Use a Scores Created Study to give you a more accurate picture of what actions are creating scores for your team, and conversely how your opponents are scoring on you.
One of my favorite offseason projects to do each season is the Scores Created Study. This study looks at every made field goal and free throw from the entire season and categorizes how it was created. The results of this study gives me a better idea of what phase of the game we are scoring in, and what actions are creating those scoring opportunities. To make sure that defense is not being ignored I also conduct this study for our opponents scores as well.
I believe that one of the biggest benefits to this study is to use the results to examine your practice planning strategies. For example, let's say you spend almost 80% of your practice working on half court offense and baseline out of bounds sets. However, after conducting this study you realize that only about 45-50% of your total scores come from those two areas the perhaps that is a piece of evidence that you use to adjust your practice planning moving forward.
Gathering the Data
Gathering the Data for this kind of a study is much easier than it looks on paper. I tag each of our games on Hudl, and having that data available is most certainly an instance where technology has made life a lot easier for coaches. Here the basic process I use for the study:
1. Open a Game Film on Hudl
2. Filter the Game to "Our Team" and then "All Makes"
3. Go through Each Make and determine "What Created the Advantage"
4. Record the Points Scored on my Google Sheet Template
5. Undergo the Same Process with "Our Opponent" and their "Makes"
On each possession I am looking for what "action" created the advantage that led to the score. For instance if a player received a staggered screen and then attacked his man's closeout (which was created by the off ball screen) then I'm recording that as a Off Ball Screen score. Conversely if the basketball is simply swung and then a player drives from the wing to the rim then I am recording that as a Wing Drive score. So figuring out what "Created the Advantage" is at the heart of how I chart the scores.
The 'Scores Created' Categories
I organized the study into 4 Larger Categories; Transition, Half Court Offense, Zone Offense, and Special Situations. At a base level I thought it would interesting to see just how much of our scoring actually comes from stuff like transition & special situations. Given how much coaches generally get bogged down in Half Court Offense I was curious to see just how much of their scoring actually came from those aspects.
From there I thought it was important to break down the categories so we could get a more realistic view of how those points were being scored. So I created Subcategories within those larger four that would essentially cover any kind of score possible within the game.
1. Transition Points off Turnovers
2. Transition Points off Makes / Misses
3. Transition Points out of Press Break
Half Court Offense:
1. Offensive Rebounding
2. Dribble Drive
3. Ball Screens
4. Off Ball Cutting
5. Off Ball Screening
6. Post Scoring
7. 1/1 Scoring
1. Traditional Gap Ball & Player Movement
3. "Set Plays" (although I usually give credit to the action)
4. Non Shooting Fouls
Check it Out: Here is an adaptable Scores Created Study Template
Examining the Results
With any deep dive into analytics or data collection the question becomes, "what do we do with this information?" Perhaps there is a bit of Confirmation Bias built into the study, you sort of an idea about what you are going to find and then the numbers support that thought. However, in some cases I think you can use these numbers to refute some emotional "Coach Speak" that we spew when the season ends.
The 2019-20 Results:
After tallying up the results our 18 game season I created these two charts with breakdown our results into A) The Big Four Categories and B) The Subcategories.
Some Honest Takeaways:
Offensive Rebounding - This was an area of improvement for us heading into the season. I wanted to increase our OREB% & Second Chance Points and we definitely did that. We saw a 4% increase in OREB & a +30 point increase in Offensive Rebounding Created Points. (Still Room to Improve)
Offensive Efficiency & Versatility - We were much more diverse on the offensive end with the move from DDM to Motion Strong. We saw a +100 increase in Off Ball Screening, a +35 increase in Post Scoring, and a +34 increase in Ball Screen Scoring. Our Drive Dribble oriented scores obviously dropped dramatically from 30% to about 15%. This is not on this study but our PPP jumped significantly from .80 to .90 (in part to this move).
Transition Differential - The -10% in transition points scored is a clear trend breaker when looking over the past four seasons. We gave up far too many scores off of live ball turnovers and even transition moments off of misses. Finding a way for us to maintain our increase in offensive rebounding while reducing some of these easy transition baskets is worth further examination this offseason.
Like any analytics based study you need to be able to add context to the numbers you are gathering. Given that these numbers are from a relatively small sample size (18 games) and a small number of games vs challenging or weaker opponents can clearly skew the data I think ignoring context is a mistake. With that being said these numbers are clearly telling where your scores are coming from and perhaps telling you where your Practice Planning focus should be.
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