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DenButsu
01-05-2011, 06:19 AM
I'm on my cell now, so I can't post the article I read earlier today (I'll include it later), and I don't remember the author's name. But the topic was three stats that should be tracked: hockey assists, charges taken, and successful screens.

It was the latter that caught my attention the most because of two reasons. Firstly, I'd just heard the least about it as a tracked stat. Bui also, I was watching the Knicks- Spurs game.

Both teams were shooting the lights out for most of the game. But perhaps the biggest defensive failure by the Spurs - or I guess I should say offensive success by the Knicks, and a huge factor in their win, was the inability of the Spurs (with Tony Parker probably being the most guilty party), to fight through New York's screens.

So, seems like a discussion worthy stat to me...

DenButsu
01-05-2011, 10:48 AM
Okay, back home, found the article again:

By Ira Winderman

In 1973-74, the NBA added blocked shots and steals as recognized statistics. The move added relevancy to the careers of Alvin Robertson, Mookie Blaylock, Gary Payton, Mark Eaton, Dikembe Mutombo, even George T. Johnson.

Since then, box scores have become stagnant. For nearly four decades.

Perhaps it is time for the NBA to add its versions of baseball "holds" and "blown saves," while stopping sanely short of the NFL's insipid passing rating (which basically is the U.S. tax code divided by interceptions).

Our votes:

* Charges taken.
* The hockey assist (sorry, but fractions will be involved).
* Successful screens.

In each case, the stat recognizes a player's sacrificing for the good of the team, an effort that would otherwise go largely unnoticed. It would validate why coaches value players who seemingly otherwise produce so little.

The save in baseball created a lineage of newly relevant closers, added distinction to the careers of Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. These statistics could do the same for basketball.



Charges taken
First, a personal aside: I am not a huge fan of the play. I doubt the architects of the game thought it would be a good idea for a player to stand idly by, endure a full-body bruise, effectively ruin what otherwise could be something electrifying.

From this perspective, the NBA's no-charge semicircle is no frown turned upside down.

But it is an accepted part of the game, so give it its due.

Unlike a blocked shot, when a charge is taken, there is a definitive change of possession. This is not Dwight Howard swatting the ball out of bounds. This is Big Baby Davis making sure there is a change of possession.

And there is the bonus of a personal foul on the opposition.

If a block or a steal has its own statistical relevance, then why not something for the ultimate badge of defensive courage? Such recognition also would expand the database media and coaches can consult when voting for Defensive Player of the Year and All-Defensive teams.



Hockey assist
For the uninitiated, unlike in basketball, hockey is allowed to credit up to two assists per goal.

The thought process there is that it often is the pass that leads to the pass that sets up the scoring play.

In the NBA, few plays are as underappreciated as the pass that leads to the assist pass.

Basketball is at its best when the ball moves, when isolation plays are kept to a minimum, when there is more than a two-man game.

But don't kid yourself, NBA players are well aware of what provides the payoff, namely the pass that is converted into two points. It is the dime that is reflected in the paycheck.

Of course, if the NBA immediately moved to an NHL system, then the likes of John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson quickly could become marginalized, with so many more assists available.

Fair enough.

Then go to the NFL's system with sacks. No, we're not big fans of fractions, either. But if the NFL can divide sacks into half-sacks, and if 300-pound men can accept the decimal points, then who are NBA players to complain?

For the league's leading assist men, the change would be marginal. Most play in pick-and-roll systems, or are involved with two-man games where there only would be one definitive assist involved, no fractions needed.

Yes, it would increase the workload on the scorers' table, but there are plenty of judgment calls in the process already. Plus the league reviews video and audits each box score, anyway, so it's not as if it would be such an unreasonable requirement.



Successful screens
This is one we're not totally sure how to quantify, but nonetheless believe it should be quantified.

No play is more prevalent in the NBA than the pick and roll. Teams such as the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz run it over and over and over.

The results are tons of assists and baskets.

But what about the screener, the player who clears the space, creates the opening, sometimes never touches the ball in the process?

Understand, many teams feature players solely because of their ability to set screens, which very much is an NBA skill.

It might be the sole reason Joel Anthony gets any playing time for the Heat.

Why not a "screen assist," crediting a player for creating the space or switch or mismatch that leads to a successful basket?

A judgment call? No doubt. But don't, for a second, think there aren't plenty of judgment calls already in the box score, from who gets credit for a tipped rebound, whether an assist should be credited, if a shot is deflected or not when it comes to awarding a blocked shot.

There might be no act as unsung in the NBA as the successful screen, yet no play utilized as often.

The screener is the NBA's ultimate grunt. We're not talking about those finesse big men who spend the majority of their time slipping the screen. Sorry, Amare, this one's not for you.
http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/40300182/ns/sports-nba/

Baller1
01-05-2011, 02:11 PM
I really, really want charges taken to become a followed statistic. It could really enhance how a player is viewed defensively, as it can be virtually viewed as a steal.

arkanian215
01-05-2011, 03:39 PM
This is the dude that covered the Cavs and then got offered a job to cover the Heat right?

