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Thread: Offense wins EuroLeague games (and titles) - Eurohoops

  1. #1
    Efes fan Levenspiel's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Country: Turkey

    Default Offense wins EuroLeague games (and titles) - Eurohoops

    Though according to the old saying, the defense is the most important aspect in victories, the numbers in the new Turkish Airlines EuroLeague format demonstrate a different story

    By Aris Barkas/

    Basketball at its core is a pretty simple game, however, there’s a simple truth to that. Everything that happens on the court is interconnected. You might have heard that “offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships,” a quote that comes from American football. In basketball, the truth is that often a good defense leads to an even better offense and a bad offense simply destroys any defensive plan one might have.

    Still, it’s quite evident that after the change in the EuroLeague format and with the level of play getting better season by season, the numbers on the offensive sides are on the rise. And while it’s easy to say it based on simple numbers, we turned once more to the good people of “Statathlon” and asked them to prove it, using advanced analytics.

    The results of their research provide solid proof that offensive efficiency is taking over as the primary goal of every team and if that helps tickets, even better…


    • There has been a remarkable change in the league average of points scored per game. From 75.92 points per team during the 2015-16 season, the average team now scores 81.91 points per game. This means there is an increase of approximately 8%.
    • Nine out of the 16 teams this season – until yesterday’s games they were 12 out of 16 – are averaging at least 80 points per game, while four of them have posted an average of more than 85 points per game. Over the previous three years, only CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid had achieved this.
    • There are 11 teams that have competed in each EuroLeague season since 2015. More than half of them (seven in total) have never had a better scoring average than this season.

    So why more points are scored? The offensive players are getting better and better and this means that they are missing fewer shots.


    • Over the last four seasons, average 2FG% and 3FG% have both been increasing (2FG% at a faster pace though), while FT% increased by 1.5% after three seasons but now has seen a decline.
    • Teams now make approximately 1.8 more two-point and 0.2 three-point field goals per game and 0.3 less free throws than they did four seasons ago. Those two changes seem to follow an increasing and decreasing trend respectively.


    • Making more two-point and three-point field goals instead of free throws has a positive impact. True shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage (which take into account that not all attempts are equal) suggest that this year teams are performing approximately 3% better in terms of overall shooting efficiency than the 2015-16 season.

    Pace and offensive efficiency
    While athleticism is more and more a commodity in the modern game, in the EuroLeague efficiency is what drives the offensive numbers up.


    • As it is evident on the relevant chart, improvements in scoring are not strongly connected with team pace. In fact, the number of average possessions per game has been quite stable over the years.
    • What seems to make a difference is the number of points scored per possession. There has been a remarkable increase of 7.9% in this index.
    • CSKA Moscow and KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz have been the fastest-paced teams of the last four years (73.7 and 72.9 possessions per game, respectively). Fenerbahce Istanbul, which has made the championship game the previous three seasons, never averaged more than 70.3 possessions per game.
    • Another interesting fact is that only five teams have averaged less than 1 point per possession during this period. All five of them were eliminated from the Top 16 of the 2015-16 season.

    Scoring efficiency and success
    Simply put, you have to score in order to be successful. Keeping an opponent from scoring is an asset, but you also have to put the ball in the bucket.


    • CSKA Moscow’s and Real Madrid’s offenses led them to respective glory in the 2016 and 2018 seasons. They were ranked among the top three in points per game and points per possession. Fenerbahce Istanbul was the exception to the rule two seasons ago as it had the fourth lowest scoring numbers and ranked just eighth in points per possession.
    • There seems to be a stronger correlation between points for and winning percentage (65.8%) than points against and winning percentage (41.4%). In other words, a strong offense is more likely to bring wins than a strong defense.
    • Over the last three years, only six times (25%) has a team that was ranked among the top eight in points per game not won more than half of its games.

    Statathlon is a Sports Analytics startup that helps the Sports Teams understand, interpret and utilize the athletic and bio-athletic data they collect improving their competitiveness and facilitate talent Development.
    Find more here:
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Country: Turkey


    i think obradovic wins.

  3. #3
    Senior Member markkanen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Country: Finland


    Quote Originally Posted by iskoch View Post
    i think obradovic wins.
    Actually, Laso won and Real games are always with many points. So, Aris is right, regarding the last season.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2018
    Country: Serbia


    Rules and trends are changed on offensive side. But always team with biggest balance,creativity ,tacital quality and talent is on the top .A little bit easier for offensive oriented teams to win Euroleague,than before 6 or 7 years.

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