There was one good thing to come out of Indiana’s heart-breaking, last-(half)-second loss to Milwaukee last night: the Pacers, by at least one metric, are now the best defensive team in the NBA. In defeat, they held the Bucks to just 36.0% shooting, dropping their overall FG% against this season to an association-best 42.7%. (League average is 45.6.%.) They also now lead in eFG% against with 46.3%. (League average is 49.7%.)
The best measure of team defensive prowess remains points scored per 100 possessions. In that, Indiana remains merely the 8th best team in the NBA at 102.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. (League average is 106.8 and the Celtics lead the league with 99.2.) So, yeah, obviously the Pacers are not the best defensive team, largely because they foul too much and don’t cause many turnovers.
But when it comes to preventing teams from making shots, they are — at least for now — tops.
Now for the bad news.
As you can see in the below tweet from the Indianapolis Star’s Mike Wells, who first brought this to my attention, the Pacers have not been able to translate that ability to cause misses into victories as well as the other stingy defenses throughout the league have. How come? Probably that whole highly-mediocre-offense-that-never-gets-to-the-line-or-scores-second-chance-points thing.
Tags: Mike Wells