Access to NBA Play-by-Play DatasetsHistorical play-by-play stats are available in CSV format. Datasets include a separate CSV file for each game, and a season file where all games combined.
Traditional box score data shows per-game totals for players and for teams and reveals only a fraction of what happens in a game and that the information therein is often misleading, especially at defensive stats. At this point, Play-by-Play (PBP) data has been the main source of many advanced stats such as adjusted plus-minus.
Play-by-play provides a transcript of the game in a format of individual events.
A typical play-by-play data should have following information:
* The time of the possession,
* The player who initiated the possession (in the case of a steal or defensive rebound,
* The opposing player who initiated the possession (in case of a missed shot or turnover) including the location on the floor the shot was taken from, and some other unique identifiers we use to classify the type of possession.
Play-by-play data is being tracked since the 1996-1997 season.