In this glossary, you can find the definitions, translations, and abbreviations of all the terms used in basketball statistics. You can find for some advanced statistics a chapter of “Learn a Stat” to better understand theories and formulas of these stats, all supported by some examples for the most complex statistics: you can find the link on the name of the statistics with the dedicated chapter.

Some general concepts before going into detail; if a statistic can refer to different elements, prefixes are used for more comprehensive accuracy:

  • Te: team stat;
  • Opp: opponent stat;
  • Lg: league stat;
  • No prefix: player stat;

If you are using the average value “per game” you can find the suffix “/G” or “PG”.

GP

GAME PLAYED

The total amount of games played by a player or a team.


GS

GAME STARTED

The total amount of games started by a player or a team.


MP; MIN

MINUTES PLAYED

The total amount of minutes played by a player or a team.


W/L

WIN/LOSS

The total amount of wins and losses by a player or a team.


W%

WIN PERCENTAGE

The percentage of wins by a player of a team.


2PA; 2FGA

2 POINT ATTEMPTED

Other terms: 2 point field goals attempted
The total amount of shots attempted from the 2 point area.


2PM; 2FGM

2 POINT MADE

Other terms: 2 point field goals made
The total amount of shots made from the 2 point area.


2P%; 2FG%

2 POINT PERCENTAGE

Other terms: 2 point field goals percentage
The percentage of shots made compared to the shots attempted.


%2P; 2FG FREQ

2 POINT FREQUENCY

Other terms: 2 point field goals frequency 
The percentage of shots attempted from the 2 point area compared to the total number of shots attempted (from 2 and 3 point).


3PA; 3FGA

3 POINT ATTEMPTED

Other terms: 3 point field goals attempted
The total amount of shots attempted from the 3 point area.


3PM; 3FGM

3 POINT MADE

Other terms: 3 point field goals made
The total amount of shots made from the 3 point area.


3P%; 3FG%

3 POINT PERCENTAGE

Other terms: 3 point field goals percentage
The percentage of shots made compared to the shots attempted.


%3P; 3FG FREQ

3 POINT FREQUENCY

Other terms: 3 point field goals frequency 
The percentage of shots attempted from the 3 point area compared to the total number of shots attempted (from 2 and 3 point).


FGA

FIELD GOALS ATTEMPTED

The total amount of shots attempted from the field.


FGM

FIELD GOALS MADE

The total amount of shots made from the field.


FG%

FIELD GOALS PERCENTAGE

The percentage of shots made compared to the shots attempted.


FTA

FREE THROWS ATTEMPTED

The total amount of free throws attempted.


FTM

FREE THROWS MADE

The total amount of free throws made.


FT%

FREE THROWS PERCENTAGE

The percentage of shots made compared to the shots attempted.


PTS

POINTS

The total amount of points made.


OR; OREB

OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS

The total amount of offensive rebounds grabbed.


DR; DREB

DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS

The total amount of defensive rebounds grabbed.


TR; TREB

TOTAL REBOUNDS

The total amount of all rebounds (offensive and defensive) grabbed.


AST

ASSIST

The total amount of assist made (a pass made before a teammate’s shot made).


ST; STL

STEAL

The total amount of balls stolen during the defense.


TO; TOV

TURNOVER

The total amount of balls lost during the offense.


BLK

BLOCKS

The total amount of blocked shots during the defense.


BLKA; BA

BLOCKS AGAINST

The total amount of blocked shots suffered during the offense.


PF

PERSONAL FOULS

The total amount of fouls committed.


DF; PDF

FOULS DRAWN

The total amount of fouls drawn.


EFF

EFFICIENCY

The total amount of the positive contributions (points, rebounds, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, fouls drawn) and negative contributions (missed shots, fouls committed, blocks against, turnovers) of a player or team. Some terms, depending on the evaluation choices, can be considered or not.


+/-

PLUS MINUS

The total amount of the points scored and allowed by a player’s team while he/she is on the field. It is a very interesting statistic because it tends to show the impact of a player on the court. It can be negative if the team allowed more points than made.


