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Archive for March, 2010

Support Basketball-Reference.com, Sponsor a Page

15th March 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:

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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).
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  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

CBB: NCAA Tournament First Impressions

15th March 2010

Note: This post was originally published at College Basketball Reference, S-R's brand-new College Hoops site, so when you're done reading, go over and check it out!

Some random thoughts on the 2010 bracket...

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Posted in NCAA | 6 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2010-03-12

12th March 2010

Rising: Bobcats (W-LAL, W-GSW, W-MIA, W-@PHI), Bucks (W-@WAS, W-CLE, W-BOS), Thunder (W-@LAC, W-@SAC, W-NOH)
Falling: Raptors (W-NYK, L-PHI, L-@LAL, L-@SAC), Bulls (L-DAL, L-UTA, L-@ORL), Celtics (W-@PHI, W-WAS, L-@MIL, L-MEM)

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

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Posted in BBR Rankings | Comments Off

Changing the Culture II

11th March 2010

Note: This post was originally published at College Basketball Reference, S-R's brand-new College Hoops site. All of the data used here can be found at S-R/CBB, so when you're done reading, go over and check it out!

On Tuesday, I kicked off our CBB/BBR cross-posting series by looking at coaches who "changed the culture" of a program, guys whose winning percentages at a school far exceeded its mark before they arrived. The usual suspects were at the top of the list (John Wooden, Jim Calhoun, etc.), and so was John Calipari for his performance at UMass during the 90s. Trouble is, did Coach Cal really change the Minutemen forever? Or, as BBR reader "Downpuppy" put it:

"UMass is on the list twice, but both times the culture snapped back to mediocrity pretty quick."

OK, so maybe a "culture change" has to extend beyond the coach's actual tenure with the school, and also into the tenures of later coaches, who build on their successor's changes to take the school to new heights. After all, it's not really a true culture change if the program only loses the stench of mediocrity for 5 years while a coach uses the school as a stepping stone to his next gig.

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Posted in NCAA | 5 Comments »

Team Similarity Scores, Again

10th March 2010

This is another stab at something I've worked on for years -- the idea is to take the performance for each team in the Four Factors, and find teams with similar profiles in the past to determine how teams of that ilk eventually do in the playoffs. Here's the methodology:

  1. Calculate the Four Factors for each team on offense and defense (technically, I guess that would make it Eight Factors, but whatever).
  2. Calculate the Z-score for each team's factors by subtracting the league average and dividing by the league's standard deviation.
  3. Compute the difference between the two teams' z-scores and square it... Do this for all 8 factors.
  4. Add the squared differences together, weighted by the following: Offensive & defensive eFG% --> 0.2 each; offensive & defensive TOV% --> 0.125 each; offensive & defensive ORB% --> 0.1 each; offensive & defensive FT rate --> 0.075 each.

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Posted in Data Dump, Statgeekery | 14 Comments »

CBB: Changing the Culture

9th March 2010

Note: This post was originally published at College Basketball Reference, S-R's brand-new College Hoops site. All of the data used here can be found at S-R/CBB, so when you're done reading, go over and check it out!

In the media, you often hear about certain players or coaches "changing the culture" of a program, ostensibly meaning they fostered a new atmosphere in the locker room, installed a new playing style, or gave their players newfound confidence in themselves. But has anyone measured which coaches "changed the culture" of a school's hoops program the most?

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Posted in NCAA, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

Thoughts On the 2010 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

8th March 2010

MIT SSACOn Saturday, I had the distinct honor and privilege of attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, where a virtual "who's who" of basketball analysts were on hand to listen to panelists that ranged from Daryl Morey, Mark Cuban, and Kevin Pritchard to John Hollinger, Dean Oliver, and even Bill Simmons. It was such a great experience and a thrill to meet many of my fellow APBRmetricians, so here are some of my hoops-related impressions from the conference:

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Posted in General, Statgeekery | 14 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2010-03-05

5th March 2010

Rising: Mavs (W-@ATL, W-NOH, W-@CHA, W-MIN), Grizzlies (L-CHA, W-@NYK, L-POR, W-@NOH, W-@CHI), Kings (W-UTA, W-LAC, L-@OKC, W-@HOU)
Falling: Bulls (W-POR, L-@IND, L-ATL, L-MEM), Pistons (L-@DEN, L-@GSW, L-BOS, L-@NYK), Raptors (L-CLE, L-@OKC, L-@HOU)

(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 »

The Most Dominant Teams of All Time

3rd March 2010

Who is the most dominant team in NBA history? That sounds like a straightforward enough question -- most fans would ask themselves which team "felt" the most dominant -- but if you want an objective answer, it's difficult to approach because "dominance" can be defined in a number of ways.

For instance, in his book "Dominance", Eddie Epstein wanted to answer this exact question for historical NFL teams, so he settled on a method of comparing each team's basic performance metrics (points scored/allowed & yards gained/allowed) to the league average and accounting for competitive balance by using Z-scores (standard deviations above avg.). This yielded a group of teams that you can't really argue with -- 1958 Colts, 1972 Dolphins, 1985 Bears, etc. -- but if we apply the same standard to NBA stats, we consistently end up with an interesting result at or near the top of the list:

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 165 Comments »

Most Competitive Series, Part II

3rd March 2010

On Monday I looked at the most competitive playoff series of all-time by the point differentials of the games, and I got some good feedback from readers about how to more accurately capture the "competitiveness index" of a series. Chief among the suggestions was what to do with overtime games, especially in light of the way Boston & Chicago's epic series last spring was perhaps being underrated by my initial metric. My favorite suggestion was that we simply count the point margin at the end of regulation time, which sets the margin of an OT game at 0 no matter what the final score was. I liked this because it was directly comparing apples to apples -- point differential at the end of regulation for both games that went into OT and games that didn't -- instead of forcing OT games to remain close for another 5 (or more) minutes. Also, I made the arbitrary choice to average raw point differential per game for each series rather than squared differentials, since it seemed like one blowout was being unfairly punished in an otherwise-close series. The results of these modifications are as follows:

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Posted in History, Statgeekery | 6 Comments »