The importance of assists in basketball

John Stockton's trading card highlighting his passing skill

Perhaps one of the most overlooked statistics in the game of basketball is the assist. The players who score plenty of points in a game are the ones that usually get the credit and get noticed. On the other hand, the players that dish out assists even during the crucial point of the game are often ignored by most fans.

Scoring points is so vital since outscoring the other team will result to a win whether the margin is either big or small. But keep in to mind that teamwork provides cohesion and chemistry on a team. The harmony and smooth flow of the game can be accomplished with unselfish players that are ready to give an assist on their teammate for a lay-up and even an electrifying dunk.

Here are the reasons why an assist is so important in the game of basketball:

  • An assist can make your teammates feel so good with their respective games.
  • The team that value assists is expected to have a better shooting percentage from the two-point to three-point range. The team shoots well and will have a better shooting percentage since open players whether they are inside or outside the shaded lane will be benefited.
  • Assists will help the players bond well.
  • A passing team with good shooting percentage will need not exert two much effort and spend much energy in grabbing the offensive rebounds off missed shots.
  • A good passing team will also help conserve the energy of the players since unnecessary dribbling will be avoided.
  • Assists can also break the defense of the opponents. The much vaunted Triangle Offense and the Pick and Roll plays rely on the sound passing skills of players to create space for higher percentage shot or a chance to break away from defenders for an easy lay-up or a dunk.


Many games were won because of the series of assists handed out by good passers and it is not wise idea to rely more on the individual game of the players especially on the so-called go-to-guy. Assists brings rhythm to a team and besides basketball is played by five players on both opposing teams. Without assists the game will become dull and teamwork will plummet. This scenario will make the team out of sync and there will be confusion on the part of the players.

There are a lot of great players that showed their greatness through dishing out assists and their contribution to their team is priceless. Players such as Jazz standouts John Stockton and Pete Maravich, Laker Magic Johnson, Maverick Jason Kidd, Sun Steve Nash and Hornet Chris Paul proved the tremendous worth of an assist with their individual achievements, contributions and even showmanship on the wooden floor.

Written and reviewed by Eugene V. Geminiano, ECE

The top assists in NBA of all-time

See what assists can do in a game. Nash unleashing 17 awesome assists in a game against Indiana as a Sun player. Video from YouTube

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Comments 3 comments

KevinTimothy profile image

KevinTimothy 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

This is a really great hub. You totally sold the lost art of the assist in basketball. If I was the shoot first type of player, this article would've surely changed my mind. Very persuasive point of view. Sounds like you know your basketball.


emilgen2011 profile image

emilgen2011 4 years ago from The Land Where Salt is Abundant Author

Thanks a lot for the wonderful words Kevin... You are so kind... Yeah I know my basketball just a little though...


emilgen2011 profile image

emilgen2011 4 years ago from The Land Where Salt is Abundant Author

Thanks a lot for the wonderful words Kevin... You are so kind... Yeah I know my basketball just a little though...

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