In this third installment of "Useful Basketball Stats" I wanted to present an easy to understand and very easy to implement 21st century stat. This is called EFFECTIVE FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE. Everyone understands basic Field Goal (FG) % because it is just the total number of field goals made (FGM) out of total field goals attempted (FGA) so FG% = FGM/FGA........as easy as it gets so far. The one thing about the sport of basketball, and in this case specifically, field goals (excluding foul shots) there are two point values for field goals: 2 and 3. In soccer you don't get an extra point or goal if you score outside of 25 yards, it's the same to tap it in the net vs. blast a goal-kick into the opposing net. However, in basketball the area outside the arc accounts for one more point. Armed with this information there is a better way to understand your shooting average on field goals.
The reason eFG% tells a better story than FG% is that it takes into consideration that the 3pt make is worth 50% more than the 2pt make.
The formula is: eFG% = (FGM+(0.5 x 3PM))/FGA ------ 3PM = number of 3pt shots made
If you do not shoot any threes at all your FG% = eFG% and if you make 3pt shots than the formula gives you credit for it. FG% doesn't tell you enough because a 2ft shot is far different than a 22ft shot, and they shouldn't be valued the same.
If the math and short Excel formulas scare you just think, it's still just makes/shots taken, but add (0.5 x 3PM) to your total makes.
Hope this helps and gives you an understanding, having a shot chart with percentages shown from different spots on the floor is another useful way to differentiate FG% from different areas. Then as I said in a previous post you can also start to get specific with %s on contested vs. uncontested shots and start to get some answers about your offense. If you end up shooting a lot of contested shots in your offense maybe you need to investigate why. For your specific team what kind of shots do you want from what particular spots? What will put your best players in the best positions to succeed? All good questions to reflect on before, during, and after your respective seasons.
Thanks for reading!
Coach Matt - Father, Coach, Life Long Learner, Basketball Addict