Sports Reference Blog

Archive for the 'Playoffs' Category

Every Championship Round Game 7

2nd November 2016

With tonight's World Series Game 7, we thought we'd post quick links to Play Index searches showing every championship round Game 7 in MLB, NBA and NHL history. The lists are searches for home teams in Game 7s, sorted by date. If you click the date, you can see the box score for the game (when available). Enjoy!

World Series Game 7s (please note that this list is Winner Take All games, rather than Game 7s due to some World Series being longer than 7 games or having 7th games that weren't decisive in the early years)

NBA Finals Game 7s

Stanley Cup Final Game 7s

 

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

Baseball-Reference’s Mega Postseason Blowout

6th October 2016

As Deadspin reminded us this week, there's only one October. In that spirit, let's jump right into a breakdown of the most exciting month of the year: the MLB Postseason. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Playoffs | Comments Off on Baseball-Reference’s Mega Postseason Blowout

Has LeBron Been Better than Jordan in the Finals?

2nd June 2016

Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals will be a big occasion. Of course, they'll all be big occasions, since they will determine who the NBA Champion is. But Game 2 will be especially momentous, because -- barring injury, suspension, or an abrupt announcement from Adam Silver that this year's Finals will last one game -- it will be the 35th of LeBron James' Finals' career, matching Michael Jordan's total.

As a human being on the Internet, you are no doubt aware of the fact that LeBron and MJ experienced different degrees of success in their time in the NBA Finals. MJ went 24-11 in his 35 games, winning all 6 titles that he played for. LeBron, on the other hand, is 13-20 in Finals games and 2-4 in series.

Their records speak for themselves, but that's also a pretty surface-level way of looking at it. LeBron was swept in 2007, but that team's second best player, by Win Shares, was Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a far cry from the Jordan's Hall-of-Fame sidekick Scottie Pippen. Should he get extra credit for that? Or what about last season, when the LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers won two games against the Golden State Warriors with Timofey Mozgov as their second best player due to injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving?

In other words, despite the record, can one build a case that LeBron actually has been more accomplished, on an individual level, than MJ in the Finals? Let's dig a little deeper into the numbers. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Playoffs | 30 Comments »

Channing Frye Shooting for Record Books

1st June 2016

As you may have noticed, Cleveland's Channing Frye has been on fire in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Go ahead and check out his postseason shot-chart and date here.

He's a ridiculous 26-45 on 3-pointers, thus far. His Effective FG% is a sizzling 81.8%. That puts him on pace to break Birdman's record for eFG% in a single postseason. (Apparently, it's nice to be a back-up big playing with LeBron James).

Obviously, Frye is taking far different types of shots than Chris Andersen was, though. With our play-by-play statistics, which are available back to 2000-01, we are able to see shooting performance on specific shot types, as well. And thus far, Frye is shooting jump shots more effectively than we've seen in any of the last 16 postseasons. Here's the best eFG%s on jumpers in single playoffs since 2001 (minimum 50 jump shots attempted).

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 3.12.26 PM

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Play Index, Playoffs | Comments Off on Channing Frye Shooting for Record Books

LeBron Passes MJ in Becoming All-Time Postseason Win Shares Leader

31st May 2016

We hope everyone had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend. We just wanted to quickly mention something before it gets lost in the shuffle with the NBA Finals starting in two days. In the Cavaliers' Game 6 win over Toronto, LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to become the all-time leader in career postseason Win Shares. LeBron has, however, played more career postseason games and minutes than Jordan, so His Airness remains the all-time postseason leader in Win Shares Per 48 minutes.

Earlier this season, James passed Jordan to become the NBA's All-Time VORP leader (calculated since 1973-74).

Here's how the advanced statistics stack up for James and Jordan in their postseason careers (through the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals):

 

Player PER TS% TRB% AST% TOV% USG% OWS DWS WS WS/48 OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
LeBron James 27.5 .567 12.5 33.4 12.4 31.9 26.7 13.4 40.1 .238 7.3 3.2 10.5 25.6
Michael Jordan* 28.6 .568 9.3 28.2 9.4 35.6 27.3 12.4 39.8 .255 8.3 1.8 10.1 22.8
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/31/2016.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Playoffs | 3 Comments »

Every Time an NBA Team Came Back From a 3-1 Deficit (and What It Means for the Warriors)

25th May 2016

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were all admiring the Golden State Warriors' latest feat in a season full of them: keeping up their winning ways without the help of the NBA MVP. While Stephen Curry has returned, the winning has come to a sudden halt.

