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How to Calculate a Basketball Team's Offensive and Defensive Efficiencies

Offensive Efficiency

    Calculate the number of total number of possessions for your team using the formula: field goals attempted - offensive rebounds + turnovers + (0.4 x free throws attempted) = total number of possessions for the season. This works because a possession can end only in one of three ways: an attempted field goal, a turnover or a free throw, with an offensive rebound negating additional field goal attempts.

    Divide the team's total points scored for the season by the possessions you calculated in Step 1. For example, 938 total points scored divided by 998 total possessions gives your team 0.94 points scored per possession. Numbers above 1.0 are generally considered good.

    Convert the offensive PPP number to an efficiency rating by simply multipling by 100. So 0.94 points scored per possession becomes an offensive efficiency rating of 94.

Defensive Efficiency

    Use the formula field goals attempted - offensive rebounds + turnovers + (0.4 x free throws attempted) = total number of possessions for the season to calculate total team possessions.

    Divide the total number of points allowed by your team by the possession total you calculated in Step 1. For example, 1009 total points allowed divided by 998 total possessions gives your team 1.01 points allowed per possession. The opposite is true for defensive PPP: Above 1.0 is bad; below 1.0 is considered good.

    Convert defensive points per possession to a defensive efficiency rating by multiplying by 100. So 1.01 points allowed per possession becomes a defensive efficiency rating of 101.

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Tips

  • These numbers can be calculated on a game-by-game basis using the same process.
  • To find out your team's average possessions per game, divide the total of possessions number by the number of games played. In Division I college basketball, 66.5 possession per 40 minutes is a good average, while 75 is considered very fast and 60 is very slow.
  • Refer to Ken Pomeroy's ratings (see Resources) for a better feel for what's good and bad among basketball teams.

About the Author

A professional writer since 2006, Chris Burrows has covered news, sports and automotive topics as a blogger and Chicago-based journalist. Burrows holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Master of Arts in journalism from DePaul University.

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