Basketball Points Off Turnovers

Basketball Points Off Turnovers:

by Prof. Roberto Azar - December 13th., 2011


" We have a  turnover when your team has the ball, and you lose it to the other team. A turnover can come in the form of a stolen pass, a pass that you throw out of bounds, it can be where they steal the ball away from your dribbler, it can be where you have a player stand in the paint for over three seconds, etc. ..."

Basketball (external link) Points off Turnovers are the points given by our TO or made by the turnovers forced to the opponent.
Forcing turnovers is great, but you have to score points when you get those extra chances !

The eBA Stats System records the Points off Turnovers in those two senses."

• About the Points Off Turnovers Concept

More of the third of all regular season games played, are "decided by" points off turnovers. When we Analyze a Basketball game and it is said here that turnover scores were the "deciding factor" in a game, eBA System means that the turnover points led to one team wining the game and the other losing, and without such turnovers, the won-lost result have been switched.

Points are attributable to turnovers in one of two ways - directly or indirectly. By "directly" leading to a score, eBA System mean that a fumble recovery or interception was returned for a fast break attack, and a score in the first 4/6 seconds of the shooting clock ( see the Shot Clock ).
Consequently, by "indirectly" leading to points, we mean that a fumble recovery or interception return immediately led to a set offense play which culminated in a field goal in the second sequence of the shooting clock, after 6/8 seconds play till 24; the turnover did not produce any points in and of itself, but the opponent team did score on the ensuing offensive play.

• About the Concept:

"Points off Turnovers are the points given by our TO or made by the turnovers forced to the opponent.
Forcing turnovers is great, but you have to score points when you get those extra chances!
The eBA Stats System records the Points off Turnovers in those two senses."

• Discussion:

The Price of a Turnover - When a team perpetrate a turnover, a turnover is registered by the statistician. Following the game, on the next opponent possession, if the opponent scores, the regular statistical systems credits that opponent with a "point off a turnover" without regard to the type of turnover.

Case 1 – A1 steals the ball and dunks it on the other end, the Team B is credited for two "points off of turnovers".

Case 2 - B1 throws the ball out of bounds on offense, called a timeout, and then forced the Team A to use the entire shot clock before an A1 last-second jump shot score. Team B is also credited for two "points turnovers".

I don't understand that both these plays would be scored as two points off of turnovers, because only in one of them - the first case - did the scoring in accordance with fact result in a forthright manner from the turnover.

"Points off of turnovers" is thus, as taken by standard statistics systems, a deceptive statistic. This is why some coaches do not trust on the "points off turnovers" statistic to determine the price of turnovers to the team. On the contrary, they concentrate on the real prices of turnovers, which are double:

1 - The large price of a turnover is that the team who turned the ball over fail to keep an offensive scoring opportunity. The most significant price of perpetrating a turnover is the losing of an offensive scoring opportunity and not the opponent's next possession.

Offensive possessions per 48 minutes game are around the 93 / 95 per game, meanwhile for 40 minutes are 80/82. It's impossible to return any loss of one of these scoring opportunities and in the same way each turnover, on average, costs the team one of these opportunities.

2 - The opponent frequently obtains a better scoring opportunity off a turnover. This changes according the type of turnovers (see "Forced and Unforced Turnovers" at "Statistical Discussions").

a) an offensive foul after which the defense is able to assemble and reestablish will not make better the opponent's opportunities of scoring against that defense in that or any other situation.

b) In opposition, a steal leading to a high-percentage fast break can be a particularly priced turnover.

So the true "points off of turnovers" to be analyzed are those leading to opponents points scored in a direct way, though unmistakably this will change on any determined night being contingent on the category of turnover, being forced or unforced, and when in our offensive possession it happened.

The eBA Basketball Statistics Creative Analysis place special emphasis on paying close attention also to the points gained by forcing opponents' turnovers, in our terms: the "forced steals".

• Commentary:

Looking at turnovers stats and how much they are actually worth.

Points off turnovers are often strongly correlated with the number of turnovers by the opposition. Go understand, the team that turns the ball over more will often lose. Is it really the points off the turnovers, or is it the lost opportunities to score by the team that is making more mistakes ?

The Points Off Turnovers analysis conducts us to the "floor percentage", a method popularized by Dean Oliver, which measures offensive efficiency. Basically it's baskets and offensive rebounds as a ratio of attempted baskets plus turnovers ( see this topic at Discussions about Stats ). In other words, when there is a chance to turn the ball over (TOs and FGA), how often does your team profit from it?

"Profit" in this two means: to make a basket or get another chance with a rebound.

Comparing sports, points off turnovers means a lot in football, but not so much in Basketball because only half of all turnovers are steals which potentially lead to fast breaks the other way. The other half give the ball to the other team out of bounds, which isn't always much of this POT advantage.

Analyzing NBA Data: Not surprisingly, any data analysis reveals that turnovers are bad for any team. Now, looking at all the NBA games, the average for points off turnovers on a given possession is a little over 1.1 (switching from 1.16 to 0.99).