After spending Sunday and Tuesday night getting obliterated by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Bay Area's most popular export since 99% Invisible is just one loss away from an early start to their summer. In their last six games, the Warriors went 3-3 with a point differential of -20. During their disastrous excursion to Oklahoma City, they were outscored by 52 points and out-rebounded by 30 boards.

The Warriors are on the brink of a very dark abyss, but they have some historical precedent to look to. There have been nine times in the history of the NBA Playoffs where a team was down 3-1 in a series and came back to win. Looking back at those examples, we can see if any patterns emerge that give the Warriors a roadmap for digging themselves out or show the Thunder what mistakes they need to avoid. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Playoffs | 5 Comments »

The 15 Biggest Playoff Upsets in NBA History

19th May 2016

The Oklahoma City Thunder shouldn't be here. It's weird to think of a team that won 55 games and boasts 2 of the 5 best players in the league (at least, according to the NBA MVP voting) as an underdog, but the Thunder spent the year in the same conference as two historically dominant teams. There was the San Antonio Spurs, who posted the 7th best point differential of all-time. At the same time, there was the Golden State Warriors who, in case you didn't hear, won a lot of games this season.

Yet the Thunder tore through the Spurs, winning the series in 6, clinching it in a blowout, and perhaps ending then nearly 20-year career of Tim Duncan. Then they followed it up by going to one of the toughest arenas for road teams in the NBA and stealing Game 1 from the 73-win defending champs. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Basketball-Reference.com, Playoffs | Comments Off on The 15 Biggest Playoff Upsets in NBA History

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?

Kobe Bryant Has Always Had Fascinating Goodbyes

13th April 2016

As Kobe Bean Bryant bids farewell to the NBA, you'll likely hear a lot about all of the great accomplishments during his Hall of Fame career. The buzzer beaters, the 81-point game, the rings, the All-NBA teams, the All-Defense teams, the MVP votes. His great achievements literally go on and on. It's why most consider him one of the greatest guards in the history of the game. These accomplishments should be acknowledged, and chances are you've been hearing about them a lot this week.

However, as Kobe says goodbye tonight, I wanted to look at a part of his legacy that has always fascinated me: the way that he has said goodbye in past seasons. Bryant is considered by many to be one of the all-time great postseason performers. The reasons are obvious: He has five rings and two NBA Finals MVPs. He's the third-leading scorer in NBA Postseason history. However, the ultimate test of a superstar player is how they perform with their back against the wall. So I decided to examine Bryant's performance when facing playoff elimination. I did the same for some players with whom he's often compared: Michael Jordan & LeBron James.

First, let me be explicit: By "facing elimination" I mean any playoff game in which a loss would mean the end of his team's season. So these are games in which his team entered with two losses in a best-of-5 series or three losses in a best-of-7 series.

It turns out Bryant faced elimination 19 times in his career. The table below shows his statistics in these 19 games, with links to the box scores for each (by clicking the date). You'll notice that, coincidentally, the first two elimination games of the Black Mamba's career were against the Jazz (the same team he will finish his career against tonight).

Date Tm Opp MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc
1997-05-12 LAL UTA L 29 4 14 0 6 3 3 2 2 1 0 1 11 3.6
1998-05-24 LAL UTA L 19 2 2 0 0 2 3 1 0 1 1 3 6 2.8
1999-05-23 LAL SAS L 40 7 16 1 3 1 2 8 3 0 0 3 16 7.5
2000-05-05 LAL SAC W 34 7 16 1 5 2 2 2 6 0 3 1 17 13.7
2000-06-04 LAL POR W 47 9 19 1 4 6 12 11 7 0 4 2 25 20.3
2002-05-31 LAL SAC W 44 10 20 0 0 11 11 11 5 0 0 1 31 26.4
2002-06-02 LAL SAC W 52 10 26 2 3 8 10 10 7 2 0 0 30 24.1
2003-05-15 LAL SAS L 43 9 19 2 5 0 2 2 6 1 0 7 20 6.7
2004-06-15 LAL DET L 45 7 21 0 2 10 11 3 4 1 0 3 24 13.0
2006-05-06 LAL PHO L 43 8 16 4 8 4 5 4 1 0 1 3 24 13.6
2007-05-02 LAL PHO L 46 13 33 2 8 6 7 4 1 1 0 6 34 11.8
2008-06-15 LAL BOS W 44 8 21 4 9 5 7 7 4 5 0 6 25 16.2
2008-06-17 LAL BOS L 43 7 22 3 9 5 5 3 1 1 0 4 22 8.0
2009-05-17 LAL HOU W 33 4 12 1 4 5 6 7 5 3 2 1 14 14.6
2010-06-15 LAL BOS W 40 9 19 1 4 7 7 11 3 4 0 2 26 24.1
2010-06-17 LAL BOS W 45 6 24 0 6 11 15 15 2 1 0 4 23 9.9
2011-05-08 LAL DAL L 37 7 18 0 5 3 4 3 1 0 0 5 17 3.4
2012-05-12 LAL DEN W 45 7 16 2 2 1 4 1 8 0 1 3 17 10.6
2012-05-21 LAL OKC L 41 18 33 1 6 5 7 5 0 2 0 2 42 25.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/12/2016.

