Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stat Class: Ray Floriani on Efficiency 101

Greg Herenda and Fairleigh Dickinson search for answers against Bryant University. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

TEANECK, NJ -- ­ Stats class in session. Call it the start of the second semester. We will look at efficiency, a player’s individual efficiency, for which there are many formulas and ideas. Today, we will look at a basic and widely used metric as employed by the NBA and WNBA. 

The basic formula:

EFF = REB + Steals + Assists + Blocked shots + Points ­ (missed FGA + missed FTA + Turnovers)

FGA:­ Field goals attempted

FTA: ­ Free throws attempted

Let us look at the efficiency numbers from the respective team leading scorers in Saturday’s game won by Bryant over FDU 95-­68.

                                    Points Efficiency

Corey Maynard, Bryant       30           34

Sidney Sanders Jr., FDU     21           20

A word about efficiency: No formula is perfect in measuring individual performance. The classics as PER, Tendex, win score, et al., all have their good points and flaws. The NBA efficiency model does not take fouls into account. Still, it is easy to compute, and by getting a halftime or final statistic, you can do the math quickly even without a calculator. One can also divide efficiency by games played or minutes played to get a closer breakdown for comparison sake.

Let us take a closer look at the ‘lines’ of our two leading scorers, beginning with Maynard of Bryant:


12-­15 3-­3 3     30   3    1    0    2

Maynard, a 6­-3 senior guard, compiled 38 points through scoring, steals, assists and rebounds. He lost only four on three missed field goals and one turnover for an outstanding afternoon with an excellent 34 efficiency.

Sanders Jr. had the following numbers:


6-­13 8-­10 2    21    5    1    0     2

Sanders lost nine on missed shots. He also had one turnover. His scoring, rebounds, assists and steals gave the FDU guard 30 . The final efficiency with the 10 subtracted (misses and turnover) gave a final total of a 20 efficiency.

Next time out, try to ascertain and make sense out of these numbers. In other words, a 34 efficiency is impressive; but measured against a certain standard, how impressive?

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