What Does GB Mean in Basketball?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


If you are a newbie fan, you may wonder what GB means in basketball. Watching a basketball game is all fun until the announcer says the GB standing of each team, and you are left with a confused face. Now, do you want to know how to calculate game behinds?

The abbreviation GB stands for game behinds, which means the number of wins a team in the NBA or any basketball tournaments should record to surpass the team in the top spot. If you answered yes to the above question, this blog is precisely what you need! 

What Does GB Stand for in BasketballWhat Does GB Stand for in Basketball?

It is understandable for new basketball fans to get confused about the jargon used by officials on and off the court. If you are wondering what GB stands for in basketball or what is GB in basketball standings, keep reading through to become a veteran in a wonder.

Basketball GB means “Games Behind,” or others call it Games Back. No matter which one is commonly used, they mean the same thing. Game behinds are the number of plays or games that teams need to keep up to be at par with the leading team.

It is the gap between teams in layman’s terms, especially between the first-ranked team and the others behind them. You may think it is just trivial statistics, but it plays a considerable role wherever you look.

Some news outlets and avid fans create fearless forecasts from this data about which team may emerge as the winner in the end season. It can also be used to calculate the dominance of the victor at the end season and evaluate how much gap it had recorded throughout.

Game fans and news outlets also evaluate the gathered data during the regular season to see which teams are vying for playoffs or which groups are out in the game. In other words, numerical data is vital to predicting various basketball aspects.

What Does GB Stand for in Basketball

If the discussion above is still insufficient for you, consider GB as data that measures the team’s lead at the top of the rank. In this case, it is much easier for game fans like you to understand the initial or final standing of the whole season.

Some teams emerge as incontestible victors since their GB statistics can vouch for the skilfull performances they had exhibited throughout the season. Once your GB numbers show a tight gap, the game may have been so close that no one could predict the champions.

Why is GB Important in StandingsWhy is GB Important in Standings?

There are numerous reasons why GB is essential to measure standing. One of them is that it can evaluate a team’s performance in the whole season, which can also be used to understand the holistic game performance of each team.

What does GB stand in basketball, then?

As the game suggests, GB measures the standing of each team and illustrates the gap most teams have with the top-ranking group. In other words, these statistics measure the lead of the top section and the number of games the group from the lower bracket should keep up.

When you have secured a great GB that the lower teams should catch up, it would be much more difficult for them to be at par or even dominate the entire season. For short, the higher your position is in the ranking, the more difficult it is for your opponents to turn the tides to their advantage.

If you have recorded more game behinds than any other team in the season, you are technically considered to be way ahead in the rankings or standing. With these statistics, fans and basketball enthusiasts can calculate their advantage and winning possibilities.

Why is GB Important in Standings

Hence, you can tell whether you need to keep up or keep further if you are closely monitoring your GB. It may seem basic and negligible, but it does wonder when you have a grasp of the entire game, and that includes keeping records of your GB.

Since you are already familiar with the definition of GB, another question arises. How is GB calculated in basketball? If you wish to learn more, read the next section and answer your confusion on the spot!

How to Calculate Games BehindHow to Calculate Games Behind

It may seem overwhelming but calculating the game behind is as easy as scoring in the free throw line, without any guards or pressure from the opponent.

First and foremost, in calculating the game behinds, you need to know the data of overall game summation, the wins, and the loss of each tea in the conference or season. If you already have the data, you can finally evaluate your standings or how much you need to keep up.

How is GB calculated in basketball, then?

To do the simple maths, the basic formula for calculating it is W (winning team) – W (your team) = GB. In other words, you need to subtract the wins of the top team from your number of wins to get the game behind. See? It does not take you so much to perform the formula.

Take this as an example: suppose that Los Angeles Lakers record 50 wins in the entire season, and the Golden State Warriors’ second-ranking team has 47 wins. It means that the GB of Warriors is three, or they must win three matches to climb up the ladder or standings.

If it is still unclear, here is another example. Miami Heat has 34 wins, and the teams right behind them, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have 27 and 24 wins, respectively. It means that the game behind of Cavaliers is seven, and the Celtics have 10.

How to Calculate Games Behind

These numbers will indicate how many games these behind teams should keep up to move past the group ahead. 

How Does GB Measure Team StandingsHow Does GB Measure Team Standings?

With the thorough discussion provided above, you can quickly tell that the GB score measures your team’s ranking in the entire season. The game behind means how many games you need to win to rise as the victor., which can also identify your chances in the playoffs.

If you have recorded a lot of GB to the highest ranking team, you must work harder. You can easily participate in the playoffs if you are the highest ranking team and the GB gap is high.

The more GB you incur as a team, the higher your chances of getting eliminated along the way. The lower your GB is, the better your chances to take the throne with dedication and a strategic game plan.

From another angle, high GB reflects poor performance. If your performance is underwhelming, your team will flop in the team standings. As simple as that! Game behinds indicate your performance—lower GB means higher chances and ranking, and higher GB means lower opportunities and placements.

How are Team Ties Counted in StandingsHow are Team Ties Counted in Standings

The examples above are easy to calculate because they do not involve any team ties, which follow complex rules. How do you calculate the team ties in case the conference has a head-to-head ranking?

Similar to other sports, basketball abides by the rules and regulations. Whenever there are tie standing on the board, the following conditions should be observed and imposed by officials to see who is at the top and who is at the bottom.

  • Compare the winning percentage in every game of both teams.
  • The division leader takes the win over the team lower in the division ranking.
  • The win-lose ratio should be compared if the teams are in the same division.
  • The conference win-lose percentage must be measured if the numbers are yet to reveal the winner.

With the abovementioned criteria, it would be easier for the officials to identify and declare the winner of the tie cases. Do not lose hope if you ever encounter this situation; there are still future opportunities.

Wrapping Things Up: What Does GB Mean in Basketball? 

There are various methods to calculate the standing of a team in a conference or season, one of them being through the GB data. What does GB mean in basketball, then?

The number of games behind teams should keep up to take over the top spot in the rankings. If you are still unfamiliar with it, go through each section above and understand its importance in the league.

However, you can focus on winning each match instead of keeping a close eye on the GB data. You are good to go if you do not have a considerable margin from the top team. If you are in the lowest bracket, you still have a long way ahead.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected

How is the NBA All-Star Team Selected?

Getting into the All-Star game is no simple feat. For some players, it may take several seasons of high-level play to get the nod. However, other exceptional talents come into the league with so much...

Read More
What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

What Does DTD Mean in Basketball?

Basketball is a world of its own with unique terms or jargon, in and out of the court. Through the years, more terms have been developed to represent specific things about the sport, and understanding...

Read More