POSS

POSSESSION

Learn a Stat: Possessions and Pace

The number of total possessions played during the entire game. Be careful though, because possession for statistics is not what we usually mean. In statistical terms, possession can end in only 3 ways:

  • The offensive team scores a basket (from the field or from the free throw line);
  • The offensive team loses the ball;
  • The defensive team grabs a defensive rebound after a missed shot (from the field or from the free throw line);

The number of possessions is not provided in the traditional box score: Dean Oliver has therefore created a formula that allows estimating the number of possessions.

Poss = FGA – OR + TO + 0.44 * FTA

The definition and the formula show that an offensive rebound does not generate a new possession. Thanks to this equation you can find an estimate of the number of possessions played by a team. To obtain a more accurate number, the average of the two teams’ possession can be calculated.


PACE

PACE

Learn a Stat: Possessions and Pace

Other terms: Pace Factor
The pace is the statistic that allows you to compare the number of possessions over the 40 (or 48) minutes and understand the average game speed of a team. Why is it better to compare Pace and not Possessions? Because of overtime. Pace makes possible to compare the game speed taking into account this particular situation (otherwise possessions will be always higher for a team that has played overtime).


SoS

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Learn a Stat: Strenght of Schedule

Strength of Schedule is a statistic that is rarely used in Europe. This is because in our leagues schedules are designed in a way that each team plays the same number of matches and they all play against all, without distinction. The Strength of Schedule is a value that shows the difficulty of the calendar played so far (it is therefore not a predictive statistic) when the various calendars show different numbers of games and/or different opponents, as happens for example in NBA. In this way, through the SoS value it is possible to understand which teams have faced a more or less hard schedule, in order to evaluate their statistics taking into account the more or less strength of schedule.


ORTG; OFF RTG

TEAM OFFENSIVE RATING

Learn a Stat: Team Offensive, Defensive, and Net Rating

It is the team’s offensive efficiency value. This statistic gives an estimate of the points made by a team on a basis of 100 possessions. It does not provide an absolute value: the team’s value must always be compared with the average value of the league (i.e. the average of all the Off Rtg of the teams in the championship). This is because a team with a value of 115 will be phenomenal if the league average is 100, but will be normal if the average is 110.


DRTG; DEF RTG

TEAM DEFENSIVE RATING

Learn a Stat: Team Offensive, Defensive, and Net Rating

It is the team’s defensive efficiency value. This statistic gives an estimate of the points allowed by a team on a basis of 100 possessions. It does not provide an absolute value: the team’s value must always be compared with the average value of the league. The league defensive rating average will be identical to the league offensive rating average.


NRTG; NET RTG

TEAM NET RATING

Learn a Stat: Team Offensive, Defensive, and Net Rating

It is the difference between Team Offensive Rating and Team Defensive Rating.


ORTG; OFF RTG

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE RATING

Learn a Stat: Individual Offensive Rating

Other terms: Player Offensive Rating 
The individual Offensive Rating is the value of points produced by a player on the basis of 100 possessions. The calculation for the player’s offensive rating requires the use of different formulas that you can consult in the dedicated post: briefly, the statistic takes into account the baskets from the field made and attempted, the free throws made and attempted, the assists made, the turnovers and offensive rebounds grabbed, with different weights depending on the contribution and team performance. As for team evaluations, it is better to compare the value of the individual player with the League average. In general, the higher the value, the better the player’s offensive contribution will be.


DRTG; DEF RTG

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE RATING

Learn a Stat: Individual Defensive Rating

Other terms: Player Defensive Rating 
The Defensive Rating defines the number of points allowed by the player to the opposing team on a basis of 100 possessions. This statistic is made up of two factors. The first takes into account some player’s contributions: defensive rebounds, steals, blocks, and fouls committed. The second term is more difficult to calculate because it consists of a series of data that are not found in the normal box-scores. These data are:

  • Opponent’s turnovers forced by the player (without stealing the ball);
  • Opponent’s missed shots contested by the player (but not blocked);
  • Opponent’s missed free throws after being sent to the line by the defender;
  • Opponent’s shots made allowed by the player;

