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Archive for December, 2010

Layups: Play Connect 4 With the NBA on ESPN

13th December 2010

For those who played their share of Connect Four growing up, ESPN Arcade gives you a chance to take on either Stuart Scott, Jeff Van Gundy, Amare Stoudemire, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash or Brandon Jennings in the classic Milton Bradley game.

Be warned, though: all of these guys are apparently world-class Connect 4 players. And they will taunt you when they win. Which will be often.

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups | 4 Comments »

Site Features: Check Out the Play Index!

10th December 2010

This is just a quick reminder for everyone to check out the Basketball-Reference Play Index. In case you don't already know about the PI, it's a set of research tools that allow you to create customizable queries on our database, save the results, and share them with others. With the PI, you can:

  • Use the Player Season Finder to search through all NBA, ABA, & BAA players' regular season and playoff statistics for performances that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Game Finder to search through NBA players' regular season and playoff game logs (since 1986-87) for games matching your criteria.
  • Use the Head-to-Head Finder to search for games in which two selected players played against each other.
  • Search for player and team consecutive-game streaks that match your criteria using the Streak Finders.
  • Search for team performances that meet your criteria with the Team Season Finder and Team Game Finder.
  • Use the Draft Finder to search through every NBA/BAA draft for picks that match your criteria.
  • Use the Player Comparison Finder to compare the stats of up to four players through (or in) a given season.

And best of all, these features are 100% free to use!

So go ahead, give them a try, and you'll wonder how you ever got along without them.

Posted in Announcements, Play Index, Site Features | 12 Comments »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (December 10, 2010)

10th December 2010

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on December 9, 2010:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 13 Comments »

NY Times: Why the Knicks Are Winning

9th December 2010

The title says it all:

Keeping Score: Why the Knicks Are Winning

Look for the column in Friday's print edition as well.

Posted in NY Times | 2 Comments »

Kobe & the Percentage of a Team’s Points Produced

8th December 2010

I was messing around with the database this morning, and I decided to check out the 2010-11 leaders in the percentage of team points produced by a player while he's on the court:

Player Year Age Tm G MP PProd PProd%
Kobe Bryant 2011 32 LAL 21 697.0 537.1 34.0%
Russell Westbrook 2011 22 OKC 22 823.0 580.0 33.6%
LeBron James 2011 26 MIA 22 816.0 547.3 32.3%
Derrick Rose 2011 22 CHI 18 698.0 461.8 32.2%
Eric Gordon 2011 22 LAC 20 751.0 464.8 31.0%
Deron Williams 2011 26 UTA 22 832.0 525.9 30.6%
Devin Harris 2011 27 NJN 20 631.0 365.2 30.4%
Kevin Durant 2011 22 OKC 18 719.0 453.0 30.1%
Dwyane Wade 2011 29 MIA 21 737.0 456.4 29.8%
Steve Nash 2011 36 PHO 19 646.0 423.5 29.4%
Carmelo Anthony 2011 26 DEN 20 694.0 448.5 29.3%
Chris Paul 2011 25 NOH 20 688.0 391.8 28.8%
Amare Stoudemire 2011 28 NYK 22 811.0 519.2 28.8%
Dirk Nowitzki 2011 32 DAL 21 757.0 445.8 28.7%
Kevin Martin 2011 27 HOU 21 678.0 420.4 28.5%
Blake Griffin 2011 21 LAC 22 792.0 445.5 28.1%
Rodney Stuckey 2011 24 DET 21 684.0 369.1 28.1%
Kevin Love 2011 22 MIN 21 721.0 428.4 28.0%
Brandon Jennings 2011 21 MIL 20 705.0 369.2 27.8%
Monta Ellis 2011 25 GSW 21 832.0 489.9 27.8%

No doubt that this has been a good season so far for Kobe, but if he's producing 34% of L.A.'s points at age 32 on a team with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, & co., what must his % have been around 2006 or so, when he was lining up with guys like Smush Parker and Brian Cook?

