Meaningful stats to determine a basketball player’s value

Have you ever been told you’re a good “hustle” player? No leagues, however, keep track of how good a player “hustles.” How do you keep track of how many steals were a result of someone sprinting at full speed down the court to get in the passing lane? How do  you track good defense that disrupts an offensive play? Unfortunately, these type of stats are not tracked and, in my opinion, measure the true value a player brings to a game outside of the normal stats: hustle, heart, and creativity.

I’ve played in many games where I knew one or two guys that changed the game based on how many times they helped on weak-side defense, pushed the ball up the court with good outlet passes, or simply just hustled to get at loose balls. These stats are never tracked among the typical ppg, reb, and stl.  When the game’s over and I check out the stats for the game, I am baffled by how little these players apparently contributed to the game in terms of the stats we normally track.

I think basketball is a sport where the “subjective” stats are measured the least relative to other sports. After reading Moneyball, I realized that there are many stats in baseball that deliver more meaning that just hits and runs. OBP and slugging % are just two stats that use numbers from the game but when calculated for many players, brings new insights into the game. Where are these type of stats in basketball?


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