In case you missed it, the NBA has recently officially started tracking 5 player hustle stats which “evaluates player performance that affects outcomes but can’t be found in traditional box-scores.” They are:
- Contested Shots
- Charges Drawn
- Loose Balls Recovered
- Screen Assists- (the only offensive category- “a screen that directly leads to a basket by the player who received the screen.”)
The NBA notes that these stats are in addition to the traditional tracking of blocks and steals-generally already considered hustle stats. Of course, we’ve spent considerable time in the past at Hoop Coach pointing out that blocks and steals in and of themselves don’t always reflect real value as players can accumulate a number of either by gambling unnecessarily and putting the defense at a disadvantage with risky misses. One should simply further note that any stat can be abused and/or misinterpreted.
However, the more that blocks, steals and the new NBA player hustle stats can be regarded as “pure”, the more useful they can become in evaluating players for actual team play, tryouts or summer camps. Any statistic that we deem important can be used as teaching tool in a team or camp situation as well as further statistical backup at tryouts.
If you’re not already keeping these or your own hustle stats, you might want to consider these in the future as points of reference for yourself and your players. One can search this past season’s NBA leaders in each category (the Pacers’ Paul George led the league in two of the five).