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How do we fix our defense?

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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.
    I'm more of defense guy, but basketball is more an offense sport than say baseball. I think if you look at teams like gsw and cavs they have very good offense but not top defense. Let's just throw the cavs out bc lebron is a one of a kind player. Gsw benefits a lot from dray imo. That's a player I covet and makes a difference to winning a championship or just being a fun Steve Nash suns.
    I think we saw dd get doubled a lot last game and use jv as the outlet in the high post. Jv was open and looked to pass to a wing like Dmc. That's not really a big 3 imo or critical to our offense. It's a problem if that guy is not a good defender.
    I think if we had dd and Kyle paired with a deandre type and a Blake type that would give us defense with good options on offense. That's not attainable but we're talking hypothetical. Some version of those players that COULD grow into what some us having been talking for a month or so like noel and Gordon.
    They seem to be training jv to shoot 3s. I could see him paired with a defensive 4 and maybe having some success. I'm not that confident in it tho.
    Good question. Imo these are the conversations we should be having. I think you've written better articles on these topics this season, even if I don't completely agree with you perspective. RR needs to talk about this more than "start pat" articles (no offense barolt). We've made some internal adjustments/improvement and that is good but still not enough. Imo biz was a big reason why we managed two games from the cavs. We need another piece on offense in addition to that.
    It would be great to just plug in millsap or boogie but I'm not sure the likelihood. In the meantime I'm considering two or so smaller moves. Gotta consider a lot of options bc lebron is a big mountain to climb. We are capped, Kyle has a window. We have good assets but it's not infinite and it has to fit our trade partner and outbid our competitors. No easy task.

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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.
      I don't think anyone has suggested that.
      Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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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.
        I think I would vote for the latter as well. My feeling is that being elite at something gives you the ability to exploit something. You can game plan based on that clear advantage. Having said that I feel some hesitation to committing to it because the quality of our offence seems different from that of say Golden State. They seemingly can sustain their offence no matter the defence where as ours tends to wilt when faced with a really good defence.

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        • LJ2 wrote: View Post
          I think I would vote for the latter as well. My feeling is that being elite at something gives you the ability to exploit something. You can game plan based on that clear advantage. Having said that I feel some hesitation to committing to it because the quality of our offence seems different from that of say Golden State. They seemingly can sustain their offence no matter the defence where as ours tends to wilt when faced with a really good defence.
          Well, except that old cliche that "defense wins championships". If that's to be believed, wouldn't TO be better off improving on that side of the ball if possible? The assumption here is also that it's a trade-off -- that you can't be very good on O and elite on D. I don't see that assumption as necessarily true.
          Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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          • LJ2 wrote: View Post
            I think I would vote for the latter as well. My feeling is that being elite at something gives you the ability to exploit something. You can game plan based on that clear advantage. Having said that I feel some hesitation to committing to it because the quality of our offence seems different from that of say Golden State. They seemingly can sustain their offence no matter the defence where as ours tends to wilt when faced with a really good defence.
            Raps have played 8 teams so far this year that have a top 10 DRTG (101.9 or better) - Clippers, Hawks, Grizz, Pistons, Bucks, Thunder, Hornets and Warriors.

            Their average ORTG in those games has been 118.7 (no games below 113), 17 points above what those teams give up on average, and 5 points better than the Raptors' offence has been on the year.

            I'm not seeing the offence faltering against good defences as you are suggesting.
            twitter.com/dhackett1565

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            • jimmie wrote: View Post
              Well, except that old cliche that "defense wins championships". If that's to be believed, wouldn't TO be better off improving on that side of the ball if possible? The assumption here is also that it's a trade-off -- that you can't be very good on O and elite on D. I don't see that assumption as necessarily true.
              Frankly, I see no way for the team to be elite on D with DeRozan playing a huge role on the team. Same goes for JV - if either player is here, I think the ceiling is probably somewhere in the 6-10 range defensively, and that's with a LOT of changes.

              That's why I asked about good offence and good defence - that seems achievable, and obviously elite offence and mediocre defence is achievable as that's what they have now. That's also roughly what they had last season, with ranks of 5th and 11th on the season.
              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.
                The problem with this approach, or at least the Raptors execution of it, is that the elite regular season offense has been so easy to shut down in the playoffs.

                Big, strong defenders have been able to shut down DeRozan and Lowry in the playoffs, and the refs aren't' as inclined to bail them out with foul calls. When that happens, and your elite offense plummets in both efficiency and effectiveness, you lose your one advantage.

                Toronto also doesn't have the defensive-minded players that are capable of turning it on to take their defense to that elusive 'next level' in the playoffs, except perhaps for very short bursts when they are locked-in.

                The real question should actually be: Can you fix the defense enough to become elite, to the point that it can more than make up for what seems like an inevitable (three seasons worth of data) offensive drop-off come playoff time?

                I think that's why so many people have pointed to the offensive system as being the weak link for so many years, despite what the regular season stats/rankings say. As a team, you can't hang your hat on the one facet of your game that isn't sustainable in the playoffs, yet that's exactly what the Raptors have done for going on four seasons.

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                • DanH wrote: View Post
                  Frankly, I see no way for the team to be elite on D with DeRozan playing a huge role on the team. Same goes for JV - if either player is here, I think the ceiling is probably somewhere in the 6-10 range defensively, and that's with a LOT of changes.

