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Archive for February, 2009

More Fun with Statistical +/-

27th February 2009

The other day, I talked at some length about "statistical plus/minus," which is just a regression of pure adjusted +/- on the conventional boxscore stats. In that post, I looked into the possibility of predicting the following season using a weighted average of the 3 previous seasons' SPM scores, but I realize that I sort of skimmed over the statistical +/- metric itself -- what are its strengths and weaknesses? What kind of players does it overrate and underrate?

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Posted in Analysis, History, Statistical +/- | 9 Comments »

Stray Thoughts on 1962

24th February 2009

Last weekend, I watched the greatest PG of all time sit down for an interview with LeBron James, and Magic eventually got around to asking LBJ whether he thought he could average a triple-double for an entire season, the way Oscar Robertson did in his mythical 1961-62 campaign (30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 11.4 APG). The King responded by saying something like, well, of course he'd like to do that, but it seems like a record that will never be broken, and maybe it's not even meant to be broken. Then they moved on to talking about more important things, like how much LBJ weighs.

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Posted in History | 45 Comments »

Layups: Name the Assist Leaders

24th February 2009

In honor of the fact that we've been "assisting" (a.k.a. "linking to") them so much lately, here's another great Sporcle quiz for you guys: Can you name the 25 leading assist men in NBA history?

Posted in Layups | 1 Comment »

Keltner List: Allen Iverson

24th February 2009

Here at the BBR blog, your wish is our command. For instance, one of our readers recently suggested that we run a Keltner List on Kevin Johnson, the Phoenix Suns' criminally underrated PG... so Justin did just that, and found that Springfield should make room for KJ in the Hall of Fame.

In the comment section of that post, another reader requested the same Keltner List treatment of Allen Iverson, whom he referred to as "one of the most over-rated basketball players of ALL TIME" (emphasis definitely not mine). So I think it's safe to assume this individual probably wouldn't appreciate seeing AI enshrined in the HoF. But is this commenter right? Is AI just an overrated ballhog who doesn't deserve to be immortalized in Springfield? Well, like I said, your wish is our command...

Note: Clearly Iverson is still an active player, but we're writing this as though he retired today and was somehow eligible... Suspend your disbelief, people.

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Posted in Keltner List | 13 Comments »

Layups: Defensive Fingerprints

23rd February 2009

Ken Pomeroy of added an incredibly cool new feature to his team pages this past week -- he calls it "defensive fingerprint", and it's an attempt to identify the primary defensive style (man-to-man or zone) of a team simply by looking at the team's tempo-free stat tendencies. It's in the early stages of development and it's nowhere near perfect, but it's another very interesting attempt to combine traditional scouting information with statistical data.

Posted in Layups | Comments Off on Layups: Defensive Fingerprints

Predicting with Statistical Plus/Minus

23rd February 2009

Surely most of our readers have heard about "adjusted plus/minus" at some time or another, whether through TrueHoop, Sports Illustrated, the APBRmetrics board, the many articles at 82games on the subject, or even Michael Lewis' article about Shane Battier in last week's New York Times Magazine. But for those of you who aren't familiar with the stat, it essentially tracks a player's influence on his team's point differential by comparing the team's performance when he's on the court vs. its performance with him sitting on the bench. There are also adjustments for a player's teammates, backups, opponents, and even the location of each game, and the whole mountain of data is fed through a massive linear regression equation to try and isolate the individual impact of every player. Personally, I believe this system has a lot of promise (especially with regard to measuring defense), and with further refinement it will one day be one of the better basketball metrics out there, so it was nice to see it get some more recognition this past week -- even though there are still some wrinkles that need to be ironed out.

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Posted in Analysis, Projections, Statistical +/- | 3 Comments »

BBR News: Playoff Probabilities Report

20th February 2009

Today I would like to introduce a new feature, BBR's Playoff Probabilities Report. The report will be updated on a daily basis from now until the end of the regular season. Although complete details will be kept under lock and key (for now), the method has been tried and tested: it was used to win the TrueHoop Stat Geek Smackdown in both 2007 and 2008.

Posted in Announcements | 7 Comments »

Layups: Shane Battier and the Box Score

20th February 2009

Carl Bialik of The Wall Street Journal has a nice follow-up to the Shane Battier article by Michael Lewis that appeared in The New York Times Magazine last weekend.

Posted in Layups | Comments Off on Layups: Shane Battier and the Box Score

Can T-Mac Bounce Back?

19th February 2009

In case you've been living under a rock or something, the word out of Houston on Tuesday night was that Rockets star Tracy McGrady is once again going to miss a large chunk of games due to injury -- in fact, T-Mac's going to need microfracture surgery and will be out for the remainder of the 2009 season. That will make for 47 missed games by the time the book closes on this year, bringing the grand total to 109 games missed by McGrady over the past 4 seasons.

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Posted in History | 4 Comments »

Keltner List: Kevin Johnson

17th February 2009

One of our commenters suggested that Kevin Johnson would be a good candidate to run through the Keltner List. Well, loyal reader, here you go...

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Posted in Keltner List | 13 Comments »