Stats don't lie: Bamberg have the best defense among Play-Offs-bound teams
MIES (Switzerland) - Brose Bamberg, the only undefeated team at this stage of the 2020-21 BCL, are statistically the best defensive team among the 16 that will compete in the Play-Offs on the basis of the data we gathered during the six games of the Regular Season.
|1. Brose Bamberg||98.8||9. Pinar Karsiyaka||108.6|
|2. ERA Nymburk||100.9||10. Igokea||111.1|
|3. Nizhny Novgorod||103.5||11. Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon||112.0|
|4. VEF Riga||104.2||12. Turk Telekom||112.3|
|5. SIG Strasbourg||105.4||13. Happy Casa Brindisi||114.2|
|6. Tofas Bursa||106.3||14. Dinamo Sassari||115.2|
|7. Hereda San Pablo Burgos||107.1||15. AEK||118.6|
|8. Casademont Zaragoza||107.6||16. Lenovo Tenerife||119.4|
As we pointed out previously, BCL teams so far this season have been so offensive-minded that scoring has gone through the roof, and therefore one doesn't need in-depth knowledge of math or statistics to conclude that raising defensive walls was not exactly at the top of priorities.
Bamberg however have been an exception to that trend and while their defense would not be considered exceptional by previous seasons' standards, it has still been very solid by any measure.
|1. VEF Riga||45.5%||8. SIG Strasbourg||53.5%|
|2. ERA Nymburk||46.5%||10. Lenovo Tenerife||53.6%|
|3. Tofas Bursa||49.5%||10. Igokea||53.6%|
|4. Hereda San Pablo Burgos||50.5%||12. Happy Casa Brindisi||53.6%|
|5. AEK||50.9%||13. Nizhny Novgorod||54.3%|
|6. Brose Bamberg||51.2%||14. Pinar Karsiyaka||55.7%|
|7. Turk Telekom||53.1%||15. Dinamo Sassari||56.0%|
|8. Casademont Zaragoza||53.5%||16. Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon||56.3%|
The German team were the only side this Regular Season with a defensive efficiency below 100, as they allowed 98.8 points per 100 possessions.
Bamberg's...stinginess was predicated on their truly noteworthy perimeter defense. The Bavarians held opponents to just 26.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and in an era when three-point shots are more frequent than ever (for example there were three teams in the Regular Season attempting more than 30 triples per game) that made their defense stand out.
📺 @BroseBamberg ride out victorious 76-70 from Turkey and celebrate becoming the first team to secure a spot in the 2020-21 #BasketballCL Play-Offs!— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) December 23, 2020
📊 https://t.co/5PP1aeCY3O pic.twitter.com/sGdGIc1h7y
In the same vein, it's not a coincidence that the second-rated defense was that of ERA Nymburk, and the Czech team were also right behind Bamberg in opponents' three-point shooting.
Nymburk allowed 100.9 points per 100 possessions, and held opponents to 32.7 percent three-point shooting. The Czechs may have been more permissive than Bamberg on the perimeter but they stifled opponents within the arc, allowing them to shoot only 46.5 percent from two-point range.
|1. Brose Bamberg||26.8%||9. SIG Strasbourg||35.9%|
|2. ERA Nymburk||32.7%||10. Pinar Karsiyaka||36.3%|
|3. Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon||33.3%||11. Happy Casa Brindisi||37.0%|
|3. VEF Riga||33.3%||12. Hereda San Pablo Burgos||38.0%|
|5. Dinamo Sassari||33.7%||13. Tofas Bursa||38.3%|
|6. Igokea||34.1%||14. Casademont Zaragoza||39.1%|
|7. Turk Telekom||34.3%||15. AEK||41.2%|
|8. Nizhny Novgorod||35.7%||16. Lenovo Tenerife||42.4%|
The best team in that respect of course were VEF Riga, who held opponents to just 45.5 percent shooting from within the arc. That explains why the Latvian side had the fourth-best defensive efficiency rating in the Regular Season, allowing 104.2 points per 100 possesions.
By contrast, the third-best defense, that of Nizhny Novgorod, was not built upon limiting opponents' shooting accuracy, but rather on limiting their second-chance points.
|1. Nizhny Novgorod||74.0%||9. Happy Casa Brindisi||70.4%|
|2. Tofas Bursa||73.8%||10. Lenovo Tenerife||70.1%|
|3. Casademont Zaragoza||72.6%||11. SIG Strasbourg||69.9%|
|4. Hereda San Pablo Burgos||72.4%||12. Turk Telekom||68.6%|
|5. Pinar Karsiyaka||71.7%||13. VEF Riga||67.6%|
|6. Brose Bamberg||71.6%||14. Igokea||67.0%|
|7. ERA Nymburk||71.2%||15. Dinamo Sassari||65.3%|
|8. Hapoel Unet-Credit Holon||70.7%||16. AEK||63.9%|
The Russian side, who had a defensive efficiency of 103.5 points per 100 possessions, were average in opponents' three-point shooting and quite weak in opponents' two-point shooting (allowing them to shoot 54.3 percent from within the arc). They did, however, have an impressive defensive rebounding rate of 74 percent, which all but eliminated the chances of opponents to score after a miss.
Interestingly, the best-rated offensive team in the Regular Season, Lenovo Tenerife, had the bottom-rated defense as they allowed 119.4 points per 100 possessions.
The Spanish side were by far the most permissive on the perimeter, allowing opponents to score an eye-popping 42.4 percent of their three-point attempts.