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Team Game-by-Game Scoring Margin Sparklines Added to BBR

Posted by Neil on December 10, 2013

If you're also a Baseball-Reference user, you might recognize this new feature we recently added to Basketball-Reference:

game_results

If not, it's a sparkline that shows the team's scoring margin for every game of the season, with green representing wins, red representing losses, and the height of the bar representing the margin of the game. We think it's a great way to visualize the peaks and valleys of a team's season, and we hope it adds your BBR experience.

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

Estimating Pace and Per-Possession Ratings, 1951-1973

Posted by Neil on December 6, 2013

Today, we added a new feature to Basketball-Reference: historical team Pace Factors and Offensive/Defensive Rating estimates.

As of yesterday, we only had Pace and ORtg/DRtg for NBA teams going back to 1973-74, the first season in which the league tracked team/opponent turnovers and offensive rebounds (which are, of course, necessary to the possessions formula). However, it is possible to estimate possessions for years prior to '74 -- an idea I developed casually at the old BBR Blog in 2010, and one which was expanded on in more detail by ElGee35 at his (now-defunct) blog in 2012.

5 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Statgeekery

Historical Western Conference vs Eastern Conference Disparity

Posted by Neil on December 5, 2013

In light of the Eastern Conference's "embarrassing" showing in games against the West so far this year, here's a rundown of how each conference has fared against the other for every year since 1951 (before 1971, the NBA had Eastern and Western "divisions" which were de facto conferences):

