True Shooting Percentage

What is True Shooting Percentage in Basketball?

The True Shooting Percentage (TS%) is a basketball statistic used to measure a player’s shooting efficiency. This advanced metric takes into account not only the traditional two-point field goal attempts but also three-pointers and free throws. By considering all types of shots, TS% provides a more comprehensive understanding of a player’s overall shooting performance.

A player’s field goal percentage (FG%) might not be an accurate representation of their shooting skill, especially when comparing players with different shooting styles. For instance, a player like James Harden, who has a below-average FG% of 43.6%, boasts a considerably higher TS% of 61.8%. This discrepancy highlights the importance of evaluating players’ shooting efficiency through TS%, as it includes free throws and three-point shots, both of which significantly impact a team’s success.

To calculate TS%, total points scored, the number of field goal attempts, and the number of free throw attempts are used. This formula ensures that all aspects of scoring are considered when assessing a player’s shooting efficiency. As a result, TS% has become a widely accepted metric among basketball analysts and enthusiasts for evaluating a player’s true shooting ability.

Fundamentals of True Shooting Percentage

Definition and Purpose

True Shooting Percentage (TS%) is an advanced basketball statistic that measures a player’s efficiency in shooting the ball. Unlike traditional shooting metrics like field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and three-point field goal percentage, TS% takes all these factors into account to provide a more accurate reflection of a player’s shooting performance. This metric helps compare players with varying responsibilities and shooting abilities on the floor, giving analysts and coaches deeper insights into a player’s overall contribution to their team.

Calculation Formula

The formula to calculate True Shooting Percentage is as follows:

TS% = (Total Points Scored) / (2 * (Field Goal Attempts + 0.44 * Free Throw Attempts))


  • Total Points Scored includes points from two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws.
  • Field Goal Attempts (FGA) are the total number of shots attempted by a player, both two-point field goals and three-point field goals.
  • Free Throw Attempts (FTA) represent the total number of free throws attempted by a player during a game.

The constant 0.44 is used to approximate the number of shooting possessions due to free throws since not all free throw attempts result in a separate possession (e.g., technical fouls and “and-one” situations). This value may be adjusted according to the league or level of play, but the standard for the NBA is 0.44.

For example, a player scores 35 points with 25 field goal attempts and 10 free throw attempts. Applying the TS% formula:

TS% = (35) / (2 * (25 + 0.44 * 10))
TS% = 35 / (2 * (25 + 4.4))
TS% = 35 / (2 * 29.4)
TS% = 35 / 58.8
TS% = 0.595, or 59.5%

By using the TS% formula, we can efficiently compare players with different shooting habits, skills, and styles, ultimately providing a more accurate gauge of shooting efficiency, regardless of a player’s role on the team.

TS% in Basketball Context

Importance in Player Evaluation

True Shooting Percentage (TS%) is a critical measure in basketball for evaluating a player’s shooting efficiency. It takes into account not only a player’s field goal percentage (FG%) but also their free throw percentage (FT%) and three-point shooting percentage (3P%). By combining these metrics, TS% offers a more comprehensive assessment of a player’s ability to score.

For instance, suppose a player has a low FG% but a high FT% and 3P%. This player may be undervalued if only FG% is considered. In contrast, TS% would give a more accurate representation of their scoring efficiency. TS% becomes particularly useful when comparing players with different scoring profiles, such as perimeter shooters and post players.

Comparisons to Other Shooting Metrics

Here are some primary shooting metrics alongside TS%:

  • Field Goal Percentage (FG%): Measures the percentage of successful shots a player makes, excluding free throws. FG% does not differentiate between two-pointers and three-pointers.

  • Free Throw Percentage (FT%): Indicates the percentage of successful free throws a player makes.

  • Three-Point Percentage (3P%): Represents the percentage of successful three-point field goals a player makes.

  • True Shooting Percentage (TS%): An advanced statistic that takes into account points, field goal attempts, and free throw attempts to calculate a player’s overall shooting efficiency.

FG%Percentage of successful shotsField goals
FT%Percentage of successful free throwsFree throws
3P%Percentage of successful three-point field goalsThree-pointers
TS%Comprehensive measure of shooting efficiencyPoints, field goals, free throws

In summary, TS% is a crucial statistic in basketball for evaluating a player’s shooting efficiency. By taking into account FG%, FT%, and 3P%, this metric provides a more accurate representation of a player’s scoring ability. Comparing TS% to other shooting metrics showcases its significance in assessing basketball players beyond conventional parameters.