While we patiently wait for the MLB lockout to end and for baseball to begin, we thought we’d update you on some of the cool work we’re doing in another sport.
In 2020, Sports Info Solutions expanded its sport coverage to include college basketball (you might recall this Stat of the Week). In 2021, we further expanded to fully cover the NBA.
We’re doing the same kind of thing for basketball that we are for baseball – digging deeper to provide insights that help with player evaluation and game strategy. A team of 16 Video Scouts is watching every play of every game, charting things that have never been charted before.
We’re often dealing with the world of opportunities.
When judging whether an NBA player is a good passer, we look to his assist total. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. What about the instances in which that player created an opportunity for an uncontested shot?
That’s the kind of thing that we’re tracking.
If you want to learn more of the specifics, check out this article, which includes explanations and video review.
But let’s get to the leaderboard.
The top three NBA players at creating uncontested looks for their teammates are three of the game’s top stars, Luka Dončić, Trae Young, and Chris Paul.
Here’s the top 10:
A reminder that whether the shooter made or missed the shot is not factored in here. What you can garner from this is that Dončić is the best at creating a lot of high-quality opportunities for his teammates, doing so more than any other player on a per-possession basis.
Just missing the cut on the leaderboard is the NBA’s rookie leader in this stat, 19-year-old Australian-born point guard Josh Giddey of the Thunder (5.4). Though the Thunder are near the bottom of the Western Conference, Giddey’s passing skills have provided prominent value.
Beyond the Top 10, one player for whom this stat is educational is Cory Joseph of the Pistons. The Pistons currently have the worst record in the NBA and though Joseph’s numbers are unimpressive on the surface, he ranks 26th at 4.4 potential assists on open shots per 100 possessions. At age 30, it seems like Joseph still has something left to offer in terms of aiding his teammates’ shot creation.
For more basketball stats and insights, follow the SIS Hoops team on Twitter and be on the lookout for their Playing in Space podcast, which debuts next week.