The NBA Gravity Stat: Shooting Stars and Space Creation

In the fast-paced world of the NBA, newer, more advanced stats are helping us evaluate players at a more granular level than ever before. While you may be used to points per game, assists and rebounds, there’s a lesser known statistic called “gravity” that’s changing the way we look at NBA players and their contributions on the court. So, what exactly is this gravity stat, and why does it matter? Let’s break it down.

Defining Gravity in the NBA

In the NBA, gravity isn’t about things falling to the ground; it’s about how much attention a player commands from the defense. Think of it like this: when a player has high gravity, it means defenders are drawn to him like a magnet. They have to keep an eye on the player, even if he doesn’t have the ball, because they can score or create opportunities for others at any moment.

Stephen Curry: The Gravity Guru

If there’s one player who exemplifies the power of gravity, it’s Steph Curry. He is quite literally a human magnet for defenders. When Steph’s on the court, defenders at all times be fully aware of his location. Why? Because Curry can shoot from just about anywhere inside half-court. His ability to knock down threes from seemingly anywhere forces defenders to stretch their coverage, leaving more room for his teammates to operate in space.

Put differently, think of when you’re playing pick-up basketball at your local gym and there’s that one guy who played D1 college basketball and the rest of you last played competitively in middle school, you’re always aware of that one guy. That’s gravity.

LeBron James: The Gravity Generator

LeBron James is another player who has an incredibly high gravity stat. When he’s on the court, he draws defenders like a magnet because he’s a triple-threat. He can drive to the basket, dish out assists, and create his own jump shot with ease. Defenders have to respect every aspect of his game, which means they’re often “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Do they collapse on LeBron to stop his drive and risk him finding an open shooter, or do they stick to their man on the perimeter and let LeBron get to the rim? It’s a lose-lose situation for the defense.

Creating Space and Opportunities

So, why does the gravity stat matter? Because it’s all about creating space and opportunities for your teammates. When a player has high gravity, it means they’re making life easier for their teammates by attracting defenders and opening up passing lanes.

Team Success and Gravity

It’s no coincidence that teams with players who possess high gravity stats tend to do well. They create a domino effect on the court. When one player commands so much attention, it frees up others to shine. The Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, with Curry and LeBron respectively, are prime examples of teams that thrive on their stars’ gravitational pull.

The next time you watch an NBA game, pay attention to the players who make defenders gravitate towards them – they’re the ones making a big impact on the court, even without always scoring the points themselves.

Share your love