What Does L10 Mean In Basketball? Understanding NBA Standings Better

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I wouldn’t say I like statistics, and I don’t watch basketball to test my high school-level math skills, so at first, I had no idea what L10 and GB meant.

I fired up the laptop with fierce determination and connected it to the Starbucks free wifi. My iPhone’s calculator lay open on my left side, and a brimming flat white sat on my right. I was ready to summon my mathematical prowess to uncover the mystery of the L10 and GB that I kept seeing in basketball statistics.

After weeks of tireless research in a dimly lit room, I discovered the L10 stands for Last Ten Games, and GB stands for Games Behind.

What does L10 stand for?

You’ll quickly see how a professional basketball player or a team has been performing recently by looking at the L10 column. Teams’ win ratios fluctuate throughout a season, so this statistic is efficient for seeing how the team is performing currently.

It stands for Last 10, so it will give you a detailed and thorough look at how things went over the last ten games. Let’s say you want to place a bet on the Golden State Warriors; you don’t want to make decisions based on old statistics; L10 gives you a fresh, up-to-date look.

L10 can also show a team’s win/loss record over the last ten games.

Why is L10 important?

Comparing the stats of a few different teams or players becomes easy when we look at the Last Ten Games.

For players, the L10 row will show you many different metrics, such as Games PlayedMinutes Per GameFouls Per Game, and Points Per Game, to name a few.

For teams, the L10 stats will show you one thing, the games won and lost over the past ten competitions. When you look at the NBA teams’ full stats, there’s usually an L10 column, like here on ESPN.

What Does GB Mean In Basketball?

GB is a way to see how your favorite basketball team is doing compared to the division-leading team. 

It stands for Games Back or Games Behind and is slightly more complicated than L10. Put simply, GB is the number of games that a team is behind compared to the leading team in the rankings. It’s most useful at the end of the season, once all teams have completed the same amount of games. 

Here’s how you calculate GB

Take the wins of the leading team. Now, take the lower-ranked team’s wins and subtract them.

Then take the losses of the lower-ranked team, and subtract the losses of the other division-leading team. That will give you two numbers, one for the wins and one for the losses. Add them together for the final step, and divide that number by 2. That will give you the Games Behind/Games Back number.


Let’s try to calculate the GB for the Knicks here.

  • The Bucks are the leading team with 58 wins, from which we subtract the 47 Knicks wins = 11
  • Knicks lost 35 games, and the Bucks only 24. That’s 35 minus 24 = 11
  • Add both these numbers: 11+11 = 22
  • To get the GB stat, divide that number by 2 = 11
  • The Knicks are 11 Games behind the leaders (The Milwaukee Bucks), as seen in the standings.

Why is GB necessary?

Games Back, or Games Behind, measures the gap between your favorite team and the division leaders. Teams that lead the division don’t have any GB numbers because they lead the division. GB is important and necessary because we can use it to see who will be getting into the playoffs and who needs to catch up!

The Buzzer Beater

All of these numbers, percentages, and ratios can feel a little overbearing and heavy sometimes. Just remember that some stats are more important than others, and many of the numbers jammed into a basketballer’s stats are not too relevant. Now you’ll look at the L10 and GB, knowing exactly what they represent.

Start comparing the L10s of your favorite teams and beloved players. You might be surprised at how they stack up next to each other.

Justin D. Johnson
Justin D. Johnson
Justin is a PhD student at Stanford University and has been a basketball youth coach for over ten years. He is passionate about sports, cinema, astronomy, and sharing knowledge.