Since I'm intrigued by statistical analysis of Basketball: The underrated art of the steal
. According to this analysis, a player who can get a steal is worth 9 times as much as a player who can get a point:
For example, a player who averages 16 points and two steals per game is predicted (assuming all else is equal) to have a similar impact on his team’s success as one who averages 25 points but only one steal. If these players were on different teams and were both injured at the same time, we would expect their teams to have similar decreases in performance (on average).
Steals have considerable intrinsic value. Not only do they kill an opponent’s possession, but a team’s ensuing possession — the one that started with the steal — often leads to fast-break scoring opportunities. But though this explains how a steal can be more valuable than a two-point basket, it doesn’t come close to explaining how we get from that to nine points.
Think about all that occurs in a basketball game — no matter who is playing, there will be plenty of points, rebounds and assists to go around. But some things only happen because somebody makes them happen. If you replaced a player with someone less skilled at that particular thing, it wouldn’t just go to somebody else. It wouldn’t occur at all. Steals are disproportionately those kinds of things.
The only concern I have with steal statistics is they don't count the number of times a player gambled on a steal and the other team scored. A steal is not a no-risk play. Obviously, people who get more steals are better at them, but I don't think these stats should be read to mean that players should try to get steals more.
In other news, if the Sixers lose to the Rockets, they will have tied the NBA record for consecutive losses. If they lose to Pistons, they will have the new record. In honor of that, all the things that have happened since the Sixers last won a game