Shot fakes as an indicator of successful offense in basketball

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Past research has shown that tactical skills can increase the offensive output in basketball. Laboratory studies have confirmed this and indicated that fakes are useful, but their effectiveness is a function of expertise. In recent times, experts in the field have been able to correctly identify fakes with a higher accuracy. In this study, the primary objective was to investigate the offensive technical-tactical play shot fakes as a possible performance indicator in real basketball games. Furthermore, we evaluated how the attacker's initial offensive positioning and location on court influence the effectiveness of such shot fakes. We examined 45 NBA games using post-hoc video analyses. Though, on an average, a tenth of all points were scored after a shot fake, our data showed a significantly higher offensive effectiveness of possessions with a shot fake compared to the games' average for all offensive possessions. Moreover, shot fakes were found to be more effective being initially open, and were more often used when the focus player was being covered by a defender. In addition, 73% of all shot fakes were successful and advantageous for the attacker. This result, in conjunction with previous laboratory studies in which experts showed an above average probability of detection, points to the importance of time pressure for representative study designs. The evidence from this study proves that shot fakes are an important and effective offensive tool to gain an advantage over the opponent and increase offensive scoring, thereby setting the foundation for future research on shot fakes across sports.
Translated title of the contributionWurftäuschungen als Indikator für eine erfolgreiche Offensive im Basketball
Original languageEnglish
Article number102920
JournalHuman movement science
Volume82
ISSN0167-9457
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2022

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