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Thread: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    I was discussing this earlier with Hicks and I thought I gave an example that accurately explained why a player such as Danny Granger, who's had a low FG% his entire career is actually an efficient scorer.

    Obviously we've had threads turn into train wrecks over the years because so many people truly believe Granger isn't an efficient scorer. Well, I get that it can be confusing at sometimes, so for those who do NOT understand, here is an example to help clear it.

    Note- For those people who are into advanced statistics and completely understand this concept, this is not for you. I realize that there are many other issues that come into hand when scoring the ball. Such as too many turnovers, taking the shot within the offense, stopping the ball on offense etc. There is much more that we have to understand when evaluating an individual player.

    One more note: I did not get into the difference between eFG% and TS%. This has to do with freethrows. Please note, that if a player shoots well from the field, he could still not be as efficient as another player who gets to the line at a much more frequent rate. TS% accounts for how many times a given player can get to the line as well as shooting three pointers.

    What TS% tells us in an a vacuum, is whether one player is more or less efficient at getting the ball into the basket. That's it. Just because one player is more efficient at scoring does NOT mean he is better than another. It just means based on his role in the offense, this is how efficient he is at scoring.

    Once again, while it is probably a rare event, I DO believe that a player can have a high TS% yet be detrimental to the offense. This can happen. We are not trying to put too much faith into one particular statistic. However, I use it all the time because it is generally pretty accurate at assessing whether a player is doing well scoring the ball.

    Now, for those who do NOT like this statistic, one of their biggest problems is they don't see how a guy like Danny Granger, who makes only 42% of his baskets is scoring as efficiently as someone like Kobe Bryant who in most years has a respectable FG% of 46 or 47%.

    This is the problem as they see it: Player A misses 58% of his buckets. That means the other team has that many more times to score!! The problem with this thinking, is people wrongly believe a defensive rebound is giving them an EXTRA possession. A defensive rebound is NOT an extra possession. (again, please don't make fun for pointing out such obvious **** like this, while it may seem obvious, some people are having trouble understand this).

    In the following example, I'm showing how a team with MORE misses would actually be an advantage! (Note- in real life, if you shoot too many three's, you don't get to the line and earn points at the free throw line. This example is only created to show that if a player has a lower percentage, because of higher 3pt attempts this is NOT giving the opposing team an advantage.)

    So here's the example. Once again, please try to understand that this is an example giving an impossible scenario. This is merely helping people understand that if a player shoots more three's, as long as they are efficient behind the arc, they are helping their team score.

    Example number 1:

    One team plays an entire game shooting three's, one shoots all two's.

    60 possessions all game for each team, and 60 shots.

    Assume the following: No turnovers, no offensive rebounds.

    Team A makes 20 3's, and scores 60 points.
    Team B makes 30 2's and scores 60 points.

    Now in that given scenario, they tied and both teams had the same possessions.

    They tied. No team won the game.

    Now what we are going to do is change up that first scenario above and imagine those teams are getting offensive rebounds. We'll assume in this second scenario, both teams have the SAME offensive rebounding percentages.

    Both teams in the next scenario get offensive rebounds 10% of the time.

    The team that was taking the three's ends up with 4 offensive rebounds. They had 40 misses, so off of the 40 misses they ended up with 4 rebounds.

    The team that was taking the two's ends up with 3 offensive rebounds. They had 30 misses. So three rebounds off of the 30 misses.

    We assume now instead of 60 shots for each team, there is 64 shots for the team shooting three's, and 63 shots for the team shooting two's.

    Now, we assume that all shooting percentages are the same, so they score the same amount of points per shot as each other.

    So the team shooting all the three's wins the game because they actually had MORE misses.

    Remember, no team shot a better percentage, no team had a better rebound percentage.

    So, for those who didn't understand, does it make sense now? Do you see why Danny Granger, tho not half the player Kobe Bryant is, he is actually a MORE efficient scorer?

    Now, with all of that said, when we talk about Danny Granger in particular, he definitely needed to improve in some areas. As the primary scorer he forced up too many bad shots late in the shot clock. As good as he is at getting to the line and shooting three's, he still was not as good as he could of been had he better looks at the basket. But either way, he was relatively efficient at scoring.

