Optimal basketball shooting rate proposed based on mathematical model

January 25, 2012

NBA players may be too conservative with their shots, according to a comparison with a theoretical model describing shot selection reported Jan. 25 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

The author, Brian Skinner of the University of Minnesota, aimed to create a model that could take into account multiple factors to determine when it was worth taking a shot. "Strategic decisions in basketball have long been made based on the intuition of the coach or players, but as advanced quantitative analyses are increasingly applied to the game it is becoming clear that many of the conventional, intuitive ideas for basketball strategy are misguided or suboptimal", says Skinner.

The results show that, when significant time is remaining in a possession, only higher quality shots should be taken, and this cutoff for shot quality decreases as the time remaining decreases. However, even though the optimal model suggests that only high quality shots should be taken early in a possession, the study finds that NBA players may go to an extreme and be overly reluctant to shoot the ball early in a possession, therefore missing out on scoring opportunities.

The model takes into account factors including the perceived probability that a given shot will go in and the number and quality of shot opportunities the offense will have in the future in a given possession. It does, however, have some limitations, such as the assumption that shot opportunities arise randomly in time, which call for care in the interpretation of the results.
-end-
Citation: Skinner B (2012) The Problem of Shot Selection in Basketball. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30776. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030776

Financial Disclosure: The author has no support or funding to report.

Competing Interest Statement: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

Disclaimer: This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLoS ONE. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLoS. PLoS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

About PLoS ONE

PLoS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.

All works published in PLoS ONE are Open Access. Everything is immediately available--to read, download, redistribute, include in databases and otherwise use--without cost to anyone, anywhere, subject only to the condition that the original authors and source are properly attributed. For more information about PLoS ONE relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and our embargo policy, see the everyONE blog at http://everyone.plos.org/media.

PLOS

Related Quality Articles from Brightsurf:

Mold now associated with food quality
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have studied a range of perceptions among Danes about good, healthy and safe foodstuffs.

A watershed moment for US water quality
A new federal rule that determines how the Clean Water Act is implemented leaves millions of miles of streams and acres of wetlands unprotected based on selective interpretation of case law and a distortion of scientific evidence, researchers say in a new publication.

New way to check the quality of nanomaterials like graphene
A new way to check the quality of nanomaterials like graphene has emerged from a team at the University of Sussex.

Diet quality of young people in US
This observational study used national survey data from young people up to age 19 to estimate the overall diet quality of children and teens in the United States and to explore how diet quality has changed from 1999 to 2016.

Healthcare innovators focus on 'quality as a business strategy' -- update from Journal of Healthcare Quality
Despite two decades of effort -- targeting care processes, outcomes, and most recently the value of care - progress has been slow in closing the gap between quality and cost in the US healthcare system.

How to improve water quality in Europe
Toxic substances from agriculture, industry and households endanger water quality in Europe -- and by extension, ecosystems and human health.

Quality of life changes after weight loss
Obesity increases a number of adverse health consequences including reduced health-related quality of life.

Quality control in cells
A protective protein that detects newly-made incomplete protein chains in higher cells is found to have a relative in bacteria.

Trees for water quality credits
In a new study, UC Santa Barbara Bren School professor Arturo Keller links reforestation to water quality credits.

Poor semen quality in Switzerland
A marked decrease in sperm count has been observed. And in Switzerland?

Read More: Quality News and Quality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.