Since these data are rarely available, Oliver made some approximation in order to obtain them: it is assumed that the five defenders on the field are equally good at forcing turnovers and contested shots. Therefore, opponents’ missed shots and turnovers are divided according to players’ minutes played. This distribution is fairly rough, but it is necessary because of the limited data available. If, for example, a team puts in three excellent defenders and two bad ones, these two will get statistical benefits for their Def Rtg value, despite being bad defenders.
Furthermore, this value is also influenced by the team’s Defensive Rating: this leads to having medium-low individual values for good defenders who play in teams with mediocre defenses. The final value remains reliable, but these approximations must be taken into account when evaluating individual Defensive Rating. As you have understood by now, all the considerations made for the other ratings are still valid: it’s better to compare the values with the League average.


NRTG; NET RTG

INDIVIDUAL NET RATING

Other terms: Player Net Rating 
The difference between individual Offensive Rating and Individual Defensive Rating: in other words, it is the player’s actual contribution when he is on the court. If the value is greater than zero, the presence on the field will be positive; otherwise, it will be negative (he allowed more points than he made). Although it reminds the Plus – Minus as definition, it provides different information.


USG%

USAGE PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Shooting percentages and Usage

It is an estimate of the percentage of the possessions used by a player compared to the team’s ones. The higher the value, the greater the number of possessions concluded by the player.


2P 100POSS

TWO POINT ATTEMPTED PER 100 POSSESSIONS

It is the estimate of 2 point shots attempted on a basis of 100 offensive possessions. An offensive possession can be ended only by a shot or a turnover. Useful data for comparing shots distribution.


3P 100POSS

THREE POINT ATTEMPTED PER 100 POSSESSIONS

It is the estimate of 3 point shots attempted on a basis of 100 offensive possessions. An offensive possession can be ended only by a shot or a turnover. Useful data for comparing shots distribution.


FT 100POSS

FREE THROW ATTEMPTED PER 100 POSSESSIONS

It is the estimate of free throws attempted on a basis of 100 offensive possessions. An offensive possession can be ended only by a shot or a turnover. Useful data for comparing shots distribution.


OR%; OREB%

OFFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Rebound Percentages

The percentage of offensive rebounds grabbed by the player/team during the game. Therefore, the opponent’s defensive rebounds are also taken into account.


DR%; DREB%

DEFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Rebound Percentages

The percentage of defensive rebounds grabbed by the player/team during the game. Therefore, the opponent’s offensive rebounds are also taken into account.


TR%; TREB%

TOTAL REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Rebound Percentages

The percentage of total rebounds grabbed by the player/team during the game. Therefore, the opponent’s total rebounds are also taken into account.


AST%

ASSIST PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Assists and turnovers

The percentage of baskets “assisted” by the player/team. It makes clear how much a player/team passes the ball to others.


AST / TO

ASSIST TO TURNOVER RATIO

The relationship between assists and turnovers. Shows the number of assists made per each lost ball. The higher the number, the more assists the player/team makes between one turnover and the next one.


AST RATIO

ASSIST RATIO

Learn a Stat: Assists and turnovers

The number of assists made by the player/team per 100 possessions. Basically the higher the value, the more assists the player/team makes against fewer attempts.


TO RATIO; TO%; TOV RATIO; TOV%

TURNOVER RATIO

Learn a Stat: Assists and turnovers

The number of turnovers by the player/team per 100 possessions.


ST%

STEAL PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Steals and blocks

The percentage of ball stolen by the player/team related to the total opponent’s possessions.


BLK%

BLOCK PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Steals and blocks

The percentage of 2-point shots blocked by the player/team.


PF 100 POSS

PERSONAL FOULS PER 100 POSSESSIONS

It shows the fouls committed by the player/teams for every 100 team possessions. With this statistic, it is possible to compare fouls committed on the same basis.


DF 100 POSS

DRAWN FOULS PER 100 POSSESSIONS

It shows the fouls drawn by the player/teams for every 100 team possessions. With this statistic, it is possible to compare fouls drawn on the same basis.


EFG%

EFFECTIVE FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Shooting percentages and Usage

The percentage of achievement of a player/team that is calculated considering the 3-shot made with a weight equal to 1.5 times of a 2-point shot. In this way, you can compare the field percentages of internal players and shooters, without the latter being affected too much by the greater difficulty of 3-point shooting.


