Analytics - What the Reports Tell

With the season on the line, you're walking off the court at Halftime, you're down 5 but should be up by 10 . . .

...Your statistician hands you a game leaders report, shot charts and graphic comparison report along with the box score. Pausing before entering the locker room, you scan the reports. You're still amazed by the completeness of these reports while trying to focus on how you're going to get control of this game. The opponent's shot chart screams at you, "Too much scoring in the paint." Their leading scorer is consistent from only one area, so what if we smother him whenever he's...

Trying to wipe the grin off your face, you enter the locket room confident.


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More Than Just Stats

We now live in a world of information, however, to be of value this information must be presented in a meaningful and usable manner. This is where software programs like CyberSports for basketball excel. These software programs not only compile statistics with a click of the mouse, but they also generate reports that present this information in a form that coaches can quickly understand and use.

No longer are coaches limited to the basic raw statistics. Box score reports have now been enhanced to include quick look team comparison stats, such as rebound percentages, second effort points, and points scored off turnovers. Coaches now have immediate access to a host of team and individual player reports such as shot charts, leader reports, line up analyses, detailed play by play, team goals, and graphical team comparisons. Instant cumulative or season statistics are also now available, a task that once took days and even weeks to achieve. Coaches have immediate access to an array of team and individual player cumulative reports similar to the game reports. Two teams or two players can be matched and compared statistically before a game is even played.

The value of stats can be anywhere from being meaningless numbers to an essential coaching aid. Statistical information can also be so overwhelming that most coaches ignore it. This neglect is also a result of having belated access to only a box score report. To be of any value stats have to be immediate. With a typical box score report, most of the time is spend trying to search and figuring out who are the leading scorers and rebounders, who's in foul trouble, etc. And when it comes to team totals, like offensive and defensive rebounds, box scores are very misleading.

Raw vs Qualitative Statistics

In the past, basketball statistics were a luxury only available to professional coaches and major college teams. However, computers have now made statistics available to all programs on all levels. Boxscore score reports have now been enhanced to include quick look team comparison stats, such as rebound percentages, second effort points, and points scored off turnovers. New statistics, such as Points per Possession, Assist Attempts, Defensive Stops, Defensive Assists, are also now being captured.

However, the basic, raw statistics contained on a boxscore reports can often times be misleading. Coaches must learn to analyze and implement individual player and team scoring, shooting, rebounding, ball handling, defense, productive lineups and tendencies. The total points scored are vital to the final score and winning. However, how the points are achieved is of the utmost importance for future play.

Learn to better analyze and implement individual player and team scoring, shooting, rebounding, ballhandling, defense, productive lineups and tendencies.

| Scoring | Shooting | Rebounding | Ballhandling | Lineup | Goals | Defense |


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Raw Statistic: Actual Points Scored

Sports media have traditionally used average points scored and allowed as their sole basis of ranking teams' offensively and defensively.

Qualitative Statistic: Points per Possession

A more accurate way to determine a team's offensive and defensive scoring performance involves using the number of actual number of ball possessions. Points scored and points allowed per possession takes into account a game's tempo.

The goal offensively is to score +1.0 pts/possession.

Defensive goal is to limit the opponent to less than 0.90 pts/possession.





Additional Scoring Breakdowns

Point Differential

Point differential is the difference in points scored and points allowed. It reflects the dominance of a team. It is a result of points scored and points allowed per possession. In this example, the Lakers scored 103 points per game. However, they allowed allowed more points (109/game). The Pacers, on the other hand, scored much fewer points (97/game). However, their defense allowed fewer points (92/game)then what they scored.





Point Differential


According to Bill James' application of the Pythagorean Theorem applied to basketball on the NBA level, each differential point is worth 2.7 wins.

Points per Shot

Points per shot (P/S ) indicates how proficient a player or a team is in scoring. Individual player's scoring proficiency is important to know especially during "Crunch Time" at the end of a close game when you definitely need players on the court with high P/S. Points per shot can be broken down further by two point, three point and free throw shots.

2pt Points/Shot
3pt Points/Shot
FT Points/Shot



Learn More  Scoring vs Shooting

Free Throw Points

The number of free throw attempts indicates if a team or individual is penetrating or that they are going inside to the post. This would be indicated by shot locations on a shot chart report. Free throw points are also a reflection of poor individual defense.

