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Steal Percentage

What is Steal Percentage?

A metric that estimates the percentage of offensive possessions that end with a steal by a particular defensive player when that player is on the court. Steal Percentage can also be calculated for a team rather than an individual player.


Sporting Charts explains Steal Percentage

In an effort to determine how much impact players have on their teams, sports statisticians have developed metrics such as Steal Percentage. Steals don't tell the entire story in terms of defensive effectiveness, but examining Steal Percentage can give us clues as to how efficient a player is at putting an end to his opponent's offensive possessions.

Although the formula itself looks a bit more complicated, the basic idea is to look at all the offensive possessions a team had while a certain defensive player was in the game, and find the percentage of those possessions in which the defensive player made a steal. This value indicates, in part, how much defensive impact a player has on his opponents.

Some of the all-time leaders in this category include Alvin Robertson, Quinn Buckner, Nate McMillan, Micheal Ray Richardson and Mookie Blaylock.

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