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Performance analysis of game dynamics during the 4th game quarter of NBA close games

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The purpose of the present study was to identify which situational variables and technical-tactical variables allow to discriminate home and away teams during the fourth quarters of close NBA basketball games according to the scoring trends. The sample comprised 48 men's NBA close games (below 10 points of difference) during the 2013-14 regular season. The situational variables (starting quarter score, game location, and quality of opposition) and technical-tactical variables (game situation, defense type, outcome, shot type, technical execution, defense on the shooter, play events and mean played clock-time) were studied. The main results showed that the variables that best differentiated home and away teams were: i) starting quarter score, free-throws scored, 3-point field-goals from central positions, and defensive fouls during balanced scoring trends between teams; ii) game location, quality of opposition, ball possession success, 2-point field-goals inside and outside the central positions, 3-point field-goals from central and right court positions, and defensive rebounds during home teams' positive scoring trends; and iii) starting quarter score, game location, quality of opposition, ball possession success, alley-hop, the stop-shot, the 1 defense on the shooter, the 2 or >2 defense on the shooter and block 1 in defense during away teams' positive scoring trends. The identified trends allow improving the game understanding during last stages of close games and help the coaches to plan practice sessions and deciding better in competition.

Keywords: ELITE BASKETBALL; PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS; SITUATIONAL VARIABLES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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