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2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker

24th May 2016

Unless you're a fan of a conference finalist, chances are you're beginning to look ahead to the offseason and what players your team can add via free agency in July and beyond. So go ahead and click this link for our 2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker and check out who might be available this offseason. The players are automatically sorted by their 2015-16 Win Shares totals, from Kevin Durant's 14.5 to Tony Wroten's -0.8.

 

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You’ve Been Leaving Manny Machado Out of Your Harper/Trout Debates

12th May 2016

Two years ago, if you asked a stranger "Who is the best player in baseball," their reaction would likely have been stunned silence. Now maybe that would have been because they had no idea who you were or why you were so passionate about baseball, but the more likely reason is that the answer was extremely obvious. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, you weirdo.

One year ago, you'd get a slightly different response. Best Player in Baseball became a two man race thanks to the Bryce Harper's epic 2015. The Trout-Harper debate is a natural one, given the contrast they provide. Harper's game is loud, obvious, and a lot of fun, befitting his brash personality. Trout, on the other hand, is more low-key, both in terms of his off-the-field image and his on-the-field greatness. Harper is rated higher by defensive metrics, but Trout has the better reputation and plays a more important position. Trout is more known for his speed, but Harper was actually more valuable running the bases in 2015. You can go back and forth without getting any closer to answer.

There's just one problem with this debate. It may be leaving out the guy who's the actual best player in the baseball. As of this writing, Manny Machado is third in the Majors in WAR, ahead of both Trout or Harper. At 23 years old, Machado is as young as Harper and a year younger than Trout. And while early season WAR can be a little flukey (he's joined in the Top 10 by players like Adam Eaton and Dexter Fowler), there are reasons to think that Machado's success may be more than just a hot April. The Orioles' third baseman has really earned himself a seat at the table. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 8 Comments »

How Are the Warriors Staying Afloat Without Stephen Curry?

5th May 2016

The Golden State Warriors' driverless UberX hit its first real speed bump of the season when Stephen Curry sprained his MCL halfway through Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Without the presumptive NBA MVP, the hyperdrive engine that powers one of the best offenses in NBA history, it was only natural to assume the Warriors would take a step back.

Of course, that's also assuming this Warriors team is mortal. Since the start of the 2nd half of Game 4, when they lost Curry to the knee injury, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by a total of 81 points. The team's eFG% of .542 is below its regular season mark of .563, but a number that still would have been the best in the NBA this year. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Playoffs | Comments Off on How Are the Warriors Staying Afloat Without Stephen Curry?

Player Stats for 1993-94 College Basketball Season Added

29th April 2016

As we continue to work towards our goal of covering college basketball's shot-clock era (since 1985-86), we have recently added player stats for the 1993-94 college basketball season.

That was the season in which Arkansas rode its 40 Minutes of Hell style to a national championship and National Player of the Year Glenn Robinson averaged an incredible 30.3 PPG (an average that no one has bested since).

You can check out the player leaders for this season here. Additionally, similar player leaderboards can be found for each conference page for the season. Or you can check out tables that have the player stats for every player in a given conference that season.

This addition has also allowed us to extend our leaderboards back to 1993-94 for many categories, such as the yearly national PPG leader since 1993-94 or the most career assists since 1993-94.

If you preferring making your own, customized, leaderboards, you can do so back to 1993-94 in the Player Season Finder.

Here's a few sample searches:

One more thing to note: Since we only have full team stats back to 1995-96, at this time we are not yet able to calculate player win shares for seasons before 1995-96.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, History | Comments Off on Player Stats for 1993-94 College Basketball Season Added

A Round-By-Round Look At the Draft

28th April 2016

After months of shuttle runs, bench presses, and anonymous sources attacking the culinary skills of 22-year-olds, the time has come for the 2016 NFL Draft. For some franchises, this is an exciting time. For others, it's an annual, Groundhog Day-esque nightmare. And for Pats fans, it's a good night to catch up on The Americans or Game of Thrones.

A lot of NFL conventional wisdom relates to the importance of taking certain players in certain rounds. Some people think you should draft interior lineman in later rounds. Others suggest that wide receivers taken in the 1st Round tend not to succeed.

So, to get ready for tonight, let's break the draft down by round, in order to examine two questions: Which teams have drafted the best in each round, and which positions are good targets in each round. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Draft, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on A Round-By-Round Look At the Draft

2016 Spira Award Winner Announced

27th April 2016

The results have been announced for the Fourth Annual Greg Spira Award, which is given annually in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger.

This year's winner is Jeff Long, for his piece "Every Player in Its Right Place" for Baseball Prospectus (follow the link to read the winning submission).

Long’s winning piece featured the comparison of players using proprietary information through an arrangement with Ayasdi, an analytics company that uses machine intelligence software to analyze data sets. Looking at all 311 players with at least 250 plate appearances in 2014, Long analyzed the resulting topological maps, providing a new look at “the old ballgame,” those who play it at the highest level, and how many have more similar skill sets than would otherwise.