Back in the day, Sheed and Big Ben would've been credited with quite a few of those since Rip would run through the gauntlet to get to the ball.

daleja424
01-10-2011, 08:42 PM
This is the dude that covered the Cavs and then got offered a job to cover the Heat right?

Back in the day, Sheed and Big Ben would've been credited with quite a few of those since Rip would run through the gauntlet to get to the ball.

no. Thats brian something.

Ira has been covering the Heat for years.

as for this topic... good luck. In a single offensive set there could be a half dozen screens set (on ball and off). really unrealistic IMO.

and the hockey assist... what on earth does that tell you!?!

I am all for tracking charges taken though...

DenButsu
01-10-2011, 09:23 PM
as for this topic... good luck. In a single offensive set there could be a half dozen screens set (on ball and off). really unrealistic IMO.

I think if you just tracked the screen(s) that directly created the opportunity to score for the player who makes a basket, there usually would only be one, or maybe sometimes two screens involved. If you're looking at every screen that's set on a possession where there's a lot of dribbling and ball movement and they let the shot clock wind down to 0:02, then I'd agree. But if you only target the very last screen(s) which directly got the shooter open, I don't think it should be too unrealistic. And in fact, I'd imagine that there are teams which already track this.

daleja424
01-10-2011, 11:35 PM
but where does the score keeper look?

If he is watching the ball handler looking for a screen, then there is an offball baseline screen that frees up a shooter, then the ball handler passes to the guy and he scores.. wouldnt the score keeper miss that?

It doesnt seem like something that can be realistically tracked in live time to me.

tredigs
01-16-2011, 04:01 PM
I really think there's just too many factors involved in setting screens (and subjectively judging how important it was to the shot) to get any meaningful stat out of it.

As for drawing charges, HoopData tracks it, but for some reason the '10-'11 stats aren't updated right now. http://www.hoopdata.com/defrebstats.aspx?team=%25&type=tot&posi=%25&yr=2011&gp=0&mins=0

Last year Nick Collison and Bogut led the league, and this season I'm pretty sure Gallo was running away with it. He's been out for two weeks though, so who knows now.

DenButsu
01-16-2011, 08:56 PM
but where does the score keeper look?

If he is watching the ball handler looking for a screen, then there is an offball baseline screen that frees up a shooter, then the ball handler passes to the guy and he scores.. wouldnt the score keeper miss that?

It doesnt seem like something that can be realistically tracked in live time to me.

Well, maybe the definition would need to be narrowed somewhat. "Successful screen leading directly to a made basket", perhaps? Yeah, it's true there are more complicated sets that involve multiple screens, and screens pretty far off the ball, etc., but then again, there are probably even more times when it's pretty damn clear, like this:

http://www.nba.com/video/games/heat/2010/01/06/0020900510_BOS_MIA_play3.nba/

To me, this is a trackable stat. It's not as if subjectivity isn't involved in tracking other, more traditional stats anyhow. It's not like assists or blocks are tracked perfectly, or even close to it, probably.

Baller1
01-21-2011, 08:54 PM
I really think there's just too many factors involved in setting screens (and subjectively judging how important it was to the shot) to get any meaningful stat out of it.

As for drawing charges, HoopData tracks it, but for some reason the '10-'11 stats aren't updated right now. http://www.hoopdata.com/defrebstats.aspx?team=%25&type=tot&posi=%25&yr=2011&gp=0&mins=0

Last year Nick Collison and Bogut led the league, and this season I'm pretty sure Gallo was running away with it. He's been out for two weeks though, so who knows now.

I can say with quite a bit of confidence that I'm sure Collison is top 3 if not first again this year. Atleast one a game no matter what, and a lot of the time he's able to grab a couple.

If anything, he would lead the league in charges taken per48.

KnicksorBust
01-30-2011, 05:16 PM
I'm on my cell now, so I can't post the article I read earlier today (I'll include it later), and I don't remember the author's name. But the topic was three stats that should be tracked: hockey assists, charges taken, and successful screens.

It was the latter that caught my attention the most because of two reasons. Firstly, I'd just heard the least about it as a tracked stat. Bui also, I was watching the Knicks- Spurs game.

Both teams were shooting the lights out for most of the game. But perhaps the biggest defensive failure by the Spurs - or I guess I should say offensive success by the Knicks, and a huge factor in their win, was the inability of the Spurs (with Tony Parker probably being the most guilty party), to fight through New York's screens.

So, seems like a discussion worthy stat to me...

1. Hockey Assists - Not a fan. It already seems like every PG in the NBA today matches Magic Johnson, we don't need to feed them extra assists. If anything I'd be more comfortable with the idea of creditting those assists that lead directly to free throws. Again though I'd want that to be an extra statistic. "Bonus" Assists because they put teams closer to the penalty.

2. Charges Taken - No Brainer. I've seen this on 82games and hoopsdata before. I love the idea. It's arguably the most effective defense you could possibly play on an offensive player because it changes possession AND draws a personal foul.

3. Successful Screens - In theory a great stat to track because it helps earn those punch the clock players the credit they deserve for working hard. You'd end up with someone like Amar'e leading the league though. Also, if Ray Allen comes off a double screen, then both players get credit? I don't really like it.