Sports Reference Blog

Scouting the 2017 NBA Draft

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 19, 2017

The 2017 NBA Playoffs are in the books and one thing is clear: people like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. The TV ratings reached record highs as two of the most dominant teams we've seen in NBA history rampaged through their respective conferences on the way to a showdown that featured plenty of memorable moments, even while lacking in suspense. Barring an unprecedented shakeup during the offseason, there's little reason to think we won't be seeing something a lot like this next year. However, for one night on Thursday, the basketball world will turn its attention to building a future without the Warriors and Cavs' dominance.

That's right, it's time for the 2017 NBA Draft because basketball never sleeps! This year's draft could be particularly important to the shape of the league's future, especially in light of the blockbuster trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, giving the latter the number one pick while the former picked up an extra asset to potentially trade for a star.

For fans enmeshed in the NBA for the last few months, it might be hard to think back to the NCAA season, so consider this blog post a refresher on the top five prospects. However, as any fan of Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard will tell you, there's often talent to be found in the deeper parts of the draft. So, to pair with the big names, I'll also identify a player outside of the lottery who may have his own star-level upside. Read the rest of this entry

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2017 MLB Draft Results Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 16, 2017

We have posted the results of the recently completed 2017 MLB Draft.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Draft, Features | No Comments »

2017-18 NBA Free Agent Tracker Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 16, 2017

In advance of July's NBA Free Agency season, we have added our 2017-18 NBA Free Agent Tracker, which we will keep updated (as best we can) as deals are agreed to and signed. The headliners of this year's free agency class are reigning champions Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, but something tells us they're not going anywhere.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features | No Comments »

NBA Finals Leaderboards Updated

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 15, 2017

With the 2017 NBA Finals in the books, we've gone ahead and updated all of our NBA Finals leaderboards. This year's Finals was an important one from a historic perspective, as it saw LeBron James move from 7th to 3rd all-time in career points in the Finals. Along the way, he passed Bill Russell and Michael Jordan, among others.

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LeBron James When Facing Elimination

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 13, 2017

A quick blog post, just to save this table as a reference and for posterity...

A couple years ago, we ran a blog post which featured a comparison of various players when facing elimination from the playoffs. At the time, LeBron James appeared to be objectively the best of the elite group we looked at. Since that time, he's played five more games facing elimination, winning four of them before losing in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals last night. For his career, LeBron is now 11-9 when facing elimination, with averages of 33.0 PPG, 10.9 RPG and 7.4 APG on a 52.1 eFG%, with an average Game Score of 26.2. For comparison's sake, Michael Jordan's average Game Score when facing elimination was 23.3. Furthermore, LeBron's 33.0 PPG is the highest in NBA history by a player facing elimination (Jordan averaged 31.3 and Wilt Chamberlain averaged 31.1) Some point to the 2011 NBA Finals as a case of LeBron going out meekly (and they'd be right). But since then, he's faced elimination 12 times, winning nine times and putting up these insane numbers: 35.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG and 7.3 APG on a 55.7 eFG%, with an average Game Score of 30.1! Here are his lines for those 20 games, with links to each of the box scores if you'd like further details. And remember to bookmark this page the next time someone argues LeBron hasn't been a clutch performer.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Playoffs | 2 Comments »

New Play Index Videos: Baseball-Reference Parts 1-2

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 8, 2017

Hi everyone,

If you've been following our series of How-To videos for the site, you'll be excited to hear that we've released a couple more over the last few weeks. These videos are the first two parts of our in-depth look at Baseball-Reference's Play Index.

The B-R Play Index is pretty sophisticated, and has a lot of tools and features that the other sites don't. As such, we wanted to make some videos focusing on it specifically. Here's Part 1, about the Season and Game Finders: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Baseball-Reference.com, How-To Videos, Play Index, Play Index 101 | No Comments »

2017 NBA Draft Preview is Live

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 5, 2017

While the 2017 NBA Finals are in full swing, we wouldn't blame anyone who isn't a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors for looking ahead to the 2017 NBA Draft. In fact, after the first two games, we wouldn't even blame Cavs fans, were it not for the fact that Cleveland doesn't have a draft pick this year.

