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BBR Rankings: 2009-12-25

Posted by Neil Paine on December 25, 2009

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday, and I really hope you're all ready for the games today, including the two marquee matchups -- #2 Orlando hosting #3 Boston, and the #1 Lakers vs. the #4 Cavs at Staples -- as well as #9 Denver @ #10 Portland at 10:30 PM ET. So sit back, relax, enjoy the coverage, and we'll be back on Monday to bring you the 1980s Inner-Circle HoFers... Until then, peace.

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first.)

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Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1970s

Posted by Neil Paine on December 21, 2009

Required reading material:

Who Are the “Inner-Circle” Hall of Famers? (Part I – Intro to Method)
Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1950s/1960s

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Posted in Hall of Fame, History, Statgeekery | 60 Comments »

Layups: Highlights of Pettit, Baylor, and Other Underrated Stars

Posted by Neil Paine on December 18, 2009

Apropos of the Inner-Circle HoFers mentioned today, here's a mix featuring Pettit and Baylor at first, then John Havlicek, Rick Barry, Dan Issel, Bobby Jones, and Dennis Johnson:

Kblaze Forgotten Legends
Uploaded by Pred21. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

Posted in Layups, YouTube Finds | 5 Comments »

Inner-Circle Hall of Famers: 1950s/1960s

Posted by Neil Paine on December 18, 2009

8001039111761_Classic_BasketballPer the methodology outlined here, I now present your Inner-Circle Hall of Famers from the 1950s and 1960s... But first, remember the rules: the player had to play 10 years combined in the NBA or ABA (with 1 exception, which I'll explain below) and had to rank as one of the 4 best players of their decade in terms of both "media" and "stats" points. By popular demand, I dropped the requirement that a player had to win a championship to be included in the "Inner Circle", instead requiring them to be the best player on an NBA Finalist. This small change allows for the inclusion of players like Elgin Baylor, a legitimate legend who did not technically win a title despite coming extraordinarily close on a number of occasions. Also, be forewarned that I gerrymandered the "decades" slightly to include the highest possible % of the top 20 overall players by 10-year percentage scores, so in this edition Bill Russell is listed in the 1950s even though the majority of his years came in the 60s, in order to include Baylor in the 1960s. This happened two times in the process: once in the 80s/90s, and once here, with Russell/Baylor.

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Posted in Hall of Fame, History, Statgeekery | 30 Comments »

BBR Rankings: 2009-12-18

Posted by Neil Paine on December 18, 2009

I have the day off today and we have the Inner-Circle players from the 50s and 60s coming up this afternoon, so these rankings are a little later than usual and without the usual write-up... Another administrative note: I will be publishing these rankings next week as well, on Christmas morning -- I wasn't kidding when I said every Friday from late November until the end of the season!

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first. Also, mouse over column headers for descriptions.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 2 Comments »

Layups: Try the Medal Finder at SR’s Olympics Site

Posted by Justin Kubatko on December 17, 2009

With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games right around the corner, I have been spending some time working on SR's Olympics site. That said, today I would like to announce the launch of SR's Olympic Medal Finder. Try it out and let us know what you think. (To make this post basketball-related, here is a list of the most-decorated basketball players in Olympic history.)

Posted in Layups | 3 Comments »

Who Are the “Inner-Circle” Hall of Famers? (Part I – Intro to Method)

Posted by Neil Paine on December 16, 2009

7491578  Wizards v PacersWhenever Hall of Fame arguments come up, especially in baseball, I have a tendency to tune out from the sheer tediousness of the typical debate. On one side, there's always an arrogant guy who saw many of Player X's games and "knows" he's a Hall of Famer, so he cites other, lesser players who are already in the Hall (as though that were somehow evidence Player X should be in), brings up a couple of memorable career moments, and generally fudges on borderline issues to make the player seem better than he actually was. On the opposing side, another equally narcissistic guy splits hairs about the "magic numbers" Player X failed to reach, denigrates his career because A) if he won titles, he didn't have enough individual honors; or B) if he had a lot of individual honors, he didn't win enough titles. Throw in a few unsubstantiated jabs at Player X's character and/or manhood, and then start the whole process over again -- how fun.

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Posted in Hall of Fame, History, Statgeekery, Statistical +/-, Win Shares | 35 Comments »

Is Simmons Right About Russ & Wilt’s Supporting Casts?

Posted by Neil Paine on December 14, 2009

bball_ref_backgroundOne of the long-held NBA aphorisms used to explain the gulf in championships between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, arguably the two greatest centers of all time (OK, Kareem & Shaq might dispute this notion, but that's another argument for another day), is the idea that Russell played on Celtics teams stacked to the rafters with All-Star and/or Hall of Fame talent, while Chamberlain suited up with lesser teammates who held him back. Certainly that's the impression you'll get from our Quality of Teammates post, where we found that Russell played with the 10th-most talented set of teammates (weighted by career minutes played) of any player in NBA history, while Chamberlain's teammates were average at best, and hardly spectacular like Russell's.

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Posted in Analysis, History | 13 Comments »

Layups: NYT on Bogut’s Cheering Section, MIT Conference

Posted by Neil Paine on December 14, 2009

Off the Dribble, the New York Times' NBA blog, is a good read for hoops fans everywhere, and they a had couple of interesting posts last week... First, here's Fred Bierman on Bucks C Andrew Bogut's incentive to increase fan enthusiasm in Milwaukee:

"[Bogut] bought 100 lower-level seats for every home game and gave them to fans who he was certain would raise the decibel level at the Bradley Center. [...] Each fan essentially agrees to stand and cheer from tip-off to the final buzzer, and attendance is mandatory; miss too many games and you will lose your free seat. So far, no one has been removed."

Also, Howard Beck posted about the growing popularity of the M.I.T. Sloan Sports Analytics Conference:

"... the [analytic] movement’s signature event has grown so large that sponsors are moving it off-campus for its third edition, on March 6. It will be held at a Boston convention center. 'We outgrew every building at M.I.T.,' Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets’ general manager, said proudly. Morey, the event’s co-chairman, said he is expecting 800 people — up from 300 in 2009 and 150 in 2008, the event’s inaugural year. The number of panel discussions has nearly doubled, to 15."

Be sure to sign up for the conference now, and I'll see you there at "Dorkapalooza 2010"!

Posted in Layups | 1 Comment »

BBR Rankings: 2009-12-11

Posted by Neil Paine on December 11, 2009

7603112_Cavaliers_v_Magic_Gm3TGIF everybody, mainly because it's time for another edition of the BBR Rankings... Orlando holds down the top spot for the second straight week, but by a razor-thin margin over a surging L.A. Lakers squad that went 3-0 over the past 7 days. Meanwhile, Boston and Atlanta flip-flopped #3 & #4 after the Hawks lost to the Knicks last Friday, and the top 5 is rounded out by the Phoenix Suns, #1 in our "poll" 2 weeks ago. Dallas dropped out of the top 5 after spending the first 3 rankings at #5 following an ugly loss at Memphis a week ago, while Chicago's 0-4 week sent them sliding down 6 spots to #19. And on the rising side, Denver climbed into the Top 10 again after splitting their 4-game stretch of road games on the week, while Detroit's sizzling 4-0 week propelled them to #16 in this edition of the rankings.

(Want to know how the BBR Rankings are calculated? Read this first. Also, mouse over column headers for descriptions.)

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Posted in BBR Rankings | 11 Comments »

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