How Do You Read Basketball Stats?

Reading basketball stats requires learning the abbreviations, finding a box score or player card, and interpreting the information. It takes less than 30 minutes.

  1. Learn the standard basketball abbreviations

    The most common statistics used in basketball box scores include "MIN" for minutes played, "FGM" and "FGA" for field goals made and field goals attempted, "FTM" and "FTA" for free throws made and attempted, "OFF" and "DEF" for offensive and defensive rebounds, "TOT" for total rebounds, "AST" for assists, "PF" for personal fouls, "TO" for turnovers and "PTS" for points. Player cards use similar abbreviations, except on a per-game basis. For example, "AST" changes to "APG" for "assists per game." Player positions are abbreviated to "F" for forward, "G" for guard and "C" for center.

  2. Find a box score or a player card

    Use one of the many online sources offering box scores for basketball games and statistical information for a player.

  3. Use the information to learn more about a team or player

    Read basketball statistics to determine what a team or player excels in. There are formulas that combine player or team statistics into an efficiency rating, but those who are good at interpreting the statistics can determine strengths and weaknesses based on per-game numbers or box scores.