The performance evolution of match play styles in the Spanish professional basketball league

Gomez, Miguel-Ángel, Medina, Ramón, Leicht, Anthony S., Zhang, Shaoliang, and Vaquera, Alejandro (2020) The performance evolution of match play styles in the Spanish professional basketball league. Applied Sciences, 10 (20). 7056.

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The aim of this study is to analyse the performance evolution of all, and the dominant, team’s performances throughout an eight-season period within the Spanish professional basketball league. Match-related statistics were gathered from all regular season matches (n = 2426) played during the period 2009–2010 to 2016–2017. The non-metric multidimensional scaling model was used to examine the team’s profiles across seasons and for the most successful (playoff) teams. The main results showed that: 3-point field goals made (effect size, d = 0.61; 90% confidence interval, CI = 0.23; 1.37) and missed (d = 0.72; 90% CI = 0.35; 1.46), and assists (d = 1.27; 90% CI = 0.82; 1.86) presented a positive trend with an increased number of actions across the seasons; 2-point field goals made (d = 0.21; 90% CI = −1.25; 2.02) and missed (d = 0.27; 90% CI = −0.52; 0.92) were decreased; free throws made and missed, rebounds, fouls, blocks, steals and turnovers showed a relatively stable performance. The matrix solution (stress = 0.22, rmse (root mean squared error) = 7.9 × 104, maximum residual = 5.8 × 103) indicated minimal season-to-season evolution with the ordination plot and convex hulls overlapping. The two most dominant teams exhibited unique match patterns with the most successful team’s pattern, a potential benchmark for others who exhibited more dynamic evolutions (and less success). The current findings identified the different performances of teams within the Spanish professional basketball league over eight seasons with further statistical modelling of match play performances useful to identify temporal trends and support coaches with training and competition preparations.

Item ID: 66675
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2076-3417
Keywords: Long-term trends, Match-related statistics, Non-metric multidimensional scaling, Performance indicators, Performance patterns, Team sports
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open accessarticle distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (
Funders: Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain (MECS)
Projects and Grants: MECS RX18/00098
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2021 23:52
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1306 Sport, exercise and recreation > 130602 Organised sports @ 100%
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