04 October, 2022
14 May, 2023
0 Isaiah Whitehead (LUD), 0 Khadeen Carrington (JLM)
Diccon Lloyd-Smeath's Champions League Insider
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Germany or Spain? Who are the BCL Advanced Stat Machines

MADRID (Spain) - Who have been the most efficient teams so far and which countries do they come from?


The data viz above has five tabs; "Efficiency", "Possession", "eFG%", "3-Point Shooting", and "Pace". Starting with the first tab we can see each team in the Basketball Champions League on a scatter plot for Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) and Offensive Rating (points scored per 100 possessions). The y-axis for Defensive Rating is inverted as the lower the number, the more efficient a team has been on defense. The top right of the chart is where we see teams that have been efficient on both ends. We can also see below a map chart with an average Net Rating (Offensive Rating minus Defensive Rating) for all the teams from each country. What we can already see is that Germany's MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg is the most efficient team thus far with an absurd Net Rating of +34 points per 100 possessions across their first two games. After that, we see three Spanish clubs; BAXI Manresa (+22.8), Surne Bilbao (+21.6), and Unicaja (+21.2). We could probably expect that having three teams in the top five might ensure that Spain is the country with the highest average Net Rating but thanks to Ludwigsburg and Telekom Baskets Bonn also having +7 Net Rating, Germany holds the top spot so far with their teams coming in at +20.7 Net Rating. 


The next two maps we see on the "Possession" tab show us the way teams take care of their possessions with Turnover Percentage and the way they extend possessions with Offensive Rebound Percentage. When it comes to crashing the glass, we see VEF Riga representing Latvia and pulling down 32.5 percent of their misses but after that,  the same two countries are in the top five. German clubs are pulling down 32 percent, whilst Spanish clubs are a close fourth at 26.4, with Rytas Vilnius sandwiched in third at 29 percent.

For Turnover Percentage, we see a very familiar story. Igokea from Bosnia and Herzegovina have shown an ability to take care of the ball that has seen them lose the ball on just 14.3 percent of their possessions but the next three nations in the rankings are Spain at 14.4 percent, quickly followed by Lithuania at 14.5 and Germany at 14.6 percent. 


Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) looks at shooting from the perspective of how many points per shot a team generates. If a team shoots more three-pointers at a good percentage but a lower percentage on two-pointers, eFG% can help us to see that they are still an efficient shooting team. The Spaniards are right at the top this time when it comes to shooting efficiency, scoring at an eFG% of 54.6 percent. Coming in second are Italian clubs that average an eFG% of 54.5 percent. What is also striking about this efficiency from Italian clubs is that when we look at the three-point shooting tab, we also see that they shoot the least three-point attempts at 20.1. 

When it comes to defensive shooting percentages, Igokea put Bosnia and Herzegovina back on top. Their opponents have shot at an eFG% of just 47.3 percent, even though this may be slightly counter-intuitive when we flip back to the three-point shooting tab and see that they allow 30.5 attempts from deep (only Bakken Bears allow more). German clubs are back in the top two, holding teams to an eFG% of 48.7 percent and in this case, it seems much more sustainable as Bonn and Ludwigsburg are only allowing teams to attempt 22.1 attempts from deep per game - the lowest in the BCL. 

The last Final Four in Bilbao saw our first all-Spanish Final but also saw a German and Israeli club battle out for third place. Whilst it's really way too early to analyze anything meaningful from two or three games worth of data, when we consider previous seasons and add that context to what we are seeing already, it would be no shock to see at least one Spanish team along with one of our German clubs battling it out next May. Yes, we have seen Igokea put Bosnia and Herzegovina at the top in some categories, or VEF Riga and Latvia in others but the presence of German and Spanish clubs averaging in the top four of every category is hard to ignore - even at this very early stage.

Diccon Lloyd-Smeath

Diccon Lloyd-Smeath

Diccon is a basketball coach and analyst living in Madrid. Constantly digging in the crates of box scores and clicking through hours of game footage. Diccon is on the hunt for the stories within the stories. If you like to get a closer look at what’s going in the Basketball Champions League, you have found it.