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## Features: Expected Points

Posted by Mike on March 5, 2012

Today we're rolling out a new feature -- expected points on boxscores, year pages, and team pages back through 2000. What are expected points, you ask? Inspired by a concept introduced by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, & John Thorn in their 1988 book The Hidden Game of Football, our crack staff of statisticians (Sean and Neil) have used a decade's worth of play-by-play data to develop a formula that estimates the expected number of points given a combination of down, distance, and yard line. Let's look at this year's Super Bowl for an example. The first play after the kickoff looks like this:

1 10 NYG 23 Ahmad Bradshaw right tackle for no gain (tackle by Brandon Spikes) 0 0 0.48 -0.07
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

That means that given a first and ten from their own 23, the expected value of the next score in the game is roughly 0.48 points by the Giants. With a run for no gain (resulting in second and ten from their own 23), the play changed that to -0.07 expected points, meaning that the play itself had a value of -0.56 expected points. Looking at the first touchdown of the game, we see:

2 2 NWE 2 Eli Manning pass complete short middle to Victor Cruz for 2 yards, touchdown 8 0 5.72 7
Lawrence Tynes kicks extra point good 9 0 0 0
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

Before the play was run, the expected points for a second and goal play from the 2 yard line is 5.72 points, so scoring the touchdown there netted the Giants 1.28 expected points (note that for touchdowns, 7 points are assumed and a made extra point is not worth any additional points, though a missed extra point subtracts one and a made two-point conversion adds one).

What can we do with these? Well, when you sum all of the differences together (minus an adjustment for the end of half and end of game plays), you should get the scoring margin of the game, which you can see in the table below the box score:

New England Patriots -4.00 10.70 9.71 0.99 -1.42 -13.35 -15.90 0.22 0.00 -1.47 -3.11 1.71 0.95 0.14 -1.16
New York Giants 4.00 13.35 15.90 -0.22 0.00 -10.70 -9.71 -0.99 1.42 1.47 -1.71 3.11 -0.14 -0.95 1.16
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

Given this table, we can break down the contributions each team's various squads made to the margin of victory -- the Giants' passing offense was their largest positive contributor, while their rushing offense actually contributed negatively overall. In addition to the box score pages, team totals have been added to team and year pages so you can see what cumulative totals each teams' offensive and defensive squads have.

Keep an eye out for further features using this play-by-play data as the year progresses.

9 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features, Pro-Football-Reference.com

## NY Times: James and the Heat Put Failure Behind Them

Posted by Justin Kubatko on March 2, 2012

This week in the New York Times, I take a look at LeBron James and the Miami Heat:

James and the Heat Put Failure Behind Them

Five-word summary: they are on a roll.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, New York Times

## Sports-Reference.com Widgets – Our Stats, Your Site

Posted by admin on February 29, 2012

Sports-Reference.com Widgets - Our Stats, Your Site

We've just launched the first stage of our new Sports Reference Widget tool. By clicking the "Embed" tooltip just above any stats table on the site you can now get the code to add our daily updated stats to your site.

See the widgets page for a description of the various features.

We've always had this option with our "Share" tool, but the widgets have the advantage that they'll update daily as our stats pages update.

In the future, we expect to launch additional widgets, like milestone countdowns, division standings, team and league leaders and more. Any suggestions will certainly be considered.

## S-R Linker Tutorial

Posted by Neil on February 28, 2012

Here's a short tutorial video showing you how to use the S-R Linkers to add your blog posts to our player pages and increase traffic to your blog:

## NY Times: Clippers on a Roll With Paul at the Point

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 27, 2012

This is a little late, but here is a link to my latest column for the New York Times:

Clippers on a Roll With Paul at the Point

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

## PI+ Stat of the Day: Kings of the Midrange

Posted by Neil on February 27, 2012

Via the Shot Finder, this season's best 2-point jump shooters from 15 feet and out:

