Jazz coach Quin Snyder would like to see the box score changed

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Quin Snyder as the Utah Jazz hosts the Sacramento Kings, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Monday Oct. 14, 2019.

"The typical line is ‘What he does doesn’t show up in the box score.’ Well, why not?"

That’s Jazz head coach Quin Snyder’s public plea to have the NBA box score changed to reflect stats that reflect winning. The source of his unhappiness is the lack of recognition center Rudy Gobert received for the 17 screen assists he recorded on Wednesday night against the Clippers.

Seventeen is a very high number of screen assists in a game, even for Gobert; last season, he led the league in screen assists with 5.9 per game. Those 17 screen assists against the Clippers led directly to 38 Jazz points.

“There are plays where his screen is more impactful than the chest pass to a shooter,” Snyder said. “He may not average 10, but if he did, that’s a triple double in my book. Our box scores need to catch up.”

Screen assists weren’t the only addition Snyder would make. He referenced adding defensive stats like deflections, which “may give a more accurate representation of how a team is playing” than steals, which are “results oriented.”

And he’s frustrated with how players are often evaluated by traditional field goal percentage, rather than effective field goal percentage — the same statistic, just adjusted to include the fact that threes are worth more than twos — on a night-to-night basis.

Snyder pointed to progress made in other areas to show that changes to how the public uses stats are possible. Team points per game are rarely referenced anymore on broadcasts and in articles, as the league shifts to talking about per-possession statistics like offensive rating.

“We’re selling fans short if we think they can’t understand the box score if something hasn’t been around for thirty years,” Snyder said. “It’s not that complicated. If I screen somebody, he hits the screen and that guy gets open and hits a shot, that’s a screen assist. I don’t think it’s hard. The box score shows the pass, it doesn’t show the screen.”

All of these stats — along with others like contested shots, rebounding box outs, and loose balls recovered — are kept by the NBA and uploaded every game at their stats website, stats.NBA.com.

While we wait for change, though, Snyder says he’ll make the statistical accomplishments of his players known in press conferences. “Someone’s gotta start talking about what we preach as coaches, make winning plays and play for each other,” he said.

“Here’s a guy who has 17 screen assists. If we’re not going to see that in the box score, I feel obligated to mention it.”