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NY Times: Why Derrick Rose Should Not Win M.V.P.

Posted by Neil Paine on March 31, 2011

A general overview of the MVP race and the statistical argument against Derrick Rose:

Keeping Score: Why Derrick Rose Should Not Win M.V.P. -

You can catch it in tomorrow morning's paper as well.

And for a similar (longer) take on Rose -- albeit with a different conclusion about who the real MVP is -- John Hollinger also had a good piece at ESPN today.

Posted in Analysis, Awards, Layups, NY Times | 101 Comments »

Site Features: Check Out the Play Index!

Posted by Neil Paine on March 30, 2011

With the playoffs rapidly approaching, it's time for another reminder 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 1985-86) 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 | 7 Comments »

Best Game Scores of 1985-86

Posted by Neil Paine on March 30, 2011

Since we now have boxscore data from the 1985-86 regular season on the site, I thought it'd be fun to look at the top 50 individual single-game performances of that season according to the various "game score" metrics out there. First, here were the top games by John Hollinger's game score:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Data Dump, History, Site Features, Statgeekery | 29 Comments »

Layups: Family Over Final Four Dreams

Posted by Justin Kubatko on March 29, 2011

This is only tangentially related to the NBA, but it's one of the most moving columns I have read in a long time:

A father’s choice: Family over Final Four dreams

Fantastic work by Dan Wetzel.

Posted in Layups | 5 Comments »

Automatic Player Linker and Newsfeeds

Posted by Justin Kubatko on March 29, 2011

This is an announcement to let you know that we have added an automatic linking tool that makes it very easy for you to add links to a player's (BBR) page from your blog posts or news stories. The BBR Linker is a javascript bookmarklet that has a couple of interesting applications:

  1. If you are composing your posts in supported blogging or bulletin board software, clicking the bookmarklet will take the text you have typed and wrap every active player's name with a link to their BBR page. We are happy to add more options if the software you use is not currently supported; just let us know.
  2. If you are on a web page with player names in the text, select the text with your mouse and click the bookmarklet. After a few seconds, links to BBR pages for the player names that appear in the selected text will be automatically added.

Please see the linker page for full instructions and some areas to test the bookmarklet.

By itself this feature is pretty handy, but if you are a site owner you may want something in return for linking to Tim Duncan's or LaMarcus Aldridge's BBR page from your blog posts. We agree, so we have added a feature to return the link back to you.

This morning you may have noticed that some player pages now have a "Player News" section just above the player's stats. If you are a blog owner or author, you can use our linker to automatically have your articles added to relevant player pages. If you tag your player names with links to our site — and we can find those links in your RSS feed — we will add a link to your article on the player's page. For example, this BBR blog post on Derrick Rose is currently the first link in Rose's newsfeed.

Please read this description of the service for complete details, including the information that we need from you before you can start to see your content linked from the BBR player pages.

Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

The Unlikeliest Final Four

Posted by Neil Paine on March 28, 2011

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

Just how unlikely is this year's Final Four of Kentucky, UConn, Virginia Commonwealth, and Butler?

Well, going by one measure, the odds of it happening were 0.00003% -- only two entries (out 5.9 million) correctly picked the four teams in's Bracket Challenge. But I decided to see how this year's improbable group matched up against other inexplicable Final Fours since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Here were the Final Fours with the highest average seed # since then:

Year Team A Seed Team B Seed Team C Seed Team D Seed Avg #1s
2011 KEN 4 CONN 3 VCU 11 BUTL 8 6.50 0
2000 UNC 8 FLA 5 WISC 8 MICS 1 5.50 1
2006 GEOM 11 FLA 3 LSU 4 UCLA 2 5.00 0
1986 KAN 1 DUKE 1 LSU 11 LOU 2 3.75 2
1992 IND 2 DUKE 1 MICH 6 CIN 4 3.25 1
2010 MICS 5 BUTL 5 WVIR 2 DUKE 1 3.25 1
1985 STJO 1 GTWN 1 VILL 8 MEM 2 3.00 2
1990 ARKA 4 DUKE 3 GEOT 4 UNLV 1 3.00 1
1996 MIST 5 SYRA 4 UMAS 1 KEN 1 2.75 2
2005 LOU 4 ILL 1 MICS 5 UNC 1 2.75 2

Aside from 2011, two other years stand out at the top of the list: 2000, when two 8-seeds crashed the Final Four, and 2006, when no #1 seeds made it (but George Mason did). In terms of pre-tournament likelihood, how do those years stack up to 2011?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, History, NCAA, Statgeekery | 7 Comments »

Layups: Friday Linkage

Posted by Neil Paine on March 25, 2011

Just a collection of links I found today:

  • Brewer’s D - At The Two-Man Game, Ian Levy digs into the analytics on Corey Brewer’s defensive impact.
  • Unlikeliest triple-doubles - Basketball Prospectus’ Kevin Pelton on Chuck Hayes’ place among unlikely triple-double accumulators.
  • Gerald Wallace, Blazer numbers - Portland Roundball Society’s Django Radonich-Camp looks at the data on Wallace as a Blazer.
  • Rondo, Celts offense slumping - SI’s Point Forward takes a statistical look at Rajon Rondo & the struggling C’s offense.
  • Isos hurt Hawks - Also at BBPro, Sebastian Pruiti uses film and Synergy data to critique the Atlanta offense.
  • Lazy RPI - A shortform way to calculate RPI, courtesy of The Basketball Distribution’s Nathan Walker.
  • Regularized APM updated - Advanced Stats for the NBA updated their ridge-regression adjusted +/- ratings today.
  • RAPM MVP - At The Basketball Distribution, Nathan Walker uses the new RAPM data to see who is truly most valuable.
  • Best of the Big 10, NBA style - Harlan Schreiber of HoopsAnalyst looks at the best historical starting fives from Big Ten schools.
  • Butler’s razor-thin margin - Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal on how, win or lose, Butler rarely plays games decided by a huge margin.
  • ‘Fresh Prince’ metrics - David Roher of the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective looked at Will Smith’s usage rate from an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Posted in Layups | 8 Comments »

BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (March 25, 2011)

Posted by Neil Paine on March 25, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on March 24, 2011:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 6 Comments »

NY Times: Take Heart, Knicks Fans

Posted by Justin Kubatko on March 25, 2011

Some Knick fans seem to be convinced that their team will miss the payoffs, but it would take a collapse of epic proportions for that to happen:

Keeping Score: Take Heart, Knicks Fans

Read it in this morning's paper as well.

Posted in NY Times | 1 Comment »

BBR Mailbag: Best Records After the All-Star Break

Posted by Neil Paine on March 24, 2011

Today we have a big data dump thanks to this question from Ifeanyi:

"If the LA Lakers win the rest of their 11 games this season, that'll give them a 24-1 post all-star break record. My question to you is, what is the NBA's all time best record for regular season games played after the break?"

Including 2011 to date, here are the all-time best W-L records after the All-Star break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Mailbag, Data Dump, History, Trivia | 20 Comments »