What is An Assist In Basketball ? Why it’s important

The assists are one of the fundamental stats that enter the box score and determine the performance of the players in basketball game. In the NBA, NCAA, and WNBA, a player is awarded an assist only after having passed the ball to the player who then scores a basket.

If you are a basketball player then you must have heard the commentators talking about assists most of the time as they are the most discussed and debated statistics in basketball. They are usually discussed when any player gets a triple-double.

So, what is an assist in basketball? Here is a simply put definition of an assist: according to NBA a pass directly leading to a made basket is termed as an assist. And a player can only have an assist if he had made a score and the ball is directly passed to him. If several passes are to be made before the made-field goal then the player who has made the last pass would be credited for “dropping the dime”.

Why Assists Are Considered Important?

The assists determine which of the playing teams is going to win as they have a direct relation to the point scored. They are the most discussed subject in the basketball as most of the time they appear to be of subjective nature causing disagreement between basketball authorities and statisticians. Now let’s have a deeper look into the above said things.

What Is An Assist In Basketball

You want to know how many players in basketball

Examples of an Assist in Basketball

The assists in basketball include an inbound pass allowing a three-point shot, a quick pass for a layup, a perimeter jump shot, or a long toss-up leading to a dunk. Most people approve that an assist only gets counted when two or less dribbles are made by the scoring player before scoring a field goal. Yet, in certain conditions, assists happen when extensive dribbling is made on the play. But in case a pass is made but the intended scorer gets a foul before scoring then he is not given credited with an assist

Types of Assists

The main types of assist include primary and secondary assists, illegal assists, and free-throw

Primary and Secondary Assist

There are multiple sports that grant more than one assist for each score such as hockey but in basketball only last pass prior to a made-goal is considered as an assist namely primary assist. Usually a pass prior to an assist is termed as “hockey assist” or secondary assist. Secondary assists are generally not counted in basketball but sometimes they are noted being an advanced statistic, displaying playmaking ability i.e. on average elite passers get one or two assists for each game.

Illegal assists

When the ball comes in contact with rim the players are not allowed to touch it. This is termed as an illegal assist i.e. when the ball is tapped into the hoop by the player while it was touching the rim. This will result in a violation giving the opposite team a chance to have the possession of the ball.

Free Throw Assists

For a free assist a pass is to be made by the teammate to the other teammate who makes at least one free throw after a foul but in such a way that the foul is counted at least after four seconds and two dribbles.

Five key matrices are generally tracked in the NBA namely, assists, points, rebounds, steals and blocks. The players who score ten or more points in two of the above mentioned categories then they are credited with “double-double” by reporters and if ye scores are made in three categories they get “triple-double.”

Can a Player Score and get an Assist on the Same Play?

The simple answer to this question is “No”, as per the official definition the pass can only be made to a teammate. So throwing the ball against the background and scoring from it won’t help you get an assist on that play.

In the NBA, existing Controversy Regarding an Assists

Although it is obvious that there are cut and dry rules regarding assists, the NBA’s Statistician’s Manual permits a bit vagueness. According to the manual the crediting of an assist is up to the judgement of the scorekeeper during the game. Well here the controversy begins i.e. considering the context of the game some may consider a pass to someone off the backboard as an assist while some may not. Moreover its subjective nature makes statisticians a bit generous when giving assists. But to make sure of transparency a website namely NBA.com replays controversial assists

What Position in Basketball Tends to receive the Most Assists?

If factually seen, then point guards receive the most assists due to the fact that their chief concern during a basketball game is to handle the ball. Point guards, in 2020-2021 season, got six of the top ten spots for assists. There were 11.7 assists from Russell Westbrook, who is a point guard.

Glance at history- Who has the Most Assists in the NBA?

Some of the players who hold the NBA record for assists are John Stockton, who received 15,806 assists comes first. He also brags per game 14.5 assists in single season during 1989-1990

Jason Kidd who is credited with 12,091 comes second and Steve Nash comes third with 10,335 assists. While playing with Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson scored 11.3 assists on average. Moreover, Milwaukee Bucks made a single-game assist by receiving 53 assists in Boxing Day game in 1978

Conclusion: What Is An Assist In Basketball

In conclusion it can be safely said that, assists are one of the most vital statistics in the basketball game. They determine which of the playing teams is going to win as they have a direct relation to the point scored. Frankly speaking having more assists per game gives you a better chance to win and make your mark in the game. It is a good thing for an offense.