Obviously, the number of free throw attempts impacts the free throw points. In fact, it is more important to get to the free throw line than free throw accuracy. The best free shooters in the world are of little value unless they get to the line.

According to Stat Guru, Dean Oliver, the most important aspect of free throw shooting is the actual number of attempts, not the percentage. His Free Throw Rate statistic captures the ability off a team or player to get to the free throw line. It is calculated by free throw attempts divided by the number of field goals attempted.


Fouls Drawn

The number of fouls drawn by a player indicates just how hard they are to hard to guard. Fouls Drawn includes the fouls that are taken out of bounds. The number of fouls drawn is especially an important stat for good free throw shooters. It is also important statistic to know when scouting opponents.

3 Point Shot Points

The number of three point attempts coupled with a lack of free throw attempts indicates a team (or individual) is primarily shooting from the outside and are not penetrators. See shot chart.

Points Off Turnovers

This is an important stat to be used in conjunction with the number of turnovers. Offensively, only the turnovers that the opponent scores on count! If the opponent does not score off a turnover, then the turnover, no matter how bad, is erased. You want a team of erasers.

A productive goal is to limit the opponent to less than 0.90 pts/possession on turnovers.

Conversely, defensively you want to capitalize and convert opponent’s turnovers into points. Forcing an opponent turnover, creates some of the best scoring opportunities. On the other hand, not scoring after opponent turnovers usually wastes a great defensive effort.

A productive goal is to score +1.0 pts/possession after opponent turnovers.

Second Effort Points

Offensive rebounds become worthless if you do not score off them. A lack of second effort points indicates that a team is not taking real advantage of offensive rebounds by converting them into valuable points. Not scoring after an offensive rebound, wastes an individual players effort. You are not going to win many games without second effort points.

Defensively, the opponent points scored on second efforts indicates the need to increase the defensive intensity and determination to prevent and stop the opponent from converting offensive rebounds into points. The only offensive rebounds that "hurt" are the those which the opponent scores after.

To be successful you definitely need to out score your opponent on second efforts!


Off Rebounds

Second Chance Points


Final Score

Spurs 10 15 Spurs 89
Clippers 8 7 +8 85

Raw Statistic: Points Off the Bench

Points off the bench is a meaningless raw statistic for the media. It is an insignificant statistic unless possessions played are considered.

Qualitative Statistic: Bench Points per Possession

The bench points per possession would indicate the true productivity of a team's substitutes since it takes into account the number of actual offensive possessions played.

Graphical Scoring Comparison Report

Cybersports' graphical scoring report provides a quick look into scoring. This scoring breakdown compares graphically: Total Points, Points per Possession, Lay-up Points, 3 Point Scoring, Free Throw Points, Points in the Paint, 2nd Chance Points, Points off Turnovers, and Bench Points.

View  Sample Graphical Team Scoring Comparison Report


Team & Player Profiles

Scoring can also be analyzed to determine team and player profiles. A player with a high number of three point shots and a low number of free throws would indicate a non-penetrating, outside set shooter. A player with a high percentage of scoring coming off free throws and two point field goals with a very low number of three point attempts would indicate a driver or penetrator. A balance of three point, two point and free throw scoring would indicate a triple threat player.

pie charts


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Shooting percentage is considered my many to be the single most important factor in winning. Teams that shoot well have the better chance of winning. Shot Selection definitely impacts shooting percentages. High shooting percentages are usually a result of getting and taking more easy and open shots while low shooting percentages indicate contested and difficult and shots. Facilities, such as domes and cracker boxes, lighting, backdrops, crowds are other factors that can effect shooting percentages.


Field Goal Percentages

Shooting percentages vary according to distance. As a result, forwards and post tend to have higher percentages than guards. Shooting percentages will also vary according to level. The higher the level, the higher the percentages. Productive shooting percentages:

Two Point Field goals = + 45%
Three Point Field Goals = +40%
Free Throw = +70%
Posts = +50%

Fouls Drawn: It is more important to get to the free throw line than free throw accuracy. The best free shooters in the world are of little value unless they get to the line.

Shot Charts

Game, team and individual player shot charts are available. These graphical shot by location are powerful reports. They illustrate the exact shot locations and accuracy. Teams and players have a tendency to prefer to shoot from certain areas. Some teams will predominately use one side of the court. Individual players will have favorite spots along with weak spots.

Cybersports shot charts also include scoring distribution, scoring range, and shot ratings along with a shot summary. The shot summary includes detailed shooting and scoring breakdowns.

