, a pass that leads directly to a basket
. The player who receives the pass is permitted three dribbles before he shoots, otherwise no assist is credited.
The point guard is usually responsible for the majority of a team's assists. A good point guard should average about an assist for every five minutes of play. A great point guard, such as John Stockton, will average considerably more. Stockton, over his career, has posted one assist for every 2.97 minutes of play.
A few teams employ point forwards--these are forwards with enough passing ability to run an offense. Grant Hill and Scottie Pippen are two examples.
Another important statistic is assist-to-turnover ratio. John Stockton has averaged 4 assists for every turnover he commits. A ratio of 3-to-1 is considered good for a point guard, whereas anything better than 1-to-1 is good for a frontcourt player.