The Glue Index

When a player is said to be "a glue guy," we all understand that this refers to a player who does things that help his team win but that don't show up in the box score. What is his value to the team? How do we appreciate his contributions? Many coaches have things they chart like deflections or "floor burns." These measures tell the coaches what players are doing, but they don't tell us.

I'm sure with things like Synergy Sports and all the video capture being done, we soon will be told how many times a player cuts toward the baseline with 4 seconds left in the shot clock. But until then, I present the Glue Index.

The Glue Index can be looked at as a subset of the Successful Possession Index. Like the SPI, the Glue Index is a count of a player's direct contributions to successful possessions. However, the Glue Index is made only of plays that are not shown in the box score, and a player's Glue Index can be increased by more than one point on a single possession Each individual Glue Play scores a point.

The Glue Plays making up the Glue Index are:

  • Screen
  • DDD ("Dribble-Drive-Dish")
  • Challenge
  • Man
  • Help
  • Hedge
  • Recover
  • RebA ("Rebound Assist")
  • Tip
  • Save

The Glue Index lets us select a Glue Hoo of the Game, and ultimately a Glue Hoo of the Year. The Glue Hoo of the Game (or Year) is the player with the highest Glue Index. Ties are broken by selecting the player with the lowest SPI. He therefore has the highest percentage of his contributions as Glue Plays.

Please Note: The numbers tell me that the above list of Glue Tags appears to be weighted toward interior players. Theoretically, it shouldn't be, because all players are supposed to help, challenge shots, boxout, and stick with their man. It does, hwever, include interior-specific tags such as hedge and screen. I am considering adding perimeter-specific tags such as drive.