View Full Version : Definition of an assist?
06-13-2001, 11:44 PM
Okay, just watched the Lakers move one step closer to a second consecutive NBA title, and both Shaq and Kobe had 9 assists, one short of a double double. As I watched the game, I wondered what, exactly, would count as an assist.
Now I know that it involves passing to somebody that subsequently makes a basket, but what are the limitations of this? Do you still get credit for the assist if the person you passed it to dribbles then penetrates for the layup? What if they dribble around for a good 10 seconds before shooting the jumper?
Well, thanks in advance.
06-14-2001, 12:20 AM
The official definition of assist is "a pass which leads directly to a basket" and I believe there is a restriction that the scorer cannot take more than Two dribbles to score. This is nonsensical, because a center who makes a snappy outlet pass to a speeding guard at the top of the key who then dribbles 50 feet for a breakaway layup should clearly get an assist. But I do believe that the "official" standards for an assist have a two dribble limitation.
I can't verify that this is accurate, but it sounds pretty good to me.
Unfortunately, assists are one of basketball's few subjective stats. Pretty much everything else is clearly defined. At an NBA game, there is a whole team of statkeepers and there is usually one person who is in charge of keeping track of assists and nothing else.
Some arenas, like Utah, are known for being very lenient in giving out assists. Not to take away from John Stockton's considerable talent, but he's probably had a good helping of some home cooking. However, he has so many more assists than anyone else that it doesn't matter.
Every successful field goal doesn't have an assist obviously.
Incidentally, it's a bit of a statistical "inequity" (if you will) that a pass that leads to a shot where the shooter gets fouled and goes to the free throw line results in no assist (or any other positive credit) for the passer.
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