View/Print Sample Game Shot Chart

View/Print Sample Team Shot Chart

View/Print Sample Multiple Player Shot Chart

View/Print Sample Single Player Shot Chart


Shots Blocked {New}

"Shots Blocked" is not to be confused with "Blocked Shots." While blocked shot statistics have been tracked for eons, "Shots Blocked" is a new Cybersports exclusive statistic. Shots Blocked is, and has been, a hidden danger. During games, players getting their shots blocked is not universal throughout a team. On the contrary, shots blocked is mainly limited to a just a few players. Therefore, the Shots Blocked statistics provide coaches with a warning or "Red" flag. Once the players are identified, coaches can do something about by working with them on putbacks or rebound shots, shot selection, etc.

Shot Ratings

Cybersports for basketball has an advanced option of rating shot selection. There are four basic ratings:

"Easy" = indicates an easy layup or shot taken at point blank range.
"Open" = Shot taken when there is no defensive player within a guarding position (six feet).
"Contested" = Indicates a shot taken against or over a defensive player.
"Bad" = Indicates a forced or rushed.

These rating can be very helpful when evaluating a team's or individual shot selection. Great players and great teams have a tendency to get open and easy shots during the course of the game. A team with good shot selection will have a combined "Easy" and "Open" shot rating of over 50%. A team that forces a lot of shots will have a combined rating of over 50% for contested and bad shots.

Shot Rating Pie Chart

Great Offensive Effort

69.6% Good Shots
(Open & Easy)

3.7% Bad Shots could be improved

Opponent Shot Rating Pie Chart

Great Defensive Effort

67.7 % Contested & Bad Shots

No Easy Shots Allowed

Shooting Efficiency

There are several methods and formulas available to determine a team's overall shooting effectiveness. The NBA uses Dean Oliver's Effective FG%.

eFG% = [FGM + (1.5*3FGM)]/FGA

The multiplying the 3pt Field Goals by 0.5 accounts for additional point on a three point shot. Higher effective field goal percentages, indicate more efficient the scoring. However, there are two drawbacks to eFG%. If a player does not take three point shots, then their eFG% and FG% will be identical. The second problem is that it does not’t include free throws.


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"You Can over shoot, over dribble, or over pass, but you can never over rebound!"


Raw Statistic: Total Team Rebounds

"We out rebounded them 48 to 39"

Qualitative Statistic: None

The number of total rebounds are of little value. Offensive and defensive rebounding are two distinct and different skills that must be evaluated separately. Offensive rebounding primarily relies on agility and individual effort, while defensive rebounding requires strength and total team effort. Evaluating defensive and offense rebounding requires the use of rebounding percentages along with second effort points scored.

Defensive Rebounding

A team can play tremendous defense forcing an opponent into a bad or rush shot, but this defensive effort will be wasted any time the offense is allowed to rebound the missed shot. Defensive rebounding is also a key to a good transition game.

Raw Statistic: Number of Defensive Rebounds

The number of total defensive rebounds are of little value by themselves. However, they are used in determining defensive rebounding percentages.

Qualitative Statistic: Defensive Rebounding Percentage along with Points Allowed on opponent's offensive rebounds.

To analyze a team's defensive rebounding performance coaches must first look at the team's defensive rebounding percentage (Def Rebs/Def Rebs + Opponent Off Rebs).

A good defensive rebounding goal is +67%.

Points Allowed on Second Efforts

The most critical statistic in defensive rebounding is the points allowed on second efforts. When a team does give up an offensive rebound, it is paramount that they increase their defensive intensity and be determined to not allow the offense to score. If the offense does not score then the offensive rebound is canceled out ("Erased").


Offensive Rebounding

Very rarely will a team ever win a game getting one shot per offensive possession.

Big offensive rebounding numbers, indicates poor shooting. If you don't have great shooters, you better have great offensive rebounders. Where defensive rebounds are a MUST, offensive rebounds are a BONUS. To evaluate a team's offensive rebounding performances coaches must look at the team's offensive rebounding percentages (Off Rebs/Off Rebs + Opponent Def Rebs) along with the points scored on second efforts. Over 50% of field goal attempts and 35% of free throws are missed.

A team should strive to obtain 40% of their missed shots.


