Sports Reference Blog

Anatomy of the First Round Upset

Posted by Jonah Gardner on April 14, 2017

After an unusually eventful final week of the season that saw Moe Harkless going to great lengths to get paid, featured thrilling closing arguments from all four NBA MVP candidates in what may be the closest race in history, and ended with Dion Waiters and the Miami Heat falling painfully short in their late push for a playoff spot, the field is set for the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

The question that has loomed over the NBA all season is whether any team had the quality to challenge the Golden State Warriors or Cleveland Cavaliers, or if this year would be one long preamble to a third showdown between those teams. While we won't know the answer with certainty until June, there's plenty of reasons to expect that the playoffs won't be a cake-walk for the either the defending champs or their rivals in the East Bay. In fact, in Cleveland's case, by both raw win-loss record and more advanced stats like Simple Rating System or Net Rating, they haven't even been the best team in the East this year.

Still, the playoffs are a different animal from the regular season, and before those teams can think about replaying the 2016 NBA Finals, they have to win their first round matchups, no sure thing given that both the Warriors and Cavaliers are facing a little uncertainty at the moment. For the former, they're tasked with re-integrating Kevin Durant into their offense after finding a major groove in his absence. For the latter, the problems are more severe: in the second half of the season, only the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers have been worse on defense than the defending champs.

For Warriors and Cavs fans, as well as those cheering on the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs, a loss in the first round would be a devastating outcome for a season that seemed so promising. Fortunately, this kind of thing rarely happens. Since 2002-03, the year that the NBA changed to its current playoff format with a Best of Seven series in the first round, only four top-two-seeds out of fifty-six have lost in round one.

Today, we're going to take a look at what went wrong for those teams, and what went right for the underdogs who managed to pull off the unthinkable. Read the rest of this entry

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

2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Content

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 11, 2017

With playoffs season upon us, we wanted to point out our 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs section. While it's mostly a shell right now, it will be a good bookmark for info as the playoffs get going. You can find a schedule & results for every game, stats for every skater, goalie & team, as well as leaderboards.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Playoffs | No Comments »

Is This the Best NBA MVP Race Ever? A Statistical Inquiry

Posted by Jonah Gardner on April 10, 2017

We're just a couple of weeks away from the most glorious period of the annual sports calendar, the NBA Playoffs. However, there's still one huge piece of unfinished business to settle before we get there: the race for NBA MVP. This year's race is going down to the wire as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all remain in contention with just a few games remaining on the NBA schedule.

In the big picture, very little has changed since the last time we checked in on the race: Russell Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double, James Harden is still combining efficiency, volume, and playmaking to an unprecedented extent, LeBron James is still looking like Magic Johnson 2.0, and Kawhi Leonard remains the best two-way player in the league while dominating the ball and shouldering the offensive load in a way that no Spurs player has since Gregg Popovich took over as head coach. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Basketball-Reference.com | 5 Comments »

Alert to Internet Explorer 11 Users

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 31, 2017

If you're viewing this site on Internet Explorer 11, chances are you're having a frustrating experience. In recent weeks, we've received voluminous feedback about our sites not loading properly. The common denominator to this feedback is that the users are almost all part of the small portion of our traffic from users on IE11. It seems that IE11 is unable to render many of our pages, probably due to some ad code. Nothing we have tried so far to resolve this seems to have worked. To fix this issue, we may try removing ads on IE11 to see if performance improves. As we're dependent on advertising to keep our sites afloat, this isn't a decision we relish.

Until we figure out what the issue is, we highly recommend user a superior (and free!) browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 2 Comments »

The Baseball-Reference All-Intrigue Team

Posted by Jonah Gardner on March 31, 2017

When we last left Major League Baseball, one of its oldest franchises had broken the most storied title drought in American sports. It took over 100 years, not to mention the second 3-1 championship comeback in four months, but, for the first time since William H. Taft's inauguration, the Cubs have a title to defend.