+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    2014 |    118 |    155 | 43.2%     |    157 |    120 | 56.7%     |     26 |     63 | 29.2% | 70.8% |
|    2013 |    577 |    651 | 47.0%     |    652 |    578 | 53.0%     |    188 |    262 | 41.8% | 58.2% |
|    2012 |    474 |    516 | 47.9%     |    516 |    474 | 52.1%     |    114 |    156 | 42.2% | 57.8% |
|    2011 |    579 |    651 | 47.1%     |    651 |    579 | 52.9%     |    189 |    261 | 42.0% | 58.0% |
|    2010 |    594 |    636 | 48.3%     |    636 |    594 | 51.7%     |    204 |    246 | 45.3% | 54.7% |
|    2009 |    621 |    609 | 50.5%     |    609 |    621 | 49.5%     |    231 |    219 | 51.3% | 48.7% |
|    2008 |    582 |    648 | 47.3%     |    648 |    582 | 52.7%     |    192 |    258 | 42.7% | 57.3% |
|    2007 |    583 |    647 | 47.4%     |    647 |    583 | 52.6%     |    193 |    257 | 42.9% | 57.1% |
|    2006 |    588 |    642 | 47.8%     |    642 |    588 | 52.2%     |    198 |    252 | 44.0% | 56.0% |
|    2005 |    584 |    646 | 47.5%     |    646 |    584 | 52.5%     |    194 |    256 | 43.1% | 56.9% |
|    2004 |    559 |    671 | 45.4%     |    630 |    518 | 54.9%     |    154 |    266 | 36.7% | 63.3% |
|    2003 |    575 |    655 | 46.7%     |    614 |    534 | 53.5%     |    170 |    250 | 40.5% | 59.5% |
|    2002 |    593 |    637 | 48.2%     |    596 |    552 | 51.9%     |    188 |    232 | 44.8% | 55.2% |
|    2001 |    566 |    664 | 46.0%     |    623 |    525 | 54.3%     |    161 |    259 | 38.3% | 61.7% |
|    2000 |    598 |    632 | 48.6%     |    591 |    557 | 51.5%     |    193 |    227 | 46.0% | 54.0% |
|    1999 |    379 |    371 | 50.5%     |    346 |    354 | 49.4%     |     46 |     38 | 54.8% | 45.2% |
|    1998 |    648 |    582 | 52.7%     |    541 |    607 | 47.1%     |    243 |    177 | 57.9% | 42.1% |
|    1997 |    647 |    583 | 52.6%     |    542 |    606 | 47.2%     |    242 |    178 | 57.6% | 42.4% |
|    1996 |    619 |    611 | 50.3%     |    570 |    578 | 49.7%     |    214 |    206 | 51.0% | 49.0% |
|    1995 |    550 |    598 | 47.9%     |    557 |    509 | 52.3%     |    158 |    206 | 43.4% | 56.6% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1994 |    562 |    586 | 49.0%     |    545 |    521 | 51.1%     |    170 |    194 | 46.7% | 53.3% |
|    1993 |    583 |    565 | 50.8%     |    524 |    542 | 49.2%     |    191 |    173 | 52.5% | 47.5% |
|    1992 |    573 |    575 | 49.9%     |    534 |    532 | 50.1%     |    181 |    183 | 49.7% | 50.3% |
|    1991 |    521 |    545 | 48.9%     |    586 |    562 | 51.0%     |    170 |    194 | 46.7% | 53.3% |
|    1990 |    517 |    549 | 48.5%     |    590 |    558 | 51.4%     |    166 |    198 | 45.6% | 54.4% |
|    1989 |    522 |    462 | 53.0%     |    503 |    563 | 47.2%     |    186 |    126 | 59.6% | 40.4% |
|    1988 |    464 |    438 | 51.4%     |    479 |    505 | 48.7%     |    145 |    119 | 54.9% | 45.1% |
|    1987 |    465 |    437 | 51.6%     |    478 |    506 | 48.6%     |    146 |    118 | 55.3% | 44.7% |
|    1986 |    460 |    442 | 51.0%     |    483 |    501 | 49.1%     |    141 |    123 | 53.4% | 46.6% |
|    1985 |    462 |    440 | 51.2%     |    481 |    503 | 48.9%     |    143 |    121 | 54.2% | 45.8% |
|    1984 |    461 |    441 | 51.1%     |    482 |    502 | 49.0%     |    142 |    122 | 53.8% | 46.2% |
|    1983 |    458 |    444 | 50.8%     |    485 |    499 | 49.3%     |    139 |    125 | 52.7% | 47.3% |
|    1982 |    461 |    441 | 51.1%     |    482 |    502 | 49.0%     |    142 |    122 | 53.8% | 46.2% |
|    1981 |    466 |    436 | 51.7%     |    477 |    507 | 48.5%     |    147 |    117 | 55.7% | 44.3% |
|    1980 |    454 |    448 | 50.3%     |    448 |    454 | 49.7%     |    124 |    118 | 51.2% | 48.8% |
|    1979 |    425 |    477 | 47.1%     |    477 |    425 | 52.9%     |    205 |    257 | 44.4% | 55.6% |
|    1978 |    428 |    474 | 47.5%     |    474 |    428 | 52.5%     |    208 |    254 | 45.0% | 55.0% |
|    1977 |    436 |    466 | 48.3%     |    466 |    436 | 51.7%     |    216 |    246 | 46.8% | 53.2% |
|    1976 |    388 |    350 | 52.6%     |    350 |    388 | 47.4%     |    181 |    143 | 55.9% | 44.1% |
|    1975 |    378 |    360 | 51.2%     |    360 |    378 | 48.8%     |    171 |    153 | 52.8% | 47.2% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1974 |    315 |    341 | 48.0%     |    382 |    356 | 51.8%     |    131 |    157 | 45.5% | 54.5% |
|    1973 |    318 |    338 | 48.5%     |    379 |    359 | 51.4%     |    134 |    154 | 46.5% | 53.5% |
|    1972 |    283 |    373 | 43.1%     |    414 |    324 | 56.1%     |    125 |    215 | 36.8% | 63.2% |
|    1971 |    291 |    365 | 44.4%     |    406 |    332 | 55.0%     |    139 |    213 | 39.5% | 60.5% |
|    1970 |    309 |    265 | 53.8%     |    265 |    309 | 46.2%     |    169 |    125 | 57.5% | 42.5% |
|    1969 |    314 |    260 | 54.7%     |    260 |    314 | 45.3%     |    176 |    122 | 59.1% | 40.9% |
|    1968 |    274 |    218 | 55.7%     |    218 |    274 | 44.3%     |    154 |     98 | 61.1% | 38.9% |
|    1967 |    223 |    182 | 55.1%     |    182 |    223 | 44.9%     |    133 |     92 | 59.1% | 40.9% |
|    1966 |    184 |    136 | 57.5%     |    176 |    224 | 44.0%     |    124 |     76 | 62.0% | 38.0% |
|    1965 |    181 |    139 | 56.6%     |    179 |    221 | 44.8%     |    121 |     79 | 60.5% | 39.5% |
|    1964 |    170 |    150 | 53.1%     |    190 |    210 | 47.5%     |     98 |     78 | 55.7% | 44.3% |
|    1963 |    169 |    151 | 52.8%     |    191 |    209 | 47.8%     |     97 |     79 | 55.1% | 44.9% |
|    1962 |    179 |    141 | 55.9%     |    181 |    219 | 45.3%     |    107 |     69 | 60.8% | 39.2% |
|    1961 |    162 |    154 | 51.3%     |    154 |    162 | 48.7%     |     84 |     76 | 52.5% | 47.5% |
|    1960 |    180 |    120 | 60.0%     |    120 |    180 | 40.0%     |    102 |     42 | 70.8% | 29.2% |
|    1959 |    159 |    129 | 55.2%     |    129 |    159 | 44.8%     |     87 |     57 | 60.4% | 39.6% |
|    1958 |    162 |    126 | 56.3%     |    126 |    162 | 43.8%     |     90 |     54 | 62.5% | 37.5% |
|    1957 |    155 |    133 | 53.8%     |    133 |    155 | 46.2%     |     83 |     61 | 57.6% | 42.4% |
|    1956 |    154 |    134 | 53.5%     |    134 |    154 | 46.5%     |     82 |     62 | 56.9% | 43.1% |
|    1955 |    150 |    138 | 52.1%     |    138 |    150 | 47.9%     |     78 |     66 | 54.2% | 45.8% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
| year_id | east_w | east_l | east_wpct | west_w | west_l | west_wpct | e_vs_w | w_vs_e | e_h2h | w_h2h |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+
|    1954 |    173 |    187 | 48.1%     |    151 |    137 | 52.4%     |     73 |     87 | 45.6% | 54.4% |
|    1953 |    168 |    183 | 47.9%     |    183 |    168 | 52.1%     |     67 |     82 | 45.0% | 55.0% |
|    1952 |    169 |    161 | 51.2%     |    161 |    169 | 48.8%     |     79 |     71 | 52.7% | 47.3% |
|    1951 |    181 |    187 | 49.2%     |    173 |    167 | 50.9%     |     80 |     86 | 48.2% | 51.8% |
+---------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-----------+--------+--------+-------+-------+

