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How do we fix our defense?

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  • For those who don't think the center position is critical to a top defense. Look at the Spurs. Lost Tim Duncan and have gone from the best defense in the league to just above average at 11th, despite having arguably two elite perimeter defenders in Green and Leonard.

    That last line of defense is crucial to an elite defense.

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    • S.R. wrote: View Post
      Biyombo helped, it was great to have him last year, but his impact/loss is being so overstated. Here is a player that 5 different NBA coaches, including some very defensive-minded ones, have never seen fit to play much more than 20 mpg off the bench. That included some garbage lottery teams, too.

      He peaked in Toronto for $3m, which was great, Orlando wants to pay him $17m for 20 mpg and they can have him. Bebe/Poeltl/Sully can give you 80%+ of what BB did right now & they do it with a much higher ceiling and they are also doing it for $10m instead of $17m.
      Why is it that lineup stats are suddenly not relevant when it comes to Biyombo?

      Last year of our lineups that played over 100 minutes. Only 3 had a defensive rating under 100 and they all had Biyombo in them:

      1.) Biyombo,Bismack - DeRozan,DeMar - Joseph,Cory - Patterson,Patrick - Ross,Terrence - 91.0
      2.) Biyombo,Bismack - Joseph,Cory - Lowry,Kyle - Patterson,Patrick - Ross,Terrence - 94.7
      3.) Biyombo,Bismack - DeRozan,DeMar - Joseph,Cory - Lowry,Kyle - Patterson,Patrick - 97.5

      Notice that 2 of these lineups had the alleged sieve that is DeMar DeRozan in them. Not saying he's responsible at all, what I'm saying is with the right personnel it is possible to have him and Lowry in elite defensive lineups. That 3rd one mostly played in the most difficult situations in the clutch (when Casey would make those offense-defense subs with JV/Biz depending on the situation) and still had an elite 97.5 dRTG.

      The next closest had a pretty bad dRTG at 107: Carroll, DeMarre - DeRozan,DeMar - Lowry,Kyle - Scola,Luis - Valanciunas,Jonas

      Then looking at 2-man lineups. Almost all our key guys had elite dRTGs when paired with Biyombo. In brackets I put how much better it is than their 2-man lineup with JV.

      Biyombo-Kyle: 100.6 (-5.3)
      Biyombo-DeMar: 101.8 (-5.1)
      Biyombo-Carroll: 100.7 (-3.0)
      Biyombo-2Pat: 98.7 (-5.1)
      Biyombo-Ross: 97.7 (-11.3)
      Biyombo-CoJo: 98.1 (-6.2)

      That is a significant difference. To say BB didn't have a large impact on our defense is just patently false. Also at 100.6, Biyombo had the second best overall dRTG of our rotation players (CoJo, who played the bulk of his minutes with Bismack was 1st at 100.2)

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      • Lupe wrote: View Post
        For those who don't think the center position is critical to a top defense. Look at the Spurs. Lost Tim Duncan and have gone from the best defense in the league to just above average at 11th, despite having arguably two elite perimeter defenders in Green and Leonard.

        That last line of defense is crucial to an elite defense.
        It seems like having "two elite perimeter defenders" is crucial to an elite defense. It has been mentioned too many times to count that much of the time JV comes over to help because of poor perimeter defense and nobody steps up to stop his man from scoring. That's an easy bucket.

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        • Puffer wrote: View Post
          It seems like having "two elite perimeter defenders" is crucial to an elite defense. It has been mentioned too many times to count that much of the time JV comes over to help because of poor perimeter defense and nobody steps up to stop his man from scoring. That's an easy bucket.
          No but it actually isn't. The Spurs don't have an elite defense right now. I was highlighting how important Duncan was. He's the only major personnel change and they've dropped from the best defense in the league by a wide margin to only a little bit better than us, despite having two elite perimeter defenders.

          And FWIW Parker is a sieve at this stage of his career and they were still able to rank #1 last year. The center (or let's call it interior help defender) is the most important position on the defensive end of the floor.

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          • special1 wrote: View Post
            It's starting to become clear. Biz did much more than a lot of people gave him credit for. His offense sucked but he was a great defender for us.