This year may not end in the same kind of joyous history-making, but there's still plenty to look forward to. In fact, between the influx of young stars over the last couple of years and the continued greatness of many of the game's biggest names, baseball in 2017 is as good as it's ever been.

So, as we look ahead to the season, I wanted to take a look at some players. But this list will forgo the Mike Trouts and Clayton Kershaws of the game. Instead, I've picked my 2017 all-intrigue team. These are the players who, to me, represent the most interesting storylines heading into 2017. Read the rest of this entry

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

NCAA Men’s Basketball All-Tournament Teams Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 31, 2017

Since we now have most players who have participated in the NCAA Tournament in our database, we thought it would be good to add All-Tournament teams to College Basketball Reference. So we've added these teams to our college basketball Awards section. This team was originally named in 1940 (the 2nd NCAA Tournament), and was then discontinued for 1941-51. It has been awarded every year since 1952. We've included tournament scoring stats for each player awarded, as well as other stats when fully available. Jerry Chambers's 35.8 PPG in the 1966 tournament for Utah represents the highest scoring average for an all-tournament selection, while Jim Thomas's 4.6 PPG for 1981 Champs Indiana represents the lowest. This list complements our previously existing list of NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Players.

We hope you enjoy this addition. And keep an eye out for NCAA Tournament All-Regional teams in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features | 1 Comment »

Video: How to SHARE Sports-Reference Data

Posted by Jonah Gardner on March 30, 2017

We're excited to post the latest video in our How To series, showing you some secrets and hacks that will help to get the most out of the Sports-Reference family of sites. Today's video is all about sharing. While many users know how to find the data they're look for, fewer know the different ways of sharing it. From embedding tables on a website or blog, to posting them to Reddit, to downloading directly to your computer as a spreadsheet, this video will show you the different ways that you share all the info you find on our sites:

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Hockey-Reference.com, How-To Videos, HowTo, Pro-Football-Reference.com | No Comments »

Breaking Down College Basketball’s Naismith Award Race

Posted by Jonah Gardner on March 24, 2017

With the 2017 NCAA Tournament heating up, all eyes are on the college basketball world. By the end of this weekend, the March Madness field of 68 teams will have been pared down to just four finalists, and we'll have just three meaningful games of college hoops left to enjoy this year.

So, as the season wraps up, we wanted to turn our attention to another exciting race for a major trophy: the competition for this year's Naismith Player of the Year Award. The Naismith, given during the Final Four weekend, recognizes the year's best college basketball player. This week, the voters narrowed the field from the original ten semifinalists to four finalists, each of whom has an excellent case for taking the trophy. In fact, in an interesting mirror of the NBA MVP race that we examined a few weeks ago, this year's award could go to any of the major four contenders depending on what voters choose to prioritize. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the pros and cons of each finalists' case. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Awards, CBB at Sports Reference | No Comments »

Some Famous Names You Might Not Have Known Played College Basketball

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 21, 2017

As you may have noticed, we recently made a massive update to the site, adding thousands of player pages back to the 1947-48 season. As we handled the update, we couldn't help but notice the wide variety of new payers in the database, who in the years (often decades) since they hung up their basketball sneakers, have become famous for things besides basketball. Below is a sampling of some of those players. We're sure there's others we're yet to notice, so please leave any discoveries that you make in the comments!

Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, History, Ridiculousness | 7 Comments »

College Basketball Leaderboards Extended Back to 1985-86

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 20, 2017

Thanks to the addition of nearly 50 seasons of historical player statistics, we have extended our statistical leaderboards for several categories through the beginning of the shot-clock era (1985-86). These categories include games, field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, free throw attempts, total rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and points (as well as their "per game" versions). Additionally, we have extended all 3-point shooting leaderboards back through 1986-87, which was the season the NCAA adopted the shot.

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, History, Leaders | 3 Comments »