Rk
1 Stephen Curry 2011-12 GSW 20 55 88 .625 17 .309
2 Jeremy Lin 2011-12 NYK 15 19 31 .613 4 .211
3 Steve Nash 2011-12 PHO 29 57 98 .582 11 .193
4 Chris Kaman 2011-12 NOH 25 46 85 .541 34 .739
5 Jonas Jerebko 2011-12 DET 26 23 43 .535 23 1.000
6 Steve Blake 2011-12 LAL 18 17 32 .531 11 .647
7 Kurt Thomas 2011-12 POR 33 41 78 .526 40 .976
8 Patrick Patterson 2011-12 HOU 29 40 77 .519 37 .925
9 Quincy Pondexter 2011-12 MEM 18 17 33 .515 12 .706
10 Spencer Hawes 2011-12 PHI 12 21 41 .512 21 1.000
11 Brandon Bass 2011-12 BOS 25 60 119 .504 58 .967
12 Dirk Nowitzki 2011-12 DAL 30 97 193 .503 74 .763
13 Troy Murphy 2011-12 LAL 19 15 30 .500 15 1.000
14 Courtney Lee 2011-12 HOU 21 29 58 .500 11 .379
15 Kevin Martin 2011-12 HOU 30 44 89 .494 19 .432
16 Jannero Pargo 2011-12 ATL 20 19 39 .487 8 .421
17 Chris Paul 2011-12 LAC 26 51 105 .486 3 .059
18 Tim Duncan 2011-12 SAS 30 64 132 .485 54 .844
19 Kevin Durant 2011-12 OKC 32 72 150 .480 31 .431
20 Jason Terry 2011-12 DAL 30 49 103 .476 18 .367
21 Rashard Lewis 2011-12 WAS 23 19 40 .475 13 .684
22 Luke Ridnour 2011-12 MIN 31 56 118 .475 24 .429
23 Johan Petro 2011-12 NJN 23 28 59 .475 26 .929
24 Thaddeus Young 2011-12 PHI 31 43 91 .473 35 .814
25 David West 2011-12 IND 27 41 87 .471 39 .951
26 Kevin Garnett 2011-12 BOS 28 65 139 .468 56 .862
27 Jared Dudley 2011-12 PHO 28 36 77 .468 28 .778
28 Devin Harris 2011-12 UTA 24 22 47 .468 13 .591
29 Marreese Speights 2011-12 MEM 27 38 82 .463 33 .868
30 Carlos Boozer 2011-12 CHI 34 73 158 .462 57 .781
31 Rudy Fernandez 2011-12 DEN 23 18 39 .462 12 .667
32 Gary Neal 2011-12 SAS 22 24 52 .462 13 .542
33 Caron Butler 2011-12 LAC 29 51 111 .459 37 .725
34 Beno Udrih 2011-12 MIL 21 22 48 .458 12 .545
35 Andrea Bargnani 2011-12 TOR 13 31 68 .456 24 .774
36 Jason Smith 2011-12 NOH 21 46 101 .455 45 .978
37 Gordon Hayward 2011-12 UTA 28 33 73 .452 28 .848
38 Zaza Pachulia 2011-12 ATL 20 14 31 .452 13 .929
39 Marcin Gortat 2011-12 PHO 25 18 40 .450 18 1.000
40 Jose Calderon 2011-12 TOR 33 71 158 .449 20 .282
41 Jamal Crawford 2011-12 POR 31 62 139 .446 16 .258
42 Joakim Noah 2011-12 CHI 22 16 36 .444 15 .938
43 D.J. White 2011-12 CHA 21 28 63 .444 23 .821
44 Pau Gasol 2011-12 LAL 32 50 113 .442 42 .840
45 Ben Gordon 2011-12 DET 24 55 125 .440 31 .564
46 Chris Bosh 2011-12 MIA 33 68 155 .439 54 .794
47 Mo Williams 2011-12 LAC 27 49 112 .438 20 .408
48 Luis Scola 2011-12 HOU 33 67 154 .435 63 .940
49 Brandon Jennings 2011-12 MIL 29 40 92 .435 4 .100
50 Alonzo Gee 2011-12 CLE 23 13 30 .433 7 .538
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/24/2012.

