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There are volume scores and there are ball hogs. They aren’t the same thing. It can be a tricky to parse one from the other though.
Admittedly, no one method is going to work perfectly, but using a combination of objective and subjective analysis we can try.
Objectively, I considered what is a ball hog? A ball hog is a player who wastes possessions by using extra possessions badly, i.e. he shoots or turns the ball over when he could have passed to an open teammate.
So in order to measure “hoggery”, there needs to be two criteria met: First, he has to use a lot of possessions. Second, he has to throw away a lot of possessions.
Possessions are characterized as positive or negative. If a player ended a possession with a score (field goal or free throw) or assist, I considered it a positive possession. Assists are counted because part of being a ball hog is forcing a shot when you have an open teammate. Ergo, the converse should be true: passing to an open teammate instead of shooting is “unhog” behavior.
Negative possessions were plays that ended in a missed field goal, missed free throw or turnover. Missed free throws were counted as .44 of a possession, which is pretty standard fare with advanced metrics.
I then filtered out players who used a high volume of possessions (at least 20 per game) and determined ball hogs by those who actually had more negative possessions than positive possessions.
The formulas were as follows:
- Positive Possession=PTS/2+AST
- Negative Possession=(FGA-FG)+((FTA-FT)*.44)+TO
- Total Possessions=Positive Possessions + Negative Possessions.
For that purpose we established an “oink” rating on a scale of one to five. Five oinks is a full-on Hawaiian luau pig roast, and a one is a bag of pork rinds. I even used my amateur photoshopping skills to give a little visual reference, and made some culinary references for extra flavor.
They are ranked here according to their objective score, but do not consider that the final say in the matter. Take into account the subjective analysis as well.
- Net Possessions= Positive Possessions - Negative Possessions
There were eight players who were determined to be “ball hogs” in that they had a negative net possession ranking. However why they were hogs still needed a determination.