Iberian Congress on Basketball Research, 2007, 4, 76-78. © Ammons Scientic LTD 2008
DIFFERENCES IN BASKETBALL GAME STATISTICS BETWEEN
WINNING AND LOSING TEAMS IN THE SPANISH EBA LEAGUE1
ANTONIO GARCÍA, ISABEL PAREJO, ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ,
ANA M. DOMÍNGUEZ, AND JOSÉ M. SAAVEDRA
Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura
Summary.—The aim of this study was to identify the indicators which discrimi-
nate victory and defeat in the Spanish League of Amateur Basketball (EBA). A total of
182 matches were studied, and analyses were made of 2- and 3-point shots (successful
and percentage), free-throws (successful and percentage), rebounds (defensive and of-
fensive), assists, steals, turnovers, blocks (made and received), and fouls (committed and
received). A discriminant analysis was then performed to identify the predictor vari-
ables of performance. The principal conclusion is that the variables of fouls committed,
assists, and defensive rebounds discriminate success in an EBA league game, showing
that control of defensive actions, team play, and greater possibility of possessions best
predicted the results in the sample.
Quantitative analysis in the game of basketball is a fundamental process in
the explanation of factors that inuence success in sport. In this regard, basket-
ball is one of the rst sports in which the relevance of analysis and treatment of
data and statistics was recognized. Coaches and researchers rely on statistics to
explain victories and defeats in championships. At present, several studies exist
on the discriminatory power of statistics of play in basketball games to pre-
dict performance (Karipidis, Fotinakis, Taxildaris, & Fatouros, 2001; Ibáñez,
Sampaio, Sáez-López, Gimenez, & Janeira, 2003; Sampaio & Janeira, 2003;
Gómez, Lorenzo, Sampaio, & Ibáñez, 2006). At the world level, the four indica-
tors of success are defensive rebounds, percentages of success in both 2- and
3-point shots, and percentage of error in 3-point shots (Karipidis, et al., 2001).
In national men’s leagues, the determinant variables to win a match in close
games are percentages of successful 2-point and free throw shots and defen-
sive rebounds (Sampaio & Janeira, 2003). This tendency also exists in women’s
basketball where, in addition to 2- and 3-point shots, steals and assists are also
determinant (Gómez, et al., 2006). In world junior categories, the tendency is
again similar, as the determinant indicators are successful 2-point shots, free
throws, and rebounds, especially defensive ones (Ibáñez, et al., 2003). There
are no studies, however, that analyze these variables in lower-division national
categories. The main objective of the present study was to identify indicators
discriminating victory and defeat in the Spanish League of Amateur Basketball
(EBA) of the Royal Spanish Federation of Basketball (RSFB).
1 Address correspondence to Prof. José M. Saavedra, Avda. de la Universidad s/n. 10071 Cáceres,
Spain or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BASKETBALL WIN/LOSS STATISTICS 77
Me t h o d s
The sample consisted of the results and game statistics of 182 games played
in the regular-season league of the EBA category group D on 26 days. The data
were obtained from the ofcial statistics provided by the Federación Española
de Baloncesto2. Normalization of all the statistics was done to 100 ball posses-
sions (Oliver, 2004). The following variables were analyzed: 2- and 3-point shots
(successful and percentage), free throws (successful and percentage), rebounds
(defensive and offensive), assists, steals, turnovers, blocks (committed and re-
ceived), and fouls (committed and received).
Descriptive statistics means and standard deviations were calculated. Uni-
variate analysis of variance was used to compare the means of winning and
losing teams. The results were analyzed by means of discriminant analysis to
identify the differentiating statistics of the winning and losing teams through
structural coefcients. Structural coefcients ≥ 0.30 were considered relevant
(Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001).
Re s u l t s
The basic descriptors for the two contexts (winning and losing teams) are
shown in Table 1. Analysis of the discriminant function, however, only iden-
tied three variables with signicant structural coefcients for the result of
a game: fouls committed (SC = .38), assists (SC = .34), and defensive rebounds
(SC = .30).
Ba s i c de s c R i p t o R s a n d st R u c t u R a l co e f f i c i e n t s ac c o R d i n g t o t h e co n t e x t (Wi n n e R s o R
lo s e R s )
Game statistics Winners Losers Function 1
M SD M SD SC
Successful 2-point shots 31.49 6.06 29.51 6.08
Percentage 2-point shots 75.70 13.95 66.82 12.87
Successful 3-point shots 12.57 5.21 10.41 4.83
Percentage 3-point shots 51.68 18.37 40.23 16.78
Successful free throws 28.67 11.69 23.56 9.87
Percentage free throws 92.18 18.71 91.29 18.38
Defensive rebounds 42.17 11.71 36.50 11.64 .30
Offensive rebounds 19.20 8.43 17.67 9.03
Assists 20.56 10.28 15.53 7.70 .34
Steals 15.20 7.10 14.35 7.14
Turnovers 23.36 10.94 26.34 13.55
Blocks made 4.33 3.64 3.86 3.81
Received blocks 3.03 2.84 4.00 3.48
Committed fouls 34.62 9.39 40.88 10.94 .38
Received fouls 38.73 9.89 36.05 10.74
Note.—Normalization of all the statistics was done on 100 ball possessions (Oliver, 2004).
A. GARCÍA, ET AL.
di s c u s s i o n
The variable with the largest structural coefcient was personal fouls com-
mitted, unlike previous studies (Karipidis, et al., 2001; Ibáñez, et al., 2003; Sam-
paio & Janeira, 2003; Gómez, et al., 2006). This may be explained by the fact
that at the lower play level there are more fouls and therefore these are a deter-
mining factor for a team that has better command of this aspect of the game.
Conversely, another of the variables selected by the discriminant model, the
defensive rebound, was found in all previous studies mentioned above, regard-
less of play level or the sex of players (Karipidis, et al., 2001; Sampaio & Ja-
neira, 2003; Ibáñez, et al., 2003; Gómez, et al., 2006), indicating that the teams
that win most games obtain more defensive rebounds, guaranteeing them more
ball possessions. Finally, the third discriminatory variable, assists, also has been
identied in women’s basketball as a determining factor in games (Gómez, et
al., 2006). This could be an indicator of the quality of collective play, primar-
ily through the creation of imbalances in attack. Fouls committed, assists, and
defensive rebounds discriminated success in these EBA league games, showing
that control of defensive actions, team play, and greater number of possessions,
most inuenced the result.
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