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Mathletics by Wayne L. Winston

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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 ...

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