            Our offense is fine (we're like top 4).... It's our defence that's letting us down. Our guards remain the same.....but one thing is missing and that's a defensive Center to clean up the mess. That's the truth.
            I wrote the above 3 weeks ago when this thread first started..... it was the third post in this thread.....All evidence points to the same.
            Last edited by special1; Wed Dec 7th, 2016, 09:49 AM.

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            • It's amazing that we are even debating this to be honest. It's the Center position that needs to be our defensive Anchor, the last line of defense.

              If we get a mobile defensive C (even with no offensive ability), we're pretty much going to the East Finals with a re-match of the Cavs. Lowry and Demar will never be as awful to start the playoffs as they were last year. Ross and Powell are better..... hell Carroll is starting to look better than he was last year. We have Sullinger who has to be a clear upgrade to Scola.

              I'd hate to see a Deja Vu of the 2015 playoffs.
              Last edited by special1; Wed Dec 7th, 2016, 09:51 AM.

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              • I wonder. I have a feeling if we were to replace JV with this defensive centre with no offensive game, our offence would suffer.

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                • special1 wrote: View Post
                  It's amazing that we are even debating this to be honest. It's the Center position that needs to be our defensive Anchor, the last line of defense.

                  If we get a mobile defensive C (even with no offensive ability), we're pretty much going to the East Finals with a re-match of the Cavs. Lowry and Demar will never be as awful to start the playoffs as they were last year. Ross and Powell are better..... hell Carroll is starting to look better than he was last year. We have Sullinger who has to be a clear upgrade to Scola.

                  I'd hate to see a Deja Vu of the 2015 playoffs.
                  Really? Because if we played a one-way C last year there's no wya we make it to the Eastern conference finals.

                  Also "last line of defence" exemplifies that you can't solve defensive problems just from that position. If everyone's getting through your first line of defence that is the problem. The margin that might get better with a different C wouldn't change that and would still mean we'd have defensive issues galore.

                  Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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                  • Jangles wrote: View Post
                    I wonder. I have a feeling if we were to replace JV with this defensive centre with no offensive game, our offence would suffer.
                    More importantly, our offence wouldn't have the luxury to suffer.

                    Comment


                    • white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                      Really? Because if we played a one-way C last year there's no wya we make it to the Eastern conference finals.

                      Also "last line of defence" exemplifies that you can't solve defensive problems just from that position. If everyone's getting through your first line of defence that is the problem. The margin that might get better with a different C wouldn't change that and would still mean we'd have defensive issues galore.

                      Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
                      As an example: the Raptors' starting lineup last year had all sorts of defensive issues. Scola, DeRozan, the constantly rotating and/or hurt SF's.

                      One could argue that replacing JV with Biz in those lineups would fix the defensive issues (ie a rim protector could cover up the mistakes by everyone else). And yet (4-man unit since SF changed so much - plus, bigger sample):

                      KL-DD-LS-JV: 108.1 DRTG in 779 minutes
                      KL-DD-LS-BB: 108.5 DRTG in 388 minutes

                      If the other problems are significant, a rim protector does nothing to fix them. Teams just find different ways of exploiting those problems.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • Hypothetical question: if given the choice between being, say, 9th in offence and 9th in defence, versus being 2nd in offence and 16th in defence... Which do you pick? Would you rather be good at both, or elite at one and average at the other? In the context of the playoffs, that works out to mediocre (again, among playoff teams) at both, or great at one and poor at the other.

                        I think I'd prefer the latter. Don't really have a real reason, beyond gut instinct saying it is better to be truly great at something and have weaknesses. I think this decision informs whether the risk of restructuring around a very different C (and therefore potentially risking the offensive production to fix the defence) is worthwhile.
                        twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                        • DanH wrote: View Post
                          As an example: the Raptors' starting lineup last year had all sorts of defensive issues. Scola, DeRozan, the constantly rotating and/or hurt SF's.

                          One could argue that replacing JV with Biz in those lineups would fix the defensive issues (ie a rim protector could cover up the mistakes by everyone else). And yet (4-man unit since SF changed so much - plus, bigger sample):

                          KL-DD-LS-JV: 108.1 DRTG in 779 minutes
                          KL-DD-LS-BB: 108.5 DRTG in 388 minutes

                          If the other problems are significant, a rim protector does nothing to fix them. Teams just find different ways of exploiting those problems.
                          Ok so no matter what we played poorly defensively with Scola on the court. But don't ignore the other stats I posted. BB with every key player on the team over JV had a better defensive rating, including Patterson which would mean that Scola for sure was not on the court at that time.


