Basketball Statistics – 3 Numbers a Coach Must Know

There are many who have attempted to prove the impossible using simplified mathematical equations, but a rare few who have gone on to describe the outcomes of life through a complex numerical language. Why most of the world is divided into certainties and influenced perspectives, the game of basketball can be easily described by a detailed complexity we call “basketball statistics”.

For many, basketball statistics are the simplified outcomes for which an individual’s play is measured; highlights to be found on the back of trading cards for the world to cast opinion upon. Yet, the game of basketball is divided among many different statistics which can often times predict with some certainty the outcome of an individual contest based upon factors (variables in the math land). Such as Albert Einstein is famous for this theory of relativity, he was once quoted as stating, “Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.” Because statistical information is based on equations, it can be said that basketball’s outcomes are definite if we would only base our conclusions on the eternity of the equations.

Most of us play, coach, watch basketball and deem the outcome to be significant or in our favor if the round orange ball goes through the round orange ring. Yet, basketball is a game of statistics-numbers designed in fashion to define life’s certainties-here are 3 of the more important statistics in the game; many of which will not be found on the back of a trading card.

Expected Wins. The number of games a team is expected to win based upon games played times a simplified scoring equation. The following is the expect wins equations games played multiplied by the outcome of points scored divided by points scored plus points allowed.

Offensive Efficiency Rating. At what percentage is an individual team taking advantage of their offensive opportunities. The following is the offensive efficiency rating equation; points scored divided by team possessions multiplied by 100.

Defensive Efficiency Rating. At what percentage is your opponent gaining advantage on the offensive end of the court. The defensive efficiency rating is in my mind the most important team statistic in the game today. It provides substantial evidence to the idea, “defense wins ball games”. The defensive efficiency rating equation; points allowed divided opponents possessions multiplied by 100.

Understanding how to find these statistics is important, but it is even more critical to know how to analysis the data. There are a number of sound statistical resources available to help you understand how statistics provide certainty to the ever changing landscape of basketball. One such resource is a book by Dean Oliver titled, “Basketball on Paper”. Coaches I hope you use the confidence of the math world to understand your teams strengths and weaknesses, for until you understand these variables your program will never be systematic.

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