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Archive for November, 2009

’10 Nets vs. ’99 Clippers vs. ’89 Heat

30th November 2009

78909111111_Sixers_at_NetsLongtime readers of the BBR blog will know that, going into the 2009-10 campaign, two teams had opened the NBA season with 17 consecutive losses: the 1988-89 Miami Heat (an expansion team) and the 1998-99 L.A. Clippers (whose ignominious streak came in February and early March, thanks to the lockout). Well, move over guys, because this year's Nets are not just "in your neighborhood" or "on your block" (or whatever Mercury Morris calls it)... they're on your front porch. After predictably falling to the Lakers in L.A. last night, New Jersey has now lost their 17th straight contest to start the year, tying the Heat and Clips' all-time mark for season-opening futility -- and with the Dallas Mavericks (#5 in last week's BBR Rankings) on tap in their next game, there's a good chance we'll see an infamous kind of history made Wednesday night.

So in anticipation of New Jersey's "must-win" vs. the Mavs, let's see how their team stacks up against the other two teams whose record they're desperately trying not to break:

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Posted in Analysis, History | 5 Comments »

Layups: Four Factors Adjusted +/-

28th November 2009

Here's a really interesting development on the adjusted plus-minus front... Hoopnumbers, whose work with APM has been noted by us in the past, now has 3-year weighted APM scores for 2008-09 that break down every player's impact in each of Dean Oliver's Four Factors on both offense and defense. So now you can finally see that, for instance, Steve Nash increased his team's effective FG% more than any other player, or that Trevor Ariza was the best at increasing the opponent's rate of turnovers per possession. Very cool stuff.

Posted in Layups, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

BBR Rankings: 2009-11-27

27th November 2009

7493226_Suns_v_WizardsHopefully everyone had a fun, happy, and restful holiday yesterday, and maybe you were even able to ward off the tryptophan long enough take in the two games last night, including a showdown between #1 and #8 in last week's BBR Rankings. After that matchup, we have some changes at the top of the "poll", so let's dive right in and take a look at how the teams rank this week...

(If you want to know how the rankings are calculated, read this first.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 6 Comments »

Layups: Happy Thanksgiving

26th November 2009

Meleagris_gallopavo_Wild_TurkeyNo basketball-related post or links today, just a Sporcle quiz on turkeys... Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

(Fine, if you really want a Turkey Day post on hoops, last year we ran one on the best Thanksgiving Day performances since 1986... You can add Dwight Howard to that rebounding list, too, because he pulled down 14 vs. Washington last year. And if you want an Iverson fix, we ran a Keltner List on A.I. back in late February, which turned out to encompass all but the final few games of his career.)

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups | 1 Comment »

Layups: Periodic Table of Blazers

23rd November 2009

The Trail Blazers blog Bust a Bucket was thinking about team chemistry recently, and what better way to work on some chemistry problems than to break out the old periodic table? Okay, not this one... This one:

"We narrowed it down to 108 of the most influential Blazers ever. However, keep the following disclaimers in mind: (1) We only included players that were on a Blazers roster for more than one season (sorry, Jim Barnett fan), (2) We included the front office and coaches (those that really mattered) and thus (3) were unable to mention every single Blazers' cubicle warrior, despite everyone's best effort to make the Portland Trail Blazers the one we've come to love and support unconditionally, just as (4) you'll have to come to support my being a die-hard Blazer fan and a big, fat, nerd.

But, this is chemistry. Regular old water? That's easy - H(2) + O - or, in this case Drexler(2) + Porter. Another example brings up three of my all-time favorite Blazers: Silver Nitrate - Ag + N + O(3), or - Aldridge + Petrovic + Porter."

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups | 3 Comments »

How Good Would Bias Have Been?

23rd November 2009

LenBiasAs you might imagine, Len Bias' name comes up quite a bit in Bill Simmons' new Book of Basketball. As a lifelong Celtics fan, I understand the emotions that surround the very mention of Bias' name -- for instance, my father was convinced Bias was going to be almost as good as Bird, and take the torch from Larry Legend as he extended the C's dynasty into the 1990s. (Instead, Reggie Lewis died, and we got Rick Pitino & Antoine Walker. Go figure.) So I can see why Bias is such a burning "what if?" for the NBA, and Celtics fans in particular, because he represents untapped potential and a posthumous legend that's only grown by leaps and bounds since his tragic demise. But I want to know -- coldly, rationally -- how good Bias could have legitimately been if we put down the green-tinted glasses: What were his college numbers like? What were people saying about him before the draft? In other words, I want to remove the James Dean aspect from the Bias story and focus solely on the facts at hand.

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Posted in History, NBA Draft | 21 Comments »

Layups: ABA Factoids

22nd November 2009

Perhaps you've heard Keith Law's name come up this week a time or two? Well, sorry to disappoint, but this link has nothing to do with his Cy Young ballot... Instead, it's a piece about the old ABA -- basically a handful of nuggets about the renegade league that changed pro hoops forever. And of course, if you like the ABA, I'd be remiss if I didn't also highly recommend Terry Pluto's Loose Balls, one of the best sports books ever written.

Posted in History, Layups | 2 Comments »

Announcement: Professional Sports Leagues Steroid Policies

20th November 2009

Sports Reference, with the help of researcher Greg Spira, is proud to present our definitive, comprehensive reference page regarding the performance-enhancing drug policies in place for various North American sports leagues/associations. In it, you'll find a list (in FAQ format) of the various PED regulations in pro sports leagues, in addition to lists of every athlete suspended under each league's policies.

We want this page to be your best source for information about steroid/PED policies in pro sports. However, pages like these are constantly growing and evolving with new information, so if you know of a policy or a suspended athlete not listed on the page, send us an e-mail and we'll be sure to include it on the site.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

BBR Rankings: 2009-11-20

20th November 2009

9450735_Heat_v_HawksOkay, it's time for the inaugural edition of the BBR Rankings, which will be coming to you every Friday from now until the end of the season. The idea behind these rankings is to rate a team's past accomplishments rather than predict what they'll do in the future -- sort of a retrodictive ranking rather than a predictive one. The Simple Rating System is the best predictor of future wins and losses because it focuses purely on point differential, filtering out the whims of lucky or unlucky performance in close games (which has been shown to have no bearing on future performance regardless of coach or players). However, it doesn't really give teams credit for wins and losses, which I feel like is the only real factor when you're looking at how impressive a team's season has been in the past.

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 9 Comments »

PI Finds: Dirk Drops Another 30+ On the Spurs Dynasty

19th November 2009

One cool thing about our Play Index is that it allows you to search for single-game performances vs. a specific team (going back to 1986-87, that is). Using the Game Finder, you can also look for the total games in a span matching a certain criteria, and you can combine that with the opponent search to come up with a list like this:

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Posted in Play Index, Site Features | 5 Comments »