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The Lab

By FiveThirtyEight, 538, ESPN, Neil Paine, Chris Herring, Kyle Wagner

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An NBA roundtable featuring FiveThirtyEight's sharpest NBA minds, discussing the league's trends from an analytics angle.

Customer Reviews


While this podcast purports to take a look at sports from an analytical perspective, co-hosts Chad Matlin and Kate Fagan are woefully ignorant of analytics; their ignorance is too much for 3rd in the room, Neil Paine, to overcome. Matlin also seems to be painfully uncomfortable in his own skin, which can be tough to listen to at times. Finally, they're about 10% as they think they are. I don't mind a few jokes here and there but the constant unfunny diversions are cringeworthy.

C'mon 538, give us a real analytics podcast. You can do better.

Just More Hot Takes

The show aims to use analytics to look at hot takes in the week of sports. It used to do that and everything was great. But recently, it has just become a different set of hot takes. The hosts share their opinions on hot topics in sports without backing those thoughts up in any way. If I wanted more opinions, I could go elsewhere.

Going to unsubscribe if the next episode doesnt feature more numbers

Miss the old HTD format/hosts

I really enjoyed HTD and was excited about the prospect of an NBA focused show. What I liked about HTD and what I enjoy about the fivethirtyeight politics podcast is the unique combination of analysis delivered by people with distinctive and authentic personalities.

I have mixed feelings about the first episode of The Lab. Basketball is my favourite sport and I really enjoyed the in-depth analytics conversation. I honestly did not find that the three guests had much in the way of personality however and I miss the diversity of perspectives that you used to find in HTD. I also liked the energy, humour, and perspective that Kate Fagan brought to the show. That said, this is definitely a very quiet podcast that I will enjoy falling asleep to.