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Making it Rain (on the Hornets)


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I finally sat down to make some fancy pictures from the last 10 games, a stretch that began after 12/29 producing a 1-9 record and some stingy stinky defense. I pulled this data before the Jazz game so those stats are not included, probably mercifully I think.

The first chart shows the defensive ratings for all 30 NBA teams prior to 12/29 (vertical axis) and after 12/29 (horizontal axis). Charlotte is a pretty big outlier shoved into the bottom right box - meaning a great DefRtg prior to the last 10 games but bad since. In fact, the Hornets 10.5 DefRtg spike is tied with the dysfunctional Suns for the league’s worst. The next worst is the comfortably coasting Warriors at 6.6 who just dismantled the Cavs.

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So what happened? For that I pulled 2015-16 Sportvu data to get updated correlations with DefRtg and those are below. So for example, 3P DFG% has the highest correlation with DefRtg this season (r-squared of .38), followed by < 6ft DFG% (.35). Counter intuitively, forcing teams to shoot Mid-Range jumpers is a good thing (-.3) unless they’re raining them (.27)....which they are on the Hornets. Not groundbreaking, but preventing easy looks < 6ft and defending the 3 kinda matters.


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Contrary to popular belief, Charlotte hasn’t been getting destroyed in the paint - they’ve been awesome there - but they are getting embarrassed on the perimeter. The following chart shows the 2015-16 DFG% for each team from 3P and < 6ft and I’ve separated Charlotte's performance by pre-12/29 and post-12/29 (L10). Charlotte’s prorated DFG% from < 6ft would lead the league, while their 3P DFG% is a totally flammable 42.5%.

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Finally, the 2015-16 DFG% for all NBA teams on shots from 15+ feet (y-axis), and pace-adjusted 15+ DFGA (x-axis). I again separated Charlotte’s results by pre-12/29 and post-12/29….Summary: the Hornets are rolling over and often on perimeter long 2's and 3's

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  • 53 Comments

    I don't know most watching think we are giving up points in the paint. It's that we are helping so much there we are freeing up the three point line for open looks. I would think we give up a much higher than league average of assisted jump shots if that's tracked.
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    @JPlowright_NBA
    Jan 19 2016 07:50 AM

    So what you're saying is the Hornets haven't played good defense in the last 10 games? I could have saved you the time and told you that

    I don't know most watching think we are giving up points in the paint. It's that we are helping so much there we are freeing up the three point line for open looks. I would think we give up a much higher than league average of assisted jump shots if that's tracked.


    The help from where and why is the question. Teams aren't getting into the paint and when they do it's for relatively poor shots compared to the rest of the NBA. That's a bizarre contrast with 43%/3 and 48%/ long 2 on high volume given how modern NBA defenses are designed to prevent open 3's.

    If Clifford s defense is designed to pack the lane to surrender contested jumpers that's one thing.....but that doesn't explain why all the side to side scrambling is happening while the assists pile up for a team that doesn't blitz, trap or double.

    The help from where and why is the question. Teams aren't getting into the paint and when they do it's for relatively poor shots compared to the rest of the NBA. That's a bizarre contrast with 43%/3 and 48%/ long 2 on high volume given how modern NBA defenses are designed to prevent open 3's.

    If Clifford s defense is designed to pack the lane to surrender contested jumpers that's one thing.....but that doesn't explain why all the side to side scrambling is happening while the assists pile up for a team that doesn't blitz, trap or double.

     

    there is a huge difference in the stat collection and the actual game play. the stats show that "teams aren't getting into the lane" because they aren't shooting from there, but they are getting into the lane or the start of the lane at will forcing help/collapse and then kicking it around for open threes. in the beginning of the year the collapse/scramble wasn't happening.

    So what you're saying is the Hornets haven't played good defense in the last 10 games? I could have saved you the time and told you that


    Ha - no doubt you could have. But since I've found that posting stats tends to be a snark magnetic I generally stick to overviews.

    there is a huge difference in the stat collection and the actual game play. the stats show that "teams aren't getting into the lane" because they aren't shooting from there, but they are getting into the lane or the start of the lane at will forcing help/collapse and then kicking it around for open threes. in the beginning of the year the collapse/scramble wasn't happening.


    I don't disagree with most of that....but why the scramble though vs at the beginning of the year? Clifford's defense doesn't extend, and besides Kaminsky, his bigs aren't asked to string along PnR before recovering. It's such a basic defensive strategy they barely switch or ever gamble on steals.

    The team is still top 10 in lowest Opponent FTA rate, fouls, defensive rebounding, spot up defense, post up defense, and transition ...all indications of playing it safe. Yet it's chickens without heads with basic ball movement or PnR.

    open the pod bay doors buckets. 

     

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    That's a little harsh

    I don't disagree with most of that....but why the scramble though vs at the beginning of the year? Clifford's defense doesn't extend, and besides Kaminsky, his bigs aren't asked to string along PnR before recovering. It's such a basic defensive strategy they barely switch or ever gamble on steals.
    The team is still top 10 in lowest Opponent FTA rate, fouls, defensive rebounding, spot up defense, post up defense, and transition ...all indications of playing it safe. Yet it's chickens without heads with basic ball movement or PnR.


