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Using Box-Scores to Determine a Position's Contribution to Winning Basketball Games


  • Page Garritt L

    (Iowa State University)

  • Fellingham Gilbert W

    (Brigham Young University)

  • Reese C. Shane

    (Brigham Young University)


While it is generally recognized that the relative importance of different skills is not constant across different positions on a basketball team, quantification of the differences has not been well studied. 1163 box scores from games in the National Basketball Association during the 1996-97 season were used to study the relationship of skill performance by position and game outcome as measured by point differentials. A hierarchical Bayesian model was fit with individual players viewed as a draw from a population of players playing a particular position: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, and bench. Posterior distributions for parameters describing position characteristics were examined to discover the relative importance of various skills as quantified in box scores across the positions. Results were consistent with expectations, although defensive rebounds from both point and shooting guards were found to be quite important.

Suggested Citation

  • Page Garritt L & Fellingham Gilbert W & Reese C. Shane, 2007. "Using Box-Scores to Determine a Position's Contribution to Winning Basketball Games," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-18, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:3:y:2007:i:4:n:1

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