Since we are going towards the 5th Round of this year’s Euroleague, I thought that we have in our hands enough sample to start looking on some overall statistics and visualizations. I chose to focus on the Assisted Field Goals for each team. This means that we would be looking on the Field Goals Made from each team which resulted from an Assist.
Assists have been always been used a good indication about a team’s level of teamwork and the guards were taking the credit for their great passing. Dean Oliver in his Basketball on Paper (2003) argued that not all assists are the same and credit should be distributed between the player who passed and the player who received the pass. As an example he gives 2 scenarios: 1) the guard passes to the power forward who makes a 3pointer and 2) the guard passes the ball to the center just below the basket and he dunks. It is obvious that the guard should be given more credit on the 2nd scenario than the 1st. But what about the center? Shouldn’t he get credit for optimally positioning himself to receive the pass? For that matter he developed some formulas to estimate the “real” value of each assist.
NBA started providing more advanced and detailed data so there are more convoluted calculations of this metric like this one Crediting Assists: A Fairly Risky Method . Since we don’t have similar data available and I found it difficult to express a team’s assisting behavior, I thought that by visualizing the shots made out of assists would give us more insights. Let start by examining the Assisted Field Goals for the top 4 teams on total assists.
Notice how Real Madrid gives more assists close to the baseline rather than close to the free throw line. Fenerbache manages to pass the ball very close to the basket, hence the red color in that area. Olympiakos has less assists that result in 3pointers (19) than the other teams. Finally, Anadolu Efes how their assists are evenly spread throughout the court, which makes harder to predict their game.
Barcelona doesn’t have many assisted top-of-key 3pointers, and almost no assists outside the box. Panathinaikos manages to pass much closer to the basket, with alley-hoop specialists Calathes-Gist being primarily responsible for that. Zalgiris being pretty balanced, with slightly more 3pointers from the left side. And finally Khimki relying much more to their shooting abilities, being the only team with less assists for 2pointers rather than 3pointers (29 to 32)
Notice the big difference between Maccabi’s assists and Real Madrid’s. Maccabi doesn’t utilize at all the baseline. Gran Canaria hasn’t manage to give assists for corner 3pointers. CSKA and Baskonia rely more on their shooting abilities with 24 assists resulting in 3pointers. Also CSKA gives many more assists from the left side.
Bayern and especially Darussafaka try to utilize the baseline, especially from the left side. Armani Milano relies a lot on their shooting, having a high percentage of assists resulting in 3pointers (21). They do manage to pass the ball close to the basket, but they don’t have many assishts outside the box and not many assisted 3pointers from the right side. Buducnost has the fewer assists than all the Euroleague teams.
Hope the visualizations of the assisted field goals gave you a better understanding on how the teams distribute their assists and how they utilize them. As always for any comments or feedback, reach out to me in https://twitter.com/EDataguy