Buy One, Get One: The secret point behind Logo 3s

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NBC Sports

Buy One, Get One: The secret point behind Logo 3s

NOTE: This article has been updated from its original version.

Ahead of the 2017 Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, James Borrego sat in with Gregg Popovich for the San Antonio Spurs’ coaches meeting. This would be Popovich’s 51st playoff opponent in his coaching career, but Borrego, as the Spurs’ assistant coach, knew the Spurs were prepping to face a team unlike anything Popovich had seen in his three decades on the sidelines.

Houston liked taking 3s, but it loved taking deep 3s. That season, the Rockets took an NBA-high 23.7 3-pointers per game ranging from 25 to 29 feet, according to NBA.com tracking. For context, the NBA’s 3-point line stands roughly 23 feet from the basket.

No team had ever averaged more than 17 such shots in the history of the NBA, but the Rockets were different. Ryan Anderson, James Harden and Eric Gordon weren’t just lining up from beyond the arc, they were lining up well beyond the arc. Despite the extra yards of distance, they still shot a healthy 35 percent on those shots, just about league average on all 3-pointers.

Harden ran out of gas in the series and the Spurs dispatched the Rockets in six games, in part because they limited Houston’s second-chance points. Two years later, Borrego is the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets and still thinks about that pre-series meeting against Houston.

More specifically, he remembers the big takeaway: Reprogram how you crash the boards.

“That was one of the keys for us in our playoff series with Houston,” Borrego said. “You can’t just crash to the paint area. You have to come out long. Go to the elbow area and read it from there.”

What the Spurs noticed was that Patrick Beverley and Anderson were sniping offensive rebounds further out from the basket area. The Rockets had discovered a new wrinkle, borne out of Newtonian physics.

“They figured out these long 3s were producing long rebounds,” Borrego said. “So these guys were going to the elbow area and the free-throw-line area to get second-chance opportunities. Then it created another wide-open 3-pointer for them.”

More from Haberstroh: Tom's Toolbox: A glossary of crucial NBA terms

Borrego still harkens back to those meetings today. This season, the average team takes 19 shots from 25 to 29 feet and the 3-point attempts are only getting deeper.

Like never before, teams are taking what I call “Logo 3s” from 30 to 40 feet, usually near the home team’s giant halfcourt logo. There have been 777 such shots already this season, up from 525 in 2016-17 and on pace to shatter last season’s total of 860. We might hit 1,000 such shots by season’s end.

But here’s the fascinating trend that will change the way you watch the upcoming playoffs: Because of the hidden value of more second-chance opportunities, Logo 3s are far more effective than they appear to be by looking at raw field-goal percentage. Due to the laws of physics, teams get second-chance opportunities on Logo 3s at a much higher rate. So much so that Logo 3s are turning into BOGO 3s: Buy one, get one free.

Just like your local grocery store.

* * *

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni laughs off the question. Did the Rockets take more deep 3s, not because they made more, but because of the sneaky second-chance opportunities when they missed?

“Nah, nah, nah,” D’Antoni said, smiling. “A miss doesn’t come into our vocabulary.”

Touché, coach! Although the Rockets have a seemingly cold-blooded numbers guy as their GM in Daryl Morey, this trend wasn’t cooked up in a lab. Instead, it began when D’Antoni watched his players practice 3-point shots. The further out they went, it didn’t seem to matter. They kept making ’em.

“The reason it came about was because Ryan Anderson was shooting and James [Harden] and Eric [Gordon],” D’Antoni said. “And they would sit back there and shoot it. That gives us more room. That just makes sense.”

It was a matter of spacing. Offensive rebound potential, or the idea of a BOGO 3, wasn’t part of the thinking. But maybe it should be. I asked Darryl Blackport, the guru behind the statistical goldmine site pbpstats.com, and Mike Beuoy, of hoops research site Inpredictable.com, to crunch the numbers for me. Are longer 3s rebounded by the offensive team more often than shorter 3s? Was Beverley, an amazing offensive rebounder, onto something?

The short answer was yes. The long answer has some layers to it. Let’s peel them back.