    Edit - It should be fairly obvious, but since it is not I will say it anyways, I am not arguing that misses are a good thing. They are never a good thing. The point of the example above, is to explain in detail, that you cannot get an extra possession from a missed shot. So, in the long run it doesn't matter if you NEVER make a shot, or you make every shot. The only thing that matters is the end result. POINTS. How you got those points is meaningless. The foul line? Three's? Layups? Who cares. Points are what matters.
    Last edited by mattie; 11-05-2013 at 01:20 PM.
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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    One more thing, please understand this, those of you who want to devalue this statistic:

    So I mentioned that TS% doesn't account for turnovers, assists and ball stopping. True. That doesn't mean you can just say, "see it doesn't mean anything." That's not true. What it means, is you also have account for those things on your own to understand how to evaluate a player.

    Is a player stopping the ball too much on offense? Is that his fault? What if it is the coaches fault for designing a bad offense? So that could tell us the player himself can score efficiently but he also is not being used correctly.

    Can you dismiss the stat because it doesn't account for turnovers? No. You just look at how many turnovers a player has. Normally, for any of the really good players you're talking about, T/O's are usually a non issue. But sometimes they are. For instance, if PG is able to score scoring at an efficient rate this year, but doesn't solve the T/O problem he has? Well then you can assume that even if he is finally scoring efficiently, you must remember he still turns the ball over too much so you cannot simply compare him to say, Derrick Rose and immediately assume he's a better scorer.

    What about assists? If a player is creating a lot of scoring opportunities for other players, than it means that player is not as detrimental as we formally thought if said player has a lower TS%.

    With that said, NOT having assists is not necessarily a bad thing either. Maybe a player is not creating offense for others. BUT, if that player is good at moving the ball around to other playmakers (read: unselfish), the rest of the team could STILL get a lot of opportunities. This would mean when asked to score, the player does well, yet he doesn't take away any opportunities for other scorers on the floor.

    Anywho, the last thing I would ask if you're going to respond arguing how this stat does not tell us much, please re-read what I wrote and try to better understand it. Because it absolutely tells how efficient a player is scoring.
    Last edited by mattie; 11-05-2013 at 05:54 AM.
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    I am a big fan of TS%. Getting extra FTA is a good thing.

    But I did want to give props to mattie for a nice explanation. It was clear and easy to read. That is not always easy to do for complex concepts with subtle details.

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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Are long rebounds leading to transition buckets the fly in the ointment for TS%? Or has there been a metric to debunk that long shots lead to long rebounds and more opportunities for fast break points, which are typically the highest percentage shots you can take? Seems to me that the consensus is that a shot at the rim is the best shot you can take. A three pointer is the second best shot you can take, and a long jumper is the worst shot you can take, with limited exceptions for elite jumpshooters like Jarrett Jack and a circa-2004 Rip Hamilton. Has anyone tried to corrolate the distance at which teams shoot vs. the amount of fast break points they give up? I know there's going to be a lot of statistical noise in the sample, as some teams are more athletic, and so are better at getting back on defense than other teams. I just thought it would be an interesting exercise to determine if there's any truth to the argument that the 3 is a bad shot because a miss leads to a fast break.

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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Thank you Mattie for a nice explanation of a sometimes hard to understand stat. Stats are important in all activities that need to be repeated. One variable is the emotion of the fans who watch the games and the players. If I am convinced that a player(Danny) makes the team better by being on the floor, then I'm probably going to ignore any stat that disagrees with me. Then we are left with the age-old question of the caught- cheating husband "Are you going to believe me, or your lying eyes?"

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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    So I mentioned that TS% doesn't account for turnovers, assists and ball stopping. True. That doesn't mean you can just say, "see it doesn't mean anything." That's not true. What it means, is you also have account for those things on your own to understand how to evaluate a player.
    I think this thought process should be applied to ALL statistics. No statistic is perfect, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored if it doesn't explain something you think you are seeing. You have to be able to EXPLAIN why the statistic does or does not apply in a particular situation - and that may involve (*gasp*) using other statistics or detailed (and repeatable) observations not picked up in statistics that explain why a stat is skewed.
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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar View Post
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    Are long rebounds leading to transition buckets the fly in the ointment for TS%? Or has there been a metric to debunk that long shots lead to long rebounds and more opportunities for fast break points, which are typically the highest percentage shots you can take? Seems to me that the consensus is that a shot at the rim is the best shot you can take. A three pointer is the second best shot you can take, and a long jumper is the worst shot you can take, with limited exceptions for elite jumpshooters like Jarrett Jack and a circa-2004 Rip Hamilton. Has anyone tried to corrolate the distance at which teams shoot vs. the amount of fast break points they give up? I know there's going to be a lot of statistical noise in the sample, as some teams are more athletic, and so are better at getting back on defense than other teams. I just thought it would be an interesting exercise to determine if there's any truth to the argument that the 3 is a bad shot because a miss leads to a fast break.
    As long as you understand the shooting the three doesn't lead to EXTRA possessions, than I can answer this question for you: No.

