Sports Reference Blog

The 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 3

Posted by Jonah Gardner on January 13, 2017

Welcome to Part Three of our look at the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot. If you're just joining us, make sure to go back and read Part One, which was about the 13 players that I think are easy Nos, and Part Two, about four players who were automatic Yes votes.

In our final installment, we'll be getting into the real meat of the issue. There are 17 players left to review and, with a few exceptions, all of them are plausible Hall of Famers. However, they all have flaws that could keep them out for a couple of years, or perhaps permanently. If you've been waiting for takes on DHs, closers, Coors Field, and more, this is the part for you. So let's dig in. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame | 9 Comments »

The 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 2

Posted by Jonah Gardner on January 12, 2017

Welcome to Part Two of our look at the Hall of Fame Ballot! If you missed Part One, detailing 13 players on this year's ballot who were easy Nos, click here to read it.

For today's post, I get to do something a lot more fun: talk about four people who ruled at baseball. If, when all is said and done, these people aren't in the Baseball Hall of Fame, we should probably change the name to something else. And yet, all of them have been on the ballot for multiple years. In fact, part of the reason this year's Hall of Fame ballot is so loaded is that these four are still hanging around.

So, without further ado, here are the four players who would absolutely, no-doubt get a vote from me if I had one to give. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame | 3 Comments »

The 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

Posted by Jonah Gardner on January 11, 2017

One of my favorite things about baseball is how relaxing I find the game. The gentle rhythm and deliberate pace make it perfect for unwinding after a long summer day. In fact, only two baseball things really get me riled up. One is when my favorite team plays postseason baseball, at which point the game transforms into a stomach-churning three hour descent into a nightmare realm where nothing makes sense. The other is the Baseball Hall of Fame. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame | 3 Comments »

Russ & Harden’s Oscar-Worthy Performances

Posted by Mike Lynch on January 5, 2017

We all know Oscar Robertson became the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double when he averaged 30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG and 11.4 APG in 1961-62. Though he didn't have the benefit of first-class air travel, modern nutrition and training techniques, he did have the benefit of playing for a team that averaged an estimated 124.9 possessions per game, while playing over 44 minutes per game. Though I don't want to diminish the stamina required to perform at a high level at such a frenetic pace, the point stands that there were more opportunities for a player to accumulate counting stats in 1962 than there are in 2017, where the average game has about 96 possessions.

Still, even if we adjust statistics to a Per 100 Possessions basis, few have ever matched Oscar's production. Robertson averaged an estimated 26.7 Pts, 10.8 Reb & 9.9 Ast per 100 possessions in 1961-62. At Basketball-Reference, we have estimated per 100 possessions statistics for every player back to 1973-74 (when the advent of tracking of offensive rebounds, among other stats, made the estimates more reliable). From 1973-74 to 2015-16, a total of just four player seasons (by three players) matched The Big O's Per 100 Possession statistics. They were by do-it-all forwards Grant Hill & LeBron James (twice) and then Russell Westbrook, last season. But, now, the 2016-17 NBA season has TWO players doing that. Russell Westbrook, in his most ridiculous form yet, and James Harden, who has emerged as the perfect player for Mike D'Antoni's relentless attack. But it's not that these guys are matching Robertson's production. They're obliterating it.

Let's first consider Westbrook's numbers.

And yet, saying that Westbrook is like a combination of peak Jordan's scoring with peak Malone's rebounding and peak Kidd's passing doesn't even do justice to how breathtaking his level of activity on the floor is.

As for Harden, the numbers aren't as eye-popping as Westbrook's, but his scoring and rebounding are roughly equivalent to peak LeBron James, except with 50% more assists thrown in. So, I guess that's pretty decent.

