Sports Reference Blog

Archive for March, 2012

SR/CBB: Box Score For Every NCAA Tournament Game

15th March 2012

Today I am pleased to announce that College Basketball at now has a box score for every game played in NCAA tournament history. Here are a few examples:

These box scores are not complete, as there are many instances where certain statistics are missing, but we will do our best to fill in the blanks as we find other sources.

For now you can access these box scores from the NCAA Tournament brackets in the Postseason section, but I am working on integrating this information into other areas of the site.

Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference, Features | 2 Comments »

Trading Partners & Executives Database

14th March 2012

The NBA trade deadline is tomorrow, and that means it's a good time to look up what your team's General Manager has been up to recently. To that end, you can consult the BBR Executives Database, wherein we list the player-personnel decision-maker for every team-season in NBA & ABA history, complete with their career transactions. For example (and a good laugh), here are the moves Isiah Thomas made in his distinguished career as an executive:

Isiah Thomas NBA & ABA Basketball Executive Record

Don't feel bad, Isiah... Even the GOAT has a pretty questionable resume.

In addition to the Executives Database, we also have a matrix of all-time trades between any two franchises. For instance, here is every trade between the Hawks and Pistons, the two most active trading partners in league history with 16 all-time trades. Notice that for each transaction we show a "balance sheet" with outgoing and incoming Win Shares in the deal.

Enjoy these features, and be sure to use them as ammunition if your team's GM makes a boneheaded move today or tomorrow.

Posted in Announcement,, Features | 6 Comments »

CBB: Use Our Adjusted Power Ratings to Fill Out Your Brackets

14th March 2012

At the beginning of the 2011-12 NCAA Basketball season, we began to calculate Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings for each team. In a nutshell, these ratings measure a team's offensive and defensive abilities independent of the pace at which they play. Since raw PPG totals can be greatly influenced by how many possessions a team has to score and defend, per-possession metrics more accurately reflect a team's true skill levels (pace is largely a choice, and it has almost no correlation to how good a team is at scoring and defending on a per-possession basis).

Here were the best teams during the regular season by adjusted net rating (adjusted Offensive Rating minus adjusted Defensive Rating):

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, CBB at Sports Reference, expire7d, Features | 3 Comments »

NY Times: Bryant Has the Stats Of a Not-Quite-M.V.P.

14th March 2012

This column was supposed to appear in the New York Times last week, but due to an editorial snafu it was never published. However, the piece was so good (ha-ha) that they asked me to update it and it was published in today's paper:

Bryant Has the Stats Of a Not-Quite-M.V.P.

I will probably write a column for the weekend NYT as well.

Posted in Announcement,, New York Times | 4 Comments »

Playoff Box Scores and Row Summing

9th March 2012

I'd like to announce a couple of additions to

First, we now have full box scores dating back to the 1986 playoffs, which means we have complete coverage for the regular season and playoffs from the 1985-86 season to the present.

Second, you can now select rows to sum on the player pages. For example, go to Ray Allen's page. Suppose you want to see Allen's cumulative statistics for the Celtics. To do this, click on the row for the 2007-08 season (the row should now be highlighted in blue), then click on the row for the 2011-12 season. A pop-up will appear with Allen's cumulative statistics for these seasons.

Posted in Announcement,, Features | 12 Comments »

Search Secrets: The Power of “The”

8th March 2012

Searching for players can be a chore sometimes. You want Alex Rodriguez's page, so you search for Rodriguez and get like 2,000 results, which we need to do, so you can find every player. But 99% of the time you are probably looking for A-Rod and not the other players.

Adding the string "the" to the start of a search will automatically send you to the most popular player page matching that search. Also, you don't have to enter the entire player name just entering the first few characters will work as well. We've always has the "the" feature, but I just tweaked it so that it now matches only on first and last names and no longer on things like given names or nicknames. So search "the L" now sends you to Cliff Lee instead of Barry Lamar Bonds. Enjoy.

