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News and Notes

Posted by Justin Kubatko on November 7, 2012

We are now just a little over a week into the 2012-13 NBA season, so I wanted to fill you in on some things that have been happening over at Basketball-Reference.com:

  • Daily site updates started on October 31, and so far it looks like there haven't been any major issues. If you notice something, though, please don't hesitate to let us know.
  • I have added lineup pages for both players and teams. These pages display net results per 100 possessions for the most-used lineups (based on playing time) for each player/team.
  • I have added a league-wide injury report to supplement the injury reports that appear near the top of each team's roster and stats page.
  • Each season now has four player stat pages: Totals, Per Game, Per 36 Minutes, and Advanced. In the past there were just pages for basic totals and advanced stats.
  • The 2011-12 D-League stats have (finally) been updated with playoff stats, award winners, etc.
  • The 2012 WNBA stats should be added sometime in the next week or two.
  • Don't forget that we added a referees section in the offseason. These pages will be updated daily during the season.
  • Thanks to the efforts of Jeff Kramer, we added a contracts section in the offseason. The contract data will be updated on a regular basis during the season. Keep in mind that there will be some delay between when a transaction takes place and when the database is updated, as Jeff often has to chase down contract details.

Well, that's all for now. Please continue to enjoy and support the site, and as always you're feedback is welcome.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com

Features: Milestone Watch

Posted by Neil on November 6, 2012

If you're interested in measuring active players' stat totals against historical records or impressive-sounding round numbers, check out our NBA Milestone Watch.

On that page, you can select one of 11 different statistical categories (Games Played, FG, 3-Pointers, FT, Offensive, Defensive, & Total Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks, and Points) and track current players' progress toward certain milestones in that stat. On the left side of the page, you'll see the race for specific round numbers in each category, and on the right side there's a table showing where the top active players rank in NBA history, including how many of that stat they need to accumulate to move up in the all-time rankings.

So go ahead and take a look at it -- it's updated daily along with the rest of our stats, so you'll be able to track your favorite player's assault on history all season long.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, History

PFR Game Score Finder

Posted by Neil on November 5, 2012

We don't know what tonight's game will hold, but it just might end with an historically-unique final score. If so, as a Pro-Football-Reference user you'll know first because you can run a search on any combination of final scores to see how often they've occurred all-time.

Using the main table on this page, and clicking the "count" column header to sort by he number of instances in the database, you can find the rarest and most common scores in pro football history. You might be surprised to see the number of combinations that have taken place just once, running the gamut from 66-0 blowouts to brutal 5-3 affairs. And at the other end of the spectrum, 20-17 is by far the most common all-time final score.

Play around with the tool for a while, and you'll always know where to find an answer when somebody asks, "how often does this score happen?"

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

2012-2013 Major League Baseball Free Agent List

Posted by Neil on November 2, 2012

Looking for a list of 2012-13 MLB Free Agents this offseason? Go to this page:

2012-2013 Free Agents with Statistics

There you'll find a table like this (except with even more stats):

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, expire120d, Features

New Front-Page Standings Interface

Posted by Neil on November 2, 2012

Many of you may have noticed that we slightly tweaked our front-page standings table for the 2012-13 season. Now it looks like this:

 

Team W L
SAS (1) F C $ 2 0

What do F, C, and $ mean?

Clicking "F" next to the team abbreviation brings up the team's Franchise Page, which contains a year-by-year summary of the team's entire history.

Clicking "C" will call up the Clubhouse Page for each team. Team clubhouse pages contain a snapshot of where the team is and how they're playing right now, with a calendar-style schedule, team four factors & leaders, and a table of player stats over the team's last 10 games.

Finally, "$" takes you to the team's Contracts Page. These pages list the team's payroll for the current season and the next four seasons, plus descriptions regarding the terms of every player's contract.

We hope these new links will make it even easier for you to navigate our site and get the info you need this season.

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

First 2012-13 Update Likely to be Delayed

Posted by Justin Kubatko on October 30, 2012

Due to storm damage at our data provider's ISP, it is unlikely that Basketball-Reference.com will be updated tomorrow morning with the results from opening night. We will try to get these results up as soon as possible. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

Update: It turns out the update was not delayed. The site should now be updated with the results from last night. Please let us know if you find any bugs.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, expire2d

Estimating NFL Win Probabilities for Matchups Between Teams of Various Records

Posted by Neil on October 30, 2012

WARNING: Math post.

