Watching and analyzing the game of basketball is always fun to do with friends, but once taken to the next level, there is so much more to pay attention to. This can be extra rules like some of the different salary cap exceptions, the processes of trades being processed, or extra stats no one ever really looks at. Today I’ll be showing you my top 3 favorite stats to look at when analyzing a player, and showing you their use.
#1: Deflections Per Game
This is one of the stats that tell more about players than anything else. Sometimes when playing pickup games or street ball, I question if my tips would count as steals. This stat puts those doubts to rest, and it accounts for a player’s ability to jam the passing lanes, even if they are unable to get the ball for their team. The best players in this category are players like Marcus Smart and Fred Vanvleet, who are smaller guards who defend well by pestering opponents.
#2: Contested Shots Per Game
Like deflections per game, this stat shows how much players hustle as opposed to how skilled they are. It is mostly big men who top the lists. As expected the bigger players are the ones who usually get to contest layups and inside shots. The first guard or forward is Daniel House Jr., which speaks volumes a lot about his playstyle, but also about his hustle on the court.
#3: Team Loose Balls Recovered Per Game
This stat really evaluates how teams defend, but also how much they hustle. It can reflect the coach’s job, the team’s morale, and many other intangibles from a team. For example, the Bucks are the#1 team in this stat, and they are known for their culture and quality coaching. However teams like the Jazz average 2 less, which might say something about their hustle and intensity on the floor.