The Four Factors of Basketball - Conclusion

Not Equal Factors
While these are the four essential factors that decide winning and losing in the NBA, the factors do not carry equal weight. Each statistic measures a separate skill — there’s no reason that a team can’t shoot well, commit few turnovers, rebound a high percentage of its misses and make frequent trips to the free throw line. At the same time, a team can compensate for poor performance in one area by outstanding performance in another — hitting the offensive boards on a poor shooting night, for example.

Beyond rankings and fan talk, these factors can be used to help identify a team’s strategic strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps they’re not as sexy as a killer crossover, but they’re far more likely to help a team win.

Kevin Broom is a Senior Writer at, a contributor at, and a member of the Association for Professional Basketball Research and is also a regular guest analyst on the Wizards Postgame show on WTEM SportsTalk 980. Last season, Kevin shed a new light on defensive statistics during the Wizards-Bulls series for He can be reached at

In future articles, Kevin will delve into rating individual players, plus/minus ratings, and the cutting edge efforts to evaluate individual defensive performance.

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