Our Lowest Scorer is Our Best Offensive Player

Player impact Net

One of the coolest things about basketball and analytics is how different people can contribute, even in ways that defy common sense. Here’s a recent example from my AAU club team.

Remy is second-to-last in points scored, last in assists, yet our team is the most productive offensively when he’s on the floor. The above Player Impact table shows that our team scores the most points when Remy plays. The number is the difference between when Remy is ON the floor, versus when he is OFF.  We’ve sorted on the Off. PPP column (offensive points per possession), and Remy appears at the top, by a significant margin over the second best player.

Here are our team’s scoring and assist stats through 10 games, sorted by points scored-per-40-minutes. You can see Remy is at the bottom for both points and assists.

So how can this be? Remy is our tallest player, and does some subtle things very well. First of all, he sets a lot of ball screens, which free up our players to score. These don’t show up as traditional assists.

Next, he spaces the floor well. We’ve asked him to play low post, ball opposite (most of the time). Our team has had trouble with spacing, and with less players going ball-side, this is opening larger gaps for our drivers.

There may be other things we coaches have missed, but we can watch just Remy’s minutes (by clicking on the time link next to his stats) to see what else can be contributing to his impact.

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