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NBA All-Star Legends Game boxscores added

Posted by David Corby on May 27, 2015


We occasionally get emails from users who have interesting research to share. Recently, Todd Spehr (@toddspehr35) forwarded box scores from the NBA All-Star Legends Games that were played for a decade in the mid-80s until the 90s. It would seem out of this world to modern fans, but the NBA staged an annual exhibition of living legends during its All-Star festivities. Hall of Famers John Havlicek, Walt Bellamy, and Artis Gilmore were among the participants until the exhibition ran its course in 1993.

You can find links to these box scores from any page of our comprehensive all-star archives. In particular, look for the Legends Game tab and hover your mouse for a link to every box from the 1980s and 1990s.




In addition to his donated research, Todd is also the author of a recently released biography of the Croation legend Drazen Petrovic: Drazen: The Remarkable Life & Legacy of the Mozart of Basketball.


Comments Off on NBA All-Star Legends Game boxscores added | Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference

CBB: Adding SRS to historical (pre-1980) schedules

Posted by David Corby on May 26, 2015


Earlier this month we added historical NCAA schedules going back to the 1949-50 season. Just wanted to follow-up that we've added SRS and SOS for those seasons, as well.

As we've already published SRS going back to 1980, the only newcomers to the top 10 all-time teams are 1960s/70s UCLA juggernauts: 1967 (#10), 1968 (#3), and the 30-0 1972 team (#2)

The 1998-99 Elton Brand-led Duke team still has the highest single-season SRS rating (34.8), even with their championship-game loss. Curiously, the only team in the top 10 that didn't at least make the Final Four was the previous season's Duke team that was bounced by Kentucky in the regional final.


SRS and SOS are published at the top of the school season pages (illustrated below), and you can find a list of all schools' ratings on the season standings page or the dedicated ratings page.





Comments Off on CBB: Adding SRS to historical (pre-1980) schedules | Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference

College Basketball Schedules Back to 1949-50

Posted by David Corby on May 15, 2015


I'm excited to announce that we've extended our historical College Basketball schedules back to 1949-50. Previously, we had published them back to 1979-80, and had displayed a scanned image of the team's schedule when available. These three decades of additions supplements our full collection of historical NCAA Tournament box scores.

Some of the highlights of this new addition include the full-season slate for the 1975-76 undefeated Hoosiers,  John Wooden's 1967-68 NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins, and the 1973-74 NC State Wolfpack.

The easiest way to find school schedules is to click on a school season page and click on one of the prominent Schedule links:




Note that we also publish schedules in the Conferences section, if you just want to view conference games:




Many thanks to Kevin Johnson, from whom we source this and much of the historical data on the site.


3 Comments | Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference

New Team Roster Features

Posted by David Corby on May 7, 2015


Just wanted to show off a couple new features that we've recently introduced...


When you find yourself on our team season pages look for the "Game-by-game roster status" links:




These will bring you to a Roster Status page with a color-coded visualization of each player's roster status for the 82 regular season games, and the playoffs. Designations include Starter, Reserve, DNP, Inactive, and Suspended. Note that a player's status is also noted on boxscores and our player gamelogs. Notable in 2014-15 are the Raptors, Bulls, and Magic, all of whom maintained a stable roster throughout the season. The Sixers page is a lot of fun to look at, too.

We've published these going back to 2013-14, and should hopefully extend that period at some point.





The other new feature is a historical time series of roster continuity for each currently-active franchise. Our accounting begins with 1952-53 given that the season prior is the first for which we have Minutes Played data for every league player.

Several years ago former colleague Neil Paine published some musings on our blog about Team Continuity, and Dean Oliver devotes a couple pages in his Basketball on Paper book in the context of historically bad teams. The Spurs are well-noted stalwarts of year-to-year stability - on the other hand, the Cavaliers and Mavericks show that it's possible to turn over most of your minutes and not come apart at the seams, especially if one of your newcomers is LeBron James.

You can find a link to this page on our Frivolous Pages index, under Roster Continuity.





Comments Off on New Team Roster Features | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference, Data

The Impact of Multi-Player Trades on Performance in the NBA

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 27, 2015

Sometimes SR data finds its way into academic journals. Here's a summary Benjamin Campbell has written up on some of his findings about post-trade player performance:

"Although NBA GMs make mid-season trades for multiple reasons, one frequent objective is to improve

the short-term performance of the team. Since the rim is 10 feet from the floor everywhere from Hinkle

Fieldhouse to the Staples Center and the rules are the same everywhere, this seems to be a good

strategy. However, given the interdependent nature of basketball, trades present a challenge to short-

term performance because they disrupt the ability of players to productively play together. It is through

experience and time together that players can learn how to best play together, thus there is a learning

curve whenever a trade occurs. This learning curve impacts both the players joining a new team and the

incumbent players on that team that now have to learn to play with new players.


The learning curve for players to adjust to a trade is impacted by the size of a trade. For example, when

Raef LaFrentz, Nick van Exel, Avery Johnson, and Tariq Abdul-Wahad moved together from Denver to

Dallas in exchange for three players on February 21, 2002, they had less of a learning curve than a single

mover because they already knew how best to play with each other. However, their new teammates in

Dallas had a steeper learning curve because the incumbent players have to learn the idiosyncrasies of

four new, already coordinated teammates.