    To me, it seemed with al in the middle, they didn't collapse. The either got busted by the p&r or not but everyone else largely stayed home

    To me, it seemed with al in the middle, they didn't collapse. The either got busted by the p&r or not but everyone else largely stayed home

     

    Guys are still initially staying home but the help is now less out of design than out of necessity after blown individual assignments. Physical size and lack of awareness are issues but effort is a big issue too. Only 3-4, maybe 5 players are defending with purpose on a consistent basis which in turn is making the rotations look scattered. 

     

    Al was bad defensively but the rest of the team was still trying, which continued for another 7-10 games after he went out. The injuries didn't help but the effort was long gone by then.

    Guys are still initially staying home but the help is now less out of design than out of necessity after blown individual assignments. Physical size and lack of awareness are issues but effort is a big issue too. Only 3-4, maybe 5 players are defending with purpose on a consistent basis which in turn is making the rotations look scattered. 

     

    Al was bad defensively but the rest of the team was still trying, which continued for another 7-10 games after he went out. The injuries didn't help but the effort was long gone by then.

     

    also, how much of that is confidence that the center/middle will be defended? al isn't a good defender but he does have a knack for covering his own ass either stripping the ball or just being big enough to cause the offensive player to have to adjust. 

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    QC Thundercats
    Jan 19 2016 03:16 PM
    Was there a particular game when Al went down that we got destroyed on the inside? Because I'd rather hedge my bets on guarding that 3 point line, and seeing if a team can keep up with us with only two point shots.

    And between frank and Cody, I'd aggressively blitz pick and rolls with them. Having 2 bigs with quick feet and seven foot size could create havoc and completely disrupt the pick and roll game. And they also could continuously switch high pick and rolls to cover the 3 point line. Imagine an experimental lineup of Nic, MKG, Marvin, Cody, and frank being able to cover any screens and switches with length and good defensive iq. Anythings better than the three parade.

    also, how much of that is confidence that the center/middle will be defended? al isn't a good defender but he does have a knack for covering his own ass either stripping the ball or just being big enough to cause the offensive player to have to adjust. 

     

    That's just not what's happening though. It's not like the 3 is being left open because guards or wings are aggressively helping into the paint. The breakdowns usually happen well before that.

    Was there a particular game when Al went down that we got destroyed on the inside? Because I'd rather hedge my bets on guarding that 3 point line, and seeing if a team can keep up with us with only two point shots.
     

     

    The "worst" game was against the Bucks recently giving up 46 PITP but that's less than what some teams average. For example the Warriors and Bulls both give up 45 PITP per game but lots of that is outside the restricted are where the less efficient shots happen.

    That's just not what's happening though. It's not like the 3 is being left open because guards or wings are aggressively helping into the paint. The breakdowns usually happen well before that.


    I think what you are eluding to is the guards being completely unable to negotiate picks to stop dribble penetration. This is not new, it is just that al plays pick and roll defense from inside the restricted area so it completely nullifies the penetration most of the time. When Cody or frank come out farther it shows just how bad the guards are at stopping penetration.

    Looks like some a'y'all wore your opinion hats to a data party. 

     

    Well done, Buckets. 

    Looks like some a'y'all wore your opinion hats to a data party.

    Well done, Buckets.


    Are you accusing us of trying to frighten buckets with our sorcerer's ways? It's ok, our sad devotion to our ancient eyes have not helped us conjure up the stolen season, or given us clairvoyance enough to find a good trade or Bogg's hidden base...

    Are you accusing us of trying to frighten buckets with our sorcerer's ways? It's ok, our sad devotion to our ancient eyes have not helped us conjure up the stolen season, or given us clairvoyance enough to find a good trade or Bogg's hidden base...


    Choking, choking, choking

    Hey no problem guys a little skepticism is always healthy. Anyways, let's watch some picture films...

     

     

     

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    The rotations are horrid. But check out every pick and roll/high screen clip. Now position Cody in the middle of the paint instead of hedging. Play busted. That is what al does, however it comes with other problems

    The rotations are horrid. But check out every pick and roll/high screen clip. Now position Cody in the middle of the paint instead of hedging. Play busted. That is what al does, however it comes with other problems

     

    It would be interesting to juxtapose Al's positions in similar scenarios because I agree with you, I am guessing he's laying much further back which takes away those passing and cutting angles.

    Are you accusing us of trying to frighten buckets with our sorcerer's ways? It's ok, our sad devotion to our ancient eyes have not helped us conjure up the stolen season, or given us clairvoyance enough to find a good trade or Bogg's hidden base...

     

    I find your lack of statistical analysis disturbing. 

    It would be interesting to juxtapose Al's positions in similar scenarios because I agree with you, I am guessing he's laying much further back which takes away those passing and cutting angles.


    You are exactly right. For as bad as he is defensively as far as foot work and agility, he is really smart positioning wise

    The rotations are horrid. But check out every pick and roll/high screen clip. Now position Cody in the middle of the paint instead of hedging. Play busted. That is what al does, however it comes with other problems


    Every? Legit those plays were busted without a screen. Besides the first back cut on PJ and the last bad recognition on the weakside, watch Kemba. It's as basic as forgetting to matchup, sometimes after a made shot.

    It's not like those plays are unique. That stuff happened > 15 times yesterday.

    You are exactly right. For as bad as he is defensively as far as foot work and agility, he is really smart positioning wise


    Chef I don't think you actually believe this.




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