Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football

By Wayne Winston | Go to book overview

28
BASKETBALL STATISTICS 101

The Four- Factor Model
For each player and team NBA box scores track the following information:
two- point field goals made and missed
three- point field goals made and missed
free throws made and missed
personal fouls committed
assists
offensive and defensive rebounds
blocked shots
turnovers
steals
minutes played

How can we use this data (on a per game or per season basis) to break down what makes an NBA team perform well or poorly?


Effective Field Goal Percentage

Many coaches and players currently evaluate their shooting by looking at their field goal percentage. For example, suppose in a Dallas Mavericks– New York Knicks game the Mavericks make 45 out of 100 field goals (shoot 45%). The Knicks make 50 out of 100 field goals (shoot 50%). At first glance the Knicks shot better than the Mavericks. Suppose, however, the Mavericks shot 15 for 20 on three- pointers and the Knicks shot 1 for 5 on three- pointers. On the same number of shots the Mavericks scored 105 points and the Knicks scored 101 points. This indicates that the Mavericks

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