Basketball Game Video Analysis

Brian Denver, USA - June 15, 2002 ~ Last Update: 27/04/06

Spanish ~ Español - El Análisis del Baloncesto por Medio del Vídeo

This is the first of a serial of articles which should provide you the way of analyze a Basketball game by means of video (external link). The first part of the work is to know how to follow a game on TV.
A greater perspective of watching a Basketball game on TV -or even live- is taken if we do more than watch the ball go into the basket. This first article gives some insider tips for catching the real action, which we'll use later and extensively at the very moment of the basketball game video analysis.

Anticipate the next action: When you can anticipate the next pass, you are thinking as an analyst, you are as near to the players as you can be.

Where the player passes the ball ? It depends on the following factors: what type of ball handler he is, which teammates are on the floor, what type of offense the team is running, and which is the opponent's defense type.
Against a zone defense, we know, the player cuts but don't screens. In man-to-man, he cuts and screens; so, for example we can see what type of defense and offense are being played.

Watch the action away from the ball: Watch the action away from the ball on the weak side and notice the backpick being set upon the alley-ooper's defender, or watch the post action . That's a good rule for live games, but on a TV game (see Video Analysis Rules ), the camera usually follows the ball: but most views are taken from the side and good half-court view of the proceedings - weakside screens, pushing and shoving under the basket and so on -.

Not only the star: Avoid the central team-star vision, many other great players are in the game, you may miss something and your final analysis report must be a global one, more than a "Kobe Bryant Report".
Filling the data for a personal report, focus on that player for five or six straight trips down the court: does he hustle back on defense ?, does he " take a series off " on defense once in a while ?
But don't forget the star at all... Who is going to shoot the ball is not a secret, but put your attention on how he creates open shots for himself !
And sometimes, the star is not the team's best player, but that guy with the hot hand that evening. Try to keep an eye on him, and analyze whether he's doing anything differently the next game.

Follow Stats: Usually a game Analyst keeps stats by himself more than rely on the television statisticians and follows more than the score, as points off turnovers, offensive rebounding, points in the paint, and bench scoring.
A complete section about Stats is written at the complete eBA System (external link) of keeping stats.

But talking about stats, out of techniques, we must watch the officials. officials can dictate the pace of the game. Neither team can find a rhythm when the officials are calling a foul on every possession.
A game-analyst must put attention on the officials as they analyze the game stats: officials can take a team out of its offense or defense by calling a game too tight ( whistles too many fouls ) or too loose. Some teams may play more physically than ever with such a loose kind of officials.

Analysis Insider Tips -or "the game analyst rules"-:

Defense check out: Checking out the defense type of both teams will foretell us what type of game it will be. The game analyst must look for a possible great one-on-one player and its behavior against a possible opponent great defensive stopper when playing man-to-man defense.

Offensive rebounding control: The team that controls the rebounds usually controls the game. We must analyze the rebound control by looking for tendencies: if the rebounds are taken by specific players; if the guards are taking offensive rebs (if so, that team is taking quite a few outside shots, because longs shots have longs rebounds).

The Tempo: Pay attention to tempo. The team you are analyzing or scouting take a defensive rebound: are they running, or are the players slowing down ? What tempo is with each of the playmakers ? May be problems with half-court matchups ? May be a runner player fighting with a sore ankle ? This is the moment, we analyze the transition game of each team.

After a Time-out: What happens after a time-out: Has the coach changed defenses or a specific man-to-man assignment? Is the offense running a set play for one particular player? The game analyst must discover fixed changes - of players or tactics - occurred at fundamental time-outs such as at the last moments of each quarter.
It is said that one sign of a good coach is that his team scores on its first possession after a time-out. The coach can see a breach in the opponent's defense and can take advantage of the crack with a special play that leads to a matchup and a score.

Early Turnovers: Are a lot of turnovers occurring early in the game? The game analyst must identify if it is a regular beginning of that team we are scouting. Is either team capitalizing on those turnovers ? Those turnovers are in effect extra possessions. So, what with the points off turnovers ?

Free throw shooting: We must analyze the first minutes FT%. Free throw shooting is usually contagious. If the team shoots well early in the game, the players may gain confidence late in the game at crunch time. Like so many variables in a basketball game, missed free throws earlier in the game often foreshadow what will happen at the end.

Injuries: How is an injury influencing the game? Whether suffered prior to the game or during the contest, an injury to a key player can dramatically alter his team's style of play.

Halftime adjustments: The first five minutes of the third quarter often dictate the rest of the game. During that time frame (analyzed separately at eBA Method), each coach wants to make adjustments to take control of the game or get back in the game - whatever the case may be - as early as possible so that he can build his team's confidence.

Substitution patterns: A team that substitutes often tells the analyst one of the following patterns:
1 - Our bench is deep.
2 - Our starters are not that much better than the bench.
3 - We plan on running a lot and hope to fatigue our opponent.

The game analyst must observe what's happening and then deduce why it's happening.

Bench points: Bench points, like offensive rebounding, usually dictate the winner. The eBA System charts the points of each player in a plus-minus statistic report, that gives the coach the performance of each player at each time frame of the game.

A scoring run: Who went on a scoring run and why ? A run normally is the by-product of good defense by one team and turnovers by the other.

The last ball: Most coaches want to have the ball in the hands of their best players at the end of the game. Who has the stars for the stretch run ? Who are those shooters ? They aren't always the top players and a good game analyst must look for the constants.

The key matchups: Watching for the key matches was probably more important for the analysis when man-to-man defense was exclusive; but however the matchup continues heavily impacting the outcome to the game.

FG% differential: What is the field goal percentage differential ? A team should have a lead equal to its field percentage differential.

We are leading by two points and shooting 14% better from the field than our opponent: that may tell us that our opponents are probably rebounding better or scoring more points off turnovers. According to that rule we should be up 14 points, not 2.

Links, articles, comments and formulas referred to this term can only be viewed
when logged in as Editor or Publisher Registered Member.

Visit: eBA Portal ~ eBA Forums ~ eBA Blogs ~ eBA Clinics ~ eBA Store ~ eBA Facebook ~ eBA Twitter

Browse by alphabet:




If you're using AdBlock Plus
If you're using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software, please know that You are free to do so and we shall not try to stop you.
If you're using AdBlock Plus

Just know that, although you are clearly not interested in clicking any of the advertisements on this website, ad-blocking prevents us from continuing to produce the content we do provide free of charge, and we politely request you to kindly whitelist our site thereby allowing our harmless and unobtrusive ads to load and the impressions counting to run !.

Thank YOU !
The eBA Team


Basketball ONLINE Clinics

Online Duke Basketball Coaches Clinic

Quick Edit a Wiki Page

Shop at NBAStore.com