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Biggest Differences Between a Player’s Best & Second-Best Seasons

Posted by Neil Paine on October 5, 2010

This is a quick hit-n-run/data dump post, but I was listening to Mike Pesca's trivia question on the Hang Up & Listen podcast, and I was curious about the NBA equivalent...

The question was: "Among NFL receivers with more than 12 TDs in a season, who has the biggest difference between their best seasonal TD total and their 2nd-best seasonal TD total?" The NFL answers are, according to the Hang Up Facebook page, Elroy Hirsch, Braylon Edwards (for now), and Patrick Jeffers.

My NBA equivalent would be: "Among NBA players with 10 Win Shares in a season, who has the biggest difference between their best season and their 2nd-best season?" The answer, after the jump...

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, History, Win Shares | 4 Comments »

Layups: Pro Basketball Prospectus 2011 Is Here!

Posted by Neil Paine on October 5, 2010

I always like to make sure you guys are on the cutting edge of NBA analysis, which not only means providing our own statgeekery here at the BBR Blog, but also linking to any and all external sources of APBRmetric knowledge... That's why I feel it's my duty to urge you to check out Pro Basketball Prospectus 2010-11, available for digitial download at BBPro's site now (and hard copy next week).

Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle always do great work at the Prospectus website, and their annuals carry that tradition over into book form. Five years after John Hollinger wrote his last hard-copy version of the Pro Basketball Forecast, the PBP series is the only annual I'd pick to fill that void in my bookshelf. It's also the only book that I literally carry with me to NBA games -- seriously, ask Justin, he can confirm that I do this. PBP contains tons of advanced stats, scouting reports, skill ratings, and tendencies for every projected NBA regular, making it an invaluable resource to me as I'm watching games.

Simply put, if you love detailed, sophisticated NBA analysis, and you want a companion book for the 2011 season, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy.

Posted in Consumer Testimonials, Layups | 1 Comment »

Layups: Hollinger’s Profiles Are Here!

Posted by Neil Paine on October 4, 2010

Following up on last week's missive re: John Hollinger's team reports, I feel like I should also link the fact that Hollinger's 2011 player profiles are now available on as well (unfortunately, also "Insider" only). Don't let all the PER love fool you -- JH knows the game and has some good insights about player strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies.

Posted in Layups, Season Preview | Comments Off on Layups: Hollinger’s Profiles Are Here!

Layups: What If the 2011 Celtics Had a Time Machine?

Posted by Neil Paine on October 4, 2010

I somehow missed this the first time around, so consider this a Retro-Layup...

Even though they're a little creaky, and missing Kendrick Perkins, we can probably agree that the Boston Celtics are still going to be a decent basketball team this season. But over at Basketball Prospectus, Marc Normandin wondered what would happen if we transported the members of the 2011 Celtics back to their collective prime...

In other words, think about who is on the Celtics right now, and then think about who they used to be. Kevin Garnett was one of the greatest players of all time at his peak. Ditto Shaq. Ray Allen & Paul Pierce were "alpha dogs" of their own teams. Jermaine O'Neal was a stud big man (10.5 Win Shares in 2003). Heck, even Rasheed Wallace and Michael Finley, who are no longer Celtics but were at the time of Normandin's post, used to be stars. The only question is, has any veteran-laden team had more latent talent than this summer's Celtics (pre-Sheed/Finley departures)?

Posted in Layups | 14 Comments »

Comparing the Different Versions of “Assist Rate”

Posted by Neil Paine on October 1, 2010

In the realm of APBRmetrics, perhaps no stat has as many alternate versions (many under essentially the same confusingly interchangeable name) as "Assist Ratio/Rate". All theoretically attempt to measure passing ability, but each version has its own quirks and biases. Today I want to compare all of the versions I can think of, and show a leaderboard (minimum 500 MP) for each to get a better feel for what each is measuring, starting with...

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio

(Assists / Turnovers)

The granddaddy of all assist-based rate stats, this metric is a mainstay whenever the mainstream media is trying to assess ballhandling and/or passing ability. Obviously it assumes that the positive value of an assist is equal in magnitude to the negative value of a turnover, which isn't necessarily true, and from a functional perspective it rewards turnover avoidance more than passing because as long as you keep the denominator low, even a few cheap assists will give you a decent ATO. While its ease of calculation has made it popular, you can see some of ATO's extreme flaws by looking at the 2009-10 positional leaders:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Statgeekery | 11 Comments »

Layups: NBA 2K11 Ratings

Posted by Neil Paine on September 29, 2010

I'm admittedly a little behind the curve here, but I thought I'd throw some linkage to the player ratings for NBA 2K11 (which, as I was informed by a GameStop rep via phone-call several minutes ago, comes out midnight next Monday). Lots to disagree with there, so let me know in the comments what 2K's most egregious mistakes were... Also, for an alternate take, check out this blog where "Rashidi" offers his own (more reasonable) ratings. Happy gaming!

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups, No Math Required | 75 Comments »

Server Downtime – Wednesday Morning

Posted by Neil Paine on September 28, 2010

Just a quick note to let everyone know there will be a brief site downtime at 4AM EST tomorrow morning. As always, send us an e-mail if you have any questions or comments, and hopefully everything will go smoothly with minimal inconvenience to all.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Server Downtime – Wednesday Morning

Layups: Basketball Prospectus on Possible Summer Busts

Posted by Neil Paine on September 28, 2010

For every bargain pickup in today's NBA, there's always going to be another player whose weak performance bears little connection to his outsized salary. A few weeks ago, we linked to Marc Normandin's Basketball Prospectus article about potential summer steals, so it's only fitting that we link again to his follow-up: offseason acquisitions whose compensation is not commensurate with their SCHOENE projections.

Posted in Layups, Projections | Comments Off on Layups: Basketball Prospectus on Possible Summer Busts

Layups: Hollinger’s Forecasts Are Here! (2010-11 Edition)

Posted by Neil Paine on September 27, 2010

The equivalent of Christmas morning amongst hoops stat-wonks, it's the annual unveiling of John Hollinger's NBA previews over at ESPN. And I'm sure the player comments are not far behind, either... Unfortunately, people who aren't ESPN "Insiders" don't seem to be able to access JH's stuff, which is sad -- but I guess the man has to make a living, just like the rest of us. And for those lucky enough to have Insider, enjoy.

Posted in Layups, Season Preview | 14 Comments »

Support, Sponsor a Page

Posted by Neil Paine on September 27, 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.
  • Drum up traffic for your own site & draw in fans with a common interest.
  • Get some well-deserved recognition for your support of BBR.
  • 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, Site Features | Comments Off on Support, Sponsor a Page