20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
Alex Ruoff (BAMB), 43 Christian Sengfelder (BAMB), 22 Devon Hall (BAMB)
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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.

Defensive Efficiency is defined as the number of points a team allows per 100 possessions

Team Rating Team Rating
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.


Team Rating Team Rating
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.

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.


Team Rating Team Rating
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. 


Team Rating Team Rating
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.