The typical 3-pointer is not a great second-chance opportunity. The average NBA team gets an offensive rebound on 27 percent of their misses, per NBA.com/stats. But that number falls to roughly 20 percent on non-corner 3-pointer misses. (Blackport removed corner 3s from his particular research because we wanted to isolate the effect of distance, and you simply can’t take deep corner 3s without stepping out of bounds or, worse, spilling someone’s $15 beer.) The upshot: You might get an extra point for making a 3-pointer (good!), but the second-chance opportunity declines from 27 percent to 20 percent (bad!). It’s a tradeoff.

Things change when players step back to the Logo, for 3s taken from 30 to 40 feet. Originally, the data said offensive rebounds were being recovered from those shots at a drastic rate -- 31 percent for Logo 3s and up to 56 percent for 3s taken from 34 to 35 feet.

I know what you’re probably thinking. There’s got to be a quirk here. Like, are end-of-quarter heaves or shot-clock violations being mistakenly recorded as offensive rebounds? 

Then, on Friday, Beuoy and Blackport identified a quirk in the play-by-play data that overstated the BOGO effect. Shot-clock violations and buzzerbeaters have a tricky way of being logged in play-by-play data. Take this example by Trey Burke. Or this one from Marco Belinelli. Both instances were registered as offensive rebounds with 0:01 second on the clock. Obviously, that rebound did not happen in time.

With the new information at hand, the observed BOGO effect did not disappear entirely. The offensive rebound rate on Logo 3s (30-40 feet) shrunk from 31 percent to 23 percent after accounting for the tricky play-by-play notation. Shorter 3s yielded a 20-percent offensive-rebound rate so the BOGO effect was still there but considerably muted (3 percent). 

Does this revolutionize the sport? No, but it is enough to affect team strategy in a league where deep 3s are becoming more utilized.

To wrap your head around why this might be, think about rebounding strategy. Giants tussle for inside position near the basket and box out their opponent so that when the ball falls off the rim, they can snatch it away. But what if the ball doesn’t fall off the rim? What if it jumps off the rim and soars to the free-throw line? Now that box out becomes inverted. If the ball soars overhead, the guy you just boxed out has actually boxed you out.

This could have worthwhile implications on the sport. For those who don’t want to see an NBA consisting of guys chucking up 35-footers, the good news is that there were only a total 95 shots from the 34- to 35-foot range over the past six seasons. It’s a rare occurrence, and the small sample size could be warping the offensive-rebound rates. Perhaps if we see more of these shots, the effect will regress to the mean some. Or maybe longer rebounds mean a tad more fastbreak opportunities the other way (Blackport said there’s generally no evidence to support that theory, at least not in 2-point jumpers versus 3-point jumpers.) Or maybe coaches will change their rebounding strategy and account for the strong ricochet off of misses.

But as time goes on, there may be fewer misses to get.

“Guys are literally practicing way out there,” D’Antoni said. “And getting better at it.”

The Atlanta Hawks call them “swag shots.”

Come across halfcourt, pull-up in the open court in rhythm and let it fly, no matter where you are. With a freak talent like rookie guard Trae Young at the helm, it’s something Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has embraced -- to an extent.

“The swag shot is not to be abused,” Pierce said.

The moniker started with former Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey, who made a habit out of burying opponents in Summer League with an on-the-move deep 3. It wasn’t that different from what Young did to scores of opponents across the NCAA while at Oklahoma.

But that doesn’t mean he, or the young Hawks, have a green light all the time.

“We know Trae [Young] can shoot from deep, but if we come down and just start jacking 3s, there’s a lot of sloppy play that goes along with that,” Pierce said.

That might be true, but the results are undeniable. No one takes more “swag shots” or Logo 3s than Young, who is closing the gap on Luka Doncic in the Rookie of the Year race. According to Basketball Reference tracking, Young is shooting 18-of-47 on shots between 30 and 40 feet (excluding end-of-quarter heaves), a conversion rate of 38 percent.

His normal 3-point shooting percentage is much lower, at 33 percent. Yes, Young has actually been better on long 3s than short 3s.

Young isn’t alone. The extra room from back there may be helpful. On Thursday night, during a potential playoff matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Damian Lillard, a master of the deep trey, will put the BOGO 3 on center stage.

