Plays That Should Be in the Stat Sheet

It seems as if there are endless stats that are tracked every day in basketball games. New advanced stats like plus-minus rating and overall player efficiency are nice, but there are still some important plays every game that don’t get recorded in the stat sheet. Here are my ideas of three new things that should be tracked in the stat books every game (at least at the college and professional levels).

Screen Assists

Anybody who plays NBA 2K MyPlayer mode knows what I’m talking about here. When a player sets a good on- or off-ball screen that leads to their teammate having separation from the defense and an eventual basket, the player setting the screen deserves credit for what he has done.

Screens are vital parts of any successful offense. Whether it be the classic pick-and-roll or block-to-block post picks, screens can be used in almost any offensive situation. There is an art to setting a good screen, and those big men that do it well deserve some credit in the stat sheets for their work. If we can manage to keep track of offensive fouls that are caused by setting a poor screen, then surely we have the ability to track a successful screen that leads to a score.


Other than blocks and steals, the defensive end of the floor really gets no love in the stat sheet. So we need to make more stats to give those great defenders some credit. Often, when a player deflects a pass, he prevents the ball from going to a wide open shooter or a cutter down low. Yet, if he deflects the pass and doesn’t come up with the steal, he gets no credit for it.

The difference between a deflected pass and a steal is the fact that the defender doesn’t gain possession after the deflection. That’s it. So we should still keep track of deflected passes because of their importance on the defensive end.

Pass to Assist

Another 2K stat here. Good ball movement is another key component to any successful offense, yet only the player who makes the very last pass to the shot gets any credit in the stat sheet. The man making the assist could have never done so had his teammates not given it to him and put him in the position to execute the pass.

Players who see excessive double teams could really rack up these plays. I remember last year when Carmelo Anthony had his 62 point game that people criticized him for having no assists. Yet, as I watched the highlights, I noticed that he kicked the ball out numerous times from a double team, only for his teammates to make the extra pass to a then wide open player. It was great offensive execution by the entire team, but had Melo not been commanding extra players on defense, none of it could have ever happened. As a result, he looks like a ball hog on that stat sheet despite indirectly setting his team up for easy looks. A must have-stat here.

Maybe one day these stats will be a reality. Are there any stats that you guys think should be included in the expanding basketball stat sheet? Let me know in the comments below!

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