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Archive for January, 2010

Fan Loyalty, 2000-2010

19th January 2010

Here's a question that's sure to spark debate: Which NBA teams have the most loyal fans?

Well, to answer that, first you have to define how you want to measure "loyalty" in a fan base. I think we'd all agree that it's easy to come out and support the team when they're winning, but what about making the trip to the arena and dropping x amount of cash to see a demonstrably lousy team lose again and again? Irrational or not, a lot of sports fans would call that kind of behavior the mark of a true die-hard, the kind of rooter against whom we all measure our own love for our favorite teams. Obviously, this is an oversimplification -- you can fervently support a team without necessarily going to games, especially if you're not living in the same area as that team -- but the assumption remains that a team's support "at home" will track with their fandom "abroad", that the two are strongly correlated. Maybe this isn't true, but for our purposes here it's a lot easier to track attendance than it is to go out and poll people in Nevada about their support for the Lakers. So we'll go with arena attendance as a proxy for team support.

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Posted in Statgeekery | 17 Comments »

Support Basketball-Reference.com, Sponsor a Page

18th January 2010

Sponsoring a page is fun, fast, and easy way to support what we're doing here at Basketball-Reference. With a sponsorship, you can:

  • Show your support for your favorite player or team.
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  • Make your voice heard by the tens of thousands of people who visit Basketball-Reference every day.

Here's all you have to do to get involved:

  1. Create a membership account.
  2. Find the page(s) you'd like to support, and click "sponsor" (available pages).
  3. If the page you want is already sponsored, click "Alert Me!" to be informed when the current sponsorship expires.
  4. Follow the instructions to create your message and make your payment.
  5. Your message and links will be visible on the page after we approve them (usually in less than 24 hours).

And who knows, if you're clever enough, your message might end up on lists like these.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off

BBR Rankings: 2010-01-15

15th January 2010

Rising: Hawks (W-BOS, L-@ORL, W-@BOS, W-WAS), Jazz (L-@MEM, W-@DAL, W-MIA, W-CLE)
Falling: Clippers (W-MIA, L-@MEM, L-@NOH), Raptors (W-@PHI, L-BOS, L-@IND)

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first... "MLE" = Maximum Likelihood Estimate.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 1 Comment »

Alternatives to the BBR Rankings: The Maximum Likelihood Method

13th January 2010

If you didn't catch it the first time around (since I know all of you read the PFR Blog now that I occasionally post over there), I highly recommend that you check out this series of posts that Doug Drinen wrote about various computer ranking systems and the methods behind them:

A very simple ranking system (If you ever wondered where the ubiquitous SRS comes from, this is it)
Another ranking system
Another rating system: maximum likelihood

That last link is the topic I wanted to talk about today.

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Posted in Statgeekery | 8 Comments »

High-Peak vs. Consistent Stars, Part II

11th January 2010

Last week, I attempted to replicate an old Bill James study on high-peak (since people apparently don't like the word "peaky") vs. consistent pitching aces, adapting it to basketball. The goal was to see whether a team would expect to win more championships over a 20-year span with a guy whose peak was fast and meteoric -- but whose decline was just as abrupt and total -- or a guy whose career slowly built to become a solid star, never contending for MVP but performing at a high level for a long time. To accomplish this, I took real-world data and built a composite player for each type of All-Star, each with the same number of career Win Shares, and then ran a Monte Carlo simulation of 10,000 careers, tallying how many times each player won a title when surrounded by average teammates. The results were that the consistent player won a ring slightly more often in his career, which contradicted James' findings in baseball, but the # of rings/season for each type was so negligibly different that there was an advantage of just 0.011 championships per 20-year career for Mr. Consistency, not enough to make any difference for real players.

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Posted in Statgeekery, Win Shares | 14 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2010-01-08

8th January 2010

Rising: New Orleans (W-HOU, W-@UTA, W-@OKC), Boston (W-TOR, W-@MIA)
Falling: Sacramento (L-@LAL, L-DAL, L-PHO), Miami (L-CHA, W-ATL, L-BOS)

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Rankings | 10 Comments »

Layups: Name the Playoff Rosters

8th January 2010

Here an epic series of Sporcle quizzes I made:

  • Can you name the players who played in the postseason for every NBA champion from 1994-09?
  • Can you name the players who played in the postseason for every NBA champion from 1977-93?
  • Can you name the players who played in the postseason for every NBA champion from 1960-76?
  • Can you name the players who played in the postseason for every NBA champion from 1950-59?
  • All I can say is, good luck!

    Posted in History, Just For Fun, Layups | 6 Comments »

    Is It Better To Be Peaky or Consistent?

    8th January 2010

    Recently I was reading Bill James' 1994 book The Politics of Glory, about the baseball hall of fame, and he devoted a chapter to the debate of Don Drysdale vs. Milt Pappas. If you're unfamiliar with the players, all you need to know is that Pappas and Drysdale had virtually identical won-loss records (209-166 for Drysdale, 209-164 for Pappas), Drysdale had an ERA+ of 121 vs. Pappas' 110, and Drysdale was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 78.4% of the vote in 1984 after 10 years on the ballot (never receiving less than 21% of the vote), while Pappas received 1.2% of the vote in 1979 and dropped off the ballot forever.

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    Posted in Statgeekery, Win Shares | 11 Comments »

    BBR News: Expanded Box Score Information

    6th January 2010

    This should probably be filed under "Things I Should Have Done a Long Time Ago", but I finally got around to expanding the information available in our box scores. Near the top of the page you will find a "Four Factors" summary for each team, along with the game's Pace Factor and each team's Offensive Rating. Also note that in each team's box score you may toggle between basic box score statistics (points, rebounds, etc.) and advanced box score statistics (offensive rating, defensive rating, etc.). Please note that the advanced box score statistics are estimates based on the game logs and are not derived from play-by-play accounts. I hope you enjoy these additions, and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement. Lastly, let me supply the answer to a question I'm sure I will get: yes, I plan to incorporate these new additions into the Player Game Finder soon.

    Posted in Announcements | 3 Comments »

    Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 2000s & Summary

    6th January 2010

    Required reading material:

    Who Are the “Inner-Circle” Hall of Famers? (Part I – Intro to Method)
    Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1950s/1960s
    Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1970s
    Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1980s
    Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1990s

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    Posted in All-Decade Teams, History, Statgeekery | 37 Comments »