TS%

TRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE

Learn a Stat: Shooting percentages and Usage

The percentage of the total shot that takes into account the points made and all the shooting attempts (from the field and from the free throw line). In other words, it is the percentage by which a player/team ends his possessions positively.


PER

PLAYER EFFICIENCY RATING

Learn a Stat: Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

PER is a more sophisticated version of the classic Efficiency. In fact, it takes into account almost all the parameters of the efficiency, but, through a series of factors and the introduction of team and league pace, it creates a unique basis for comparing players’ performance. The reference value is 15, which indicates the “average” player. Given this value, it is possible to create a univocal evaluation scale (PER is, therefore, an absolute value):

More than MVP: 43 o più
MVP: 33 – 42,9
Almost MVP: 30 – 32,9
Less than an MVP: 25 – 29,9
All-Star player: 22,5 – 24,9
Possible All-Star player: 20 – 22,4
Second offensive option: 18 – 19,9
Third offensive option: 16,5 – 17,9
Average player: 15 – 16,4
Bench player: 13 – 14,9
Always sit on the bench: 11 – 12,9
Barely a player: 9 – 10,9
Not a player at all: 0 – 8,9


WS

WIN SHARE

Learn a Stat: Win Share

Win Share is the statistic that allows you to understand who among the players on the roster contributes most to the victories. The principle is as follows: each team’s victory is considered to be equal to 1 Win Share. The individual players will have contributed differently to the victories: this statistic estimates the contribution to the victory in numerical terms. The sum of all players’ Win Shares of a team is more or less equal to the number of W obtained by the team. The Win Share is calculated by summing two contributions: the Offensive Win Share and the Defensive Win Share.


OWS

OFFENSIVE WIN SHARE

Learn a Stat: Win Share

This value mainly depends on the player’s Points Production and his possessions used. By combining these values with the league averages we obtain the Offensive Win Share.


DWS

DEFENSIVE WIN SHARE

Learn a Stat: Win Share

For this statistic, the player’s Defensive Rating and his minutes played are taken into account. It gives an estimate of the player’s defensive contribution to the victory.


WS PER 40 MIN

WIN SHARE PER 40 MINUTES

Learn a Stat: Win Share

Since the Win Share is a statistic based on season total, it provides the hypothetical total number of games won by a player. For a better comparison, the total Win Share values are divided by player’s minutes played and multiplied for 40 (or 48) minutes. By doing this, you can compare the various Win Shares, without having to take into account games and minutes played.


BPM

BOX PLUS MINUS

Learn a Stat: Box Plus Minus and VORP

It’s the evolution of the classic Plus Minus. If the +/- is the sum of the points scored and allowed by the team while the player is on the court, the BMP normalizes the contribution on 100 possessions. In this way, you can make a comparison of the contribution of all players. The BPM gives the player’s points produced compared to the average League level, set at 0: obviously the higher the value, the better the player’s contributions. Normally, a value of +5 is very good, -5 very bad; -2 is the reference player’s value, used for the calculation of the VORP.


OBMP; OFFBMP

OFFENSIVE BOX PLUS MINUS

Learn a Stat: Box Plus Minus and VORP

It is a statistic that has the same meaning as the previous one, but the contributions considered in the calculation are factored with coefficients that take into account only the offensive phase.


DBMP; DEFBMP

DEFENSIVE BOX PLUS MINUS

Learn a Stat: Box Plus Minus and VORP

It is a statistic that has the same meaning as the previous one and is obtained by subtracting the OffBMP from the BMP. It, therefore, provides the player’s contribution taking into account only the defensive phase.


VORP

VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT PLAYER

Learn a Stat: Box Plus Minus and VORP

If the BPM provides the contribution generated by a player, the VORP allows understanding what the player’s contribution is by comparing it to the replacement player’s contribution. The VORP, therefore, takes into account the minutes and games played and considers the value -2 as the BPM value for the “Replacement Player”. VORP is the most reliable statistic to understand which are the players who contribute substantially to their team’s victories.