Second Prize went to Jon Feyen for "Analytics: The New Currency of Major League Baseball," the capstone project in his Sports Management graduate degree program at Cardinal Stritch University in Fox Point, Wisconsin.

Third Prize was awarded to Ben Diamond for "What is the Success Rate of Shoulder Surgery." At 18 years of age, Diamond is the youngest person to receive a prize in this competition.

The award is named after Greg Spira, a longtime member of the Society for American Baseball Research, who was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991. A graduate of Harvard University, Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball group and via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira passed away on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

For remembrances of and more information about Greg, visit GregSpira.com. For more information about the award, visit SpiraAward.org. Thanks to everyone who submitted a piece in the 2016 competition and congratulations to all three prize winners!

Posted in Academics, Announcement, Awards, Baseball-Reference.com | Comments Off on 2016 Spira Award Winner Announced

2016 NFL Draft Features

27th April 2016

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching (thus bringing an close to the endless months of draft prognostications), now might be a good time to point out all the draft resources we have available at Pro Football Reference. You can check out:

Hopefully these are of some assistance to you as you're tuned into the draft wondering if your team is going to pick the next Peyton Manning or.. not.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Draft, History, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on 2016 NFL Draft Features

How to Tell If Your Team Just Drafted a QB Bust

21st April 2016

The range of outcomes when taking a QB with the first or second pick in the NFL Draft is enormous. This year's Super Bowl, a matchup of 2 QBs drafted with the 1st overall pick in their respective Drafts, showed just how high the ceiling can be for teams who draft a QB early. And, on the other hand, the Rams drafted a QB with the #1 pick just six years ago; now they've traded six picks, including two in the First Round, for the chance to do so again.

With the LA Rams and Philadelphia Eagles trading a lot for the right to pick first and second, it's exceedingly likely the first two players off the board will both be QBs. If either franchise nails the pick, they could be on the same path that took the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl this year. If they miss, we'll probably be seeing them back here in a few years. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference, Draft, Pro-Football-Reference.com | 4 Comments »

Who Was the Best Team of the 2000s?

14th April 2016

Everyone knows who the best team of the 1990s was. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls had Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all-time, leading a cast that included two of the greatest defenders of all-time, a legendary sharpshooter, and a Hall of Fame coach. That team's 72-win regular season seemed like the modern equivalent of Joe DiMaggio's hit streak, a record so unfathomable that we all knew it would never be broken.

Except that this year, it was. The Golden State Warriors still have a title to win, but it's not too early to say that, if they are crowned NBA Finals' champs, they'll likely be remembered as the best team of the 2010s (at least, until the 2019 76ers, under Bryan Colangelo's leadership, win 74 games). Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com | 17 Comments »

2015-16 Warriors Enter NBA Record Book

14th April 2016

The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors have earned a seat at the table in the discussion of the greatest teams in NBA history. They've set a new standard with 73 regular-season wins. Let's examine some of their other accomplishments this season:

  • 6th-best SRS in NBA history: SRS stands for Simple Rating System and is a rating method that takes into account margin of victory and strength of schedule.
  • 6th-best average margin of victory in NBA history: The Warriors outscored their opponents by 10.76 PPG, which was the best by any NBA team since the 1996-97 Bulls outscored their opposition by 10.80 PPG. However, the Warriors outscored their opponents by 10.0 PPG in the 1st three quarters of games alone, which is something none of the teams ahead of them on the list managed.
  • Most road wins in NBA history: The Dubs went 34-7 on the road, surpassing the 33 road wins by the 1995-96 Bulls.
  • 2nd-longest winning streak in NBA history: After winning their final four regular-season games in 2014-15, the Warriors ran off 24 straight wins to start 2015-16, coming up five games short of matching the 1971-72 Lakers' 33-game winning streak.
  • Longest home winning streak in NBA history: The Warriors' 54-game home winning streak was enough to surpass the old record (44) by the mid-90s Bulls.
  • 3rd-longest road winning streak in NBA history: Their 14-game road winning streak was good enough for a tie for the 3rd-longest in NBA history (just two games shy of the record).
  • Best Effective FG% in NBA history: When accounting for the added value of the three-point shot, the Warriors surpassed the 2013-14 Heat as the best field goal shooting team in NBA history.
  • Best True Shooting Percentage since at least 1983-84: The Warriors also bested the 2013-14 Heat for best True Shooting Percentage since 1983-84.
  • Most 3-pointers made per game in NBA history: Last season the Rockets set this record by making 11.4 3-pointers per game. The Warriors made over 13 per game.
  • 2nd-best 3-point FG% in NBA history: Incredibly, the same team that set the record for makes also managed to have the 2nd-best 3-point percentage in NBA history. It should be noted that the only team with a better 3-point field goal percentage, the 1996-97 Hornets, did so during a season in which the 3-point line was closer to the basket (22 feet all around).

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Play Index | Comments Off on 2015-16 Warriors Enter NBA Record Book