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BBR News: More College Statistics

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 22, 2010

Thanks once again to the research of Pete Palmer — and a little clean-up work by yours truly — we now have college statistics for almost every player who played in the NBA from the 1979-80 season forward. Prior to this update we had college statistics for almost every player who was drafted from 1980 forward, plus college statistics for most all-time greats, but this update fills in many of the blanks in our database. As always, please let us know if you have any comments or questions.

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on BBR News: More College Statistics

BBR Mailbag: Team Age, Height, and Weight

Posted by Neil Paine on January 21, 2010

Recently I received an e-mail from a user who wanted to know what the average weight of each team was, so I decided to do one better and post the minute-weighted average ages and heights for every team as well. Just click on the column headers to sort by each category:

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Posted in BBR Mailbag | 5 Comments »

2010 APBRmetric All-Stars

Posted by Neil Paine on January 21, 2010

Tonight's the night we'll finally know this year's All-Star starters -- and if the balloting updates are any indication, we'll be seeing monsieurs Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson occupying 2 of the coveted slots after a great deal of, um, questionable fan support. Even Ray Allen, himself going through a down year by conventional numbers, spoke out about how messed up it is for the fans to vote in players who have no business being All-Stars. On the other hand, I have no doubt that this situation will be magically rectified by the league before tonight's announcement. I mean, you don't really think they'd let McGrady start, do you? How embarrassing would that be?

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Posted in All-Star Game, Analysis | 10 Comments »

Layups: ’73 Sixers Rooting for 2010 Nets to Win

Posted by Neil Paine on January 20, 2010

From, are the 1972-73 Sixers the bizarro version of the '72 Miami Dolphins on the playing surface and off? The so-called "worst team of all time" (or at least the team with the worst record) is actually rooting for their pathetic new challengers, this year's Nets, to win games and not claim their dubious record. Even weirder, they're doing it for selfish reasons:

"For me, as an inconsequential sports marketer, who at the time was just starting out, it is my Cal Ripken," [Andy] Dolich said. "I will be the saddest person in the country if they break this record."

Apparently you can build a career by being associated with the worst team in NBA history. Who knew?

Posted in Layups | 1 Comment »

Fan Loyalty, 2000-2010

Posted by Neil Paine on January 19, 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, Sponsor a Page

Posted by Neil Paine on January 18, 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 | Comments Off on Support, Sponsor a Page

BBR Rankings: 2010-01-15

Posted by Neil Paine on January 15, 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

Posted by Neil Paine on January 13, 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

Posted by Neil Paine on January 11, 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

Posted by Neil Paine on January 8, 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.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 10 Comments »