Hustle Stats

I loved the article linked below on the NBA’s effort to try to quantify “hustle stats” (or as the author writes, “to make the intangible tangible”) and bring those numbers to their teams and fans. Beginning this season, the NBA hired 15 analysts to track every deflection, shot contest, charge, loose ball and screen assist. Through this work, the league’s statisticians have discovered that the league’s most talented teams, the Golden State Warriors, is also its most tenacious. This article has great stuff on Pat Riley’s “Hustle Charts” from the 90’s, Draymond Green’s thoughts on what makes the Warriors special (see above) and what convinced Daryl Morey to pay Patrick Beverley.

Even when he had no cash at stake, Riley ordered Knicks assistants to keep track of charges and deflections, loose balls and contested shots—his rudimentary attempt to quantify one element that is ultimately immeasurable: effort. Riley posted results in the locker room, lauding those players who excelled in the categories beyond the box score, shaming those who lagged. “You saw at halftime where you ranked,” says former marksman Kiki Vandeweghe, who spent one season spacing the court for Riley in New York. “If you wanted to play in the second half, you ranked high.”


For more on hustle:
-Brad Stevens’ philosophy on loose balls: Floor it! (LINK)
-Wofford’s “Charge Wall” (LINK)
-The NBA’s “Hustle Stat” database (LINK)
-Picture of Dennis Rodman laying out for a loose ball (LINK)
-Ralph Willard clinic notes (LINK)
-Jaylen Brown hustle clip (LINK)

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