Know Your Stats Vol. 2

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Effective Field Goal Percentage is often confused with True Shooting Percentage.  While true shooting percentage brings free throws into the mix in order to more accurately gauge how points are scored, effective field goal percentage focuses on shot attempts from the field and accounts for the fact that three pointers are worth more.  The formula is as follows:

(FGM + 0.5*3FGM)/FGA

Three point shooters then get a boost from the extra points scored from distance.  Let’s look at two examples from tonight’s nationally televised Warriors-Wizards game.

John Wall had 41 points on 17-25 shooting (68.0%).  His effective field goal percentage, giving an extra 0.5 for the three 3s made, is 74.0%.  A huge night that is hard to beat.

Unless you’re Steph Curry.  Curry scored 51 on 19-28 shooting (67.8%) but his effective field goal percentage climbs to 87.5% due to his career-high 11 three-pointers.

You see the same effect with Curry’s teammate, Klay Thompson, who scored 24 on 8-19 shooting (42.1%) but his effective field goal percentage is 57.8% on the strength of his six three-pointers.

So, someone shooting a lower overall percentage is more EFFECTIVE out on the floor if the shots he/she does makes are worth more points.