PFR user Brad emailed over the weekend with an interesting question:

"Wondering if you've ever tracked or how it would be possible to find records vs. records statistics....for instance a 3-4 team vs. a 5-2 team...which record wins how often? but for every record matchup in every week."

That's a cool concept, and one that I could answer historically with a query when I get the time. But in the meantime, here's what I believe is a valid way to estimate that probability...

  1. Add eleven games of .500 ball to the team's current record (at any point in the season). So if a team is 3-4, their "true" wpct talent is (3 + 5.5) / (7 + 11) = .472. If their opponent is 5-2, it would be (5 + 5.5) / (7 + 11) = .583.
  2. Use the following equation to estimate the probability of Team A beating Team B at a neutral site:

    p(Team A Win) = Team A true_win% *(1 - Team B true_win%)/(Team A true_win% * (1 - Team B true_win%) + (1 - Team A true_win%) * Team B true_win%)

  3. You can even factor in home-field advantage like so:

    p(Team A Win) = ((Team A true_win%) * (1 - Team B true_win%) * HFA)/((Team A true_win%) * (1 - Team B true_win%) * HFA +(1 - Team A true_win%) * (Team B true_win%) * (1 - HFA))

    In the NFL, home teams win roughly 57% of the time, so HFA = 0.57.

This means in Brad's hypothetical matchup of a 5-2 team vs. a 3-4 team, we would expect the 5-2 team to win .583 *(1 - .472)/(.583 * (1 - .472) + (1 - .583) * .472) = 61% of the time at a neutral site.

Really Technical Stuff:

Now, you may be wondering where I came up with the "add 11 games of .500 ball" part. That comes from this Tangotiger post about true talent levels for sports leagues.

Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, the yearly standard deviation of team winning percentage is, on average, 0.195. This means var(observed) = 0.195^2 = 0.038. The random standard deviation of NFL records in a 16-game season would be sqrt(0.5*0.5/16) = 0.125, meaning var(random) = 0.125^2 = 0.016.

var(true) = var(observed) - var(random), so in this case var(true) = 0.038 - 0.016 = 0.022. The square root of 0.022 is 0.15, so 0.15 is stdev(true), the standard deviation of true winning percentage talent in the current NFL.

Armed with that number, we can calculate the number of games a season would need to contain in order for var(true) to equal var(random) using:

0.25/stdev(true)^2

In the NFL, that number is 11 (more accurately, it's 11.1583, but it's easier to just use 11). So when you want to regress an NFL team's W-L record to the mean, at any point during the season, take eleven games of .500 ball (5.5-5.5), and add them to the actual record. This will give you the best estimate of the team's "true" winning percentage talent going forward.

That's why you use the "true" wpct number to plug into Bill James' log5 formula (see step 2 above), instead of the teams' actual winning percentages. Even a 16-0 team doesn't have a 100% probability of winning going forward -- instead, their expected true wpct talent is something like (16 + 5.5) / (16 + 11) = .796.

(For more info, see this post, and for a proof of this method, read what Phil Birnbaum wrote in 2011.)

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Stat Questions

Incomplete Stats for 10/29

Posted by Mike on October 30, 2012

Due to hurricane-related issues with our data provider, stats for the Monday night NFL game are incomplete. We will update them as soon as we have the data, but until that point the player pages for 49ers and Cardinals players will be missing yesterday's game stats.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, expire7d, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Support Pro-Football-Reference.com, Sponsor a Page

Posted by Neil on October 29, 2012

Sponsoring a page is fun, fast, and easy way to support what we're doing here at Pro-Football-Reference. With a sponsorship, you can:

  • Show your support for your favorite player or team.
  • Drum up traffic for your own site & draw in fans with a common interest.
  • Get some well-deserved recognition for your support of PFR.
  • Make your voice heard by the tens of thousands of people who visit Pro-Football-Reference every day.

Here's all you have to do to get involved:

  1. Create a membership account.
  2. Find the page(s) you'd like to support, and click "sponsor" (available pages).
  3. If the page you want is already sponsored, click "Alert Me!" to be informed when the current sponsorship expires.
  4. Follow the instructions to create your message and make your payment.
  5. Your message and links will be visible on the page after we approve them (usually in less than 24 hours).

And who knows, if you're clever enough, your message might end up on lists like these.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Sponsors

PI Player Game Finder

Posted by Neil on October 28, 2012

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

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