An Unsuccessful Basketball Steal REAL Worth
by Prof. Roberto Azar - June 1st, 2013
To examine and determine the value of a steal, we need to look at the damage of a failed steal attempt. Certainly a successful steal is valuable - balanced not only to the expected number of points allowed per possession, but also to the growth in offensive efficiency following a steal. What is an unsuccessful steal worth ? And more precisely, how do we conclude whether a steal attempt is advantageous ?
We've been tracking "steal attempts" for the Euroleague Championship over the past 20 years.
Working with the 'eBA Basketball Stats Creative Analysis System ' Archives we stated that offensive efficiency following a steal goes up by 30% meanwhile a failed steal attempt increases the opponents offensive efficiency by 20% and the marginal steal value would be 120%.
From that compiled the data, may be also reached a statement that the success estimate on "steal attempts" is less than 10% - BUT for most steal attempts there isn't much of a negative. There is some negative caused by steal attempts that leaves a defensive player out of position.
As with all the other basketball stats, the 'eBA Basketball Stats Creative Analysis System ' tracks steals in several categories. There are different kinds of steal attempts ( in addition to our general classification of concretized steals by "FORCED" and "UNFORCED"):
• "reaches" ( reach attempts are far more abundant, and generally less negative );
• "attempts to a pass interception ( passing lane attempts have a greater negative because the defender tends to get out of position more frequently )" and
• "offensive errors" ( a lot of steals "just happen" when the defender isn't actively attempting to steal the ball but the offensive player just makes an error, that´s means an "UNFORCED STEAL" )
And each category subdivided in
• a) points off failed steal attempt; and
• b) personal fouls caused by a failed steal attempt.
Not either category comes into sight to have more value referring to the offensive end.
To these conclusions we reached tracking steal% for players on an individual basis. Therefore a player who has a great quantity of steals but not much defensive value alternatively, is going to have a much inferior percentage of successful steals ( related to the steals total ) than someone with a great defensive global value.
A blend of total steals and steal% would be numerically better as an indicator of defensive skill than steals apart.
Tracking steal% for players on an individual basis also gives to our 'eBA Basketball Stats Creative Analysis System' the figure of that players who are inclined to get out of position more frequently than other teammates do and what players seem to get most of his steals just by standing in the right place !.
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