But see that's my whole point. For instance, a lot of people think the Suns teams in the middle part of the last decade played really bad defense. As evidence of this, they point to how many points per game they allowed. The fact, however, is that those teams played at a much faster pace than most of their competition and in games where an opponent is playing the Suns they are going to have more possessions, because of the pace of the game, then they would in most games.
For instance, in the '06-'07 season the Suns allowed 103 points per game. The Detroit Pistons, however, only allowed 92, or 11 points fewer. So Detroit is the better defensive team, right, Well let's look at those stats by putting things in terms of per 100 possessions. Now Detroit allows 104 points per game and PHO allows 107. So in this case, DET is still the better defensive team, but the difference is much less dramatic.
All numbers are courtesy of 82games.com
Zach Lowe on Grantland.com is really good at writing about the advanced stats stuff. He also does a podcast with Bill Simmons about once a month that is very good too.