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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.

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

Ny Times: Taking Ineptness to New Lows

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 11, 2012

Here is a link to my column on the Charlotte Bobcats that appeared in the New York Times this week:

Taking Ineptness to New Lows

In case you haven't been paying attention, the Bobcats are really bad.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, New York Times

Features: BBR Draft Section

Posted by Neil on February 8, 2012

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

NY Times: Fewer Slams, but Rookie Makes Mark With Efficiency

Posted by Justin Kubatko on February 5, 2012

Here is a link to my column on Kyrie Irving that appeared in Sunday's New York Times:

Fewer Slams, but Rookie Makes Mark With Efficiency

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

NY Times: Early Indicators Point to Stellar Season for 76ers

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 30, 2012

I forgot to mention this last week, but I'll be writing for the New York Times again this season. My first piece was on the hot start of the Philadelphia 76ers:

Early Indicators Point to Stellar Season for 76ers

Although this particular column did not appear in print, future columns should appear in the Friday edition of the paper.

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

Programming Internships at Sports Reference

Posted by admin on January 27, 2012

Programming Internships @ Sports Reference

If you are a student with an interest in sports and programming or know someone who is, please check out our advertisement for summer internships.

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Expire30d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Features: Player birthdays

Posted by Neil on January 25, 2012

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

Box Score For Every Game in NBA History

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 24, 2012

Today I am pleased to announce that Basketball-Reference.com now has a box score for every game played in NBA history. Here are a few examples:

Now before you get too excited, let me explain: the box scores from 1946-47 through 1984-85 are scans of actual box scores. What that means is that we don't have those games in our database, so you can't search for things like the most points scored by a player during the the 1971-72 NBA season. I should also note that almost all of these box scores are abbreviated, i.e., they only contain field goals, free throws, and points for the players. That said, I think this is a valuable addition to the site that will be enjoyed by many.

I would be remiss in not thanking Dick Pfander, who did the lion's share of the work for this project. Several years ago we were referred to Dick by a third party. At first it sounded like an urban legend. I mean seriously, someone had made a scan of every box score for every game in NBA history? To our surprise, Dick had in fact done just that. Many thanks to Dick for his outstanding work.

Of course, it is our goal to one day have these games in a database-friendly format. However, given that the process would require a significant amount of data entry we're still thinking about the best way to accomplish that task. Until then, we hope you enjoy this new feature, and as always please let us know if you have any comments or questions.

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

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