Ever wonder whether home scorekeepers at NBA games pad their team's stats to make them look better? Well, according to a recent study published by Hoopdata, that appears to be the case when it comes to assists. And the findings show that the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers are the largest beneficiaries of biased scorekeepers.
In the study, road and home assists to field goals made were compared for each team during each season from 2006-07 to 2011-12. Assist percentage was used to help strip out factors such as pace and teams playing better on their home floor.
After compiling the data, it was found that the assist percentage for all road teams was 56.1 percent. For home teams? It was at 58.8 percent. That's a 2.7 percentage-point increase, or an overall 4.9 percent increase in assist percentage.
As mentioned, the Nuggets and Clippers benefited from this inflation the most. The single highest-inflated season was the 2008-09 Nuggets with a 13 percent inflation. Rounding out the top five for favorable home scorers were the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. The five least favorable home scorers were the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies.
Based off this data, the guys over at Hoopdata plan on creating a metric called the "Arena-Adjusted Assist." While this stat, like pretty much all stats, won't be perfect, it should be a neat little way to see if home scorekeepers are being a tad generous.