Glossary of Basketball Advanced Stats

The perfect guide to be a better Basketball Analyst

There are a large number of advanced stats in the world of basketball. Among the different types of advanced statistics, there are those based on mathematical formulas, taking as input classic statistics that we all know. In this category we find the Player Impact Estimate (PIE), the Usage, the AST/TOV ratio or the Net Rating. Other advanced stats such as the percentage of assisted field goals or the clutchness indicator are based on play-by-play data. Here we don't cover camera tracking data.

Viziball works with a larger number of these statistics. For a better understanding, we explain everything in this glossary.


Adjusted plus/minus (dpm)

This statistic recalibrates the gross measurement of plus/minus according to the points differential. When a player has -5 +/- and his team has lost by 15 points, his adjusted +/- will be equal to +10.

Assist ratio (astr)

Measures the percentage of possessions ending with an assist. Not to be confused with the Assisted FG ratio.
(AST * 100) / (POSS)

Assist vs. turnover ratio (att)

This measurement is particularly effective for measuring ball control. A player who distributes a lot without turning the ball over will have a high ratio. The reverse is also true: players who lose the ball more than they distribute would be considered as players with poor ball control.

Assisted FG % (fgast%)

Ratio of field goals scored following an assist. This statistic comes in handy for gauging a team's ability to play together, keep the ball circulating and limit individual actions. For a player, it can help to understand his role in offense, is he creating his own shots or is he more a catch and shoot player ?

Clutchness Index (clu)

We use our own measure of the clutchness index. Like a PIE or a Game Score, we combine several basic statistics to produce a single value. Except here we add a coefficient for each stat, depending on the remaining playing time and the point differential at the time the action occurs.

Defensive rating (defrtg)

How many points a player or a team allows per 100 possessions.
Team : 100 * (OppPTS / OppPOSS)

Effective field goal % (efg%)

This statistic gives more importance to the 3 points. To be exact, with this statistic a three point is worth 1.5 times more than a 2 points. When a player scores 4/10 (FG% = 40%) and all of his shots are 3-points, his efg% will be 60%. The formula does not include free throws unlike ts%.
((FG + (0.5 * 3PTS)) / FGA

Four factors index (ff)

This is an experimental statistic measuring the 4 stats that could be the most influential on a victory: efg%, turnover ratio, offensive rebounds % and free throw %. We have weighted the 4 factors, according to their importance estimated by Dean Oliver, the author of this stat.
EFGP * 0.4 + TUR * 0.25 + ORBP * 0.2 + FTR * 0.15

Free throw rate (ft%)

Ratio of free throws attempted according to the number of shots taken. In the NBA, the league's average free throw success rate is 76%. This means that each foul caused is worth an average of 1.52 points. To equal this efficiency, it would be necessary to shoot at 50% at 3 points and at 76% at 2 points. Faced with the importance of joining the free throw line regularly during a match, we can consider that a team which has a high free throw rate optimizes its chances of winning.

Game score (GmScr)

Game Score is made of basic stats, such as points/assists/blocks/turnovers/fouls... every stat has a coefficient. To get the game score, every stat that brings something positive to the team (point, assist...) is added to the score with their coefficient, and the stats that are bringing something negative (fouls, turnovers...) are subtracted from that score with their coefficient.
PTS + (0.4 * FG) - (0.7 * FGA) - (0.4 * (FTA - FT)) + (0.7 * ORB) + (0.3 * DRB) + STL + (0.7 * AST) + (0.7 * BLK) - (0.4 * PF) - TOV

Net rating (netrtg)

Measures the point differential per 100 possessions. This stat is fairer than the raw point differential. Indeed, the pace of play changes from one game to another and it happens that there are 110 possessions in a game for a team and that the next day this same team has only 90 possessions. By applying a ratio on 100 possessions, we estimate the potential with more accuracy. We can then compare precisely, the performance of the same team over a period, but also the performance of teams all together.

Offensive rating (offrtg)

How many points a player or a team scores per 100 possessions.
Team : 100 * ( PTS / POSS)


Estimated number of possessions in 48 minutes of play (40 minutes for FIBA ​​or WNBA). Possession begins when a team gets the ball in attack. It ends when the team scores or loses the ball (an offensive rebound does not create new possession, but an extension of existing possession).
48 * ((TeamPoss + OppPoss) / (2 * (TeamMP / 5)))

Player Impact Estimate (pie)

The PIE shows the percentage of facts from a game that can be attributed to a specific player. This is an interesting statistic because it shows the contribution of a player in a game/week/season as a percentage. Additioning the PIEs of all players of both team gives 100%. Each time a player contributes to a positive game event (point, rebound, assist, block, interception), it will lower everyone else's score. Though, an identical stat line on two different games, will not necessarily give the same measure of impact, and conversely, two identical measures of impact, would not necessarily come from identical stat lines. Likewise, the score can be negative, in the event that the player has not produced enough positive match facts to pass above zero.
(PTS + FG + FT - FGA - FTA + DRB + (.5 * ORB) + AST + STL + (.5 * BLK) - PF - TO) / (GamePTS + GameFG + GameFT - GameFGA - GameFTA + GameDRB + (.5 * GamemORB) + GameAST + GameSTL + (.5 * GameBLK) - GamePF - GameTO)

Plus/minus (+/-)

Shows the point differential when the player is on the field. In our post-game analysis tool, each player is based according to his Plus/Minus value. Using this feature, we can see at a glance if this point differential is positive or negative and where it is placed compared to other players.

True shooting % (ts%)

This statistic accumulates the different types of shots a player can take: 2 points, 3 points and free throws. This statistic is supposed to determine the overall shooting ability. However, it is sometimes criticized for its lack of accuracy in handling cases where there is a majority or 3-points or free throws. A player shooting mostly from three points line being penalized, while a player shooting a lot on the free throw line can end up with a TS% exceeding 100%! Unlike EFG%, we find a lot of big men at the top of the ranking: a lot of points in the paint and a lot of free throws.
PTS / (2 * (FGA + 0.44 * FTA))

Turnover ratio (tur)

Measures the percentage of possessions ending with a turnover. Statistically in the NBA, this concerns more or less 1 in 10 possession.
(TO * 100) / (POSS)

Usage (usg)

Shows the percentage of possessions ending in a player's hands while on the field. In average, USAGE can be considered to be around 20%. 40% USAGE is considered very high. That being said, players that play during garbage time or a few minutes are an exception and can have very high USAGE. For example, if a player stays on the court for one minute, the time of two possessions, and shoots twice, he can have 100% USAGE.
100 * ((FGA + 0.44 FTA + TOV) * ( TeamMP / 5)) / (MP * (TeamFG + 0.44 * TeamFTA + TeamTOV))

offensive rebounds % (oreb%)

Percentage of rebounds taken in attack by a player or team, based on the number of rebounds that could have been taken. According to many specialists, this is one of the most important components in attack (see 4 factors). During the 2018-19 season, the Denver Nuggets had the best offensive rebound ratio at 30.8%, or roughly 3 rebounds for every 10 offensive rebounds available.
ORB / (TeamORB + OppDRB)

Last night

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Every day, Viziball picks a Most Viziball Player (MVP) according to the PIE score and the outcome of the game. The player with the biggest impact among the winning teams is our MVP.

Basic statistics used in the formulas

DRBDefensive rebound
FGField goal
FGAField goal attempt
FTFree throw
FTAFree throw attempt
MPMinute play
ORBOffensive rebound
PFPersonal foul


Al Thornton
Évaluation (game score)
See player profile
* Since 1996-1997 season

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December 7 2022