    Every great defense in the NBA focuses on stopping two things: Three's and shots at the basket. If three's led to easy points for the other team, than defenses would not focus on stopping them since it would subsequently help their offense. Instead, great defenses such as Indiana's want opposing offenses to shoot long jump shots.
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    I think this thought process should be applied to ALL statistics. No statistic is perfect, but that doesn't mean it can be ignored if it doesn't explain something you think you are seeing. You have to be able to EXPLAIN why the statistic does or does not apply in a particular situation - and that may involve (*gasp*) using other statistics or detailed (and repeatable) observations not picked up in statistics that explain why a stat is skewed.
    Exactly.

    I've always felt if you keep an open mind and learn what the numbers are telling you versus attempting to verify what you already believe, you'll end up with a better understanding of the game anyways. This can lead me personally to investigating in every way I can, thus using other statistics to explain what I may or may not see.
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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    There may not be a more meaningless stat than this. Seriously. Just watch the game. That will tell you what you need to know. This stat will confirm what you are seeing after the fact. But it won't tell you crap to look at the stat and then make predictions from it.

    Wasted possessions are wasted possessions. It doesn't matter if you can massage some stats that try to sugar coat the wasted possession. It's still a wasted possession.

    It's IMHO an absolutely pointless stat. I can see why the stat might be kept just as a way to go back and confirm some points your judgment tells you about what had transpired in a game or series of games... But your eyes can tell you what is a good shot and what is a bad shot. And too many bad shots are bad for the offense.... good for the other team's offense. And bad shots can be bad for your own defense as well.

    Seriously... this might be the most worthless stat in basketball. I don't know why it's being trotted out to explain anything. The game is much bigger and more evolved than this stat could possibly show or impact. Really, all this stat does is tell you that there's more to the game than stats in the first place.
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    While mattie's explanation is technically correct, I don't think I'd particularly care to argue that 3's are valuable because of the extra misses.

    To me, the difference between 50% from 2 vs 33% from 3 is that it costs you 2 shots on average to get 2 pts, vs 3 shots on average to get 3 pts. In other words, it's each 1 pt per shot, share and share alike. That's all that eFG% is designed to show. Now someone is going to say you're going to get more FTs from 2's or more long rebounds from 3's, and that's fine, there are other stats to show that, but not eFG%. Btw, TS% will show the increased FTs.

    mattie: I get what you're saying, but it's really unintuitive and I think that's why you're getting pushback (from Bball anyway). Also, the marginal benefit of an extra missed shot is probably so little as to be not worth mentioning (unless it's a team of giants facing a team of midgets, but with real NBA teams I don't think the largest rebounding disparity makes it worth mentioning). It works in your contrived example, but only because you're assuming that the team that gets the defensive board doesn't do anything with it.

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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    What? Are you being sarcastic? Or? I'm being serious, much of your post makes absolutely no sense. Not trying to be a dick... I get that you hate statistics, (which isn't true, you can't evaluate the game without statistics), but what are you talking about?

    It measures how efficient a player is at scoring. That's it. Everything you said is uhh. Well. This probably isn't the thread for you, I'd go elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    There may not be a more meaningless stat than this. Seriously. Just watch the game. That will tell you what you need to know. This stat will confirm what you are seeing after the fact. But it won't tell you crap to look at the stat and then make predictions from it.

    Wasted possessions are wasted possessions. It doesn't matter if you can massage some stats that try to sugar coat the wasted possession. It's still a wasted possession.

    It's IMHO an absolutely pointless stat. I can see why the stat might be kept just as a way to go back and confirm some points your judgment tells you about what had transpired in a game or series of games... But your eyes can tell you what is a good shot and what is a bad shot. And too many bad shots are bad for the offense.... good for the other team's offense. And bad shots can be bad for your own defense as well.

