As mentioned above, effective yield is a single figure that compares a player's made baskets to their overall number of shot attempts. For example, if a player takes 20 shots throughout the course of a game and makes 9 of them, the player's effective yield for that particular game would be calculated as follows…
Effective Yield = (number of shots made/number of shots attempted) x 100% = (9/20) x 100% = 0.45 x 100% = 45%
There are a number of factors to consider when analyzing a player's effective yield/shooting percentage, one of which is the type of shot associated with each calculation. Each player generally has two seperate effective yield percentages, one for two-point shots and the other for three-point shots. Since two-point shots generally include easy shots near the basket (i.e. layups), players are expected to have a relatively high effective yield for these types of shots, whereas three-point shots are far more difficult and warrant a lower figure. Although there are different criteria for each position, 50% or higher is usually considered a good two-point shot percentage, while a good three-point shot percentage lies in the 35-40% range. While it might seem strange that a player that makes less than half of their three-point shot attempts is considered a reliable three-point shooter, keep in mind that the three-point line is located nearly 23 feet from the basket in the NBA and roughly 20 feet from the basket at the high school and collegiate levels. Thus, three-pointers are considered difficult shots compared to shots taken from shorter distances.
Effective yield is particularly useful when trying to measure a player's overall efficiency with regards to shooting the ball. While a 40 point performance from a player might seem extremely impressive on the surface, a deeper look may reveal that the player had to attempt nearly 30 shots to get there. This is not considered an effective style of play, as it prevents teammates from touching the ball and using their talents to contribute to the team's scoring totals. Focusing on efficiency helps to identify the very best players in a basketball league, as the most skilled players have a tendency to provide themselves with open shots, causing their shooting percentage to be higher than players that simply jack contested shots from all over the court.
Note: Effective yield percentages are also available for teams as a whole, providing a glimpse of how efficient a collective group of players are at shooting the basketball.