Curious, I dialed up the post-1977 single-season leaders in this stat:

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Posted in Analysis, History, Just For Fun, Statgeekery | 93 Comments »

BBR Mailbag: Most One-Dimensional Players

7th December 2010

Here's a quick mailbag from "Imadogg", who writes:

"I was wondering who the best 'one-sided' players of all time are. For example, when thinking of the best offensive players ever, a name like Jordan or Wilt might come to mind, but no one would dare call them one-sided or only offense. On the other hand, when I think of Steve Nash, I think of perfection on one side of the ball and nothing at all on the other. On defense, guys like Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, or Dikembe Mutombo come to mind as amazing defenders who you would prefer never to give the ball to."

Imadogg went on to suggest looking at the percentage of a player's Win Shares devoted to offense vs. defense, so I'm going to take that approach when determining the most "one-dimensional" players in post-1952 NBA history.

I should note, one issue with using Win Shares is that they can sometimes be negative, which totally wreaks havoc on an exercise like this. But as a kludge, I just zeroed out the negative OWS/DWS, and took the percentage of those totals devoted to each side of the ball.

Among players with 10,000 career minutes, here are the players most extremely biased toward offense:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Win Shares | 35 Comments »

Layups: NCAA-Record 19 Grinnell Players Hit 3-Pointers in a Game

3rd December 2010

This layup comes courtesy of S-R president Sean Forman, who wanted me to give a shout-out to his alma mater Grinnell College for setting an NCAA record -- namely, the record for most players to make at least one 3-pointer in a single game. They had 19 different guys make a three in their 137-103 rout of Faith Baptist Bible College, going 29-for-88 from downtown in the game. Apparently they had the record in sight at halftime:

"The Pioneers play a rotation with three shifts of five players, and shift changes on the first whistle after 35 seconds. Ahead 88-38 at the half, [Grinnell coach David] Arseneault told his team to go for the record.

'Nobody in the stands knew what we were doing,' he said. 'There were times when someone would have a wide-open layup and then just dribble past the basket and pass the ball out. People were looking at us like, "What is he doing?"'"

Posted in Layups, NCAA | 5 Comments »

Best Games Against a Team You Played For Last Season (1987-2010)

3rd December 2010

Facing his former team in Cleveland last night, LeBron James played like his vintage Cavs-era self, pouring in 38 points on 15-25 shooting with 8 assists in 30 minutes. That had me wondering, where did James' performance rank among historical instances of a player facing his ex-'mates the season after he left town?

So I ran a database query on all games since 1987 where a player was facing a team he had played for the previous season. And for the performance metric of choice, I want to introduce an adjusted plus/minus-based game score-style metric called "APMVAL". I basically ran an intercept-free regression between APM value over replacement (minutes * (APM + 6)) and raw box score totals, coming up with this formula:

APMVAL = 45*pts - 35*tsa + 18*reb + 30*ast + 72*stl + 41*blk - 75*tov - 39*pf

The best APMVAL game of the overall 1987-2010 period was Michael Jordan's 69-point outburst vs. Cleveland in 1990 (Kobe's 81-point game was 2nd). Here were the best games against a player's former team in the first season after his departure:

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Posted in Analysis, History, Statgeekery, Statistical +/- | 15 Comments »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (December 3, 2010)

3rd December 2010

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on December 2, 2010:

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Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 18 Comments »

NY Times: Who Is the N.B.A.’s Best Point Guard?

2nd December 2010

Here is this week's offering for the New York Times:

Keeping Score: Who Is the N.B.A.’s Best Point Guard?

I think the answer is obvious, but Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, among others, disagree:

With so many good guards, the NBA could be in somewhat of a golden age for the position. ABC/ESPN analysts Jeff Van Gundy, brother of Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson debated the merits of the position Wednesday night and concluded that the NBA’s deepest position is now at the point.

And the top fives for Jackson (1. Deron Williams; 2. Chris Paul; 3. Derrick Rose; 4. Rajon Rondo; 5. Russell Westbrook) and Van Gundy (1. Deron Williams; 2. Chris Paul; 3. Rajon Rondo; 4. Steve Nash; 5. Derrick Rose/Russell Westbrook/Chauncey Billups/Tony Parker) featured a lot of the same names.

As usual, my column will also appear in Friday's print edition.

Posted in NY Times | 31 Comments »