Measuring Offensive Efficiency With eFG% and TS%

FG% is the easiest measure of scoring efficiency to understand, but one of its downsides is that it places equal value on two-pointers and three-pointers.

Here's an example: Player A shot 7-13 from the field on all two-pointers and Player B shot 5-14 on all three-pointers. Player A clearly had the higher FG% (53.8% vs 35.7%), but Player B ended up scoring one more point than Player A.

Let’s check out two alternatives that account for this disparity.

Effective Field Goal Percentage

Since three-pointers are worth 50% more than two-pointers, we simply weight them as such in the formula below. As a result, eFG% will favor players who shoot efficiently from 3.

Note that you can calculate eFG% in two ways, 1) using 2PM and 3PM or 2) using FGM and 3PM.

Let’s look at the shooting splits of the Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson. In his career, he shoots a below-average 42.9% from the field, but this can be misleading since we know that nearly 80% of his shots are from 3. Taking this into account, his eFG% jumps to an above-average 58.7%, a much better evaluation of his scoring ability.

True Shooting Percentage

Effective field goal percentage only looks at field goals, but with true shooting percentage we can incorporate free-throws as well. Since they are only worth half as many points as two-pointers, we weight them by 0.5, and instead of dividing by field goals, we divide by true shot attempts, an aggregate of both field goals and free-throws.

Note that you can calculate TS% also in two ways, 1) using FTM, 2PM, and 3PM or 2) using PTS. Also, the total number of free-throw attempts is multiplied by 0.44 to estimate possessions ended by free-throw attempts, controlling for one-shot instances such as technical fouls or and-ones.

TS% generally disadvantages players who score most of their points inside the arc or who shoot poorly on high free-throw volume. For example, Cleveland Cavalier Evan Mobley shot an elite 55.4% from the field in 2023, but since he doesn't shoot very efficiently on three-pointers or free-throws (21.6% and 67.4% respectively), his TS% of 59.1% is only slight above the league average.

Where to Find eFG% and TS%

You can find these advanced statistics in most tables on the FastScout dashboard, as highlighted below.

One of the biggest drawbacks of eFG% and TS% is that despite having the word "percentage" in their names, both are actually calculated on a 0-150 scale, meaning it's mathematically possible to hold a 150% true shooting percentage. This can be confusing, especially since league averages for eFG% and TS% will be higher than the league average for FG%, but it serves as a reminder that although these advanced statistics are great tools to better compare the efficiency of teams, players, or lineups, they shouldn't be interpreted alone or out of context.

Offensive efficiency can also be measured with Points Per Possession (PPP) or Offensive Rating (ORTG). Learn more about these stats here.

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