Looking at a few of the NBA teams, the range of points per possession (ppp) is 1.01-1.08 ppp. Therefore, it seems that while turnovers are bad, it isn't so bad if we keep the limits and analyze them. It's because you give up an average of about 1.15 points per turnover (much closer to 2 if you drop out a cluster of uncontested lay-ups and dunks), meanwhile the ppp of the total number of possessions is those 1.01-108.

• Forced and Unforced Turnovers

We have a  turnover when your team has the ball, and you lose it to the other team. A turnover can come in the form of a stolen pass, a pass that you throw out of bounds, it can be where they steal the ball away from your dribbler, it can be where you have a player stand in the paint for over three seconds, etc., etc, etc.

When the turnover does occurs or when a bad shot is forced during an ON BALL screen situation, that's means there is a direct influence of an opponent action: the eBA Basketball Statistics Analysis System refers to it as a FORCED TURNOVER. When the turnover does occur WITHOUT any opponent influence or interference: a bad pass a player HIMSELF throws out of bounds, we call it an UNFORCED TURNOVER.

The value of the turnover, doesn't vary in our metric, being the same for both types, but the eBA System report give to the coach the total quantity and percentages of Forced and Unforced Turnovers by separate, leading so to a deeper analysis of our possessions. 

• Particular Formulas & Ratios

Out of linear weights formulas as Tendex, an incomplete list of particular formulas and ratios involving turnovers, is the following:

Approximate Value (AV): Approximate Value (AV) was developed by Dean Oliver based upon several standards a player was to meet in order to gain points of approximate value.

AV = Credits^(3/4)/21


AsR 100: Assist Ratio (available since the 1978 season in the NBA).

Assist ratio is an estimate of assists per 100 possessions.

Assist Ratio (AsR) = 100 * ( AST / ( FGA + 0.44 * FTA + AST + TO ))

Floor %: an evaluation of a team's possessions that lead to a score.

That's means, this is the percentage of a team's possessions on which they scored a point.

Floor % = ( FG + OR ) / ( FGA + TO )

Play Percent: Scoring possessions minus scoring possessions on which no field goal was made (only free throws), divided by possessions minus scoring possessions on which no field goal was made. Approximately the percentage of the time a team will score if not sent to the free throw line.

Play % = FG / ( FGA - OR + TO )

Possessions (Poss): This is the particular calculation of Ken Pomeroy by which a made FT typically ends a possession about 47.5% of the time, meanwhile the eBA System works with the "Up-to--the-Line" numbers as said. Additionally, this formula makes another assumption that approximately 30% of offensive rebounds are converted into points and, therefore, end a possession.

Possessions (Poss): FGA + 0.475*FTA - 1.07*( ORB / ( ORB + Opp DRB ))* ( FGA - FG ) + TO

• From Another Point of View

To discuss this topic, we can read at this eBA Recommended Site: CyberSports USA the following: "Similar to points scored and rebounds, the number of turnovers is a misleading statistic. For turnover statistics to be of value the number of offensive possessions must be considered. Turnovers percentage (turnovers/possessions) is the true indication of a team's ball handling performance.

Normally, you would like to keep your turnovers percentage under 10%. However, if you play an up-tempo game you can expect a higher turnover percentage (15% to 20%). This higher turnover percentage, in most cases, is offset by a higher field goal percentage resulting from more transition lay-ups.

When analyzing ball handling performance, it is also vital to look at the number of opponent points allowed off turnovers. Similar to an offensive rebound, teams must capitalize and score off turnovers for them to be of value.

If a team recovers and makes a defensive stop after a turnover, that turnover is cancelled or erased. Conversely, on defense, you need to evaluate the opponent’s turnover percentage and the points you are scoring off their turnovers." Read More at CyberSports USA.

• From the eBA System Clinic discussions

The following are selected excerpts from the discussions at the eBA System Annual Clinic about this topic "Statistics & Statisticians".

"Some turnovers are continuing action plays (bad passes) and some are interrupted by a stoppage in play (travels, charging fouls, etc) . Do we count points off of turnovers in each situation even when the defense has a full opportunity to establish itself?

If a shot is missed after the turnover followed by an offensive rebound and a subsequent score, is that still 'points off of the preceding turnover"?

In other words, when does the opportunity to create points off of a turnover end........"

"On a jump ball, when can a player touch the ball ? In case of violation at the first jump ball: is a personal turnover or a team-player one ?

Statistical tracking: In case of violation at the first jump ball is a team-player turnover.

