• Finalizado
    FINAL
    2015-09-12
    Argentina 71
    Venezuela 76
  • Finalizado
    BRONCE
    2015-09-12
    Mexico 86
    Canada 87
  • Finalizado
    SEMIFINAL
    2015-09-11
    Argentina 78
    Mexico 70
  • Finalizado
    SEMIFINAL
    2015-09-11
    Canada 78
    Venezuela 79
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-09
    Mexico 95
    Argentina 83
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-09
    Uruguay 69
    Puerto Rico 80
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-09
    Dominicana 103
    Canada 120
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-09
    Panama 62
    Venezuela 75
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-08
    Mexico 73
    Canada 94
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-08
    Panama 71
    Puerto Rico 78
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-08
    Venezuela 75
    Uruguay 77
  • Finalizado
    Ronda 2
    2015-09-08
    Argentina 92
    Dominicana 84

Intercepts and Deflections: about the Steals in Basketball Statistics


When we, as basketball statisticians, assign a steal, we can't distinguish in computing process how it produced. In other words: we don't take into account if a player forced a direct steal from the opponent's hands and/or if he clearly cut a passing line, or if a ball from a player of the other team just "bounces" in his hands or body, altering its trajectory, in order than a teammate to take the ball making thus a turnover.

This is because a limit of the statistical paradigm: in basketball, everything similar to a steal is, in fact, "a steal". Moreover, the NBA, the NCAA, and some other FIBA leagues (like Italian LEGA or Venezuela's LPB) are particularly generous in that sense: we only need to take a glance of the huge amount of players that in their stint in those leagues have two or more steals per game average.

The problem about when it's effectively a steal and when it's not, was solved perfectly long time ago by netball. Originally from the Commonwealth countries, the sport of netball, similarly to the Argentine Pelota al Cesto (known internationally as cestoball) and Dutch korfbal, doesn't permit ball carrying: the receiver (always a woman in the very case of netball, due to the female nature of this sport) only can pivot, and game dynamics is conditioned through movements without the ball, passes and triangle moves.

Although some of its statistical criteria are in common with basketball, like field goals (made, attempted and percentage), rebounds (offensive and defensive), and turnovers, an interesting feature of netball relies when a player has an active or passive role in changing the possession. In the first case, we're talking about an "intercept" (a true manual "steal"); in the second one, netball uses to call them simply "deflections".

Let's see an example. Player A from the attacking team misses a pass, and the ball bounces in defender D1 in arms or body. D2, before the ball goes out of bounds, takes the ball and starts a new possession. A is who causes the turnover (as we should call in eBA System a "forced" turnover), D1 receives a "deflection" and D2 absolutely nothing, because the trajectory between the deflection and her hands counts as a common pass from D1.


Matias Barmat (@worldhoopstats)

Lecturas: 3222 - 2013-07-14