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Site Features: Check Out the Play Index!

Posted by Neil Paine on December 10, 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.

12 Responses to “Site Features: Check Out the Play Index!”

  1. mcbeef Says:

    trying to fiddle with the team season query to find out some historical precedents one-sided teams this year. the post about one-sided players got me thinking about the suns and the bucks. each have the nba's worst defense and offense respectively while each being a top team going the other way. i'm trying to find out if this kind of situation is common or are these suns and bucks unusually one sided, esp to have both in the same year, or whether defensive one-sidedness is more common to teams than offensive one sidedness

    any clues?

  2. Jared Ras Says:

    Can't find out how to do it like relative rankings (like the BBR Power Rankings), but you could use stop-gap Offensive and Defensive ratings in the Team Season Finder.

    Best Offense / Worst Defense:

    Best Defense / Worst Offense:

    Also, if there's ever a contest for the most fun stat found using the Play Index, I submit this one for total count of bad free-throw player games. Shaq is not even close to being touched!

  3. Gautam Says:

    I saw that Duncan played his 1000th regular season game. How can I find out how many of those games he won?

  4. Mike G Says:

    I love the Play Index feature; especially the Player Season Finder.

    Oftentimes, I want to sort players in a single season. I've recently discovered that when the (red) link "to" is clicked, the end season becomes the beginning season. Thus, a single season is easily selected.

    About half the time I'm sorting within a season, it's for the current (or most recent) season. How about a 'current season' link?

    Another feature, the Player Comparison Finder, is very nice. It selects up to 4 players; a single season, or a whole career through any given season. How hard would it be to have the option of selecting a start year and an end year for selection? For example, age 24 through age 28.

  5. P Middy Says:


    Ran a fantasy league one year "on paper" (excel) off the Season Finder. The game finder and logs are amazing too. Hard to find a better resource on teh webs

  6. Jared Ras Says:

    @Gautam (#3): 707 games. Do, MP > 0, then sort by W/L and count the Ws.

    Another suggestion, is there a query for "year of player's career" (first, last, 10th, etc.) or player height/weight (under 6'0", 7'0" or taller, between 6'4" and 6'8", etc.)?

  7. Gautam Says:

    @Jared - Thanks!

  8. Jay Says:

    Jared, you can select specific years of a player's career as well as height, but not weight. See here:

    One of my favorite stat lines using the play index:

    Dirk will always be under appreciated.

  9. Jared Ras Says:

    @Jay - I knew I saw that somewhere, thanks! Is there any way to do that for the Player Game finder (i.e. rookies with 50-point games)?

  10. Greyberger Says:

    Just posted a Spurs-centric piece using the play finder a bunch of times.

  11. CE Says:

    I love these tools, and use them all the time. Yesterday I was trying to search for championship teams by Free Throw pct%, it would be awesome if there was an option in the Team Season Finder to filter by championship teams. The question was, are there any poor free throw shooting championship teams? The Miami Heat were bad in 06, but any Shaq team is bound to be bad.

  12. Sean Says:

    The tools are awesome. You guys CANNOT be thanked enough for organizing this stuff. INCREDIBLE!

    But I am still DYING waiting for the Head to Head Finder/tool to be expanded to seasons prior to 1987!!

    Gentlemen, that thing is GOLD--------when do you expect to go further back in time with it?