This are the restrictions governing jump balls:
a. Each jumper must have at least one foot on or inside that half of the jumping circle which is farthest from his own basket in NBA or the opponent basket in FIBA. Each jumper must have both feet with-in the restraining circle.

b. The ball must be tapped by one or both of the players participating in the jump ball after it reaches its highest point. If the ball falls to the floor without being tapped by at least one of the jumpers, the official off the ball shall whistle the ball dead and signal another toss.

c. Neither jumper may tap the tossed ball before it reaches its highest point.

d. Neither jumper may leave his half of the jumping circle until the ball has been tapped.

e. Neither jumper may catch the tossed or tapped ball until it touches one of the eight non-jumpers, the floor, the basket or the backboard.

f. Neither jumper is permitted to tap the ball more than twice on any jump ball.

g. The eight non-jumpers will remain outside the restraining circle until the ball has been tapped. Teammates may not occupy adjacent positions around the restraining circle if an opponent desires one of the positions. No player may position himself immediately behind an opponent on the restraining circle.

Penalty for c., d., e., f., g.: Ball awarded out-of-bounds to the opponent."

"A player has possession of the ball in his both hands:
- he stoops down and puts the ball on the floor with his both hands still on the ball.
- he stands up again with the ball still in his hands and
stoops down again and put the ball back on the floor with his both
hands still on the ball, is this a double dribble call?
What kind of Basketball stat-rule: unforced turnover?

According to the rules a dribble movement is defined as:

"movement of the ball, caused by a player in control, who throws or taps the ball into the air or to the floor."

Those same rules give us 7 ways a dribble is ended, one of the ways is when a player touches the ball simultaneously with both hands.
So the first answer - an analysis is below - to the question is that it is an unforced turnover ( and only if an opponent close defense caused the action we'll register a forced turnover ).

There are a couple of meanings in this situation: the first depends on whether or not the player started to dribble. The described action, if it is his first movement with the ball would not be a double dribble. The motive for this ratification is because a dribble is done when "a player in ball control, who throws or taps the ball into the air or to the floor". At no moment of the described action the player "throws or taps the ball into the air or to the floor". As a result of it is that the player never had his first dribble, so having a second would be impossible.

In the action described above the player would still be breaking the rules, and this violation would be "Traveling". This would be the second meaning coming from the application of the double dribble rule, that would be if the described action was made with only one hand.
Statistics register: Unforced Turnover.

Although in the case in which a player get a pass from another player or catches a rebound, he crouch through the floor, put the ball on it with his both hands still on the ball, then stand up and crouches again putting back the ball on the floor again with his both hands still on the ball while its on the floor, in order to protect the ball from his opponent: this is not double dribble because the ball never left the player's hands. It's impossible to get a double dribble call until one set of dribbling was ended....."

"... How currently your team or area keep the 'points off turnovers' stats ?

This is a stat that I used to keep. Unfortunately the Head Coach decided not to use this stat any longer. A TO resulting in points was charted and the results given to the Coach. This became too difficult and the practice is not continued any longer, unfortunately. Additionally I charted the stops achieved and the points scored off a steal. This also is no longer done. ..."

"... This is not a question about simply the loose ball statistics, but about the basketball creative statistics analysis !

We, at the eBA want to know more than number of points... number of rebounds... number of assists... number of turnovers...

Much more. But we must be careful of most statistics given just raw numbers because they depend so much on the pace of the game.

We are more interested in percentages.
We always relate the most important numbers to offensive and defensive efficiency, principally based on points per possession for both our team and the opponents.
At halftime report and after the game the huge emphasis are based on points-per-possession analysis. As much as points and field-goal percentages can tell you, they can get a good distortion with a lot of free throws and so on.
But points-per-possession gives you a much better estimation and measuring of where your team is at, both offensively and defensively.

Another number that does not show up in the box score, but is a fixed category at the eBA Analysis are the deflections, to which few also puts plenty of weight. This number, is based on how many times both our defender and the opponents at defense, gets a hand, foot or any other body part on the basketball, not resulting in a personal possession. The number of deflections gives a good idea of his team's intensity level.

Being blocked shot or diving on a loose ball are both actions that disrupts the other team's offense. Offense, basically, is rhythm. And anything you can do to upset rhythm is not good for an offense.

Deflections or dives to a loose ball is a good defense's barometer. It's mean the defenders are active, flying around and doing good things on the defensive end. When this numbers are down, it's usually tells us about passivity.

Deflections and loose ball, like offensive and defensive percentages, are charted by the eBA analyst during a game, and 30/35 may be a good team goal per game.

About defensive and offensive rebounding effort, about what we'll refer in another topic, players are rated individually R11; at both ends of the floor R11; on how well they respond every time the ball goes up, and this analysis is determined only by means of video analysis of the game.

After each game, the eBA Basketball Analysis System Formulas hand out evaluation reports to the team coach and to each individual player who participated. Evaluation reports are based on the ratio of positive points R11; awarded for such things as big baskets, rebounds, steals, first and second assists, blocks and recovered 'loose balls' and those outstanding plays that can turn a game around R11; to the negative points assigned to turnovers, missed free throws and other general deficiencies.

Deflections, dives for loose balls and points per possession mean a very important feedback about those not-so-simple numbers every head coach needs to know. ..."

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Created by azarober. Last Modification: Tuesday 13 of December, 2011 17:04:10 UTC by azarober. (Version 3)

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