As I featured on The Big Number recently, Lillard is freakishly good at long-distance 3-pointers, shooting 12-of-28 (43 percent) on shots between 30 and 40 feet. Curry, too, is making 43 percent of his 30-footers. (Others aren’t as successful this season. Harden stands at 27 percent, and Gordon is at 20 percent.)

Look deeper into Lillard’s numbers, and you find that of his 16 misses on those shots, the Blazers recovered three of them, generating an offensive-rebound rate of just 19 percent. But those three second-chance opportunities led to three close baskets, which means that of Lillard’s 28 Logo 3 attempts, he scored 42 points through his own makes (36 points) and the Portland makes after his miss (six points).

That’s an astonishing 1.50 points per possession.

To put it in perspective, the Golden State Warriors are the best offense of all time, and they score 1.16 points per possession.

* * *

On Saturday at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver was interviewed by The Ringer’s Bill Simmons. It was a thrilling hour-long conversation that ranged from serious issues like mental health to lighter topics like adding a midseason tournament. The concept of deep 3s came up when Simmons asked Silver about adding a 4-point line for the first three quarters. You could hear the crowd giggle at the thought.

But Silver wasn’t laughing. The commissioner revealed that he actually suggested adding a 4-point line for the All-Star game to “supe it up a little bit,” but his idea was not met warmly by the NBA’s competition committee, which is staffed by players, coaches and GMs. Silver was surprised to learn that even the All-Star Game was too sacred for his idea of a 4-point line, something I advocated in a letter to Silver back in 2014.

“They threw me out of the room,” Silver told Simmons. “The reaction was, ‘How dare you! The integrity of the game is first and foremost. This is not ‘Rock ’N’ Jock.’’ But I think ideas like that are interesting … We should look at things like that.”

The idea is that we should give extra incentive for elite shooters to step back and shoot the long 3, one of the coolest shots in the game. Players showing off their extreme skill is a good thing for the league and growth of the game, so let’s create an artificial bonus for that.

But maybe Silver doesn’t need to add another line to the game. The incentive is already there, secretly tucked into the equation, in the form of that easier-to-get extra possession.

Follow me on Twitter (@TomHaberstroh) and bookmark NBCSports.com/Haberstroh for my latest stories, videos and podcasts.

Editor's note: After publishing, additional research found that, due in part to inconsistency in NBA record-keeping, the percentages of offensive rebounds on long-distance 3-pointers were smaller than originally stated. We've updated the article to reflect these changes. 

Garbage Time All-Stars

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NBC Sports

Garbage Time All-Stars

(Note: All statistics are through Monday, March  11.)

Welcome to Spring League, NBA fans.

This is the part of the regular season that most closely resembles the NBA’s Summer League exhibition series, where many franchises focus more on getting an extended look at young prospects and giving their stars a break.

Take the Los Angeles Lakers, for example. With the playoffs all but out of reach, LeBron James was placed in a “load-management” protocol by the Lakers, whose 2019 first-round pick becomes more valuable every minute that James does not play. The Lakers also signed 33-year-old G League journeyman Andre Ingram to a 10-day contract after he became a national sensation last season. No disrespect to Ingram, but the Lakers, like the New Orleans Pelicans, are making the organizational choice to not try to win games.

As such, there’s going to be a whole lot of non-competitive stretches in the final month of the season. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at Garbage Time Heroes that could help you win your fantasy league or choose what to watch every night.

I’ve broken it down into three categories. First, I was curious about which stars have the largest differential in how they score when the scoreboard is tight compared to when the game gets out of hand. For those, I looked at each of the top 25 scorers and analyzed their points per 36 minutes when the score is within five points versus when the lead or deficit is over 15 points (garbage time). The players with the biggest jumps in scoring during garbage time are listed below.

Secondly, I identified a few players who could see big numbers down the stretch as their teams go into full-out tank mode. And lastly, I listed three G League call-ups that could make some noise down the stretch as good teams rest their stars for the playoffs and bad teams rest their stars for the draft lottery.

Let’s get to it.

