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Who Had the Best All-Star Game Ever?

Posted by Jonah Gardner on February 11, 2016

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game is coming up this weekend in Toronto and whether you're looking forward to Kobe's final All-Star start, want to see Steph and Kawhi play on the same team, or just happen to be a really big Sting fan, there's plenty to watch for this year. But this post is about the stars of All-Star Games past.

3 Comments | Posted in All-Star, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com

Full Box Scores & Game Logs Added for 1983-84 & 1984-85 NBA Seasons

Posted by Mike Lynch on January 28, 2016

Last month, we added full box scores for the 1983 & 1984 NBA Playoffs. Now, once again thanks to the help of Sean Burrill, we have added full box scores and game logs for the 1983-84 & 1984-85 NBA seasons. This means we now have a full box score for Michael Jordan's NBA debut (in which he was only the fourth leading scorer for his own team!). We also now have full game logs for Jordan's rookie season. This means we now have a stat line for pretty much every game Michael Jordan has played in since high school. Please let us know if you have any of his Tune Squad box scores, though.

We have also synched these box scores into the Play Index, allowing for searches further back in many non-scoring categories in the Player Game Finder and the Team Game Finder. Some sample searches now possible:

These new box scores also add new seasons available for search in the Player Streak Finder, the Team Streak Finder, and the Head2Head Finder. For instance, we now have full game logs and stats for every matchup between 1984 Draft class rivals Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

Player G MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Charles Barkley 39 37.5 8.4 13.7 .611 0.3 1.3 .260 6.0 8.2 .734 4.2 7.5 11.7 3.6 0.9 1.0 3.5 3.2 23.1
Michael Jordan 39 39.4 13.4 24.8 .541 0.4 1.6 .254 7.2 8.6 .830 1.6 4.1 5.7 5.9 2.9 1.1 2.9 3.0 34.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/28/2016.

Additionally, we have extended the single-game leaders links in our Leaders Index back to 1983-84. Kevin McHale's 56-point effort on March 3, 1985 now ranks as the fifth-best Game Score in our database. And we also now have the full Celtics box score from 9 days later, when Larry Bird one-upped his teammate with a 60-point game.

As a reminder, we do have every box score in NBA history on the site. They can be accessed via this menu. However, many of the older box scores are limited to only player FGs, FTs, and points. With our update, the boxes are complete back to 1983-84, though.

We also want to mention that there are a handful of games for 1983-84 and 1984-85 for which we are missing a few statistical categories. If you are able to help fill in any of the blanks, please let us know.

Here are the games with some missing columns of data (games with strike-throughs have been completed since the original blog post):

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Play Index

LeBron Passes Jordan to Become All-Time VORP King

Posted by Mike Lynch on January 15, 2016

LeBron James has moved his career VORP total to 104.46 and now narrowly leads Michael Jordan's 104.44 for most in NBA history. It should be noted that VORP can only be calculated since 1973-74, so Wilt Chamberlain's career is not included (nor are the first four seasons of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career). VORP was created by Daniel Myers, in conjunction with Box Plus/Minus. Descriptions of the statistics and how they are calculated can be found here.

A comparison of some of their career regular-season advanced statistics can be seen below:

Player G MP TS% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
LeBron James 947 37062 .581 10.8 34.4 2.3 1.6 12.5 31.7 7.3 1.9 9.2 104.5
Michael Jordan* 1072 41011 .569 9.4 24.9 3.1 1.4 9.3 33.3 7.0 1.1 8.1 104.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/15/2016.

As you can see, LeBron has been a slightly more efficient shooter, a slightly better rebounder and a significantly more prolific passer. Jordan, on the other hand, took better care of the ball, had greater usage, and had an edge in steals. Still, while LeBron has a slight 7.3 to 7.0 edge in Offensive Box Plus/Minus, it's his decisive 1.9 to 1.1 edge in Defensive BPM which gives him the edge in VORP despite playing about 4,000 fewer minutes than MJ. This is largely the result of LeBron playing for superior defensive teams throughout his career. When Jordan was winning titles in Chicago, they were elite defensively, but that was not always the case earlier (or later) in his career. Another factor, according to Myers, is that "Jordan's offensive stats look to the regression more like a pure offensive player than LeBron, possibly because they are more guard like. And guards usually have a bit less value on the defensive end."