4 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, Play Index

## PI+ Stat of the Day: Most Effective Lineups in a Game

Posted by Neil on February 24, 2012

Thanks to the PI+ Lineup Finder, here are the 5-man units with the best +/- in a single game this season:

Net (Totals)
Rk
1 C. Boozer | R. Brewer | L. Deng | J. Noah | D. Rose 2012-01-01 CHI MEM W 18.8 +30
2 C. Boozer | R. Brewer | L. Deng | J. Noah | D. Rose 2012-01-13 CHI @ BOS W 29.5 +27
3 C. Boozer | R. Brewer | L. Deng | J. Noah | D. Rose 2012-02-08 CHI @ NOH W 19.5 +27
4 A. Horford | J. Johnson | J. Smith | J. Teague | M. Williams 2011-12-28 ATL WAS W 23.9 +27
5 J. Anthony | C. Bosh | M. Chalmers | L. James | D. Wade 2012-02-17 MIA @ CLE W 17.4 +26
6 D. Collison | P. George | D. Granger | R. Hibbert | D. West 2012-02-03 IND @ DAL W 27.0 +25
7 R. Anderson | D. Howard | J. Nelson | J. Redick | H. Turkoglu 2012-01-01 ORL TOR W 9.7 +25
8 R. Anderson | C. Duhon | D. Howard | J. Redick | H. Turkoglu 2012-02-01 ORL WAS W 17.4 +25
9 V. Carter | B. Haywood | S. Marion | D. Nowitzki | D. West 2012-01-10 DAL @ DET W 12.7 +24
10 L. Aldridge | M. Camby | R. Felton | W. Matthews | G. Wallace 2012-02-01 POR CHA W 20.1 +24
11 C. Billups | C. Butler | B. Griffin | D. Jordan | C. Paul 2012-02-04 LAC @ WAS W 18.1 +23
12 T. Allen | M. Conley | M. Gasol | R. Gay | M. Speights 2012-02-15 MEM @ NJN W 21.6 +23
13 M. World Peace | S. Blake | K. Bryant | P. Gasol | L. Walton 2012-01-10 LAL PHO W 9.0 +23
14 D. Collison | P. George | D. Granger | R. Hibbert | D. West 2012-02-19 IND CHA W 14.3 +23
15 R. Anderson | D. Howard | J. Nelson | J. Richardson | H. Turkoglu 2012-02-11 ORL @ MIL W 22.1 +21
16 L. Aldridge | M. Camby | R. Felton | W. Matthews | G. Wallace 2012-01-24 POR MEM W 18.6 +21
17 T. Chandler | L. Fields | J. Lin | S. Novak | I. Shumpert 2012-02-08 NYK @ WAS W 14.6 +21
18 C. Boozer | R. Brewer | L. Deng | J. Noah | C. Watson 2012-02-10 CHI @ CHA W 22.1 +20
19 T. Evans | C. Hayes | J. Hickson | J. Salmons | M. Thornton 2012-01-01 SAC NOH W 22.1 +20
20 C. Budinger | G. Dragic | J. Hill | C. Lee | P. Patterson 2012-02-09 HOU @ PHO W 20.7 +20
21 J. Anthony | C. Bosh | M. Chalmers | L. James | D. Wade 2012-01-01 MIA CHA W 18.8 +20
22 J. Dudley | C. Frye | M. Gortat | G. Hill | S. Nash 2012-02-19 PHO LAL W 26.7 +20
23 C. Budinger | J. Hill | K. Lowry | K. Martin | L. Scola 2011-12-31 HOU ATL W 20.5 +20
24 D. Cousins | T. Evans | J. Salmons | J. Thompson | M. Thornton 2012-02-04 SAC GSW W 32.8 +19
25 W. Johnson | K. Love | N. Pekovic | L. Ridnour | R. Rubio 2012-02-17 MIN @ HOU W 26.3 +19
26 K. Hinrich | J. Johnson | Z. Pachulia | J. Smith | M. Williams 2012-02-08 ATL IND W 10.8 +19
27 C. Billups | C. Butler | R. Foye | B. Griffin | D. Jordan 2012-01-22 LAC TOR W 17.8 +19
28 E. Brand | S. Hawes | J. Holiday | A. Iguodala | J. Meeks 2011-12-28 PHI @ PHO W 13.7 +19
29 O. Asik | L. Deng | T. Gibson | K. Korver | J. Lucas 2012-01-11 CHI WAS W 19.7 +19
30 D. Collison | P. George | D. Granger | R. Hibbert | D. West 2011-12-26 IND DET W 14.9 +19
31 A. Horford | J. Johnson | V. Radmanovic | J. Smith | J. Teague 2012-01-07 ATL CHI W 14.1 +19
32 S. Curry | M. Ellis | D. Lee | E. Udoh | D. Wright 2012-02-07 GSW OKC L 9.4 +19
33 C. Anthony | T. Chandler | L. Fields | I. Shumpert | A. Stoudemire 2012-01-06 NYK @ WAS W 11.0 +19
34 T. Ariza | G. Ayon | M. Belinelli | C. Kaman | G. Vasquez 2012-02-17 NOH @ NYK W 20.6 +18
