This simple post is to demonstrate the difference between a team’s Defensive Rating and Points Allowed per game. There have been numerous instances in the last week alone of commentators, podcasters and reporters (not naming and shaming any in particular) who don’t seem to know that allowing fewer points per game than another team doesn’t necessarily make you a better defensive team.

Defensive Ratings are an estimate of points allowed per 1oo possessions, which allows us to take into account the speed at which a team plays. For example, Cairns who are notoriously one of the slowest team’s in the league will naturally allow fewer points per game than a team like Melbourne who get up and down the floor much faster. You can see above that although Cairns are ranked 4th in points allowed per game, they actually are 7th in defensive rankings because they allow a much larger number of points when the numbers are evened out to 100 possessions (Cairns usually have about 85-86 possessions per game).

Possession based stats such as this also apply to offense (points scored), as well as any other individual statistic a player themselves may gain.


*Note: These stats above are curent at the time of publish and are averaged across the season to this point, obviously Townsville are a much better team now.