As part of our weekly rubric of “The Empire of the NBA Numbers” today we will talk about Net rating.
At one time, the defense and attack of the teams were measured by points missed or scored during the match. Today everything is a little more accurate. Instead of “per match”, we use “100 possession” metrics, called attack and defense rating. This allows you to adjust the pace and not think that any fast team can not defend themself but at the same time have an elegant attack.
Here’s a simple example: The Bucks now have the best defense in the NBA – they only miss 101.6 points per 100 possessions. But Milwaukee’s only five in the NBA rate by missed points per match. Why? Because they play fast enough, the opponent just has more attacks per match (just like the deer). But in every single defense, the Bucks miss less than any other NBA team, so a defensive rating here is a more useful tool.
Same with attack rating, as an alternative to match points. These two indicators describe the level of the team on both sides as simply as possible.
The difference between an attacker and the defensive rating of a team is called a “net rating” it’s the difference in score or +/- but in terms of 100 possessions. This metric is quite indicative and allows you to evaluate the strength of the team almost better than the ratio of wins-losses.
The idea is this: if you have many victories but not the highest net rating, chances are you have suffered several major defeats, could not confidently beat weak teams, and took a few matches with a hard ending, which always implies factor accidental. Naturally, this should impose a certain filter on the perception of the percentage of matches won.
Of course, Denver will tell everyone that it just plays well in the decisive minutes and rightly outperforms Utah, Dallas, and Houston, though those have a higher net rating. For some reason, Utah has a higher percentage of wins in games that are decided in the final minutes.
It can be said this indicator allows adjusting luck. Not always, and not for everyone, a “net rating” will be more objective than just the number of wins, but when comparing teams with a similar number of wins and losses, a noticeable difference in the “net rating” is important.