such things did not understand the data. Well, new research from Stanford and Harvard - by business school faculty, interestingly - turns this assumption on its head:
(The two studies cited in this article are a bit more difficult and require at least a basic understanding of statistics to follow).
In a nutshell, prior studies suffered from endogenous variable bias; e.g. a model designed to predict the probability of a player with a 'hot hand' making his next shot suffers from the relationship between a variable in the model, current or recent shooting percentage, and a variable not in the model, or lumped in the error: defensive reaction. This is much less of a problem in baseball.