While VORP is a cumulative stat, BPM is a rate stat which serves as the foundation for VORP. LeBron's 9.2 BPM seems to dwarf Jordan's 8.1 BPM. However, Jordan's BPM is weighed down by his geriatric years in Washington. A more fair comparison might be Jordan's 13 seasons in Chicago compared to LeBron's career (he's currently in his 13th season). As you can see, the numbers are more comparable, with LeBron owning a 9.2 to 9.0 edge in BPM and a 104.5 to 99.8 edge in VORP thanks to his 1,175-minute advantage in playing time (remember, Jordan missed the majority of the 1985-86 and 1994-95 seasons):
Player G MP TS% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
LeBron James 947 37062 .581 10.8 34.4 2.3 1.6 12.5 31.7 7.3 1.9 9.2 104.5
Michael Jordan* 930 35887 .580 9.4 24.9 3.3 1.5 9.3 33.5 7.7 1.3 9.0 99.8
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/15/2016.
VORP and BPM are not the only advanced metrics we have on the site, however. In the eyes of Win Shares, LeBron still has a lot of work to do in order to catch His Airness. And Jordan himself is only fourth all-time. MJ is, however, the all-time leader in Win Shares per 48 minutes (while LeBron is 6th). Here are their career Win Share statistics compared, followed by a comparison of LeBron to Jordan's 13 seasons in Chicago:
Player G MP PER OWS DWS WS WS/48
LeBron James 947 37062 27.6 128.6 56.6 185.2 .240
Michael Jordan* 1072 41011 27.9 149.9 64.1 214.0 .250
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/15/2016.
Player G MP PER OWS DWS WS WS/48
LeBron James 947 37062 27.6 128.6 56.6 185.2 .240
Michael Jordan* 930 35887 29.1 145.8 58.7 204.5 .274
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/15/2016.
We're agnostics in the greatest of all time arguments, but we wanted to share this information with our users  as we noticed that VORP now has a new King.

12 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, History, Leaders, Statgeekery

Tricks You Didn’t Know about Sports Reference: Domain Names

Posted by sean on January 13, 2016

Today, we finalized the purchase of basketballreference.com from the folks at Rotowire (thanks guys!). This really doesn't do much for you as an end user, but I thought I'd also mention that there are some domain name tricks that can help you.

The main one is that each site has a shortened url of 5-6 characters that can save some typing on your end. This is especially useful on your phones.

bbref.com => baseball-reference.com
bkref.com => basketball-reference.com
hkref.com => hockey-reference.com
pfref.com => pro-football-reference.com
cfbref.com => sports-reference.com/cfb
cbbref.com => sports-reference.com/cbb
olyref.com => sports-reference.com/olympics

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Find Any College Basketball Matchup Since 1950

Posted by Mike Lynch on January 13, 2016

We're excited to announce a new Play Index feature at College Basketball Reference, which allows users to search for results of all matchups between Division I schools since 1949-50: the Matchup Finder.

There's a lot of cool new searches you can make with this tool, so let's show some examples:

In conjunction with the addition of the Matchup Finder, we have also enhanced the Team Game Finder. The Team Game Finder allows for more specific statistical searches than the Matchup Finder, but it only goes back to 2010-11 (the first season for which have all box scores) rather than 1949-50. The enhancement we've now made to this feature is that the AP Rankings are also synced into the search table. So you can now find things like best FG% against the AP #1 team since 2010-11. Or most wins vs ranked opponents since 2010-11.

The other addition we've made with syncing of the AP Rankings are matrices for each season showing all of the ranked vs ranked games. For instance, here's the Top 25 Matchups matrix for the 2014-15 season. Click on any of the hyperlinks to be taken to a matchup finder link showing the list of games in that season fitting the criteria. These matrices go all the way back to 1950.

We'd also like to mention a few inaccuracies we uncovered in the NCAA Record Book in preparing this tool. The record book lists all of the wins over AP #1 teams. However, it includes 2 wins which were actually over schools ranked #2 by the AP at the time of the game (DePaul's win over St. John's on January 17, 1950 and Virginia Tech's win over Memphis State on January 10, 1983). Consequently, we've removed those two games from our list of wins over AP #1. The record book also lists every meeting of #1 vs #2 in the AP Poll. However, it is missing the 1999 Final Four matchup between Michigan State and Duke, which can be found with our tool.

We should mention, however, that in dealing with such a large dataset, there are probably some minor inaccuracies in this data. This is likely mostly with dates, since schools often publish dates that are odds with one another in media guides. If you notice any issues, please let us know and we will work to confirm and fix. Another wrinkle is that prior to 1995-96, the games are almost exclusively limited to Division I vs Division I. We added Virginia's December 1982 loss to Chaminade manually, but you won't be able to find things like Georgetown's "rivalry" vs St. Leo. If you're looking for the Hoyas against Syracuse, though, we've got you covered.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, Features, History, Play Index, Polls, Uncategorized

Advanced Stats Available for the NBA D-League

Posted by Jonah Gardner on January 5, 2016

You may already know that we track box score stats for the NBA D-League, meaning that you can keep an eye on the progress of prospects, potential future NBA players, and post-hype sleepers who play in the NBA's minor league. However, in addition to basic stats like points and rebounds, we've also started tracking advanced stats for all D-Leaguers. That includes numbers like PER, BPM, WS, and USG%, among others. So, for example, you can see that right now, Erick Green leads all D-Leaguers in WS:

Comments Off on Advanced Stats Available for the NBA D-League | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com

Inside the Warriors’ Small-Ball Death Star

Posted by Jonah Gardner on December 17, 2015

The first quarter of the 2015-16 NBA season has been dominated by one team: the Golden State Warriors. At 25-1, they've posted the best start in NBA history, with the longest winning streak to start a season and the most wins by a team through its first 26 games. What's transformed the Warriors from an already great team to, potentially, one of the best ever?