In the early stages of 2013-14, we are indeed seeing an historic level of inter-conference imbalance. The West's 70.8% winning percentage vs. the East is tied for the highest by one conference/division vs the other, matching the mark set by the Eastern Division in 1960.

Powered by the transcendent 59-16 Celtics (who won 10 more games than any other team), the 49-26 Philadelphia Warriors, and the 45-30 Syracuse Nationals, the East dominated a Western Division that boasted only one team -- the 46-29 St. Louis Hawks -- with a record anywhere near .500. (Aside from St. Louis, the other West teams had a combined 74-151 record that season.)

10 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, History, Trivia

New College Basketball Features: Season-by-Season Coach Pages & 2-Point Shooting Stats

Posted by Neil on November 25, 2013

For the 2013-14 College Basketball season, we've added a few new features:

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

Sports Reference Welcomes David Corby and Hans Van Slooten to Our Staff

Posted by admin on November 7, 2013

Sports Reference has hired two new web developers/engineers/programmers to their burgeoning staff of now five.

David Corby joined us the last week of October and thus far has been shepherding the NBA and College Basketball sites. (Yes, we did give him a lot of time to get settled.) He is a UVA grad who worked in commercial operations at JetBlue. He's a largely self-taught developer with a wide range of development work. David once played against David Wright in a HS baseball game, and he went 4-4 with 4 doubles (Wright did, that is). He is largely a New York fan -- especially a Yankees fan, which proves we stand by our company policy that we don't discriminate on the basis of sports franchise affinity.

Hans Van Slooten (@cantpitch) will be joining us in December, working out of our newly-established Minneapolis branch, coincidentally located in Hans' home (note we do not offer company tours at this branch). Hans will be working on the hockey site and number of new projects/items from our wish list that we previously haven't had the bandwidth to work on. He joins us from OLSON (where he was a technical director) and, previous to that, comScore. He's a Twins and Vikings fan and will also help me source locally produced lefse and lutefisk for the Sports-Reference Christmas party.

5 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

Search Our Stats Using the Play Index

Posted by Neil on October 23, 2013

With the 2013-14 NBA season starting next week it's time for a reminder to check out the Basketball-Reference Play Index. In case you don't already know about the PI, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. With the PI, you can:

  • Use the Player Season Finder to search through all NBA, ABA, & BAA players' regular season and playoff statistics for performances that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Game Finder to search through NBA players' regular season and playoff game logs (since 1985-86) for games matching your criteria.
  • Use the Head-to-Head Finder to search for games in which two selected players played against each other.
  • Search for player and team consecutive-game streaks that match your criteria using the Streak Finders.
  • Search for team performances that meet your criteria with the Team Season Finder and Team Game Finder.
  • Use the Draft Finder to search through every NBA/BAA draft for picks that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Comparison Finder to compare the stats of up to four players through (or in) a given season.

