Missing FG Found?

Missing FG Found?

Postby Mike Hamel » Sun May 01, 2011 10:09 pm

A while back I noticed that the Boston Celtics team stats for 1958-59 did not match the sum of the player stats; the number of FGM was off by one and the number of points was off by two. I'm currently collecting box scores from this period, so the "mistake" caught my attention.

Then I read in the Boston Globe game story for their 2/20 game vs. Detroit that one of the Boston field goals was scored by Detroit. Boston's players got credit for 32 FG, but the Celtics as a team were awarded 33 FG, which explains the differences in the season totals. The two box scores I have for the game do not match each other, so I am not sure which Piston scored the basket. Does anyone know?
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby John Grasso » Sun May 01, 2011 10:30 pm

During the early years of the NBA if a player scored a basket for the opposing team no individual was
credited for the basket unlike today's rules. There were at least two other instances where this happened.
Dec. 18, 1956 Boston scored a basket for New York and on Jan 28, 1956 Fort Wayne scored for New York.

I'm not sure when the scoring rule was changed.
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby Mike Hamel » Fri May 27, 2011 12:13 pm


Also, on 10/27/1962, Dolph Schayes of Syracuse scored one basket for Boston.
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby petroslav » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:24 pm

On 3/16/1961, Wilt Chamberlain of Philadelphia scored one basket for Syracuse that was credited to Dolph Schayes.

From Mar. 17, 1961 Syracuse Post Standard:

The Stilt Helps Nats

Arizin and Chamberlain pushed the Warriors in front by one a couple of times as the Nats earned their baskets the hard way in the second quarter, taking several shots on offensive rebounds. After Chamberlain tipped in a goal in the wrong basket, with Schayes getting credit, the Warriors took over for the rest of the half.
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby Mike Hamel » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:02 am

Does anyone have a Sporting News NBA Guide (or NBA rule book) between 1963-64 and 1973-74 who could help determine when this rule was changed?

I ask because these occurrences seem to be handled differently in the record books.

1/28/1956 Fort Wayne scored 1 FG for New York
12/18/1956 Boston scored 1 FG for New York
2/20/1959 Detroit scored 1 FG for Boston
10/27/1962 Dolph Schayes scored 1 FG for Boston

These four are all footnoted in the box scores I have seen, including on Basketball-Reference.com.
There is no such footnote for the 3/16/1961 game cited above.

When you look at the statistics on Basketball-Reference.com for the 1956-57 Knicks or 1958-59 Celtics, the statistics do not "balance" because of the rule in place at the time (see below). The sum of the individual player FGM, multiplied by 2, and added to the sum of the individual player FTM, adds up to 2 points fewer than the total number of points scored by the team during the season. (The team statistics section includes the extra FGM for some reason, so if you only look at that line the statistics will balance.)

From the 1962-63 Sporting News NBA Guide:

Rule 5 - Scoring and timing regulations

QUESTION(2) - A player throws a field goal in opponents' basket. Who gets credit for the goal?
ANSWER - It is not credited to a player. It is added to the opponents' score and mentioned in a footnote.

But for both the 1955-56 Knicks and 1962-63 Celtics, the team and player statistics DO balance, as if a player was given credit for the field goal scored by the other team. It's possible that the player statistics for these teams simply include a mistake somewhere.

I cannot speak for the 1955-56 Knicks, but I have gone through all of the 1962-63 Celtics box scores from various sources, and while there are some discrepancies from source-to-source, they all agree that the Celtics players combined to make 3745 FG that season, not 3746, and it looks like Satch Sanders has been credited with an extra field goal. Whatever happened, it happened fairly soon after that game, since the Celtics player statistics printed in the 1963-64 Celtics Yearbook match what you see on Basketball-Reference.com today.

The next Sporting News NBA Guide I happen to have access to is the 1973-74 edition, and by then the rule has been changed:

Section I-Scoring
d. A field goal accidentally scored in an opponent's basket shall be added to the opponent's score, credited to the opposing player nearest the shooter and mentioned in a footnote.
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby MCT » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:24 pm

NBA Guides back to the 1967-68 edition contain the same language in the rules section as 1973-74, so the modern rule was definitely in place by the start of the 1967-68 season.

I have the 1964-65, 1965-66 and 1966-67 editions of the NBA Guide, but they don't seem to have a section in them with the official rules.
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Re: Missing FG Found?

Postby Mike Hamel » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:25 pm

Thanks for the help.
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