Opportunistic Stars

Klay Thompson

Of the top 25 scorers, no one saw their scoring numbers jump during garbage time more than Thompson. He scores 29.5 points per 36 minutes when the Warriors are either leading or trailing by more than 15 points compared to 22.7 points per 36 minutes when it’s within five or less. That’s not just a matter of touches. Thompson’s field-goal percentage also drops from 54 percent to 46 percent when the games are more competitive, a decline anchored by a 3-point percentage that sinks from 49 percent to 36 percent in the same situation.

This isn’t an isolated case, either. Though he’s certainly had his playoff moments (sorry, OKC), Thompson has also seen his scoring shrink in the playoffs when the competition is stronger than in the regular season. The sharpshooter has averaged more than 20 points per game in each of the previous four regular seasons but has reached that plateau just once in the past four postseasons.

It could be that playoff teams try to take away Thompson first and then deal with the rest of the Warriors. Teams could also be keying in on Thompson a lot more when the game is close and loosen their grip when the game seems out of hand. But either way, Thompson’s scoring rate jumps 6.7 points in garbage time, the highest in this group.

Zach LaVine

LaVine has fought the label of being an overrated “good stats, bad team” guy. While such criticism is unfair for a guy who just turned 24 years old and tore his ACL two years ago, these numbers certainly doesn’t help his case. LaVine has scored 161 points in 199 minutes of garbage time this season, a rate of 29.1 points per 36 minutes. But when the game is close, LaVine’s scoring average plummets to 23.2 points per 36 minutes, a difference of 5.9 points, the second-largest gap on this list.

Most of LaVine’s scoring surge in garbage time can be attributed to his overt aggressiveness. In those less-competitive minutes, he’s shooting 21.2 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes, compared to just 18.4 in tighter situations. He’s actually sharper from 3-point land in close situations (41 percent vs. 30 percent), which further emphasizes that this is more about usage than it is about efficiency. Still, scoring 23.2 points per 36 minutes in competitive circumstances ain’t bad.

Bradley Beal

No star has scored more points in garbage time than Beal (278 points). Most of that is because the Wizards get blown out a ton, but that’s hardly Beal’s fault. Case in point: Since the All-Star break, the Wizards are plus-47 with Beal on the floor and minus-46 with him off the court. Beal’s scoring average in garbage-time situations is 27.3 points per 36 minutes, which is 4.6 points larger than when games are tighter.

That being said, I still think he should be in the All-NBA conversation (I laid out his candidacy in this week’s BIG Number video). Even if Beal has a scoring surge in garbage time, those situations only make up 15 percent of his minutes this season. The guy has played more minutes than anybody in the NBA this season. If he’s ball-hogging a bit in blowouts, so be it.

CJ McCollum

Fun fact: McCollum is a card-carrying member of the 50/40/90 shooting club -- as long as we’re talking about garbage time. (For those who don’t know, the 50/40/90 shooting club is reserved for those who shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from deep and 90 percent from the line. This is the elite of the elite). The Portland shooting guard is shooting 51 percent from the floor, 42 percent from deep and 91 percent from the charity stripe in these blowout situations. He fits the same profile as Thompson -- an elite shooter who rarely gets to the free-throw line. He’s also someone who, until last postseason, had struggled to put up the same caliber of numbers in the postseason as the regular season.

McCollum is still a super talented scorer in tighter situations (21.4 points per 36 minutes), but he finds himself on this list because both his usage and efficiency rise when the game’s stakes are lowest. This is best illustrated by his whopping 25.4 points per 36 minutes in garbage time. The Blazers would probably benefit by figuring out how to have McCollum more involved in crunchtime simply to lessen the burden on Damian Lillard and make the offense more democratic.

Russell Westbrook

Of all the top 25 scorers, no one saw a larger gap in field-goal percentage according to the scoreboard. In close situations, Westbrook has shot 39 percent from the floor, an ugly figure for a go-to scorer. In garbage time, Westbrook’s field-goal percentage soars to 50 percent, a difference of 11 percent.

Continuing this trend, Westbrook’s shooting percentages have tumbled in postseason play over the last few years, as he failed to shoot above 40 percent in each of the last two playoffs -- both first-round exits for the Thunder. Westbrook has come up huge in the playoffs before (2016 Western Conference finals Games 3 and 4 against Golden State is a place to start, as is OKC’s 2012 run to the Finals). The Thunder hope to get more of that Westbrook in this upcoming postseason. Interestingly enough, Westbrook’s 2.7-point jump in garbage time (24.1 vs. 21.4) isn’t a matter of shooting more; he actually has seen his field-goal attempts per 36 minutes fall from 20.4 in close situations to 18.1 in garbage time. He’s just vastly more efficient when the game’s not out of hand.

