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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 basketball-reference.com, 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, Basketball-Reference.com

Daily Fantasy Points Added to Player Game Logs

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 24, 2015

As some of you may have already noticed, we recently added Daily Fantasy Points to player game logs for the 2013 to 2015 seasons. These statistics are located towards the far right of the table. DFS (DK) stands for DraftKings points, while DFS (FD) stands for FanDuel points.

Additionally, the DFS points have the same summing functionality as the other statistics in the table, so you can calculate a player's performance over a span by clicking on any two rows in the table.

We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind our users that a $15 deposit on a new DraftKings account through this link will come with a free year of Play Index access (normally $36/yr). More details on this offer can be found here.

We hope daily fantasy players enjoy this new feature and would love to hear about any other features you would like to see.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features

2015 NFL Schedule

Posted by Mike on April 22, 2015

The 2015 NFL schedule is up on the site now, so a couple of quick notes:

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Introducing the PFR Draft Machine App for Mobile Devices

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 21, 2015

We're excited to announce that we have a released an NFL Draft app on the Google Play store  and Apple's App Store: the PFR Draft Machine. For users familiar with our Play Index Draft Finder tool, this brand new app will bring those same unique functions (and more) to your mobile devices.

Download this app now to find out who's picking where in 2015, the best pick at that position in the history of the draft, and the average performance of picks at that position. This app also allows users to make customized queries across every NFL draft pick in history, with filters such as year, team, college, position, round, etc. The only limits to your queries are your own imagination. This is the only app to bring the power of the Pro Football Reference Play Index to your mobile device.

And best of all, we're offering this app for FREE. So please download it and let us know what you think. We're eager to hear your feedback and apply it to any future mobile apps.

Download this app from the Google Play Store

Download this app from Apple's App Store

We have attached some sample images below:

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Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Data, Draft, Features, History, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com

Every OT Goal in Stanley Cup Playoffs History

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 20, 2015

We just wanted to briefly mention that we have recently added every overtime goal in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to our Frivolities section here. This section currently contains two tables. The first shows the goal scorer, date, team, opponent, OT sessions, final score and how much time had elapsed in the OT periods at the time of the goal. The columns in the table are all sortable in case you'd like to quickly look at OT goals scored for or against your favorite team or find the shortest/longest OT games.

The table on the right, meanwhile, lists the all-time individual leaders in playoff OT goals.

It should be mentioned that this is a comprehensive list of OT goals in Stanley Cup Playoff games between two NHL teams. It does not, however, include games featuring the NHL against the WCHL or PCHA. You may also notice a couple instances where the "winning" OT goal merely tied the game. This is because some early playoff series were determined by total goals, so a game a team held a lead in could go to OT in order to determine the series winner.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Playoffs

2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Section

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 15, 2015

With playoffs season upon, we wanted to point out our 2015 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 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 2014 or 2013. 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 Playoff Finder tool. With the Player Playoff Finder, you can 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. It should be noted that our player game logs currently go back to the 1988 Playoffs.

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

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Hockey-Reference.com, Play Index, Playoffs

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, Basketball-Reference.com, 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 DraftKings.com (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 | Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Features

Hans van Slooten now Primary Developer for Baseball-Reference.com

Posted by sean on April 10, 2015

I am pleased to announce that Hans van Slooten has taken over day-to-day development of Baseball-Reference.com. Hans has been with Sports Reference for 15 months now and moved over from hockey to baseball last month. Hans is a long-time SABR member and a very talented developer. You are likely to see a bunch of improvements this summer with Hans on the site full-time rather than me on the site half-time. He's also a dedicated Twins fan, so he will not face the unneeded distraction of a deep postseason run by his favorite team. Hans is on twitter at @cantpitch.

I'm not going anywhere. I'm still President of Sports Reference and will certainly be involved in Baseball-Reference.com, just not with day-to-day responsibilities. With six full-time employees, I have a bit more a management role now, and we are also launching a new site this summer and expecting to roll out some changes to all of the sites this summer.

2 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Statgeekery

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