You can point to any number of reasons, but a big one is the rise of their unstoppable small-ball lineup. Though an injury to Harrison Barnes caused them to temporarily shelve the lineup, the Warriors' small-ball group has been one of the major stories of the season and figuring out how to stop it will be the main task of any team hoping to unseat the champs. So let's go inside the NBA's equivalent of the Death Star and witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational lineup.

warriors

 

Comments Off on Inside the Warriors’ Small-Ball Death Star | Posted in Basketball-Reference.com, Play Index, Statgeekery

Search By Day Added to Basketball Reference Play Index

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 17, 2015

We just wanted to quickly note that we've added the ability to search by day to the Basketball Reference Player Game Finder in the Play Index.

With this addition, you can now run searches such as:

Now that you know that the Mailman always delivered on April Fool's Day, you can go about the rest of your day.

We hope you enjoy this new addition.

Comments Off on Search By Day Added to Basketball Reference Play Index | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Play Index

Full Box Scores Added for 1983 & 1984 NBA Playoffs

Posted by Mike Lynch on December 10, 2015

Thanks to the research of Sean Burrill, we're happy to announce that we now have complete box scores for the 1984 NBA Playoffs, and mostly complete box scores for the 1983 NBA Playoffs. Previously, these box scores were mostly restricted to player scoring and shooting statistics.

Additionally, 1984 Playoff games are now searchable in the Play Index. For instance, here's a list of triple-doubles in the 1984 Playoffs and most 3-pointers made by a team in 1984 Playoff games.

1983 Playoff box scores are also updated, but not searchable in the Play Index because we're missing some statistics from these games (please contact us if you are able to fill in any of these gaps):

Game 2, Boston at Atlanta: three-point attempts, offensive rebounding, turnovers, steals

Game 2, Milwaukee at Boston: offensive rebounding

Game 2, Portland at Los Angeles: offensive rebounding

Game 3, Los Angeles at Portland: offensive rebounding

Game 3, San Antonio at Denver: offensive rebounding

Game 3, Los Angeles at San Antonio: offensive rebounding

Game 5, San Antonio at Los Angeles: offensive rebounding, turnovers

Game 6, Los Angeles at San Antonio: offensive rebounding, turnovers

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Play Index, Playoffs

2015-16 NBA Playoff and MVP Probabilities

Posted by Jonah Gardner on November 18, 2015

The NBA season is in full swing so our playoff and MVP probabilities pages are live. The playoff probabilities project the odds a team has of making the playoffs; while the MVP projections show the likelihood a given player has of winning MVP if voting happened today. On the playoff side, it looks like the Rockets and Pelicans are in trouble, while the Suns and Celtics are early season surprises. Sixers and Lakers fans can also track their odds of winning the lottery. Here's more info on how the projections are made and where we get the projected draft order from.

Oh, and as far as MVP goes, Stephen Curry is really really good

Rk Player Tm W L W/L% MP eFG% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS Prob%
1 Stephen Curry GSW 12 0 1.000 35.5 .641 0.5 4.3 4.8 5.9 2.4 0.3 3.4 33.7 96.1%
2 Russell Westbrook OKC 6 5 .545 34.9 .509 2.2 5.5 7.7 10.6 2.3 0.3 5.2 26.7 0.9%
3 Draymond Green GSW 12 0 1.000 34.0 .521 1.5 6.5 8.0 6.9 1.3 1.4 2.5 12.0 0.8%
4 LeBron James CLE 8 3 .727 36.6 .539 1.1 5.6 6.7 6.1 1.8 0.6 3.4 27.3 0.7%
5 Blake Griffin LAC 6 4 .600 34.1 .558 2.3 6.7 9.0 4.3 0.8 0.5 1.7 26.6 0.5%
6 Kawhi Leonard SAS 8 2 .800 33.1 .569 1.0 6.7 7.7 1.6 1.9 1.3 1.4 21.6 0.4%
7 Kevin Durant OKC 6 5 .545 34.8 .572 0.3 7.0 7.3 3.0 0.8 1.3 2.3 28.1 0.3%
8 Andre Drummond DET 6 5 .545 37.4 .530 6.4 12.5 18.9 1.0 1.8 1.4 2.6 19.1 0.1%
9 Eric Bledsoe PHO 6 4 .600 33.4 .545 0.5 3.6 4.1 5.9 2.1 0.5 3.6 23.0 0.1%
10 Kyle Lowry TOR 7 5 .583 35.0 .503 0.8 4.0 4.8 6.3 2.6 0.7 3.2 20.3 0.1%
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/18/2015.

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

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