The Four Factors

You may or may not have heard of the Four Factors.  They are Effective Field Goal Percentage, Rebounding Percentage, Turnover Percentage and Free Throw Rate.

The idea came from basketball analytics genius, Dean Oliver, you can buy his book here (unpaid endorsement – buy maybe save it for the offseason).

Effective Field Goal Percentage gives more weight to three-pointers made because they’re worth more so shooting well from out there makes your overall shooting more effective because you’re scoring more per shot.

Rebounding Percentage is the percentage of available rebounds a team gets, so on one end you’re gonna look at your defensive rebounds and divide by that plus the other team’s offensive rebounds – because that’s total number of rebounds that were available – they got some and you got some.

Turnover Percentage divides the number of turnovers by that number plus field goal attempts and .44 times free throw attempts – the denominator is a rough estimate of possessions, so if you’re turning the ball over often, you’re not shooting as much – forget about making them – and you end up with a higher percentage here.

Finally, free throw rate is number of free throws shot divided by the number of field goals shot.  So for every free throw, you’re shooting how many field goals.  The higher this number, the more aggressive a team would appear to be.

As a coach, I look at this and say ok, if we shoot the ball well, clean up the glass, take care of the basketball and get to the line, we’re gonna be in great shape to win the game!  But, of course, that’s all easier said than done.

Was is pretty easy is finding all of this data on your opponents – it’s right there at StatGeekAnalytics.com – and it’s just $10/year!

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