Tank Pilots

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Luka Doncic is limping to the finish line and could be shut down soon. Dirk Nowitzki’s hinting that he’s giving it another go so there won’t be a last-hurrah scoring binge, a la Kobe Bryant. Throw in the fact that the Mavericks lose their first-round pick to Atlanta if it falls out of the top five on draft lottery night and you have the makings of a Tim Hardaway Jr., scoring binge.

Hardaway Jr.’s minutes have fallen from 32.6 per night in New York to 28.9 per night in Dallas, but if they pull the plug on the season, THJ could fill it up. He sees his scoring rate skyrocket when he’s not playing with Doncic, going from 15.4 points per 36 minutes with the rookie sensation to 23.0 points per 36 minutes with Doncic on the bench, per NBA.com. The icing on the cake? The Mavericks also get blown out by 11.6 points per 36 minutes with Hardaway on the floor without Doncic. Tank pilot, indeed.

Julius Randle

Tim Hardaway’s situation would only get more tanktastic if he was a free agent trying to get paid this summer. This guy, Randle, on the other hand? He’ll nuke his $9 million player option well before July 1 with the way he’s playing. This used to be Anthony Davis’ team. Then it was Jrue Holiday’s team. Now, with Holiday ailing, it’s Randle’s team -- for the next month.

Randle is an undeniable talent on the offensive end, but he gives up just as much defensively. Randle is averaging 23.8 points per game since Davis’ tanking, err, load-management program went into effect on Feb. 12. Since that point, the Pelicans surrender 110.4 points per 100 possessions to the other team when Randle is on the floor, compared to a stingy 102.8 points per 100 possessions, when he’s on the bench, per NBA.com. As long as Randle is playing, there will be buckets.

Joakim Noah

He’s back. Since the trade deadline, Noah is averaging 11.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in just 22.4 minutes per game. Translated per 36 minutes: 18.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He’s not just filling up the box score with hollow numbers; he’s genuinely made Memphis a better team since it took a flier on him earlier this season.

The Grizzlies have him on a one-year veteran’s minimum contract so it’ll be interesting to see how they feature him down the stretch. With the way it’s going, he might play himself into a pricier contract than the Grizzlies will be willing to pay. Part of me just wants to see Noah firing up 3-pointers for the heck of it. The Grizzlies only keep their 2019 first-round pick if it falls in the top-eight. They’re currently sitting with the seventh-worst record in the NBA. I’m praying for Noah 3-bombs.

G-League Call-ups

Andre Ingram

After a disastrous season in Los Angeles, Ingram is the last hope to end the season on a high note. Brandon Ingram (not related) is out for the season with blood clots. Lonzo Ball is likely finished. Kyle Kuzma is battling a bum ankle. James is on The Brow program. It’s Andre’s time to shine.

The Lakers obviously don’t think he’s going to help them win games, otherwise they’d sign him earlier to help with a genuine playoff push. Nonetheless, it’s a heartwarming story for basketball’s Crash Davis, having made his NBA debut as a 32-year-old rookie last season. Ingram scored just 12.8 points per 36 minutes for the South Bay Lakers this season with a G League career-low 35.7 percent from 3-point land, but the Lakers figure to give him every opportunity to recreate the magic from Staples Center last April. Don’t forget about Dre.

Christian Wood

This guy can fill it up. The 23-year-old averaged 28.7 points and 13.9 rebounds per game in the G-League this season and currently ranks No. 1 all-time in career PER for the G League (yes, that’s a thing).

Here’s the issue: He’s buried on the Milwaukee Bucks’ bench. The top-seeded Bucks called Wood up from the G League last Friday, but he hasn’t gotten any burn as they try to lock up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. If the team contracts the injury bug or rests its bigs down the stretch, keep a close eye on Wood. He could be the next Hassan Whiteside, just waiting for his big-league opportunity.