It should be noted that in 1997 and 1998, Bryant was a teenager coming off the bench for the Lakers and did not always see consistent minutes. LeBron and MJ were never in the playoffs as teens, so it's probably unfair to include those years in any comparison. That said, here's Vino's averages in the 17 elimination games he played after becoming a starter. We've also listed the averages for Jordan and James in such games (and have even thrown in Allen Iverson, as a control of sorts, for those who think MJ & LeBron set an impossible standard):

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.07.22 AM

The first thing you'll note is that Bryant is the only of the four to have a winning record in these games (though that record falls to 9-10 if you include losses to the Jazz in his first two seasons). However, you'll notice his personal statistics are a cut below the other players on the list, especially Jordan and James. Of the four, Bryant ranks last a scorer, 2nd-worst in shooting efficiency, 2nd-worst in rebounding, and last in assists. Add it all up and Bryant's average Game Score when facing elimination is 14.7. Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough estimate of a player's productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, so 40 is an outstanding performance and 10 is average. Needless to say, a 14.7 average Game Score in contests of this level of import is very pedestrian for a player of Kobe's standing. For further perspective, Bryant's average Game Score for his entire career is 17.4.

Michael Jordan, meanwhile, was predictably outstanding in these games as he averaged about 31 PPG, 8 RPG and 7 APG, with efficient shooting numbers. His Game Score average of 23.3 crushes Bryant's 14.7. LeBron James, contrary to his reputation, has even better numbers than Jordan in these games, ranking as the best scorer, rebounder and shooter of the group. His average Game Score of 23.7 is also the best. Allen Iverson, meanwhile, put up big scoring and assists numbers, but was the least efficient shooter of the group (though his TS% is close to Kobe's). Still, Iverson's 18.3 Game Score average puts him well ahead of Bryant.

In addition to the relative lack of individual success, the other striking thing about Bryant in these games is the magnitude of several of the losses. It's absolutely incredible that a player on so many great teams was also a part of so many season-ending meltdowns. Let's review:

If you're counting at home, that's four losses by 28+ points when facing playoff elimination. Does Kobe have one more dramatic ending in store for us?

Attached below are tables showing the elimination games of the other players mentioned in this post.