Using data from, a recent academic paper explores the learning curve

associated with single and multi-player trades on player performance over time. The authors find that

players who move from one team to another by themselves lose 2.3 percentage points from their true

shooting percentage on average, and take about 20 games to get back to their previous performance.

The true shooting percentage of players who move as part of a multi-player trade is not significantly

impacted. However, the reverse is true for incumbent players: players who are joined by one new

teammate experience no reduction in team shooting percentage, but players who are joined by multiple

teammates at the same time do experience a small (but statistically insignificant) reduction in true

shooting percentage. These effects are similar for both starters and little-used players alike.

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The authors also show that moving with other players has a substantially larger positive effect on

movers’ individual performance when moving to teams with a losing record than when moving to teams

with a winning record. This suggests that it is easier for players moving together to import their existing

relationships in to low-performing teams than in to high-performing teams.


Together, the results highlight the double-edged sword of trading to improve the short-term

performance of a team. Trades may improve short-term performance by bringing in better players

and/or players that will eventually fit the team better. However, bringing in new players is disruptive to

all players on the team which erodes the short-term benefits of the trade.


For more information, see “Resetting the Shot Clock: The effect of comobility on human capital,” by

Benjamin Campbell, Brian Saxton, and Preeta Banerjee, which appeared in the February 2014 issue of

the Journal of Management."

2 Comments | Posted in Academics, Announcement,

Individual NCAA Tournament Records added to CBB Site

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 14, 2015

We've made a neat addition to our College Basketball site that we wanted to share with everyone. If you go to our Leaders & Records section, you'll notice that the right column now contains 2 "records" links. These pages contain all-time individual records for NCAA Tournament games and single NCAA Tournaments.

Now you can see that Austin Carr has 3 of the 5 highest scoring games in NCAA Tournament history. And you can even click on the date of the game to check out the box score.

The other option is to look at records for a single tournament run. Glen Rice holds the all-time record for points in a single tournament with 184 in Michigan's run to the 1989 National Championship.

We've added a note to the top of each page to indicate certain limitations of the scope of these statistics. For instance, although the NCAA Tournament has existed since 1939, assists, blocks and steals have only been officially tracked since the mid-1980s.

We hope you all enjoy this new addition.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, History, Leaders

DraftKings Points Added to Player Game Logs

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 13, 2015

Just a quick programming note as the 2014-15 regular season comes to a close. Late last week we unveiled a new feature in player game logs: DFS scoring. DFS is an abbreviation for "Daily Fantasy Sports" and the column on the far right of the player game logs presents their score for that game on (a daily fantasy sports site).

This addition allows users to figure out average DFS scores over a range of games as well. For instance, with this search you can see that LeBron's average DFS score was 47.0 before his "vacation." And that Russell Westbrook has averaged 61.4 DFS points since February.

We hope you enjoy this addition, and please let us know if there's any other DFS features you'd like to see.

We'd also like to remind you that a $15 deposit on a new DraftKings account will net you a free year of baseball-reference Play Index access.

Comments Off on DraftKings Points Added to Player Game Logs | Posted in Announcement,, Data, Features

Comparison Tool Shortcut Added to Player Pages

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 25, 2015

Regular visitors to the site have likely noticed a small tweak we recently made to the layout of player pages. The change is the addition of a shortcut to our Player Comparison Finder tool. For instance, from Stephen Curry's page, someone might decide that they want to compare him to James Harden. This can now be done very simply by typing Harden's name into the "compare to" box shown in the image below:

Steff Curry Compare


Once you type in Harden's name and click on it, this career comparison page is generated:

Curry-Harden Comp

This is the default comparison search, but you can easily edit it to just compare 2014-15 (or any other season(s)). Just click the red "Show/Hide Search Form" link on top of the stat tables to bring up the search form. From there, edit your search to compare "single seasons" in the yellow part of the search form. Then select 2014-15 for both players and click "get results." This will take you to this page, comparing two leading 2014-15 MVP candidates in a variety of statistical categories, from basic to advanced.

As an added bonus, if you go back to the search form, you'll notice there's room for up to 6 players in a comparison. You can go ahead and populate any players you'd like there. For instance, here's 6 leading 2014-15 MVP candidates compared:

MVP Comp

We should note to longtime fans of this tool that it is still accessible from the main Play Index page, but we've added this search to player pages as an added convenience.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement,, Data, Features, HowTo, Play Index, Tips and Tricks

ABA Box Scores & Splits Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 23, 2015

We're excited to announce that we have added nearly every box score in ABA history to The ABA ran from 1967-68 to 1975-76, and we now have the boxes for every season except for 1967-68 thanks to the efforts of Michael Hamel, who researched the box scores and has allowed us to use them.

The boxes are accessible from season pages, team schedule pages and team game logs. These box scores have also allowed us to calculate a limited number of team splits.

Perhaps most significantly, we now have game logs and splits from the ABA days of some of the greatest players in basketball history, like Julius Erving and Rick Barry.

This data has also allowed us to create series stats pages for ABA Playoff series. Like this one, in which Dr. J averaged 37.7 PPG in an ABA Finals series win over David Thompson's Denver Nuggets.

This data has not yet been incorporated into player game finder searches or other play index tools, but that's something we'll be looking into in the future.

We hope everyone enjoys this new addition and thanks again to Michael Hamel for his permission to use this data and for his excellent research.

Comments Off on ABA Box Scores & Splits Added | Posted in Announcement,, Data, History

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