I did some primitive data crunching. For all the games played this season so far, I measured the average and the standard deviation of opponent score in all 30 team's losses, and constructed the 95% confidence interval for each team's opponent score in a loss (meaning that, in the long run, there is 95% of the chance that opponent will score within this band in a team's loss). Here is the top (lowest score) and bottom (highest opponent score) 5. (Best defense in losses at the top): Rank Team Lower Upper 1. Utah 98.3 105.8 2. SA* 99.3 109.5 3. Dallas 101.7 109.6 4. Miami 102.1 109.4 5. Detroit 103.7 110.4 ... -5. Denver 112.1 118.6 -4. Brooklyn 112.7 118.2 -3. Houston 112.2 119.2 -2. Phoenix 113.7 120.1 -1 GS* 111.5 126.5 [* GS and SA both lost too few games so far for the numbers to make statistical sense. Arguably Houston's 18 losses is also not sufficient to draw any meaningful inference. But one can perhaps see the trend and gain some insights here,] Also worth noting is that, for opponent scores in W's, Houston also ranked the 3rd worst, just below Brooklyn and Denver. This is somehow contradictory to the defensive rating on NBA.com and BB reference, which put us in the range of 10-15. I guess it's because those ratings are based on per 100 possessions, which could be somehow misleading as a means to standardize defensive performance. Houston plays a top 3 pace, but has mediocre rebounding, therefore giving the opponents more possessions. We let the other team score way more points than the defensive rating shows. We SUCK at defense.