Also, take a look at the Play Index Plus for even more data-searching goodness. The PI+ lets you sift through the play-by-play data of every game since 2001, making it possible to look for specific events, lineup data, and shooting stats (including clutch shots and shot breakdowns by distance).

Best of all, these features are 100% free to use! So go ahead, give them a try, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

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

Small Additions to Basketball-Reference

Posted by Neil on October 17, 2013

You may have noticed we've made a few small additions to the site in preparation for the upcoming 2013-14 NBA season:

  • Added "series stats" links to yearly playoff pages, and added advanced stats to series summaries.
  • Added 2-pointers made/attempted & 2P% to stat tables. - Now you can see that Shaq did in fact shoot much better on 2-pointers (58.3%) than 1-pointers (52.7%) in his career.
  • Added Free Throw Rate to advanced stats. - Borrowing from my old Blog-tionary... "FTr = (FTA / FGA). Free throw rate is the ratio of free throws attempted per field goal attempted. It's useful to assess where the bulk of a player's shots are coming from -- low ratios usually indicate a lot of jump shots (fouls are less prevalent the further away from the basket you get), while high rates are the province of inside players who often take strong shots in traffic down low. A variation on FTr is Bob Bellotti's old Rice-Scott Index (RSI), which is just FGA / (FGA + FTA) (so named because when the stat was developed, long-range bombers Glen Rice and Dennis Scott had extremely high RSIs)."
  • Added 3-Point Attempt Rate to advanced stats. - 3PAr = (3PA / FGA), and is a measure of what % of a player's shots come from long-distance, another good gauge of how they're utilized offensively. Note that 3PAr and FTr also appear on team & league pages (so you can see what the league averages were).
  • Added Plus/Minus (and re-added Game Score) to player gamelog pages. - Plus/Minus represents the team's scoring differential while the player was on the floor, and is available going back to the 2000-01 season. Game Score is a John Hollinger method of evaluating single-game performances.
  • Added Advanced Stats to player splits pages. - Splits pages now feature the player's True Shooting %, Usage %, Dean Oliver individual Offensive/Defensive Ratings, and Plus/Minus per 100 possessions in each split.
  • Added franchise summaries under player stat tables. - Underneath each player's stat tables, you'll now see career totals & averages for every franchise and league they played for/in (when applicable).
  • A few more tweaks are forthcoming before the season, and as always, email us any additional ideas/suggestions/requests you might have, and we'll see what we can do.

8 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com

Added Advanced Stats to NBA Playoff Series Pages

Posted by Neil on October 16, 2013

Just a quick note that our NBA Playoff Series pages now have advanced stats tables, so you can learn that, for instance, Chris Andersen and Chauncey Billups both had Offensive Ratings north of 150 in this 2009 playoff series.

We also added Four Factors tables to the series summary pages, wherein you'll find nuggets like Phoenix's ridiculous 122.7 team Offensive Rating against the Warriors in this 1994 series. Enjoy!

1 Comment | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Features, Playoffs

Stat Questions: Why Do Pre-1970s Team Rebound Totals Not Match the Sums of Individual Players?

Posted by Neil on October 15, 2013

Recently, a BBR user posed a question we get on occasion:

"[I] noticed that the team rebound totals for every team appear to be incorrect from 1956-57 to 1967-68. They are correct in 1968-69. For example in 1956-57 it shows the Celtics led the league in rebounds with 4963. When you add up the rebounds for every player on their roster the total comes to 4578. The points and assists totals match exactly. [...] It is only the rebound total that is off, and it is off for every team by a significant margin."

He's right -- you can see this by adding up the team rebound totals for each league-season and comparing it to the sum of individual player rebounds... It changes around 1968:

+---------+-------+----------+------------+
| year_id | lg_id | team_trb | player_trb |
+---------+-------+----------+------------+
|    2013 | NBA   |   103575 |     103575 |
|    2012 | NBA   |    83513 |      83513 |
|    2011 | NBA   |   101816 |     101816 |
|    2010 | NBA   |   102640 |     102640 |
|    2009 | NBA   |   101586 |     101586 |
|    2008 | NBA   |   103271 |     103271 |
|    2007 | NBA   |   100994 |     100994 |
|    2006 | NBA   |   100754 |     100754 |
|    2005 | NBA   |   102970 |     102970 |
|    2004 | NBA   |   100361 |     100361 |
|    2003 | NBA   |   100604 |     100604 |
|    2002 | NBA   |   100829 |     100829 |
|    2001 | NBA   |   100988 |     100988 |
|    2000 | NBA   |   102062 |     102062 |
|    1999 | NBA   |    60395 |      60395 |
|    1998 | NBA   |    98798 |      98798 |
|    1997 | NBA   |    97703 |      97703 |
|    1996 | NBA   |    98099 |      98099 |
|    1995 | NBA   |    92006 |      92006 |
|    1994 | NBA   |    95192 |      95192 |
|    1993 | NBA   |    95504 |      95504 |
|    1992 | NBA   |    96680 |      96680 |
|    1991 | NBA   |    95776 |      95776 |
|    1990 | NBA   |    95518 |      95518 |
|    1989 | NBA   |    90031 |      90031 |
|    1988 | NBA   |    81828 |      81828 |
|    1987 | NBA   |    83020 |      83020 |
|    1986 | NBA   |    82161 |      82161 |
|    1985 | NBA   |    82008 |      82008 |
|    1984 | NBA   |    81150 |      81150 |
|    1983 | NBA   |    83853 |      83853 |
|    1982 | NBA   |    81987 |      81987 |
|    1981 | NBA   |    82010 |      82010 |
|    1980 | NBA   |    81065 |      81065 |
|    1979 | NBA   |    81564 |      81564 |
|    1978 | NBA   |    84984 |      84984 |
|    1977 | NBA   |    84886 |      84886 |
|    1976 | NBA   |    69960 |      69960 |
|    1976 | ABA   |    30815 |      30815 |
|    1975 | NBA   |    69468 |      69468 |
|    1975 | ABA   |    40239 |      40239 |
|    1974 | NBA   |    67230 |      67230 |
|    1974 | ABA   |    40705 |      40705 |
|    1973 | NBA   |    70555 |      70555 |
|    1973 | ABA   |    41062 |      41062 |
|    1972 | NBA   |    71299 |      71299 |
|    1972 | ABA   |    48429 |      48429 |
|    1971 | NBA   |    74059 |      74059 |
|    1971 | ABA   |    50234 |      50234 |
|    1970 | NBA   |    60697 |      60697 |
|    1970 | ABA   |    49991 |      49991 |
|    1969 | NBA   |    65324 |      65324 |
|    1969 | ABA   |    46674 |      46674 |
|    1968 | NBA   |    65166 |      56999 |
|    1968 | ABA   |    46957 |      46957 |
|    1967 | NBA   |    54536 |      48095 |
|    1966 | NBA   |    49118 |      43250 |
|    1965 | NBA   |    48433 |      42563 |
|    1964 | NBA   |    47423 |      41894 |
|    1963 | NBA   |    48044 |      41418 |
|    1962 | NBA   |    51415 |      43183 |
|    1961 | NBA   |    46314 |      40732 |
|    1960 | NBA   |    44104 |      37401 |
|    1959 | NBA   |    40343 |      34794 |
|    1958 | NBA   |    41279 |      35814 |
|    1957 | NBA   |    35948 |      32136 |
|    1956 | NBA   |    34616 |      31395 |
|    1955 | NBA   |    32292 |      28777 |
|    1954 | NBA   |    32987 |      29808 |
|    1953 | NBA   |    36168 |      32314 |
|    1952 | NBA   |    35977 |      31209 |
|    1951 | NBA   |    35019 |      30621 |
+---------+-------+----------+------------+

So what's the deal? Is this a bug in our database?

Actually, no. It's just a matter of accounting by the official scorer, because technically speaking, for every missed shot there has to be a rebound.

Starting in 1968-69 (1967-68 in the ABA), so-called "team" rebounds (rebounds where there was no clear individual who should receive credit) were no longer counted toward a team's overall rebounding total. Before that, "team rebounds" were credited at the team level, but they (obviously) didn't make it into individual rebounding totals. This is what caused the massive discrepancies between teams' rebounds and the sum of their individual players' rebounds.

Nowadays, those "team rebounds" are thrown into their own bucket, neither allocated to individuals nor to teams for the purpose of overall stat totals.

Mystery solved!

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

BBR: NBA & ABA Trailers

Posted by admin on September 1, 2013

NBA & ABA Trailers | Basketball-Reference.com.

Just a fun add to the site that didn't take too much time. Of course it probably isn't fun if you are the all-time worst FG% shooter.

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

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