NBA Stats

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Brief Introduction to NBA Stats

While wins and losses are all that matters for National Basketball Association (NBA) regular season standings, there are several other team statistics that are used to evaluate NBA odds and NBA picks. These include home and away records, points-per-game, rebounds-per-game, three-point shooting percentage, and true shooting percentage.

Many of the same stats also apply to individual players. NBA players earn three points for a successful basket beyond the three-point line (22 feet from the basket) and two points for baskets made within that space. A free throw, awarded for opposing fouls, is worth one point.

Points-per-game (PPG) is the key offensive statistic in the NBA. The best players in the league typically average anywhere from 20-30 PPG. Players also earn assists for passing the ball to a teammate who scores.

Key defensive stats include rebounds and blocks. There are offensive and defensive rebounds to indicate if the rebound was collected while the player’s team had possession or was defending.

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Understanding NBA Stats

PPG is determined by calculating the number of points a player (or team) has over a specific period. If a player had 200 points through the first 10 games of the season, they would have 20 PPG. The same calculation is used for assists, rebounds, and blocks. Most of the offensive and defensive stats are self-explanatory, but assists need some clarification. The official NBA definition is when a pass “directly leads to a basket,” but this is open to interpretation and is ultimately the scorekeeper’s decision.

Like many other leagues, the NBA has incorporated advanced stats in recent years. The most common advanced stats are offensive rating and defensive rating, both of which indicate a player’s ability in one single number.

The formula for offensive rating, for instance, is (points/individual possessions) x official adjusted players’ offensive withstand × PPG + FTM/FT * 3pt% + FG%. It can get confusing. Other advanced stats include effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and assist ratio.

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