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Praise for The Basketball Distribution:

"...confusing." - CBS
"...quite the pun master." - ESPN

An Apology for my Quietude: EZ Score

SORRY FOR THE DELAY. I have been hired by the Losangephoenix Spurockets to do basketballysis!

Just kidding.
I've actually been pretty busy doing other church-music related things. Not my bball-twitter-peeps kind of material, I know.

I've had ten or so blog posts in the works, none of which ever reached fruition.
Displeased with my blog production level ( < 20%), I decided to post what I think could probably have made me the most money (I don't know, a couple dollars?) had I decided to streamline and sell it.

Yes, my compassion and eagerness outweighs my entrepreneurial sense. And yes, I did have to spell-check "entrepreneurial."

With sincere apologies to Evan Zamir who owns a 51% market share on the term "EZ" in the basketball-stats world, I present "EZ Score." EZ Score is a game charting system that takes into account every possession (so it requires a bit of rewinding your recorded video), and every player on your team. It is pretty simple to describe, but a little bit open to interpretation. If anyone cares, I can post the Excel-specific nitty gritty on how to accomplish it, but here are the main basic details:


This is a system that imitates Dean Oliver's offensive and defensive rating system, although it is a little bit more intensive in that every possession (both offensive and defensive) must be charted. Credit is only given to whomever directly contributes to the possession result. This is pretty wide-open to interpretation, but generally I follow it like so:
Everything past #1 for each data point could be optional if you want, but it will give you less-refined results.

Each possession must be entered manually, simply by entering the player's jersey number like so:

A dream-team including MJ, Hansbrough, and Penny.

P1=Most responsible / directly responsible for the possession result
P2=Less responsible than player #1
P3=Less responsible than player #1

If only one player truly deserves credit, only enter one player. My excel sheet distributes credit accordingly to the between 1 and 3 players(weights are noted at the end of this section).


Good possession (2+ points):
P1) Whoever scores
P2) Pass or screen or offensive rebound leading to score
P3) Pass or screen or offensive rebound leading to #2

Normative plays (1 point):
P1) Whoever scores. Optionally, the assister/etc can receive credit as P2 and/or P3, but this depends on your philosophy (is it the passer's "fault" that the player misses a free throw?, etc)

Bad plays (0 points):
P1) Turnover, missed field goal
P2) Not boxing out/missing easily available rebound

Good possessions (0 points):
P1) Forced field-goal miss or defensive rebound (if more causal than #2), fouls, forced turnovers
P2) Forced field-goal miss or defensive rebound (if less causal than #1), fouls, forced turnovers, help defense
P3) Same as #2

Normative possessions (1 point):
P1) fouler gets 100% credit

Bad possessions (2+ points):
P1) Your man or your zone scores / fail to switch / etc
P2) If a man is wide open due to #1, whomever helps, etc receives #2.
P3) Same as #2

Now, the weighting. In excel, I weight every possession depending on the # of contributing players
If there is 1 player, they receive 100% of the score & possessions
p1=(100% * points, 1 possession)

If there are 2 players, the first receives 66.67% of the score and possession, the second receives 33.33%.
p1=(66% * points, 0.66 possessions), p2=(33% * points, 0.33 possessions)

If there are 3 players, the first receives 50%, and the second two receive 25% apiece.
p3=(50%*points, 0.5 poss), (25%*points, 0.25 poss)

So, there are many obvious small changes one could make. Many of these would increase the work of the charter and might not necessarily be necessary; it's a balancing act. The most obvious to me is the ability to choose in the two or three-player scenarios between ranked and equal weights for player 2 & 3 (i.e. the ability to say that a scorer-screener-assister are weighted something like 50-30-20 rather than 50-25-25) But I would love to hear your suggestions. are my results for USA v. France in the Olympics this year. This took maybe 30 minutes more than it would have, had it been a regular game-watching experience.

I'll try to do this for a few games this year as my free time permits. Use responsibly!


About Me

I wish my heart were as often large as my hands.