NBA Basketball - Defensive Stats

Team Def. Rebounds Steals Score Away Score Home Score FG% FT% 3PT 3PT% Assists
New York32.067.23108.73111.43106.0847.3276.8212.5737.0025.75
New Orleans33.638.32110.26109.89110.6446.3278.2413.4935.0326.50
Oklahoma City33.208.39111.23113.35109.1145.2178.3213.2535.9426.45
LA Clippers32.807.69111.98112.09111.8646.8177.1212.7736.1426.05
League Average32.937.41113.72112.57114.8647.3678.4312.7736.4826.49
Golden State34.576.94115.19113.62116.8046.5378.8713.3336.0426.69
LA Lakers34.877.28116.72119.23114.2747.2079.9813.9637.0528.21
San Antonio33.887.12118.59118.78118.3948.6778.3812.6837.3228.00

Some NBA stats are useless for NBA bettors, while other NBA team defensive stats are extremely relevant for your pre-game preparation. The NBA stats pages here at Odds Shark focus on the offensive and defensive statistical categories that matter most when betting on basketball.

So bookmark this page, and click on the various NBA defensive stats headers to re-sort defensive ratings based on the category you wish to study. This page automatically defaults to a list of the teams who allow the lowest points-per-game, but you can sort by defensive rebounds, blocks, steals, and more.

NBA Defensive Stats Categories

  • Defensive Rebounds – which teams clean the glass and prevent second-chance opportunities?
  • Most Steals – Taking the ball away from the opposition is a trait of strong defenses who might be involved in lower-scoring games
  • Scoring – the teams that allow the fewest points per game lead the pack here
  • Road Defense – fewest points allowed in road games
  • Home Defense – fewest points allowed on home court
  • Field Goal Percentage – these are effective defending teams who force missed shots
  • Free-Throw Percentage – some teams miss free-throws more against particular teams
  • Three-Pointers Allowed Per Game – an important defensive category is stopping the 3-ball
  • Three-Point Percentage – which teams are better at stopping three-point shooters and forcing more missed shots?
  • Fewest Assists – these teams prevent assists and play tough defense

Defensive Rebounds

In order for a team to get a stop, it’s absolutely critical that they close out their defensive possession by securing the basketball with a rebound. Defending for a full 24 seconds only to have to defend for another 14 seconds because someone didn’t box out is back breaking, and a coach’s nightmare. Being a beast on the boards can help teams win a lot of games, and it can even get players into the Hall Of Fame. Just ask Dennis Rodman.


Taking the ball from the other team is pretty important. If a team doesn’t have possession of the basketball, they can’t score. And the team that scores the least, loses. Teams that steal the ball at a higher rate are more often able to get out and run, which allows them to convert on easy baskets. This ultimately leads to an increased field goal percentage.

While steals are somewhat of a sexy defensive statistic, we wouldn’t put too much stock into that category. A lot of bad defensive teams gamble in passing lanes, and can be bitten by their overzealous play, rather than simply keeping their man in front of them. Deflections are equally as valuable when tracking NBA team defensive stats.


As mentioned above, in basketball, and almost every other sport on the planet, the team that scores the most points, wins. Which means the team that is able to prevent the other from scoring, is giving themselves a pretty good chance of winning. In the NBA, they say the first team to 100 points wins. The teams who are able to contain their opponents close to that number, are in a far more favorable position than those who are content exchanging baskets.

In the post-season, we see the game slow down some more, but throughout the course of the regular-season, it can be challenging for teams to lock up their opponents for a full 48 minutes. With the league scoring average over 110 points-per-game, and some teams netting nearly 120 points-per-game now days, anything close to that century mark would be considered elite.

Away Score

How well a team’s defense carries on the road is a good indication as to whether that team can seriously contend for a championship. And it’s not hard to tell. The teams who allow the least amount of points on the road, are for the most part playoff teams. While those who give up a bunch of points away from home, are typically on the outside of the playoff picture.

Home Score

Do you remember that old Under Armour commercial? We must protect this house! That’s essentially what this defensive category is all about. Minus the football cleats of course. But in all honesty, for NBA teams, defending home court is like protecting their family home from intruders.

You don’t just let someone walk into your house and take your personal belongings. You guard your yard like your life depends on it. The goal here for all 30 NBA teams is to limit the amount of points-per-game scored on their home floor.

Field Goal Percentage

A team’s defensive field goal percentage is an indication of how efficient or inefficient they are at preventing the other team from scoring the basketball. If a team allows a field goal percentage of 50.00 percent, then we know that team is not doing a good job defensively. Anything around or below 45 percent shows some positive signs of a successful defensive squad.

Free-Throw Percentage

How well opposing teams shoot from the free-throw line likely has more to do with distracting fans in the stands than it does anything else. Obviously multiple fouls would have to be committed in order to send the opposing team to the charity-stripe. But there is a lot to be taken into account when examining defensive free-throw percentages.

While hostile environments definitely have an impact on players’ mental abilities, there’s also slightly different depth perceptions across NBA arenas as well. Teams can certainly prevent opponents from getting to the foul line, but they can’t defend them once there.

Also, officials play a big part in the number of fouls called, and the number of times a team is sent to the free-throw line. Foul shots are called free-throws because they are just that. They are free shots.


Defending the three is key. Teams spend so much time trying to run their opponents off the three-point line, they would much rather give up a long two, than an open three. And for all you math majors out there, three is greater than two. The best defensive teams contest three-point shots, and limit their opponents to fewer than 12 makes per game or less than 35 percent from beyond the arc.


Teams who limit their opponents from scoring will likely limit their opponents’ assist numbers as well. That’s not to say that all field goals are made off of the assist, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a team that can score over 100 points by playing one-on-one (or one-on-five) the entire game. Everybody eats less with fewer apples right?

Anything over 25 assists per game, tells us that there is simply too much freedom permitted to allow the offense to do as they please. Giving up 25 plus assists per game on average really is a recipe for a defensive disaster.

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