    Seriously... this might be the most worthless stat in basketball. I don't know why it's being trotted out to explain anything. The game is much bigger and more evolved than this stat could possibly show or impact. Really, all this stat does is tell you that there's more to the game than stats in the first place.
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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    This is the cliff notes of my original post: TS% measures scoring efficiency. Misses do not create extra possessions. That's it. If you got something else from what I wrote, then you missed my point.
    Last edited by mattie; 11-05-2013 at 01:15 PM.
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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    wintermute got what I was saying.

    I don't hate stats... But I do hate meaningless stats that are used (misused) in meaningless ways that can be better measured with traditional stats and your eyeballs (and the scoreboard).
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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    wintermute got what I was saying.

    I don't hate stats... But I do hate meaningless stats that are used (misused) in meaningless ways that can be better measured with traditional stats and your eyeballs (and the scoreboard).
    How is it meaningless to measure if a player is efficient or not?
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    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    The point is TS% measures efficiency. That's it. How efficient a player is scoring. In other words. "We gave the ball to a player this many times. Did they score the majority of the time or did they squander it?"
    Yes, except you used most of your post to explain how shooting 2's and 3's with the same efficiency results in the team shooting 3's winning. If everyone misunderstands you, perhaps you need to work on your message delivery?

    For example, you could have used your post to show 2 guys with the same (or different) FG%, one scoring with a mix of 2's, 3's and FT's, the other solely with 2's, count the possessions, count the points, and showed the difference in efficiency with TS%.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    The example above was showing, in the clearest way possible, that DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS ARE NOT EXTRA POSSESSIONS. On the contrary, tho this would not actually play out in real life, because taking 60 three's in a game is the stupidest **** ever, if there was ANY ADVANTAGE AT ALL, there would be an advantage to MISSING.
    It looks like you're more interested in arguing this point than the other, even if, as you say, there may not be an advantage at all.

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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    The example above was showing, in the clearest way possible, that DEFENSIVE REBOUNDS ARE NOT EXTRA POSSESSIONS.
    Everything in your argument is negated by this comment. Not because it's wrong per se' but because it overlooks so so much more. If team A takes a bad shot and wastes a possession and Team B takes off to the races to hit a layup or dunk (a very very high percentage shot) while Team A's players try to scramble to defend (and bad/quick shots tend to lead to players in bad positions to defend) then it might not be an 'extra' possession but it can be a high FG percentage possession for the opposition. Also, this is where 'and 1's' occur as well.

    So I guess you can argue it's not 'extra' possessions but it sure is opposition possessions when your team wasted their own possession and came up empty....
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Listen folks the pushback is coming from everyone who is trying to argue FG% tells us something and TS% doesn't.

    The reasoning behind this, is probably because those particular people have placed a faith in the traditional FG% statistic. They subsequently judge players off of that statistic. (no matter how much faith they put in the statistic, they do put SOME faith in that statistic.)

    They want to argue that guy like Jrue Holliday is more efficient than George Hill, and Lance Stephenson is more efficient than Danny Granger.

    So the argument? Well, Danny only shoots 42% so because he's shooting that low of a percentage, even if he is scoring more points, it doesn't matter because he has more misses, thus more shots for the opponent. This is stupid. I made a long example showing that if you miss shots you do not create extra possessions for the opponent. So in the end, the only thing that really matters is scoring points. Whether it is from the three. Or from freethrows. Or jumpers. Who cares. Score points.
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    wintermute got what I was saying.

    I don't hate stats... But I do hate meaningless stats that are used (misused) in meaningless ways that can be better measured with traditional stats and your eyeballs (and the scoreboard).
    Actually, I don't really understand people who think "traditional" stats are somehow better. I just think mattie is misguided with his explanation.

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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    How is it meaningless to measure if a player is efficient or not?
    Because people need to watch the game. You're trying to measure something that potentially ignores the bigger picture. The stat is meaningless because watching the game will tell you what you need to know.... regardless of what that lone stat says.
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    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    Yes, except you used most of your post to explain how shooting 2's and 3's with the same efficiency results in the team shooting 3's winning. If everyone misunderstands you, perhaps you need to work on your message delivery?