Query Results Table
Per 100 Possessions
Player Season Age Tm Lg PTS TRB AST
James Harden 2016-17 27 HOU NBA 37.8 10.9 15.9
Russell Westbrook 2016-17 28 OKC NBA 44.1 15.0 14.9
Russell Westbrook 2015-16 27 OKC NBA 33.9 11.3 15.1
LeBron James 2012-13 28 MIA NBA 37.5 11.2 10.1
LeBron James 2008-09 24 CLE NBA 40.8 10.9 10.4
Grant Hill 1996-97 24 DET NBA 30.9 13.0 10.5
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/5/2017.
Tonight, the former teammates will square off for the 13th time in their regular-season careers, with each player owning six wins to this point. Harden is currently the overwhelming favorite to the win the MVP Award, but it's still early. Anyways, with their matchup tonight, we just wanted to take the opportunity to gawk at their absurd 2016-17 seasons.
Top Candidates Table
Rk Player Tm W/L% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS Prob%
1 James Harden HOU .750 .528 .847 8.2 11.9 1.4 0.3 5.7 28.4 57.6%
2 Kevin Durant GSW .861 .594 .868 8.6 4.7 1.2 1.6 2.3 25.8 16.1%
3 LeBron James CLE .765 .559 .683 7.8 8.5 1.4 0.6 3.9 25.8 8.8%
4 Russell Westbrook OKC .583 .462 .821 10.5 10.5 1.4 0.3 5.3 30.9 5.2%
5 Stephen Curry GSW .861 .575 .929 4.3 5.8 1.7 0.1 2.8 24.2 3.0%
6 Kawhi Leonard SAS .800 .530 .918 5.9 3.1 2.0 0.6 1.9 24.0 2.9%
7 Chris Paul LAC .632 .543 .877 5.3 9.5 2.2 0.2 2.3 17.7 1.9%
8 Kyle Lowry TOR .676 .585 .854 4.9 7.1 1.4 0.3 2.9 22.2 1.6%
9 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL .529 .559 .779 9.1 5.8 1.9 2.0 2.9 23.9 1.5%
10 Kevin Love CLE .765 .534 .872 10.9 1.7 1.1 0.4 2.1 21.8 1.3%
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/5/2017.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Ridiculousness, Statgeekery | 2 Comments »

Announcing the Baseball-Reference Alexa Skill

Posted by Jonah Gardner on January 5, 2017

If you're a baseball fan who got an Alexa-enabled device from Amazon for your holiday celebration of choice, I have some very good news. There's now an Alexa skill that will let her search Baseball-Reference for you!

Using the skill is quite easy. Just say "Alexa, enable Baseball Reference." Once you've done that, you can ask Alexa to look for leaders in a number of statistical categories and she'll look up the answer and tell you! In addition to a simple leader, you can also ask her to return a certain rank on the leaderboard (1-10) or list of top players (such as top two, top three, top four, etc.). You can also narrow it down to a year (1871 - present) or league (All of Baseball, National League or American League). Here's the full list of leaderboards that Alexa can search for you: Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 7 Comments »

