05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
44 Devaughn Akoon-purcell (GALA)
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Viziball - The PIE MVP

MIES (Switzerland) - With today's announcement of a collaboration between the Basketball Champions League and Viziball, a French startup focused on advanced stat, data analysis, and visualization tools, journalists, media partners, and fans now have another lens with which to view and understand the league through. 

Advanced stats have been slowly diffusing into the regular vernacular of European basketball followers and media types for some time. Whereas the use of per-possession stats in partnership with the traditional box score or volume stats was once limited to data analysts and coaching staff, they have now become the norm for fans when discussing the performances of their favorite players and teams. Viziball, however, does things slightly differently and for BCL fans there are now some new metrics on offer that will bring added insights to the discussion. 

Player Impact Estimate (PIE) 

What is a Player Impact Estimate? Well, in short PIE estimates the number of times a player has a decisive impact on the end of a possession - in both a positive and negative way and then shows it as a percentage of the total in the game. If we were to add up all of the PIE percentages of the players from both teams in any given game, the total would be 100 percent. Players can score negative PIE's and an identical box score, stat line may not always produce an identical PIE.  PIE won't tell you who was the best player in the game and it won't tell you who was the most efficient. What it will give you is a pretty solid estimate for which players have important roles for their teams and impact the game in multiple ways. This is ordinarily a stat for high minutes and high volume players but conversely, when you find players producing high PIE scores on low minutes, those might also be the guys to look out for to step up when the main man is sitting. For those of you interested in diving a little deeper into the formula, here it is:

(PTS + FG + FT - FGA - FTA + DRB + (.5 * ORB) + AST + STL + (.5 * BLK) - PF - TO) / (GamePTS + GameFG + GameFT - GameFGA - GameFTA + GameDRB + (.5 * GamemORB) + GameAST + GameSTL + (.5 * GameBLK) - GamePF - GameTO)

So, how do we use it and what does that look like for this season when we use it to look at the season's most impactful players? If we decided the MVP award based on PIE who would be our winner so far?


When you open the advanced stats page the very first chart you will be met with is PIE. The page is automatically set to show you the most recent gameday so if we want get some more specific information we need to change the filters. In the embedded chart below you can see that we have set the date filters for the full season from the 4th of October until the most recent games. We also filtered for games played to only include players that have played more than 6 games. The great thing about the Viziball tool for journalists and bloggers is that anytime you click share and embed a chart in your article or online, it will share the chart with your most recent filters and show exactly the information that you want. With respect to PIE over the season so far, we can clearly see that DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell is leading the way with +12.94 having played over 31 minutes per game for 8 games.

So what happens if we look for the low-minute superstars? Who has done the most with their limited time on court? This time we have set the dates to the same period to cover the full season and only the players that have played more than 6 games but reduced the minutes to only players averaging less than 20 minutes per game. Now we see that JDA Dijon's Gavin Ware is leading the way with a PIE of 7.93.

Regular Season

We have established that DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell has been the PIE boss over the whole season so far but is it the case that he has just stepped up his game in the Round of 16 and cruised through the Regular Season? Now we set the date range to start at the 4th of October but ends on the 7th of January after all of the Regular Season and Play-In games had been played. And, of course, the answer is no. Akoon-Purcell has been dominating all season and we can see that by the fact that he sits at the top of our chart again with a PIE of 15.15, playing over 30 minutes in his 6 games of the Regular Season.

Round of 16

As we have now established that DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell has been the king of the Regular Season and still leads overall, it makes sense that we want to know who has been getting it done in the next round. This time we set the date from the start of the Round of 16 on the 24th of January and we filter for only players that have played 3 games or more. This was we reduce the chance of one player having a single great game but not being available for all the games. 

The outcome is that we get an entirely different cast of players to the overall and Regular Season charts. Rashard Kelly and Joe Ragland were ranked 5th and 6th on the overall chart but they have jumped to 1st and 2nd in the Round of 16. 

So, who would be our MVP of the season if we based it on PIE alone? At this stage,  we'd have to stick with DeVaughn Akoon Purcell as he has the highest score and sat top of the charts for the longest. But as we all know, if you want to win the MVP award you need to be the guy that drives your team to the Final Four and with Galatasaray sitting 0-2 to start the Round of 16, there is clearly still work to be done if he is to claim the MVP award that it looks like he's earned so far.


This article was published on the same day as Galatasary NEF  played Hapoel U-Net Holon. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell enjoyed his best PIE score in the Round of 16 with 15.2%, the highest score of the game, and also led Galatasaray to the win.