Second Effort Points

Offensive rebounds are not enough. In addition, to be successful a team must score off their offensive rebounds. In a national televised game between Louisville and Kentucky, during halftime, announcers were pointing out the offensive rebounding dominance of Louisville who were offensively out rebounding Kentucky 13 to 5. However, they forgot to look at one very important stat - Second Effort Points. Kentucky, although being out rebound on the offensive end of the court, out scored Louisville 8 to 6 on Second Effort Points. To be successful you must score!


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Turnovers & Assists

Turnovers statistics are very important factors in winning. Turnovers not only reduce potential scoring chances, they also provide the opponents with easy shots opportunities. Good shots start with good passes. Therefore, the number of assists have a great effect on shooting and scoring percentages.


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"We turned the ball over 22 times tonight!"

Similar to points scored and rebounds, the number of turnovers is a misleading statistic. For turnover statistics to be of value the number of offensive possessions must be considered. Turnovers percentage (turnovers/possessions) is the true indication of a team's ball handling performance.

Normally, a goal would be to keep the turnover percentage under 10%. However, if a team plays an up-tempo game, they can expect a higher turnover percentage (15% to 20%). This higher turnover percentage, in most cases, is offset by a higher field goal percentage resulting from more transition lay-ups.

Points Allowed Off Turnovers

When analyzing ball handling performance, it is also vital to look at the number of opponent points allowed off turnovers. Similar to an offensive rebound, teams must capitalize and score off turnovers for them to be of value. If a team recovers and makes a defensive stop after a turnover, that turnover is canceled or erased. Conversely, on defense, coaches not only need to evaluate the opponent’s turnover percentage, but more importantly, the number of points scored off opponent turnovers.


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Assists are credited to a passer when their pass leads directly to a made basket. Assists are not determined by degree of difficulty. Assists can be just a simple pass that leads directly to a made basket. Assists are very valuable for encouraging team play. Assists, also, directly affect shooting percentages. There is a very significant difference in shooting percentages of assisted shots compared to unassisted shots.

Assist Attempts (Optional)

An Assist Attempt (AA) is a new exclusive Cybersports for basketball statistic. This optional statistic is credit to a passer whenever a shooter misses a wide open or easy shot. Assist Attempts are also credit to a passer when a shooter gets fouled in the act of shooting and misses the shot. Tracking Assist Attempts not only encourage team play, but in addition, denotes missed easy or open shots on the shot by locations reports.


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Lineup Reports

Lineup Reports

The Lineup Combination reports are an exciting tool to assist coaches in tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of various lineups used during a game or season. Often times, a player may not have any significant statistics, yet their presence on the floor is vital and they are consistently listed in the top lineup reports. On the other hand, players with big scoring and rebounding numbers can, on occasions, actually be detrimental to a team and will be listed in negative or non-productive lineups. For quick reference, productive lineups are indicated by the color green, and the non-productive lineups are red.

Offensively, the lineup combination analysis include the: Most Used, Best Overall, Point Differential, Rebound Differential, and Best Free Throw Lineup. Defensively, the lineup combination report include: Fewest Points per Possession Allowed, Best Lineup to Make Defensive Stops, Best Lineup to Force Turnovers.

In addition, in both the offensive and defensive lineup reports include Boxscore reports comprised of the various lineup combinations.

View/Print Offensive Lineup Analysis Report

View/Print Sample Defensive Lineup Analysis Report

NOTE: The lineup analysis reports are also a very valuable scouting tool. Knowing the various lineups that your opponent uses is definitely a big competitive advantage.

Individual player lineup reports are also available. On the individual player lineup reports, players are ranked in the following categories: Playing Time, Point Differential, Rebound Differential, Points/Possession Allowed, Defensive Stops and Turnover Forced

View/Print Sample Player Lineup Analysis Report

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Game Goals Analysis

Game goal reports are graphically illustrated and are user definable in that each goal can be customized to fit any program. They allow for the tracking of 12 different offensive categories:

Pts/Possession, Pts/Game, Pts/Shot, 2nd Effort Pts, FG%, 3FG%, FT%, Ballhandling Err%, Assists/Game, Turnovers/Game, Off Reb%, and Productive. Defensive goals include: Opp Pts/Possession, Opp Points/Game, Opp Pts/Shot, Opp FG%, Opp 3FG%, Opp Ball Handling Err%, Def Ast/Game, Steals/Game, Def Reb%, and Charges Taken/Game.

