Hustle Statistics refer to effort based activities in basketball. They can be generated from both offense or defence. Hustle statistics are often referred to as the “one percent” plays that happen within a game. They are the things commonly thought of as being indicative of those teams that play hard, and are hard to beat.
When looking to define what a team will focus on as being part of the hustle statistics a coach is best served by highlighting those characteristics of a team’s play that are weaknesses. Choosing the wrong hustle statistic, or too many, might just hid a possible weak point for a team, where choosing the right option might help a team find that missing one or two percent which in the end helps close out games.
Hustle statistics may include some of the following items:
Boxing Out: Rebounds are sometimes the focus of the hustle statistics. However, counting rebounds does not provide every player with the ability to compete in this statistic. To strike a better balance count the number of times players box-out successfully can be more appropriate for all the teams members on the floor.
Crashing Boards/2nd Chance Points: On offense a good hustle statistic is to focus on the number of times players can secure an offensive rebound. Still problematic for those players who are not involved in the rebounding triangle, but this can be an interesting statistic as many offensive rebounds can be secured by guards because of the space away from around the basket. Second chance points also can come under the tactic of crashing the boards and will result in a more effective offense.
Deflections: For those teams looking at focusing on pressure, up in the lanes defence, then including deflections into a team’s hustle statistics is a must. This will encourage players to be more aggressive and assert themselves on their defensive match-up. Initially this may cause issues with players overplaying, so a balance will need to be made between risk and reward.
Diving for the ball: Nothing exemplifies a hustle statistics like encouraging players to get after a loose ball and hit the deck. As well as demonstrating the effort and intensity an individual is bring to the game, diving for a loose ball also often sparks a team’s defensive effort and inspires all players to go that little bit harder.
Charges: Often a staple of many teams effort based focus. Charges not only secure possession for the defensive team, but they also penalise the offensive team. It is truly a momentum swinger and a hustle statistic like diving for the ball that can motivate everyone in the team to reach for higher levels of performance.
Tipped Ball: Tipping the ball can result either in a score or just securing possession. Either option can be counted. Like with offensive rebounds and 2nd chance points this hustle statistics will help motivate players to work hard on getting to the boards and making a play.
Teams that end up developing a strong commitment to hustle statistics often perform better for longer during games. This does not necessarily mean they win more games, but they will have a more consistent style of play because these effort based activities help players maintain focus for longer and play both ends of the floor.