Does an Inbound Pass Count as an Assist in Basketball?
We’ve seen it time-and-time again in the NBA, a player inbounds the ball directly to their teammate for an open shot, dunk, or layup attempt. The receiving player, having successfully made the shot, is naturally awarded with the field goal. But does the inbounding player receive an assist for having successfully passed the ball to their teammate, directly leading to a made field goal?
Below, we are going to look at whether or not an inbound pass counts as an assist in basketball and what criteria must be met for the inbounding player to receive an assist on their stat sheet.
What is an Assist in Basketball?
In basketball, an assist is given to a player who passes the ball to their teammate, in a manner that directly leads to a successful field goal attempt. However, it can be difficult to truly assess an assist, as the receiving player is allowed to dribble the ball before attempting the field goal.
Generally speaking, most NBA and basketball stats would attribute an assist to a player if they assisted in the made basket. What this means, is that if a player passes the ball to their teammate leading up to a successfully made field goal, then they will be awarded with an assist.
However, only one assist may be attributed to an individually made shot or field goal. So, if Player A passes to Player B, who immediately passes to Player C for an easy lay-up, then only Player B will be awarded with the assist on their stat line.
Does an Inbound Pass Count as an Assist?
Taking into account the above information, we can conclude that an inbounding player, that is the player who passes the ball from the sidelines of the court, to a receiving player who immediately attempts and executes against a field goal, will be awarded and attributed with an assist.
However, similar to the above, and in the same vein as a regular assist, the inbounding player must pass the ball to a teammate that leads to a made field goal. If the inbounding player passes the ball to a player and there is no immediate attempt at a field goal, then the inbounding player will not be awarded or assessed with an assist.
In essence, in order for an inbounding player to be awarded an assist, they must inbound the ball to a player on their team that leads directly to a made field goal attempt. Any pass that does not immediately lead to a successful field goal will not be attributed with an assist and the game will continue as normal.