How Good Is Your Team At Contesting Shots?
And why it might not matter if they stink. Plus, the ultimate no-dip three!
Stat of the Week: Shot Contest Rate
Publicly available defensive data is, as we’ve covered on numerous occasions, the worst, which is why I wanted to try something new.
NBA.com provides the number of shots that defensive teams contest per game, so I took that and divided it by the total number of opponent shots per game to get shot contest rate.
I wanted to see what, if any, relationship it had to a team’s overall defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). Surprisingly, it turns out there isn’t much of a relationship at all!
To read this, take Utah as an example (the furthest left dot). They currently sport the 25th-best defensive rating in the league, and they are contesting a hair over 55% of opponent two-pointers, which is middle of the pack. But they are contesting just 44.7% of opponent threes, the lowest deep-ball contest rate by a mile.
A few takeaways:
Contesting is all well and good, but high contest rates correlate with high foul rates
Golden State leads the league in contesting both twos AND threes — but they’re still 19th in overall defensive rating. How could that be?