In the game goal report, these categories are further broken down by period and are displayed as colored bar graphs with green designating achieving or exceeding the goal and red denoting failure. A summary of goals achieved is also included on the game report.

View/Print Sample Game Goals Report

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Defensive Statistics

In addition, all of the opponent's offensive statistics, specific defensive statistics include: Defensive Stops, Defensive Assists, Assist Attempts, Block Shots and Offensive Charges.

| Defensive Stops | Defensive Assists || Offensive Charges | Defensive Fouls | Blocked Shots | Crunch Time |

Defensive Stops

Defensive Stops are the determining factor of any game. All the scoring in the world will do you little good if you don’t keep the other team from scoring. A Defensive Stop is a possession in which the opponent team does not score. Defensive Stops occur as result of offensive turnovers and defensive rebounds. Defensive Stops don’t just happen. They are a product of solid defensive play.


Defensive Assists (Forced Turnover)

A Defensive Assist is credited to a player whose defensive action forces an opponent turnover, such as a pass deflection that leads to a steal or turnover or when a player’s defensive action forces a bad pass or fumble or when a player’s defensive pressure results in an opponent violation, such as traveling, double dribble, etc. Anytime an opponent turnover is unforced, a Defensive Assist is not be credited.

Defensive Assists or forced turnovers are actually a more important than steals. This optional statistic is now mandatory in the Australia's professional leagues. Defensive Assists (takeaways) are credited to players for forcing an opponent into a turnover. In fact, Defensive Assists have now become a mandatory statistic in the Australia National Basketball League.

Offensive Charges

Anticipating and taking an offensive charge is a "Really Big Play" (RBP) in basketball especially at the end of a close game. It not only takes away a potential basket and creates an offensive turnover, but it also assesses the offensive player with an additional penalty of a personal foul. By knowing how to properly take a charge, it not only prevents injuries, but, in addition, players are more likely to take charges during the game.

CAUTION: Make sure all your players know how to take an offensive charge. Failure can result in a personal liability law suit.


Defensive Fouls

Keeping the opponent off the free throw line and out of the bonus is a real competitive edge. In order to achieve this goal, players need to have a working knowledge of the individual defensive skills and techniques. On drives to the basket, defenders must defend with their legs. Both hands should be held above the shoulders to discourage and contest the shot or pass options. "Showing" or holding both hands high also eliminates referees from calling fouls.

Do NOT foul a shooter, especially a three point shooter. When a defender is beaten badly, it is best just to cede the shot and rebound. Driving shots down the middle are not easy. Even if the shot is successful, all you have to do is score on the ensuing offensive possession to erase or cancel it out. However, when a shooter is fouled on the shot, in addition to scoring on the next possession, you will have to make a defensive stop, and then score a second time to "Erase" or cancel it out. Fouling not only puts the opponents on the free throw line; but, just importantly, puts the defender in foul trouble.

Fouling plays a critical part in the out come of the game, especially when it comes playoff time. Fouls were added to the basketball rule book to penalize. However, intelligent players and teams can use fouls to their advantage. When it comes to fouling to gain a competitive edge do not assume that players know how and who to foul at the end of the game. If you just tell a player to go foul, they are most likely to grab or hammer an opponent, and pick up an intentional foul. Players need to be know how, when and who to foul.


Blocked Shots

Shot blocking is one statistic you do NOT want to excel in. Shot blocking is usually a result of a defensive error on the part of a peripheral defender. Therefore, poor defensive teams will have a tendency to have higher shot blocking numbers.

While it is a definite advantage to have a dominate shot blocker. Psychologically, it discourages players from driving to the basket disrupting the offensive flow. However, this requires a player with exception athletic jumping ability and/or size. Therefore, players should not attempt to block shots, unless they have the physical size and ability to block shots. Instead they should stay down and establish good rebounding position or take a charge. If a player does possess shot blocking capabilities, they need to be sure to block the shots to themselves or a teammate. A blocked shot that goes out of bounds is of no value.



Crunch Time Statistics

Crunch time reports are comprised of stats for the final three minutes of a game. Leader reports provides the coach with player ranking, such as free throw percentage. But don’t rely on free throw percentages alone. Having a good free throw percentage does not necessarily mean that a player will be successful in a pressure situation. In crunch time, some of the best free throw percentage shooters perform badly; while some of the lower percentage free throw shooters suddenly excel.

Note: Crunch time statistics are much more validity in the cumulative or season reports.



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