Jordan McRae

The NBA journeyman is someone to watch if the Washington Wizards are finally eliminated from the playoffs. McRae actually got garbage-time burn during the 2016 Finals with the Cavs and he torched the G League this season on a two-way contract with the Wizards, averaging 30.6 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent from deep for the Capital City Go-Gos.

McRae wasn’t a great fit for a championship contending Cavs squad, but if he gets some run with the Wizards down the stretch, he could put up big scoring numbers. He’s nursing a sore Achilles at the moment, but I wouldn’t rule out a big April from the 27-year-old NBA champ. He scored 20 points in 26 minutes in a win over the Atlanta Hawks last month. More of that could be in order.

Follow me on Twitter (@TomHaberstroh) and bookmark NBCSports.com/Haberstroh for my latest stories, videos and podcasts.

Tom's Toolbox: An NBA stats glossary

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USA Today Sports

Tom's Toolbox: An NBA stats glossary

Today’s NBA looks alien compared to a decade ago. The conversation and the lens by which we view the NBA has changed with it.
 
You may have heard some new terminology in this space and go, huh? I don’t want to lose my readers, so with that in mind, I decided to write up a glossary that you can use as a trusty guide next time I bring up an acronym that sounds like a bill proposed on Capitol Hill.
 
Let’s call it Tom’s Toolbox. Here are some of my favorites:
 
Offensive Rating
Points scored by a team every 100 possessions, also commonly referred to as offensive efficiency. 
 
Offensive rating adjusts points per game to give a better sense of a team’s ability to put the ball in the basket. To calculate, you simply take the points that a team scores and divide it by the number of possessions it used and then multiply that figure by 100. Ta-da!
 
Uh, why 100?
 
It is roughly the number of possessions in an NBA game. Offensive rating (ORtg for short) also helps to compare teams in the past and is really useful when comparing lineups that don’t play the same minutes. 

Where to find it: NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. Note: possession data can differ from site to site. Some sites estimate the number of possessions in a game because it’s not historically tracked in the box score. You have to do some back of the napkin math to calculate possessions and so it can vary slightly. I use NBA.com for looking at today’s teams and those dating back to 1996-97, the first season available on the league’s site. If you want to go back further and size up teams with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on it, I recommend using Basketball-Reference.com.
 
Defensive Rating
This is the counterpart to Offensive rating, which adjusts for pace. Defensive rating, also known as defensive efficiency, is simply the number of points allowed per 100 possessions.
 
Net Rating
You’ve probably seen this a lot in modern NBA writing when talking about lineups or how good the Milwaukee Bucks are. It’s simply offensive rating subtracted by defensive rating. Boom: net rating. Another way to think about net rating is that it is point margin once you control for pace.

Offensive rating, defensive rating and net rating can be super noisy in small sample sizes. As a rule of thumb, I like to look at lineups with at least 100 minutes played before I give it serious weight. Even then, it gets wonky.

There have been studies that show net rating is a better predictor for team success than using win-loss record. That’s because net rating strips out the flimsy randomness that can decide close games. 

PER (Player Efficiency Rating)
The most popular all-in-one player metric in basketball. PER set out to measure productivity on a per-minute basis. League average PER was set at 15, which may be its best quality. You can get a pretty good handle of how good a player is by glancing at his PER. Twenty is great. Ten … not so much.

PER has its issues. For example, it likes chuckers more than it should. And it doesn’t do a good job of capturing defense because box scores don’t really measure defense very well. And it uses box score data to inform it. Blocks and steals only go so far. 

I still look at PER as a rough thumbnail portrait of a player and probably more than I should. It’s a handy tool that can sometimes get you in trouble if you use it too much and it can’t do as much as you’d like.

Usage rate
This “rate” is the estimated percentage of team possessions that a player uses via field goal attempt, free throw attempt or turnover while on the floor. Translation: How much offense is this player responsible for through his scoring? 

It doesn’t perfectly answer that question but it’s a helpful way to see how much a player is chucking or not. High usage players in the 30s (or 30 percent, to be specific) are typically your MVP candidates who put up huge point totals. 

I like to look at usage rate to see if a player is more of a role player. Usage rate could also be called role rate and it’d get at the same thing. Turnovers are included because a player “used” up the possession with a miscue. However, assists are not included in usage rate. 