35 C. Boozer | R. Brewer | K. Korver | J. Noah | D. Rose 2012-01-30 CHI @ WAS W 32.6 +18
36 J. Calderon | D. DeRozan | A. Gray | A. Johnson | J. Johnson 2012-02-10 TOR BOS W 15.6 +18
37 L. Aldridge | M. Camby | R. Felton | W. Matthews | G. Wallace 2012-01-27 POR PHO W 16.1 +18
38 J. Dudley | C. Frye | M. Gortat | G. Hill | S. Nash 2011-12-30 PHO @ NOH W 20.1 +18
39 J. Dudley | C. Frye | M. Gortat | G. Hill | S. Nash 2012-01-08 PHO MIL W 17.1 +18
40 O. Asik | L. Deng | T. Gibson | K. Korver | D. Rose 2012-01-03 CHI ATL W 18.4 +18
41 M. Daniels | K. Garnett | E. Moore | P. Pierce | C. Wilcox 2012-01-26 BOS @ ORL W 6.2 +18
42 E. Brand | J. Holiday | A. Iguodala | J. Meeks | T. Young 2012-01-07 PHI TOR W 6.5 +17
43 T. Allen | M. Conley | M. Gasol | R. Gay | S. Young 2012-01-03 MEM SAC W 12.0 +17
44 T. Chandler | J. Jeffries | J. Lin | S. Novak | J. Smith 2012-02-19 NYK DAL W 7.3 +17
45 J. Johnson | Z. Pachulia | V. Radmanovic | J. Smith | J. Teague 2012-01-12 ATL CHA W 20.5 +17
46 D. Cousins | T. Evans | I. Thomas | J. Thompson | M. Thornton 2012-02-14 SAC @ CHI L 8.7 +17
47 W. Ellington | K. Love | R. Rubio | A. Tolliver | D. Williams 2012-01-08 MIN @ WAS W 9.0 +17
48 A. Afflalo | D. Gallinari | N. Hilario | T. Lawson | A. Miller 2012-01-18 DEN @ PHI W 17.5 +17
49 R. Anderson | D. Howard | J. Nelson | J. Richardson | H. Turkoglu 2012-02-15 ORL PHI W 22.2 +17
50 S. Dalembert | K. Lowry | K. Martin | C. Parsons | L. Scola 2012-01-13 HOU SAC W 19.8 +17
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/24/2012.

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Play Index

## 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.

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

## NY Times: Chandler Overshadowed as Spotlight Follows Lin

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 19, 2012

Linsanity has taken over New York, but Tyson Chandler's contributions should not be overlooked:

Chandler Overshadowed as Spotlight Follows Lin

This column also appeared in the Sunday version of the New York Times.

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, New York Times

## Introducing Play Index+

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 15, 2012

It is with great pleasure that I announce the debut of Basketball-Reference.com's latest and greatest set of research tools: Play Index+. Play Index+ utilizes over ten years of play-by-play data, allowing the user to sift through and summarize millions of plays with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Before I go any further, let me note that at this time we are not able to update the current season play-by-play data on a daily basis. However, we will be updating the play-by-play database at least once per week, and the date of the last update can always be found near the top of each PI+ page. While this may be an inconvenience to some, the positives of providing access to over ten years of historical play-by-play data far outweigh the negatives of providing weekly (rather than daily) updates.

There are obviously an unlimited number of things we can do with the data — and we plan on adding even more features in the future — but for the time being the four main tools are:

In the coming days we will take a closer look at the four tools listed above, but for now take a look around and let us know what you think.

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

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