Sports Reference Blog

Channing Frye Shooting for Record Books

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 1, 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

Posted by Mike Lynch on May 31, 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)

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 25, 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 »

2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker

Posted by Mike Lynch on May 24, 2016

Unless you're a fan of a conference finalist, chances are you're beginning to look ahead to the offseason and what players your team can add via free agency in July and beyond. So go ahead and click this link for our 2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker and check out who might be available this offseason. The players are automatically sorted by their 2015-16 Win Shares totals, from Kevin Durant's 14.5 to Tony Wroten's -0.8.

 

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, Data, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker

The 15 Biggest Playoff Upsets in NBA History

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 19, 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

You’ve Been Leaving Manny Machado Out of Your Harper/Trout Debates

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 12, 2016

Two years ago, if you asked a stranger "Who is the best player in baseball," their reaction would likely have been stunned silence. Now maybe that would have been because they had no idea who you were or why you were so passionate about baseball, but the more likely reason is that the answer was extremely obvious. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, you weirdo.

One year ago, you'd get a slightly different response. Best Player in Baseball became a two man race thanks to the Bryce Harper's epic 2015. The Trout-Harper debate is a natural one, given the contrast they provide. Harper's game is loud, obvious, and a lot of fun, befitting his brash personality. Trout, on the other hand, is more low-key, both in terms of his off-the-field image and his on-the-field greatness. Harper is rated higher by defensive metrics, but Trout has the better reputation and plays a more important position. Trout is more known for his speed, but Harper was actually more valuable running the bases in 2015. You can go back and forth without getting any closer to answer.

There's just one problem with this debate. It may be leaving out the guy who's the actual best player in the baseball. As of this writing, Manny Machado is third in the Majors in WAR, ahead of both Trout or Harper. At 23 years old, Machado is as young as Harper and a year younger than Trout. And while early season WAR can be a little flukey (he's joined in the Top 10 by players like Adam Eaton and Dexter Fowler), there are reasons to think that Machado's success may be more than just a hot April. The Orioles' third baseman has really earned himself a seat at the table. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com | 8 Comments »

How Are the Warriors Staying Afloat Without Stephen Curry?

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 5, 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

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Player Stats for 1993-94 College Basketball Season Added

Posted by Mike Lynch on April 29, 2016

As we continue to work towards our goal of covering college basketball's shot-clock era (since 1985-86), we have recently added player stats for the 1993-94 college basketball season.

That was the season in which Arkansas rode its 40 Minutes of Hell style to a national championship and National Player of the Year Glenn Robinson averaged an incredible 30.3 PPG (an average that no one has bested since).

You can check out the player leaders for this season here. Additionally, similar player leaderboards can be found for each conference page for the season. Or you can check out tables that have the player stats for every player in a given conference that season.

This addition has also allowed us to extend our leaderboards back to 1993-94 for many categories, such as the yearly national PPG leader since 1993-94 or the most career assists since 1993-94.

If you preferring making your own, customized, leaderboards, you can do so back to 1993-94 in the Player Season Finder.

Here's a few sample searches:

One more thing to note: Since we only have full team stats back to 1995-96, at this time we are not yet able to calculate player win shares for seasons before 1995-96.

Posted in Announcement, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, Data, History | Comments Off on Player Stats for 1993-94 College Basketball Season Added

A Round-By-Round Look At the Draft

Posted by Jonah Gardner on April 28, 2016

After months of shuttle runs, bench presses, and anonymous sources attacking the culinary skills of 22-year-olds, the time has come for the 2016 NFL Draft. For some franchises, this is an exciting time. For others, it's an annual, Groundhog Day-esque nightmare. And for Pats fans, it's a good night to catch up on The Americans or Game of Thrones.

A lot of NFL conventional wisdom relates to the importance of taking certain players in certain rounds. Some people think you should draft interior lineman in later rounds. Others suggest that wide receivers taken in the 1st Round tend not to succeed.

So, to get ready for tonight, let's break the draft down by round, in order to examine two questions: Which teams have drafted the best in each round, and which positions are good targets in each round. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Draft, Pro-Football-Reference.com | Comments Off on A Round-By-Round Look At the Draft

2016 Spira Award Winner Announced

Posted by Jonah Gardner on April 27, 2016

The results have been announced for the Fourth Annual Greg Spira Award, which is given annually in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger.

This year's winner is Jeff Long, for his piece "Every Player in Its Right Place" for Baseball Prospectus (follow the link to read the winning submission).

Long’s winning piece featured the comparison of players using proprietary information through an arrangement with Ayasdi, an analytics company that uses machine intelligence software to analyze data sets. Looking at all 311 players with at least 250 plate appearances in 2014, Long analyzed the resulting topological maps, providing a new look at “the old ballgame,” those who play it at the highest level, and how many have more similar skill sets than would otherwise.

Second Prize went to Jon Feyen for "Analytics: The New Currency of Major League Baseball," the capstone project in his Sports Management graduate degree program at Cardinal Stritch University in Fox Point, Wisconsin.

Third Prize was awarded to Ben Diamond for "What is the Success Rate of Shoulder Surgery." At 18 years of age, Diamond is the youngest person to receive a prize in this competition.

The award is named after Greg Spira, a longtime member of the Society for American Baseball Research, who was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991. A graduate of Harvard University, Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball group and via BaseballProspectus.com.

Spira later contributed to many sports books as a researcher, writer, and editor, including the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, Total Baseball, and annual periodicals about the Mets. A lifelong and passionate Mets fan, Spira passed away on December 28, 2011 in his native New York City.

For remembrances of and more information about Greg, visit GregSpira.com. For more information about the award, visit SpiraAward.org. Thanks to everyone who submitted a piece in the 2016 competition and congratulations to all three prize winners!

Posted in Academics, Announcement, Awards, Baseball-Reference.com | Comments Off on 2016 Spira Award Winner Announced