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PI+: Lineup Finder

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 21, 2012

Today I would like to take a closer look at one of the tools available in Play Index+: the Lineup Finder. With the Lineup Finder, you can search through thousands of 5-man lineups to find the best offensive units, the best defensive units, the best overall units, and much, much more.

Let's start by taking a look at the search form:

First you should select the query type. You have five options:

  1. Single Game queries will look for single games that match the parameters you have specified.
  2. Cumulative Season Game queries will summarize the results of games in a single season that match the parameters you have specified.
  3. Cumulative Multi-Season Game queries will summarize the results of games across all seasons that match the parameters you have specified.
  4. Number of Season Game queries will count the number of games in a single season that match the parameters you have specified.
  5. Number of Multi-Season Game queries will count the number of games across all seasons that match the parameters you have specified.

The next step is to select the output type. There are three options:

  1. Totals will output the raw totals for each lineup.
  2. Per 48 Minutes will summarize the results for each lineup on a per 48 minute basis.
  3. Per 100 Possessions will summarize the results for each lineup on a per 100 possession basis.

After selecting the output type you can select a season range. Please note that these queries can take up to five seconds per season, so the maximum time span is five seasons. If you would like to select a single season, set the first season, then click the red "to" and the second season will be set equal to the first season.

The rest of the parameters should be fairly easy to figure out, although I should note that the game numbers are reset for the playoffs. For example, if you're searching for the best performances in a team's first playoff game, you would select "Playoffs" as the Game Type and "1" for each Game Number.

The Additional Criteria section allows you to filter the search results (e.g., you can select minimum playing time requirements). Here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Minutes Played (MP), Possessions (Poss), and Opponent Possessions (Opp Poss) should be entered in integer form (e.g., 123).
  • Shooting percentages (FG%, 3P%, eFG%, and FT%) should be entered in decimal form (e.g., .456).
  • Rebounding percentages (ORB%, DRB%, and TRB%) should be entered in percentage form (e.g., 78.9).
  • All other criteria should be entered in units corresponding to the output type. In other words, if you selected "Totals" as your output type, then you should enter totals here; if you selected "Per 48 Minutes" as your output type, then you should enter per 48 minute averages here; and if you selected "Per 100 Possessions" as your output type, then you should enter per 100 possession averages here.
  • Net statistics are always computed as team value minus opponent value. For example, a net field goal percentage of .123 means that a team outshot its opponent by .123 from the field and a net field goal percentage of -.123 means that a team was outshot by its opponent by .123.

To complete the search form, select the "Sort By" statistic and then decide if you want the results in descending order (the default) or ascending order. To sort the results in ascending order, check the "Use ascending order" box.

To wrap this up, here are five example queries:

As always, please let us know if you have any comments or questions.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 10:07 am and is filed under Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to “PI+: Lineup Finder”

  1. Is there a way to get the possession numbers for each of these lineups? I want to find out which lineup plays the most/lease possessions per 48 minutes.

  2. @Pm: I added team possessions, opponent possessions, and pace factor to the output.

  3. Thank you so much Justin. That's going to save me a lot of time for my manual pace calculations.

    How long would it take you to fix the bug in the lineup+ that doesn't allow you to search for 2 or 3 season spans but instead of being forced to search 5 seasons?

  4. I hate asking too many questions, but for the shot finder, is it possible to see how many minutes and points a player scored in that situation, like for example how many points Dirk scored in the 4th quarter and under 5 minutes or how many minutes he played in that situation? What about other stats in that situation like rebounds or assists in the 4th quarter under 5 minutes?

  5. @Pm: The season selection bug in the Lineup Finder should be fixed now.

  6. Hello Justin,

    I'm an aspiring sports writer and trying to obtain data so I can do various studies on college players and how they project in the NBA. Do you know if there is some program on basketball reference that I can use to basically pull data so I can look at different trends. I was wondering if something like this available and at what costs.

    Thank you,

    Sam

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