                  That's why I asked about good offence and good defence - that seems achievable, and obviously elite offence and mediocre defence is achievable as that's what they have now. That's also roughly what they had last season, with ranks of 5th and 11th on the season.
                  I guess I just found the Q rather arbitrary; if you'd said "what if the Raps were slightly better at D and the same as they are now on O", that might have made more sense. Those ranks are just comparative #s vs. all the other teams in the league at a given point in time; they don't really give you much in terms of correlating performance with results or predicting the effect of system or roster changes on the W-L ledger, in my opinion.

                  Yes, if Toronto were to finish the season ranked 9 and 9, vs. 2 and 16, I think that would probably be better, since D is more important in the spring and a 9 rating would seem to indicate they'd be better positioned for the playoffs than a 16 rating. But it's really impossible to say.
                  Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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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.
                    I'd only consider a team "elite" at something if they're within the top 5. I think it's a lot easier to go deep in the playoffs by being truly elite on at least one side of the ball more often than not.
                    Last edited by tDotted; Wed Dec 7th, 2016, 03:29 PM.

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                    • This is a pretty good, fair encapsulation of the discussions on this board over the past few weeks on JV/defense:

                      https://theathletic.com/28546/2016/1...iunas-edition/

                      Bottom line: No easy answers.
                      Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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                      • DanH wrote: View Post
                        Raps have played 8 teams so far this year that have a top 10 DRTG (101.9 or better) - Clippers, Hawks, Grizz, Pistons, Bucks, Thunder, Hornets and Warriors.

                        Their average ORTG in those games has been 118.7 (no games below 113), 17 points above what those teams give up on average, and 5 points better than the Raptors' offence has been on the year.

                        I'm not seeing the offence faltering against good defences as you are suggesting.
                        We had a close game vs the hornets and I could see us going 7 games and winning the 2nd rd. If we score 118.7 pts vs clips or gsw and they score 120, we lose. It doesn't really matter if we score more vs those contending teams than the average team, it matters if we win. We lost those games and we are not as talented imo. I don't have a stat to isolate the definition of talent but I watch the games and it doesn't seem like the score vs gsw is that close. Felt like they showboated for Drake. Granted we had the back to back but I still think the margin is clear and wide.

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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.
                          Bebe is not an offensive centre but hes hitting lobs at a high percentage and he passes well that are assists go up. Not saying bebe is better than jv just arguing style of play and fit. We also seem to get some pts in transition out of defense. Imo that's when the momentum starts to swing and guys are more locked in and motivated, particularly Ross.

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                          • lewro wrote: View Post
                            Bebe is not an offensive centre but hes hitting lobs at a high percentage and he passes well that are assists go up. Not saying bebe is better than jv just arguing style of play and fit. We also seem to get some pts in transition out of defense. Imo that's when the momentum starts to swing and guys are more locked in and motivated, particularly Ross.
                            Well, I think Nogueira's passing is overrated - it is nice to have, but it rarely comes into play. Heck, the team has a slightly higher AST% with JV on the court than with BeBe on the court.

                            The main point, though, is that it is important to be careful comparing how bench units perform against opposing bench players, and how starters perform against starting quality opponents. The offence was pretty decent with Biz off the bench last year too (not nearly as good as BeBe's, but still good) and when he started it was a disaster.

                            BeBe has been really good so far this year, but we're still dealing with small sample sizes and basically no scouting on him for the other team. Have to be cautious drawing strong conclusions from that sort of data.
                            twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                            • DanH wrote: View Post
                              Well, I think Nogueira's passing is overrated - it is nice to have, but it rarely comes into play. Heck, the team has a slightly higher AST% with JV on the court than with BeBe on the court.

                              The main point, though, is that it is important to be careful comparing how bench units perform against opposing bench players, and how starters perform against starting quality opponents. The offence was pretty decent with Biz off the bench last year too (not nearly as good as BeBe's, but still good) and when he started it was a disaster.

                              BeBe has been really good so far this year, but we're still dealing with small sample sizes and basically no scouting on him for the other team. Have to be cautious drawing strong conclusions from that sort of data.
                              I didn't quote any data. I noticed for example when jv was hurt vs OKC that the ball was flying around the court when bebe was on the floor. Iirc we struggled with assists to that point and that game we had maybe 10 more assist? Or at least 5? I'd guess that was vs OKC starters.
                              If we have a higher ast% I wouldn't think that has much to do with jv. I can't remember the last time I saw him make a great pass? Perhaps he is pistol Pete on paper?

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                              • lewro wrote: View Post
                                I didn't quote any data. I noticed for example when jv was hurt vs OKC that the ball was flying around the court when bebe was on the floor. Iirc we struggled with assists to that point and that game we had maybe 10 more assist? Or at least 5? I'd guess that was vs OKC starters.
                                If we have a higher ast% I wouldn't think that has much to do with jv. I can't remember the last time I saw him make a great pass? Perhaps he is pistol Pete on paper?
                                I'm not saying it has anything to do with JV. I'm saying the presumed better ball movement with Nogueira you are seeing with your eye test is not translating to any more assists, so your eye test is probably misleading you when judging the ball movement with lineups featuring each player.
                                twitter.com/dhackett1565

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