                          DanH wrote: View Post
                          Hypothetical question: if given the choice between being, say, 9th in offence and 9th in defence, versus being 2nd in offence and 16th in defence... Which do you pick? Would you rather be good at both, or elite at one and average at the other? In the context of the playoffs, that works out to mediocre (again, among playoff teams) at both, or great at one and poor at the other.

                          I think I'd prefer the latter. Don't really have a real reason, beyond gut instinct saying it is better to be truly great at something and have weaknesses. I think this decision informs whether the risk of restructuring around a very different C (and therefore potentially risking the offensive production to fix the defence) is worthwhile.
                          The latter would likely lead to a better net rating so I'll pick that.

                          However the premise of this thread was improving the defense, and that does not necessarily have to come at the cost of offense. Additionally I pointed out earlier that LeBron has never been eliminated by a non top-10 defense and only lost to a non top-5 defense once. History says you have a 0% chance of winning the series without ranking that high on the defensive end.

                          And I don't think people get to have their cake and eat it too on this discussion. We were ranked 11th in defense last year, we're 16th this year. We got rid of Scola who everyone agrees was the worst defensive player on the team and no matter who he played with, made the dRTG worse, and replaced him with someone who is at least mobile, athletic and can play hard and effectively on the defensive end in Siakam. So why hasn't the defense improved? Then people don't want to acknowledge that Bismack had any sort of significant impact on the defense even though basically every single statistic supports the notion that he did.

                          So if Bismack didn't help the defense much, and Scola was hurting it. Then how is losing Biz and getting rid of Scola resulting in a worse defense? Clearly he had a significant impact. The stats support it. The players themselves have said it. The coaching staff has said it. The general manager has said it. Many top reporters and analysts have said it. So why are some still denying it?

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                          • Lupe wrote: View Post
                            Ok so no matter what we played poorly defensively with Scola on the court. But don't ignore the other stats I posted. BB with every key player on the team over JV had a better defensive rating, including Patterson which would mean that Scola for sure was not on the court at that time.
                            So... Bench units defended better? Yeah, no surprise there, they were facing lesser opposition, and our bench consisted of our best defensive PF and best defensive guard. Of course the bench units were great defensively.

                            I tried presenting the biggest sample of Biz playing against higher quality opposition, and the results were not pretty. All the splits you posted are leveraged on most of those player's minutes with Biz coming against bench units and most of their minutes with JV coming against starters. There's way too much context there to take the on-off splits at face value.
                            twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                            • Scola was terrible indeed. And Biz was certainly good defensively. So far this year, the defence is worse, I think mostly because a) you are underestimating how detrimental a rookie can be to the defence, even an active and fun one to watch like Siakam, especially against starting quality opponents, b) DeRozan seems to have taken a step back there this year with the heavy load he carried early in the year - his defence and that heavy load have been improving of late, no coincidence, and c) the system has pulled back closer to the hedge-heavy system from 2014-15 (thankfully not to the same degree) than last year's more conservative version.
                              twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                              • DanH wrote: View Post
                                Hypothetical question: if given the choice between being, say, 9th in offence and 9th in defence, versus being 2nd in offence and 16th in defence... Which do you pick? Would you rather be good at both, or elite at one and average at the other? In the context of the playoffs, that works out to mediocre (again, among playoff teams) at both, or great at one and poor at the other.

                                I think I'd prefer the latter. Don't really have a real reason, beyond gut instinct saying it is better to be truly great at something and have weaknesses. I think this decision informs whether the risk of restructuring around a very different C (and therefore potentially risking the offensive production to fix the defence) is worthwhile.
                                Ideally both in the top 10, with a priority on defense. Teams have gotten to the finals with mediocre offenses, but I believe less times with defensive efficiency out of the top 10. This is an interesting summary below, up to 2012.

                                https://www.sportingcharts.com/artic...champions.aspx

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