Okay, so I suck at math, and iirc I got a C- in my college statistics course. So when I do stats stuff I'm pretty much flying by the seat of my pants.
Now I have something I want to do, which is basically to create some measure of effectiveness at finishing which goes a couple steps beyond simple at-rim fg%.
Factors I'd like to include:
- % of total FGAs taken at rim
- at-rim FG%
- % of shot attempts blocked
How I got here was that I'm rewatching Nuggets@Lakers G1 of the last playoffs, in which Bynum went nuts and had 10 blocks. And it got me to wondering how Nuggs players stack up against the rest of the league at finishing around the rim. Didn't take long for me to dig up that their three guards (Lawson, Miller, Afflalo) were all in the bottom 10 of shot attempts blocked (that is, they had among the highest percentages). But then, that's not automatically an indictment on being bad finishers when Denver led the league by a really wide margin in at-rim shot attempts. Jason Kidd, for example, had a great (low) %blocked number, but he pretty much never attacks the rim and mostly shoots from the arc or mid-range, so he's really never putting himself in a position to get blocked.
So I'm looking for a way to factor shots blocked into the equation, controlling for what I guess might be called "average blocks expected based on the number of at-rim shot attempts", if that makes sense.
For example, Westbrook had a %blocked percentage of 6.5% last season. On average, 6.1 of his 19.2 FGAs (about 32%) were taken at the rim. Ty Lawson had a 9.2 %blocked, and took 4.6 of his 12.5 attempts (about 37%) at the rim. So the calculation I'm looking for here is one that would show that, while Lawson should be expected to have a *slightly* higher %blocked than RW based on taking a higher percentage of shots at the rim, his % is actually disproportionately high based on what we'd expect on average, indicating that RW is the better finisher, or at least the better "block avoider".
And that's why I want to include FTA/FGA and at-rim FGA, too, because getting blocked (or avoiding it) is only one part of the story.
Anyhow, I hope this all makes sense to you. I don't know if anybody has come up with a way to calculate the kind of thing I'm fishing for, but if any of you guys who have superior stats/math skills to mine have any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.
Full disclosure, I'm hoping to base a blog post on this topic, and I'll be more than happy to credit anyone who can lend a hand. Thanks very much in advance.