Sports Reference Blog

Major Improvements to NBA Finals Box Scores

Posted by Mike Lynch on August 24, 2017

At Basketball-Reference, we have every box score in NBA history, including the playoffs. However, for many years, we don't have all statistical categories filled in in these box scores. We have recently taken a major step towards remedying this issue with our playoff box scores. We now have nearly complete box scores and series cumulative boxes for every NBA Finals series in NBA history.

One thing to bear in mind is that different statistics were introduced at various times in NBA history. Unfortunately, contemporary newspaper coverage was not always quick to start including these new categories in their box scores, making the early years of some stats difficult to unearth on a game-by-game basis. Here's a breakdown of our NBA Finals coverage of various box score statistics:

---We have scoring, FGM, FTM, FTA and PF for all NBA Finals series and games

--Our complete coverage of FGA goes back to the 1951 NBA Finals

--Our complete coverage of rebounds and assists goes back to the 1955 NBA Finals

--Our complete coverage of minutes played goes back to the 1957 NBA Finals

--Our complete coverage of offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, steals and blocks goes back to the 1974 NBA Finals (the season all of those became official statistics)

--Complete player turnover coverage goes back to the 1978 NBA Finals (the season those were first officially tracked)

--Complete 3-pt shooting coverage begins with the 1980 NBA Finals, when the Lakers and 76ers combined to make one 3-pointer in the first NBA Finals series featuring the shot

What this indicates is that we're missing a very small segment of "official" NBA Finals statistics. So please let us know if you can help fill in any of these gaps:

Missing Field Goal Attempts: Game 3 of 1947 BAA Finals, Entire 1949 BAA Finals, Games 1, 2 & 5 of 1950 NBA Finals,

Missing Assists: Game 3 of 1947 BAA Finals, Entire 1949 BAA Finals, Games 1, 2 & 5 of 1950 NBA Finals, Entire 1953 NBA Finals, Entire 1954 NBA Finals

Missing Rebounds: Entire 1953 NBA Finals, Entire 1954 NBA Finals

Missing Minutes Played: Entire 1952 NBA Finals, Entire 1953 NBA Finals, Entire 1954 NBA Finals, Entire 1956 NBA Finals

We have full coverage of all other official totals for NBA Finals game. Please let us know if you have any of the missing data. We hope you enjoy this major improvement to our NBA Finals coverage.

We'd like to thank sports research legend Pete Palmer for his help in completing this data.

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