Example searches:

the Mick
the Barry
the George
the Rod
the Albert
the Q
the One
the Guy
Bar Bon

Posted in Announcement,, Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Military Service now listed on B-R Player Pages

8th March 2012

The data isn't 100% complete, but thanks to our relationship with the Society for American Baseball Research, we've added a substantial amount of information about players who were out of organized baseball for a year or more. This will show up on the major league batting and pitching tables for the affected players. Around 1100 player pages are affected by this change. Please let us know about any errors or omissions you find and we'll fill in as many of the missing details as we can.

Posted in Announcement, | 14 Comments »

PI+: Player Shooting Splits & Shot Charts

7th March 2012

Watching this video made me nostalgic for vintage, early-2000s Vince Carter:

That's why I'm going to use Carter's finest season, 2001 (when he posted a career-high 25.0 PER, 12.9 Win Shares, and +6.3 SPM), as my example to take you through the PI+ Shooting Splits & Shot Charts.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Features, Play Index | 3 Comments »

Features: Expected Points

5th March 2012

Today we're rolling out a new feature -- expected points on boxscores, year pages, and team pages back through 2000. What are expected points, you ask? Inspired by a concept introduced by Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, & John Thorn in their 1988 book The Hidden Game of Football, our crack staff of statisticians (Sean and Neil) have used a decade's worth of play-by-play data to develop a formula that estimates the expected number of points given a combination of down, distance, and yard line. Let's look at this year's Super Bowl for an example. The first play after the kickoff looks like this:

Down ToGo Location Detail NYG NWE EPB EPA
1 10 NYG 23 Ahmad Bradshaw right tackle for no gain (tackle by Brandon Spikes) 0 0 0.48 -0.07
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

That means that given a first and ten from their own 23, the expected value of the next score in the game is roughly 0.48 points by the Giants. With a run for no gain (resulting in second and ten from their own 23), the play changed that to -0.07 expected points, meaning that the play itself had a value of -0.56 expected points. Looking at the first touchdown of the game, we see:

Down ToGo Location Detail NYG NWE EPB EPA
2 2 NWE 2 Eli Manning pass complete short middle to Victor Cruz for 2 yards, touchdown 8 0 5.72 7
Lawrence Tynes kicks extra point good 9 0 0 0
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

Before the play was run, the expected points for a second and goal play from the 2 yard line is 5.72 points, so scoring the touchdown there netted the Giants 1.28 expected points (note that for touchdowns, 7 points are assumed and a made extra point is not worth any additional points, though a missed extra point subtracts one and a made two-point conversion adds one).

What can we do with these? Well, when you sum all of the differences together (minus an adjustment for the end of half and end of game plays), you should get the scoring margin of the game, which you can see in the table below the box score:

Offense Defense Special Teams
Tm Total Tot Pass Rush TOvr Tot Pass Rush TOvr Tot KO KR P PR FG/XP
New England Patriots -4.00 10.70 9.71 0.99 -1.42 -13.35 -15.90 0.22 0.00 -1.47 -3.11 1.71 0.95 0.14 -1.16
New York Giants 4.00 13.35 15.90 -0.22 0.00 -10.70 -9.71 -0.99 1.42 1.47 -1.71 3.11 -0.14 -0.95 1.16
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2012.

Given this table, we can break down the contributions each team's various squads made to the margin of victory -- the Giants' passing offense was their largest positive contributor, while their rushing offense actually contributed negatively overall. In addition to the box score pages, team totals have been added to team and year pages so you can see what cumulative totals each teams' offensive and defensive squads have.

Keep an eye out for further features using this play-by-play data as the year progresses.

Posted in Announcement, Features, | 9 Comments »

NY Times: James and the Heat Put Failure Behind Them

2nd March 2012

This week in the New York Times, I take a look at LeBron James and the Miami Heat:

James and the Heat Put Failure Behind Them

Five-word summary: they are on a roll.

Posted in Announcement,, New York Times | 2 Comments »