Analytics, Smanalytics: New Stats That Should be Added to Basketball 

This is what an official basketball box score looks like, but there should be more categories added.

It seems these days everyone is enamored with stats and analytics in sports. Especially in the game of basketball. Thank Fantasy leagues for that. No matter how much people like Charles Barkley, Shaq dislike them, myself included, we might as well get use to them.

While I agree stats and numbers can often be overrated and deceiving, I understand how they can play a factor in-game planning. But, most of those numbers only detail offensive efficiency. Defense still wins championships. Just look at Golden State, who trotted out a stingy defense to go along with their high-powered offense.

But, some of the stats in the game today don’t tell the overall story of a player or teams effectiveness on that side of the court. That is why I propose the game of basketball, specifically the Association, add these categories to help the casual fan as well as die hards, better understand a player’s value. You hear the saying all the time, “it won’t show up in the stat sheet, but this player’s impact on the game has been immeasurable.” Well, I found a few measurables that could help certain player’s get in the box sc

The Hockey Assist 

First let me say, you wouldn’t add this to the total of assist. This would be its own separate category.

Points, assist and offensive rebounds shouldn’t be the only numbers that determine a players contributions to the offense. So many times players pass the ball to a teammate in rhythm to shoot a good shot, only to have that player pass it up to another teammate to get a better shot, and that player gets the assist and credit. But, what about the guy who started it with his unselfishness? The Hockey Assist in basketball results from great ball movement and high basketball I.Q. Like a player’s plus/minus stat, this stat would further so how important a player’s overall effectiveness is on his team. The San Antonio Spurs would probably lead the Association in this category.

Deflections

How many times has a player deflected a ball of an offensive player out-of-bounds creating a turnover? How about a defender jumps in the passing lane and tips a ball, disrupting the offensive set and forcing the opponent to force up a bad shot as the shot clock runs down? Or, what about the countless times a player has deflected a pass only for a teammate to swoop in and get the steal as the ball is lose?

Too many to count right? Think of this stat like a how a defensive back in football is credited with a pass defended.

Hustle Stats

Changed shots: a great shot blocker probably only averages a shade under four a game, that’s at least 6 to 8 points saved a game, but his intimation may cause a player to shoot an awkward or bad shot another four times a game for another 8 points. That’s 16 points one player single-handedly kept off the board.

Charges: Blocking shots or changing shots above or at the rim isn’t the only way to defend the paint, basket. Taking a charge is a skill and while its counted as a turnover in the stat book, the individual should be credited taking it as a show of their impact on defense just like a blocked shot. For the record, Shane Battier probably would have been the Associations All-Time leader.

Just like the NBA has made on court changes like illegal defense, removing hand checking and reducing the ten second timeline rule to eight seconds to speed up offenses to score more points, these changes to the stat book can also be easily made to help better analyze the game. Since, you know, we’re in that analytics world anyway. Might as well go all the way with it.

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