    For example, you could have used your post to show 2 guys with the same (or different) FG%, one scoring with a mix of 2's, 3's and FT's, the other solely with 2's, count the possessions, count the points, and showed the difference in efficiency with TS%.



    It looks like you're more interested in arguing this point than the other, even if, as you say, there may not be an advantage at all.
    I made a long post. As long as you take the time to follow my thought process, you will understand what I'm saying. If you would like to simply pick a part my post, you can do that as well. I am aware of this. But I created this post for those willing to learn, so they can understand this post. Because there are people, like Bball who are confused. I can try to explain it a thousand different ways, but until he's willing to give up the belief he's desperately clinging to, he'll never learn ****.

    Like I've said so many times, there are people that wrongly think that accounting for 3's in this particular stat renders the statistic useless. They are wrong. I gave an example to illustrate that. My example applied in any other circumstance is stupid as ****. Obviously. But thanks for pointing it out.
    Last edited by mattie; 11-05-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    I have a feeling- wintermute clearly understands what the statistic is showing, but would rather pick a part my post. While Bball just doesn't understand it.
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  36. #22
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    I made a long post. As long as you take the time to follow my thought process, you will understand what I'm saying. If you would like to simply pick a part my post, you can do that as well. I am aware of this. But I created this post for those willing to learn, so they can understand this post. Because there are people, like Bball who are confused. I can try to explain it a thousand different ways, but until he's willing to give up the belief he's desperately clinging to, he'll never learn ****.
    Either you're wrong and misusing the stat or explaining it terribly because there is no value in the stat as you're explaining it. You might argue semantics or syntax about not creating extra possessions but the stat can't defend bad shots and wasted possessions or the value of transition buckets and FT's against your team.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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  37. #23
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie View Post
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    I have a feeling- wintermute clearly understands what the statistic is showing, but would rather pick a part my post. While Bball just doesn't understand it.
    As a rule, I think advanced stats aren't in high regard on this forum, so I think pushing out a message like "more misses is somehow better" would make the rep of advanced stats even worse. Maybe that wasn't your main message but it was certainly a prominent part. I'm sorry that you feel that I am attacking you personally.

    In previous interactions, I think Bball has a fairly good grasp of this stuff, he just doesn't see the value in them. (Which boggles me even more, but them's the breaks.)

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  39. #24
    Member aamcguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    Actually, I don't really understand people who think "traditional" stats are somehow better. I just think mattie is misguided with his explanation.
    It doesn't mean he's not right though. I disagree that missing your 3 point shots is a postive, but I also strongly believe that 3 pt shots taken in the flow of the offense don't hurt you. The major argument that "so-called efficient" scorers who shoot lots of 3 pointers is that they provide more long defensive rebound attempts which can spark fast breaks. But fast break points are an indication of the committment to transition defense, not to how often they shoot 3's. The Knicks shot the most 3's last season but allowed the 7th fewest fast break points.

    Additionally, the amount of 3's taken per game were between 13.5 and 28.9 3PT FGA, while the amount of fast break points allowed only varied from between 10.1 and 16.7 per game for all NBA teams.

    If you have a fairly pedestrian FG%, but you both shoot the 3 and get to the free throw line with volume and convert both at an above average rate, you are going to be an efficient scorer. It doesn't say that you should be taking 50 shots a game, but it does say that for the shots you did take you were efficient.
    Last edited by aamcguy; 11-05-2013 at 12:47 PM.

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  41. #25
    George Hill Apologist mattie's Avatar
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    Default Re: True Shooting % Explained: Which is more important? A higher FG% or a higher TS%?

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    As a rule, I think advanced stats aren't in high regard on this forum, so I think pushing out a message like "more misses is somehow better" would make the rep of advanced stats even worse. Maybe that wasn't your main message but it was certainly a prominent part. I'm sorry that you feel that I am attacking you personally.

    In previous interactions, I think Bball has a fairly good grasp of this stuff, he just doesn't see the value in them. (Which boggles me even more, but them's the breaks.)
    I don't think you're attacking me. I'm just extremely frustrated, that from all of that the only thing you got was that I was trying to argue "misses are a good thing."
    Find me on the internets @mattiecolin

    Read it and weep:

    When George Hill is above 15% usage we won 73.5% of games. Below 15% usage we won 61.9%

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