Small Advantage Big Advantage

Multiple-game statistics tell a more complete story of how players are performing. Defenses vary, match-ups change, but by the third game of scoring your team and from then on, patterns, truths and teaching points are revealed.

The Small Advantage / Big Advantage (SABA) idea is based on using an offensive action to create a small advantage to create a big advantage. For example, in transition, analytically, an advantage would be to break the paint (Paint Touch) with a dribble penetration, theoretically drawing help defense. That in turn, creates an open catch and shoot, or driving lane. Improving Shot Quality is a ticket to success.

Being able to track Paint Touches Per Possession is a stat newly created by Coach Bill for the Hoopsalytics platform. You can see some of the data in the above screenshot from a team we’re working with on tracking this important metric.

The second part of the SABA offensive system is exploiting the small advantage into a big advantage, or endgame. One of the most successful coaches in all of California, 20-year City College of San Francisco Head Coach Justin Labagh, uses the SABA idea to the tune of a 547-65 record, 4x State Champion, 3x runner-up, 10x CA Coach of the Year. As players come and go at JC’s, Coach Labagh remains true to his system, and the truth is in the system.

On our most recent high-level team customizing their secret sauce, what we’ve found after only three games is illuminating. In 316 Offensive Possessions, resulting in 339 pts., the PPP is 1.07. Of those 316 Off. Possessions, resulting in 185 Paint Touches (58% Paint Touches Per Possession) which resulted in 1.32 PPP, a .25 advantage. Four extra Paint Touches would generate an extra point, and in a close game, that small advantage could mean a big advantage.

Taking advantage of a small opening in the defense ignites better points per possessions, resulting in more wins. It takes dedicated practice time and consistent messaging to guide behaviors that optimize small advantage and big advantage, but as Coach Labagh can attest, the results are amazing.


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Category: Analytics