This article was written in mid-to-late April and published in the May 2023 issue of Basket Korea Webzine. (Link to purchase Basket Korea Webzine)

The ‘+/-‘ you see in basketball records means the team’s scoring margin (hereinafter referred to as scoring margin) when the player plays, and the scoring margin is the difference between the number of points scored and the number of points conceded. For example, if Player A has a goal differential of 6, it means that the team scored 6 more points than they conceded while he was on the court. If Player B had a goal differential of -10, it would mean that the team gave up 10 more points than they scored while he was on the court.

Of course, GAA is not always proportional to minutes played or goals scored. Because it’s the difference between the goals scored by two teams, not an individual, there are many factors that affect it, so a player who scores 30 points might have the same or a similar margin to a player who scores 10 points. Also, since it’s a team margin, players who play the same amount of minutes in the same lineup will have the same margin.

In this article, we’ll look at the scoring margins of players from the two teams that reached the championship game. The numbers are provided by the KBL.

Anyang KGC Ginseng
KGC Ginseng faced Goyang Day One in the quarter-finals, with the result being three games to one. Apart from the second game, which they lost, and the third game, which they struggled in the first quarter, they won comfortably, especially in the first game, which they won by more than double figures, 99-43. With such a large margin of victory, KGC Ginseng’s players also boasted high scoring margins: nine players had a +10 or higher scoring margin, and six players had a +30 or higher scoring margin.

Omari Spellman (22:33, +42) and Byeongjun Bae (23:13, +41) stood out. The duo played in the same lineup in the first and third quarters (with the exception of three minutes left in the second quarter) and were key to the team’s big lead. Spellman (22 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Bae (13 points, six rebounds, three assists) combined for 35 points, including eight three-pointers, and 11 rebounds and eight assists. Byun Jun-hyung (+34), Jung Jun-won (+32), Han Seung-hee (+31), and Moon Sung-gon (+30) also posted +30+ scoring margins.

Game 3 after a 75-89 loss in Game 2. At the start of the game, KGC Ginseng fell behind 2-18 due to mismatched zeros and lost possessions. But the struggle didn’t last long. In the second quarter, KGC Ginseng piled up points around Byun Joon-hyung and finished the first half with a 42-44 lead. In the second half, the tide turned. Byun Jun-hyung continued his momentum from the second quarter, while Oh Se-geun provided strength under the basket. Thanks to this, KGC Ginseng entered the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead (69-60), and there was no change in the fourth quarter, which entered a lull due to overall shooting difficulties.

The main contributor to the Game 3 victory was Byun Jun-hyung, who finished with 26 points, including three three-pointers, three assists, three steals and two rebounds in 37 minutes and 10 seconds. Drawing just eight fouls, Byun hit all nine of his free throws in the process, and also posted a +6 scoring margin with a stellar turnover-free performance. The highest scoring margin on the team belonged to Bae Byeong-jun. In 22:43 minutes, Bae finished with six points, including one three-pointer, to go along with two rebounds and one assist for a +7 scoring margin. However, given his playing time, Byun’s scoring margin is more noteworthy.

In Game 4, which clinched KGC’s spot in the championship, seven players recorded a double-digit (+) scoring margin. Spellman is the best on the team with a +32 goal differential. He was followed by Oh Se-geun (+26), Byun Jun-hyung (+24), Moon Sung-gon (+23), Jung Jun-won (+20), Park Ji-hoon (+12), and Bae Byung-joon (+10).

The table above shows the goal differentials of KGC Ginseng’s key players in the first, third, and fourth games of the quarter-final playoffs. The sum of the goal margin is attached as a note, as it is difficult to give meaning to it.

Seoul SK
SK swept through the quarter-final and semi-final playoffs, even without the services of Choi Jun-yong and Ahn Young-joon, to reach the championship for the second consecutive year. Game 1 against KCC in the quarter-finals. Kim Sun-hyung (11 points, +24), Choi Buk-kyung (12 points, +23), Jamil Warney (26 points, +18) and Heo Il-young (11 points, +14) recorded double-digit scoring and scoring margins. Oh Jae-hyun also scored in double figures with 17 points, but his goal differential was only +5. Oh had a +10 scoring margin at halftime, but the fact that he came on late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line may have contributed to the drop in scoring margin.

Heo Il-young scored 20 points, including five three-pointers, in 27 minutes and 21 seconds in Game 2 for a +24 scoring margin. In a hard-fought game that went into overtime, SK won 98-92. Considering the score difference between the two teams, Heo’s scoring margin was unrivalled. He played less minutes than Kim Sun-hyung (41 minutes, 22 points, +5), Warney (39 minutes, 20 points, +5), and Choi Buk-kyung (45 minutes, 15 points, +6), which may explain his relatively high scoring margin. However, without Heo’s fourth-quarter performance (10 minutes, 13 points, including three three-pointers), SK’s victory would have been far from assured.

In the third game against KCC, which clinched a spot in the quarter-finals, Warney did his job, while Choi Sung-won and Kim Hyung-bin were among the team’s top performers in terms of scoring margin. Warney finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds and a +17 scoring margin in 37 minutes and six seconds, while Choi Sung-won had eight points, including two three-pointers, and three assists for a +11 scoring margin in 36 minutes and 18 seconds. Kim Hyung-bin played just 5:19 in the third quarter, scoring two points on free throws. However, in his short time on the court, which came with the score at 40-52, SK pushed KCC to 56-58. As a result, Kim had a +10 scoring margin.

Meanwhile, Kim Sun-hyung has dished out 10 or more assists in each of the three games against KCC. He is only the second player in history to record 10 or more assists in three consecutive playoff games (31 total). The first (59 total) was a five-game streak by Joo Hee-jung (now head coach of Korea University) of the Seoul Samsung in the 2000-2001 playoffs.토토사이트

The quarter-final playoff match against LG Electronics was a hard-fought battle. Game 1 was won by five points, while Games 2 and 3 were all decided by one point. In Game 1, there was a clear difference in goal difference between the players. Kim Sun-hyung (+26), Choi Won-hyuk, Choi Boo-kyung (+23), Warney (+21), and Choi Sung-won (+7) had positive goal differentials. On the other hand, Kim Hyung-bin (-18), Leon Williams (-16), Heo Il-young (-15), Yang Woo-seop, Hong Kyung-kyung (over -11), and Oh Jae-hyun (-4) conceded more goals than their teams scored in their appearances. Their minutes were noticeably shorter than those of their predecessors, largely because they took the court in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter when the score was 73-57. In the final three-plus minutes, LG exploded for 11 points, including three three-pointers.

In Game 2 (92-91), it was again Heo Il-young’s scoring margin that stood out. While Warney flew for 40 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes and 47 seconds, his scoring margin was zero, Heo had 24 points and six rebounds, including three three-pointers, in 29 minutes and 25 seconds and a +10 scoring margin. It was Heo (Q1: 9 points) who helped SK finish the first quarter 24-22, and it was Heo (Q4: 8 points) who paved the way for the comeback from a 64-71 deficit early in the fourth quarter.

SK allowed late rallies against LG throughout the series. It was no different in Game 3 (85-84). They started the fourth quarter with a 73-66 lead, but were down to within one point. A steal and basket by Kim Sun-hyung with 30 seconds left in the game saved SK. The margin of victory was not significant as the game was close. Kim Sun-hyung (37:14, 25 points) and Heo Il-young (28:45, 14 points) were +4. Choi Sung-won (29:52, 13 points) was +3 and Warney (40 minutes, 23 points, 12 rebounds) was +1. Please note the margin of victory table below.

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