Efficiency in modern basketball can be described in the form of offensive and defensive rating.
The term offensive rating is a measure of the points per possession that a team scores, should the game lasted 100 possessions. It is a fully comparable metric for teams across the league since it adjusts the offense for the pace that this teams in playing with.
In the table of the offensive ratings one can see the orange line that depicts the moving average of the metric in the last 10 games and the purple line that shows the team’s performance on offense in each one of each last 10 games. Marked with a green W and a red L indicates the result in each game. Finally, in the table is also included the team’s winning percentage during the first 20 games of the season, during the last 10 games and the difference between these two numbers.
The term Defensive Rating gauges the defensive performance of a certain team in the form of points received per 100 defensive possessions. In the according table one can observe whether teams performed better (lower defensive rating) in a given game, in comparison to the round’s average.
From the tables one can view that 8 teams out of the 10 finished the last part of the season stronger that the first two thirds of the league. Panathinaikos produced a 40% difference in their winning percentage during the last third of the games. They have been consistently outperforming the round’s average in both offense and defense during their winning streak.
Zalgiris Kaunas had the second most improved winning percentage. They also based their performance in improved defensive rating, while offense gave them the boost they needed in nights were their defense was below their average.
In 79 out of the last 80 games of the playoffs teams, the outcome of the game winner produced better offensive or defensive rating than the round’s average. In some occasions, improvement in both metrics was observed. The only case that a team lost a game in which they appeared better defensively and offensively was the derby CSKA vs Real Madrid. In this case Real Madrid was offensively and defensively marginally improved, but CSKA’s offense was way more improved, resulting in winning this close game.
As a conclusion, we can state that performing strong in the last part of the season is extremely important for a team’s inclusion to the Euroleague Basketball playoffs. In addition, monitoring the efficiency, in the form of offensive and defense ratings, should be done thoroughly. The data suggest that in all the cases teams with better or more improved ratings than their opponents resulted in winning the game during the most critical part of the regular season.