Differentials – Powerful Metrics that are Easy to Track

In today’s cluttered basketball analytics landscape, it just might be wise for many of us to simplify how coaches and players look at team stats and team goals.

One suggestion is to approach key areas of play looking at the ten “differentials” between your team and your opponent(s) listed below:

  1. SHOT DIFFERENTIAL – Quite simply, you want to get more shots than your opponents.  For a little more insight, see GOOD SHOT DIFFERENTIAL below.
  2. 3PT SHOT DIFFERENTIAL – Again, reference GOOD SHOT DIFFERENTIAL below.
  3. OFFENSIVE REBOUND DIFFERENTIAL which corresponds with….
  4. TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL –  You achieve a shot differential plus by winning one or both of battles 3 and 4.
  5. GOOD SHOT DIFFERENTIAL – After scrubbing turnovers out of the number of shots, analyze both your and your opponent’s BAD SHOTS and SETTLES and deduct them from the gross number of shots. You’ll arrive at net GOOD SHOTS.  You want to win this battle all the time.
  6. FREE THROW DIFFERENTIAL which corresponds with….
  7. FOUL DIFFERENTIAL – 6 and 7 obviously go hand-in-hand but that can vary depending on how many shooting fouls are committed and if/when the bonus goes into effect.  Most fouls have negative consequences sooner or later. As a general rule, you want fewer fouls.
  8. FG% DIFFERENTIAL
  9. 3PT FG% DIFFERENTIAL
  10. FT% DIFFERENTIAL

As another summer project, one might want to review last season’s stats/videos to assess how one fared in these areas.  Assessing the correlation between winning/losing and the number of winning differentials might prove to be a simple but valuable way for you and your players to look at the numbers.   

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Any Thoughts, Coach?