NBA Christmas Records

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 23, 2016

Below, you will find the top individual performances in NBA Christmas day games entering 2016:
Most Points in an NBA Christmas Game
60 Bernard King, December 25, 1984, Knicks vs Nets
59 Wilt Chamberlain, December 25, 1961, Warriors at Knicks (2OT)
50 Rick Barry, December 25, 1966, Warriors at Royals
47 Jerry West, December 25, 1963, Lakers at Knicks
46 Tracy McGrady, December 25, 2002, Magic vs Pistons
Most Rebounds in an NBA Christmas Game
36 Wilt Chamberlain, December 25, 1961, Warriors at Knicks (2OT)
34 Bill Russell, December 25, 1965, Celtics at Bullets
34 Wilt Chamberlain, December 25, 1959, Warriors vs Nationals
33 Bill Russell, December 25, 1958, Celtics at Knicks
31 Bill Russell, December 25, 1964, Celtics vs Pistons
Most Assists in an NBA Christmas Game
18 Tiny Archibald, December 25, 1972, Kings vs Bucks
18 Guy Rodgers, December 25, 1966, Bulls at Knicks
17 Oscar Robertson, December 25, 1961, Royals vs Lakers
16 Tiny Archibald, December 25, 1975, Kings at Suns
16 Oscar Robertson, December 25, 1965, Royals vs Warriors
16 Oscar Robertson, December 25, 1963, Royals vs Hawks
16 Oscar Robertson, December 25, 1960, Royals vs Pistons
Most Steals in an NBA Christmas Game
6 Russell Westbrook, December 25, 2015, Thunder vs Bulls
6 Derrick Rose, December 25, 2010, Bulls at Knicks
6 Doug Christie, December 25, 2002, Kings at Lakers
6 Michael Jordan, December 25, 1986, Bulls at Knicks
6 Micheal Ray Richardson, December 25, 1979, Knicks vs Nets
6 Paul Westphal, December 25, 1975, Suns vs Kings
6 Kevin Porter, December 25, 1974, Bullets vs Hawks
Most Blocked Shots in an NBA Christmas Game
8 DeAndre Jordan, December 25, 2011, Clippers at Warriors
7 Elvin Hayes, December 25, 1980, Bullets vs Nets
6 Tim Duncan, December 25, 2013, Spurs vs Rockets
6 DeAndre Jordan, December 25, 2013, Clippers at Warriors
6 Tyson Chandler, December 25, 2011, Knicks vs Celtics
6 Amar'e Stoudemire, December 25, 2010, Knicks vs Bulls
6 Larry Smith, December 25, 1980, Warriors at Trail Blazers
6 Terry Tyler, December 25, 1979, Pistons at Cavaliers
Looking for something else? Don't forget that you can run searches in the Play Index Player Game Finder customized by date!

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Leaders, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Rougned Odor test

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 23, 2016

This is just a test

Rougned Odor

Eddie Johnson

Cam Newton

Adrian Peterson

Wil Myers

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Play Index 101: Episode One – Season Finder

Posted by Jonah Gardner on December 15, 2016

Welcome to Play Index 101! This series of videos will teach you how to use the Sports Reference Play Index to research statistics and facts from sports history. This is Episode 1, all about the Season Finder:

For an overview of this series, check out our introductory blog post. You can also search through the Play Index category on the blog to learn more. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us on e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.

Posted in How-To Videos, Play Index 101 | 2 Comments »

Play Index 101: Introduction and List of Videos

Posted by Jonah Gardner on December 15, 2016

I'd estimate that around 99% of the time, when someone comes to a Sports Reference site, they go to a player or team page and then log off. More advanced users may find their way to the frivolities pages, experiment with features like the Oracle of Baseball, or just spend several hours following link chains to various players and games.

But, just like Westworld, there's another level to our websites, one that relatively few people know how to navigate. It's called the Play Index and, in all sincerity, figuring out how to use it will change your life as a sports fan. If you've ever wondered how people find tidbits like "Mike Trout has the most WAR of any hitter through age-24" or "Dennis Rodman had seven 0-point, 20-rebound games in his career", the answer is usually that they've used the Play Index.

While the Play Index is easy to use if you know your way around, it can seem daunting to a newcomer. We often get messages from people who are eager to learn how to use the Play Index, but don't quite know where to start. So, with that in mind, we're starting a new video series called Play Index 101! 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, Play Index, Play Index 101, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 1 Comment »

Triple-Double Mania

Posted by Jonah Gardner on December 8, 2016

In the same way that the phrase that best summarized the 2015-16 season was "three-one lead," 2016-17 is shaping up to be the year of the triple-double. In general, the 2016-17 NBA season seems to be producing some absolutely insane stat lines, from Anthony Davis' early run of 40 and 50 point games to DeMar DeRozan's absurdly hot early start.

But one other thing that we've seen in the early part of this season is a ton of triple-doubles. Led by Russell Westbrook, who's threatening to make history by becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double over the course of a full season, NBA players are contributing to more phases of the game than ever before, and the result has been a real delight for stat-nerds. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com | 4 Comments »