Know Your Stats Vol. 1

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True Shooting Percentage

True shooting percentage shows you how well a player is shooting when you factor in three pointers and free throws.  It is calculated as follows:

Points/(2*(FGA + 0.44*FTA))

The 0.44 lowers the value of the free throw attempt because the shot is uncontested and only worth one point.  The adjustment also provides a balance to the number of field goal attempts for more aggressive players who are fouled on drives, think James Harden.

The ‘true’ descriptor comes from the fact that when you bring in free throw attempts and use points scored, rather than just field goals made, as the basis, you can more easily compare players who may not be comparable on other basic shooting metrics like FG%, 3FG% and FT%.  Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks has a lower field goal percentage (49%) than his teammate Al Horford (54%) but no one would ever state Horford is a better shooter.  In fact, when you look at true shooting percentage, Korver jumps up to 70% and Horfordonly goes up to 56%.