This stat can be more informative than using plain old field goal attempts to show how much offense is run through a player. 

Find it on Basketball-Reference.com.

Win Probability Added
The beginning stages of the holy grail. Which player raised (or lowered) his team’s chance of winning through his shot attempts and turnovers? This is definitely not a comprehensive metric. It doesn’t see a host of important things like passes, screens and rebounds that help teams win.

This stat is more descriptive than predictive. I like this one for MVP races because that is more about what you did as opposed to what you will do. 

Offensive Rebound Rate
What percentage of available offensive rebounds does this player or team collect while he’s on the floor? That’s what Offensive Rebound Rate is after. 
 
It’s hard to get an offensive rebound if your team makes all of their shots. Like, really hard. So hard it can’t happen. Therefore, a team can have a “good” offensive rebounding night even if it’s raw total of offensive rebounds is low. The best teams collect 30 percent of their misses. So if you only have three offensive rebounds in a game (bad), but your team only missed 10 shots (wow!), that’s doing pretty good.
 
On the flipside, it’s much easier for a poor-shooting team to rack up a bunch of offensive boards simply because there are so many of them to be collected. For coaches, it’s more helpful to look at this number rather than raw offensive rebounds to determine how their team crashed the boards. Oh, and good news for bench players: this stat is playing-time agnostic so you can show you’re a great offensive rebounder without having to log 30 minutes a night.
 
Offensive rebound rate is also one of the main pillars of advanced stats in basketball, which Dean Oliver called the four factors. If you’re good at collecting your available offensive rebounds, you’ll be pretty successful.
 
Defensive Rebound Rate
This is the other side of the coin. Defensive rebound rate is why the Golden State Warriors' starting five has been so underwhelming this season.
 
Win Shares (WS)
Another all-in-one metric that attempts to quantify a player’s contributions to winning. Find it on basketball-reference.com. It’s a counting stat that tries to answer the question: How many team wins is this player responsible for?
 
Like every all-in-one metric, this one has to be handled with care. If Player A has more win shares than another Player B, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s better. He could have just played more. The PER equivalent is win shares per 48 minutes or more commonly seen as WS/48. League average WS/48 is .100 which is a little harder to remember than PER’s 15.
 
Win shares has its blind spots, too. It doesn’t use lineup data, which can help find players that do things that the box score doesn’t pick up. It’s shown to be a tad biased towards players with good team defenses because its defensive component relies more on the team’s output rather than individual box score stats like blocks, steals and defensive rebounds. 

Find it at Basketball-Reference.com.
 
RPM (Real Plus-Minus)
The most ambitious of all the popular all-in-one metrics, this statistic attempts to quantify a player’s impact on team performance, scaled on a per 100 possessions basis. This leans heavily on on-court lineup data and controls for teammates and opponents. It’s a blackbox stat which means the formula is not publicly available and can’t be reproduced. That lends itself to some skepticism in academia.
 
RPM is a rate stat like PER and can be translated into a counting stat. RPM Wins is the counting stat equivalent of win shares. It’s a fun stat but it can be noisy in small sample sizes. If you want a full, way-smarter-than-me breakdown of RPM, read this.
 
True-Shooting Percentage (TS%)
One of my favorite stats. How efficient is a player with his shot attempts once you consider free throws and 3-pointers? It’s scaled roughly to your standard field goal percentage, so a .600 is great while .400 is … not great, Bob.
 
True-shooting percentage derives its name from the concept of true shots. “True” shots are field goal attempts plus fouled shots. Once you account for those free throws, you get a fuller picture of the player’s scoring night and how efficient he was getting to that point total.
 
Another cool thing: true-shooting percentage is points per true shot, divided by two. The divide by two is to keep it on the same scale as field goal percentage.
 
Effective field goal Percentage (eFG%)
Also seen as adjusted field goal percentage. The calculation is simply field goals plus 1.5 times 3-point field goals divided by field goal attempts. If you don’t make any threes, your effective field goal percentage will be exactly your field goal percentage.

Whereas true-shooting percentage includes free throws, this stat is just field goal percentage with proper weighting for three-pointers. This stat naturally rewards 3-point shooters who don’t need a lot of shots to score a lot of points.

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