Feature Watch: Head-to-Head Game Finder
Posted by Neil Paine on August 20, 2009
Okay folks, it's time for a new series (much like that which I'm doing at Baseball-Reference and Pro-Football-Reference) where I take you on a guided tour of one of the lesser-known features on the site. Today's topic will be the Head to Head Game Finder, which is a really awesome tool that is unfortunately tucked away (out of necessity) on the Full Court page. I feel like people would obviously use it a lot more if they knew about it, so let's take you through it for the next few minutes...
Essentially it uses our game log data from 1986-87 through 2008-09 to find instances where particular player matchups occurred. No, you can't use it to find those great Russell-vs.-Chamberlain showdowns, but there have been some recent player "rivalries" that make for interesting queries. Take, for instance, David Robinson vs. Hakeem Olajuwon:
|David Robinson||Per Game||30||12||42||37.7||7.0||14.3||0.488||0.1||0.1||0.600||5.5||7.7||0.717||3.3||7.9||11.2||2.9||2.2||3.3||3.0||3.4||19.6|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||Per Game||12||30||41||37.7||8.8||20.0||0.441||0.0||0.1||0.167||4.2||5.4||0.768||3.4||7.8||11.2||2.8||1.9||3.4||2.9||4.0||21.9|
Now, keep in mind that the H2H feature does not include playoff games -- but it's still pretty cool, right? How about some other notable rivalries of the era:
MJ vs. The Glide
|Michael Jordan||Per Game||9||6||15||41.3||13.0||27.1||0.479||0.9||2.9||0.295||8.3||9.7||0.856||1.7||5.1||6.8||6.0||2.7||0.8||3.6||2.9||35.2|
|Clyde Drexler||Per Game||6||9||15||39.1||9.6||19.7||0.488||1.1||3.3||0.327||3.6||4.8||0.750||2.3||4.3||6.7||5.9||2.3||0.6||2.5||3.9||23.9|
|Shaquille O'Neal||Per Game||4||4||8||31.8||8.3||14.5||0.569||0.0||0.0||3.5||7.8||0.452||4.3||6.0||10.3||2.0||0.1||1.5||3.1||4.0||20.0|
|Kobe Bryant||Per Game||4||4||8||40.6||12.1||25.8||0.471||1.9||6.3||0.300||8.6||10.1||0.852||1.8||4.4||6.1||4.4||1.5||0.9||3.1||3.1||34.8|
|LeBron James||Per Game||6||5||11||41.5||9.5||22.7||0.416||0.9||3.5||0.263||7.0||10.1||0.694||1.8||5.8||7.6||6.7||1.5||0.5||4.0||2.5||26.8|
|Kobe Bryant||Per Game||5||6||11||35.4||8.3||19.5||0.425||0.6||3.4||0.189||7.0||8.1||0.865||0.6||4.5||5.1||4.9||1.3||0.3||3.2||2.5||24.2|
You get the idea... The possibilities are endless. So give it a whirl and see what you think. This certainly isn't the final word on whether Player A is "better than" Player B (mainly because these are ridiculously small samples), but it can definitely inform the debate.
August 20th, 2009 at 2:26 pm
what i like about this feature is that it shows the players' numbers for each game's box score, so you can look for trends. You can see the effect of aging on the head to head match-ups. would be nice if it did include playoffs. cough cough.
August 20th, 2009 at 3:48 pm
I can't remember how I originally came about this feature on your site, but it is amazing. It's fun to pick 2 players who'r similar but weren't stars and see how they did against each other. Check out gheorge muresan vs. shawn bradley, for example:
Nearly identical ppg and rpg, yet bradley blocked more shots. How about muggsy bogues vs. spud webb:
I tend to forget how good of an assist man bogues was.
August 20th, 2009 at 7:03 pm
Didn't some player once say that watching Muresan and Bradley go at it was like watching an old Japanese monster flick?
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