MICHAEL JORDAN IN ELIMINATION GAMES
Date Tm Opp MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc
1985-04-24 CHI MIL W 42 12 26 0 1 11 16 8 7 4 1 3 35 28.2
1985-04-26 CHI MIL L 42 6 16 0 2 17 20 7 5 2 3 4 29 24.3
1986-04-22 CHI BOS L 39 8 18 1 1 2 3 10 9 2 1 5 19 15.4
1987-04-28 CHI BOS L 39 9 30 0 1 12 14 11 7 2 1 2 30 21.5
1988-05-08 CHI CLE W 43 12 22 0 0 15 18 4 6 2 2 7 39 27.8
1988-05-18 CHI DET L 43 10 22 1 2 4 7 8 8 2 0 3 25 18.6
1989-05-07 CHI CLE W 44 17 32 1 1 9 13 9 6 1 0 2 44 32.7
1989-06-02 CHI DET L 42 13 26 1 2 5 12 4 13 3 2 8 32 20.9
1990-06-01 CHI DET W 39 11 20 1 4 6 6 10 2 1 0 3 29 20.6
1990-06-03 CHI DET L 45 13 27 0 2 5 5 8 9 1 0 4 31 23.0
1992-05-17 CHI NYK W 42 15 29 0 0 12 13 6 4 2 3 5 42 31.0
1995-05-18 CHI ORL L 39 8 19 1 2 7 10 9 7 4 4 6 24 19.9
1998-05-31 CHI IND W 42 9 25 0 0 10 15 9 8 0 0 2 28 19.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/12/2016.
LeBRON JAMES IN ELIMINATION GAMES
Date Tm Opp MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc
2006-05-21 CLE DET L 47 11 24 0 4 5 8 8 2 1 0 3 27 15.6
2007-06-14 CLE SAS L 46 10 30 2 7 2 6 6 10 0 0 6 24 7.8
2008-05-16 CLE BOS W 47 9 23 1 3 13 15 12 6 2 1 8 32 21.6
2008-05-18 CLE BOS L 47 14 29 3 11 14 19 5 6 2 0 2 45 32.8
2009-05-28 CLE ORL W 46 11 24 0 2 15 19 14 12 1 1 4 37 33.3
2009-05-30 CLE ORL L 45 8 20 2 8 7 11 7 7 0 1 3 25 16.1
2010-05-13 CLE BOS L 46 8 21 2 4 9 12 19 10 3 1 9 27 22.1
2011-06-12 MIA DAL L 40 9 15 2 5 1 4 4 6 1 1 6 21 13.6
2012-06-07 MIA BOS W 45 19 26 2 4 5 9 15 5 0 0 4 45 36.4
2012-06-09 MIA BOS W 48 9 21 1 5 12 17 12 2 1 1 3 31 22.4
2013-06-03 MIA IND W 41 8 17 1 2 15 16 8 4 2 1 2 32 29.2
2013-06-18 MIA SAS W 50 11 26 1 5 9 12 10 11 3 1 6 32 25.8
2013-06-20 MIA SAS W 45 12 23 5 10 8 8 12 4 2 0 2 37 32.5
2014-06-15 MIA SAS L 41 10 21 3 9 8 9 10 5 0 2 1 31 26.8
2015-06-16 CLE GSW L 47 13 33 2 10 4 8 18 9 2 0 6 32 20.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/12/2016.
ALLEN IVERSON IN ELIMINATION GAMES
Date Tm Opp MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc
1999-05-23 PHI IND L 45 11 28 2 6 1 1 3 6 0 0 2 25 12.5
2000-05-13 PHI IND W 45 7 26 1 4 4 6 3 5 2 0 3 19 6.2
2000-05-15 PHI IND W 46 12 29 2 4 11 12 5 1 1 0 1 37 22.5
2000-05-19 PHI IND L 44 7 20 1 4 3 5 5 3 2 0 2 18 10.0
2001-05-20 PHI TOR W 48 8 27 1 3 4 4 4 16 2 1 4 21 16.0
2001-06-03 PHI MIL W 44 17 33 4 6 6 7 6 7 2 0 2 44 32.8
2001-06-15 PHI LAL L 45 14 32 3 11 6 8 3 2 2 0 3 37 18.7
2002-04-28 PHI BOS W 44 10 23 3 5 19 20 5 4 5 0 3 42 34.6
2002-05-01 PHI BOS W 42 9 26 1 5 9 10 5 4 4 0 4 28 16.9
2002-05-03 PHI BOS L 44 11 24 4 7 5 8 2 4 1 0 1 31 20.4
2003-05-16 PHI DET L 53 14 33 1 1 9 10 3 9 2 1 5 38 24.2
2005-05-03 PHI DET L 48 14 30 1 5 5 6 1 7 0 0 4 34 18.2
2007-05-02 DEN SAS L 44 6 22 2 5 7 9 0 8 2 0 3 21 11.8
2008-04-28 DEN LAL L 43 10 22 0 3 2 3 2 2 0 0 1 22 11.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/13/2016.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, History, Playoffs, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kobe Bryant Has Always Had Fascinating Goodbyes

2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Statistics

13th April 2016

With playoffs season upon us, we wanted to point out our 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs section. While it's mostly a shell right now, it will be a good bookmark for info as the playoffs get going. You can find a schedule & results for every game, stats for every skater, goalie & team, as well as leaderboards.

There are also series preview pages to see how opponents match up with each other.

If you're more of a history buff, you can also take a skate down memory lane by checking out past playoff seasons, such as 2015 or 1987. Stats for series are also available, such as the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Links to all playoff seasons (and a list of champions, runners-up and Conn Smythe winners) are available here.

Other Stanley Cup Playoff resources include our all-time Leaders & Records section, list of frequent champions and our Player Season Finder tool. With the Player Season Finder, you can run restrict your searches to playoff games and run all sorts of custom queries such as leading goal scorers, assists leaders, short-handed goal leaders and many others.

Our Team Game Finder & Player Game Finder also contain options to restrict your searches to playoff games only. You can search for things such as the most recent playoff hat tricks & team records in their playoff openers. You can also run searches for things like worst playoff opening loss by the eventual Stanley Cup champ. For player game searches, it should be noted that our player game logs currently go back to the 1988 Playoffs.

We also have historical sections for Stanley Cup Playoff Comebacks, a game-by-game breakdown of every possible scenario in a 7-game playoff series and every overtime goal in Stanley Cup Playoffs history.

We hope you enjoy these features and please let us know what you'd like to see in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Data, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Playoffs, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Statistics