What Does +/- Mean in Basketball Stats?

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans following the game and its players closely. As such, the stats that players accumulate over the course of a game or a season can be scrutinized and analyzed for patterns and trends. One such stat is the plus-minus rating, or “+/-”, which has become an important tool for coaches and analysts alike. But what exactly does this stat mean? In this article, we’ll explain the meaning of +/- in basketball stats and how it can be used to evaluate a player’s performance.

What is the Plus-Minus Rating?

The plus-minus rating, or +/-, is a statistic used to measure a player’s on-court impact. It is calculated by comparing the total points scored by a team with and without a particular player on the court. If a team scores more points with a player on the court than without, then that player has a positive plus-minus rating. Conversely, if a team scores fewer points with a player on the court than without, then that player has a negative plus-minus rating.
For example, if a player is on the court for 10 minutes and his team outscores their opponent by 10 points during that time, then the player’s plus-minus rating would be +10. On the other hand, if a player is on the court for 10 minutes and his team is outscored by 10 points during that time, then the player’s plus-minus rating would be -10.

Why is the Plus-Minus Rating Important?

The plus-minus rating is an important statistic because it can provide insight into a player’s on-court impact that isn’t always apparent in traditional box score stats like points, rebounds, and assists. For example, a player might not have the best shooting percentage or the most points scored, but if his team outscores their opponents with him on the court, then he is clearly making a positive impact.
Additionally, the plus-minus rating can be used to compare a player’s performance to that of his teammates. If two players have similar statistical outputs, but one player has a significantly higher plus-minus rating than the other, then it is likely that the player with the higher rating is having a greater impact on the game.

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How is the Plus-Minus Rating Used?

The plus-minus rating is primarily used by coaches and analysts to evaluate a player’s impact on the game. It can also be used to compare the performance of two players, or even two teams. For example, if one team has a higher plus-minus rating than their opponent, it could be an indication that they are playing more effectively or efficiently.
The plus-minus rating can also be used to compare the performance of players within a single team. If two players have similar statistical outputs, but one player has a significantly higher plus-minus rating than the other, then it is likely that the player with the higher rating is having a greater impact on the game.

Conclusion

The plus-minus rating is an important statistic that can be used to measure a player’s on-court impact. It is calculated by comparing the total points scored by a team with and without a particular player on the court. The plus-minus rating can provide insight into a player’s performance and can be used to compare the performance of two players, or even two teams. Coaches and analysts use the plus-minus rating to evaluate a player’s impact on the game, and it can be an important tool in determining which players are having the greatest impact.