What Does GB Mean In Basketball?

what does GB mean in basketball

Written by Aliesha

July 2, 2021


GB is an abbreviation commonly used in North American sports with the NBA and NCAA college basketball. The acronym stands for games back or games behind. The value indicates how many games each team trails their first-place rival. It can be applied to any league format where a mathematical ranking of teams is determined. In this blog post, we’ll discuss more about what does GB mean in basketball and the importance behind it. 

GB: The Explanation of “Games Behind”

There are several reasons why games back matter, but it’s important to remember that it’s not solely a function of conference alignment or the quality of the competitor who is playing. Here is an in depth explanation of what does GB means in basketball.

Statistical Representation

Let’s start with a hypothetical situation in which each team started the season with a GB of 1 and ended it with GB of 6. Each team would play each other once, with one game played in each division. First, the team with the most wins gets three points. This allows the team with the fewest wins to gain a GB advantage, which in this example is half a win. The two teams then play each other twice. If the team with the better record wins both games, they earn a full three points; if not, they lose one.


Let’s say Team A won one game and lost two, while Team B won two games and lost one. Since they both have the same number of wins but different losses, statisticians give them half-game stats in the GB category.

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Importance of GB

Does your team sit in 3rd place? 1 game behind first place? Or are you 10 games behind and have already given up on the season? Games Behind gives you a visual way to track your season and see if you’ve got a shot at the playoffs. Aside from this, GB is used to evaluate differences in the levels of opponents a team has played. These games-behind statistics show how many games a team is behind, ahead, or within one game of its closest competitors in the standings.

Furthermore, a game behind is thought to be the number of games needed to catch the leader. It is an indicator used in all professional North American sporting leagues for baseball, football, and basketball. This indicator allows fans to quickly understand how many games a team needs to play to tie the current leader.

Understanding GB

Games Behind is one of the most common measurements used in the court to determine a team’s standing. Take note of what does GB mean in basketball, so you can consider this everytime you play the ball.


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