Either way, to help you get ready for June 22, we've added our preview page for the Draft to the site! You can see the full draft order, as well as the expected return and the best players to be taken in every draft slot from one to sixty. We've also got college stats on all the top prospects, such as Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, and Lonzo Ball. And, for you Big Baller Brand aficionados, don't forget that College Basketball Reference's recent data update included the full college career of the true star of the 2017 Draft, LaVar Ball.

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2017 NBA Finals Preview

Posted by Jonah Gardner on June 1, 2017

Sometimes, what makes sports wonderful is the unpredictability. No matter what game you like, you've probably had plenty of that in the last year: Blown 3-1 leads, a century-long curse overturned, a 5,000-to-1 shot winning the richest league in the world's most popular sport.

But sometimes what makes sports wonderful is that it gives us exactly what we want. 346 days ago, when the curtain dropped on the 2016 NBA Finals, there was one thing every basketball fan wanted. More of that, please.

Well, after a year of arguing about triple-doubles, cap spikes, resting players, and process trusting, we're getting what we asked for. It may be in the most Monkey's Paw way imaginable, but the trade-off for having this year's NBA Playoffs sapped of any energy or suspense is this series. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The man who is perhaps the most talented player in NBA history squaring off with the team that is perhaps the most loaded the league has ever seen.

On paper, the Warriors should be enormous favorites. They enter the Finals with the best playoff point differential in NBA history, the fourth best regular season SRS in NBA history, and, oh yeah, four All-NBA caliber players including, arguably, the second and third best players in the league. It's a testament to the enormity of LeBron James' ability, and the ever-so-slightly underrated collection of complimentary players working in tandem with it, that it feels like the Cavs have a shot to do this.

But can they? Is it really possible for this Warriors team to lose four times in seven games? And what will the outcome mean for LeBron? For Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant? And for a league that's essentially spent an entire year on pause in order to pick up from the exact spot it left off last June? Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com | 2 Comments »

Re-Doing the 2010 MLB Draft

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 26, 2017

In just a couple of weeks, Rob Manfred will announce that the Minnesota Twins are on the clock, kicking off the 2017 MLB Draft. There's no shortage of talent in this year's draft pool: one MLB.com writer suggested Hunter Greene might be the best right-handed high school pitcher ever (no HS RHP has ever been drafted #1 overall), while Baseball America thinks Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt University has a better shot of going to the Twin Cities with the top pick.

For the Twins and other teams with high picks, like the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays, this is a big decision. For an example of what nailing a couple of top picks can do for a franchise, just look at the Washington Nationals. It wasn't too long ago that the Nats were a joke, failing to break even 60 wins in 2008 and 2009. However, those records resulted in back-to-back #1 overall picks in the 2009 and 2010 MLB Drafts, which they used on Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Now, led by those two stars, as well as 2012 first rounder Anthony Rendon, the Nats have the second best record in the National League and lead the majors in runs scored.

It can be hard to evaluate a draft in the moment or even after just a year or two. Unlike the NBA Draft and NFL Draft, where many of the best players are able to make an immediate contribution, it can take a few years for a baseball draftee to work their way up through the minor league system and have an impact on the major league level. Read the rest of this entry

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Neutralized Baseball Stats Back and Better Than Ever

Posted by Mike Lynch on May 26, 2017

When we launched our new site three months ago, one of the casualties was the neutralized stats tables we printed on player pages. Those tables were originally built using code that had grown increasingly unwieldy and were not something we'd be able to adequately maintain moving forward. That said, we're happy to announce that we have rebuilt these tables and added new features, as well.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index, Redesign, Statgeekery | 3 Comments »