Oakton Outlook

NBA Stats

An intro to NBA statistics.

Jacob Rutzick, Staff Writer

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The NBA has grown into a league where stats are more important than the eye test. A perfect example of this is the Memphis Grizzlies perennial all star Marc Gasol. Gasol has been a tremendous player his whole career, but he is not regarded as highly as he should because he doesn’t fill up the stat sheet like Russell Westbrook and Lebron James. Stats are something that have grown to be the thing looked at when determining how good a player is. The NBA has many stats that are not very well known and some that are. Stats can be broken into three categories offensive, defensive, and overall effect on the game.

The first category is offensive stats, and these are the stats that determine how good a player is on the offensive end. For starters there is points per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game. These three categories are the most commonly looked at categories in the NBA. Yet there are other stats that are looked at less, but are just as important. Field goal percentage and three point percentage are very important stats. They are so important that teams sometimes have clauses in contracts that say if a player shoots a certain percentage they get extra money. Field goal percentage shows how often a player makes a certain shot. A perfect example is Russell Westbrook. Westbrook averaged a triple double which is incredible, but he shot forty two percent from the field and thirty percent from three. Those are not good numbers.

The second category is defensive stats, and these stats show how good a player is on the defensive end. The two most commonly looked at stats for this category are steals and blocks. These categories are important, but they do not tell the whole story. Some other stats are deflections per game and defensive win shares. Deflections per game is sort of self explanatory, it shows how many balls the player deflects every game. However, defensive win shares is a different story. Defensive win shares shows a player’s overall impact on the defensive end and how it impacted the team’s win loss ratio. The way it is calculated is very complex and difficult to explain.

The final category is a players overall effect on the game. There are two very important stats that must be discussed when talking about overall effect on the game. Those categories are net rating and PER. Net rating shows a player’s overall effect on the point differential of a game. This means that a high net rating shows that when a certain player is on the court the team plays well on both the offensive and defensive end. However, a low net rating or a negative net rating means that the team played poorly with that player on the floor. The final and most important stat is PER. PER is another way of showing a player’s overall effect on the game. PER is calculated by throwing PPG, APG, RPG, steals, blocks, and turnovers into a formula and getting a number out. PER seems to do a great job the highest PER of late was Steph Curry’s incredible 2015-2016 season where he won unanimous MVP, and his team won seventy three games.   

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NBA Stats