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Defense FG%?

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  • Ball
    I think seeing last year's numbers and the numbers post All-Star break would give a lot of context to help answer the questions you asked below. Right now, it's hard to say if guys have been bad this year (overall) because of the scheme, effort, depending on rookies, etc.

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  • BrieflySpeaking
    started a topic Defense FG%?

    Defense FG%?

    Fair warning, this post uses numbers from the advanced tracking section on So if, like Jack and Leo, you think the new statistics are annoying mumbo-jumbo, you might want to save yourself some aggravation and just skip over this.

    If you are still here, these are what the headings mean.
    • DFG% = the FG% opponents shoot when being guarded by this player
    • FG% = the FG% the same opponents shoot over-all
    • Diff% = The difference between Opponent's FG% when being guarded by this player and the Opponents FG% over-all

    In other words, DIFF% should indicate how much harder or easier it is to score on this defender than on an average defender.

    As a baseline, here are the 2015-16 DFG% numbers for the 2015-16 All-Defense team.

    Kawhi Leonard 39.2 44.8 -5.6
    Draymond Green 39.4 45.5 -6.1
    DeAndre Jordan 43.4 47.1 -3.7
    Avery Bradley 41.6 43.9 -2.3
    Chris Paul 46.6 44.4 +2.2
    So, it does seems quite a bit harder to score against All-Defense players than against average players. Leonard and Green, in particular, really are shutting down their opponents. It's not just something people are imagining.

    Incidentally, it is better to look at the Diff% rather than simply DFG% because some players have tougher assignments than others. For example Avery Bradley holds opponents to a lower DFG% than DeAndre Jordan, but the bigs who Jordan is usually defending are more difficult to lock down. This also helps account for players who have tougher schedules or who tend to guard starters rather than bench players.

    Help defense and a team's defensive schemes obviously play roles in this, especially when comparing players from different teams. So a player (esp. guards) who plays in a lousy system and doesn't have good interior defenders behind him may look worse than he really is.

    And, of course, there is more to defense than just stopping your own man from scoring. Steals and defensive rebounding are also important, as are hustle stats like drawing charges and tipped balls. Chris Paul is an example of this. His DFG% was mediocre last season, but he gets a lot of steals, creates hustle turnovers and rebounds well for his position. Although, I'm not sure Chris Paul is actually the elite defender he once was. Perhaps he is getting the All-Defense nod based partly on reputation.

    Nevertheless, lock down man-to-man defense is essential if you are serious about building a legit contender. Notice that the top 3 teams in defensive field goal Diff are the league's top three in over-all defense. Also, well coached and Championship contenders.

    Golden State Warriors -1.7
    Utah Jazz -1.6
    San Antonio Spurs -1.4
    The Raptors do rank a bit above average at -0.4. So our man defense is certainly not terrible (like the last place Lakers) But, it probably needs to improve in order to beat good teams consistently.

    Toronto Raptors -0.4
    Los Angeles Lakers +2.3
    The Raptors individual defensive numbers,

    Patrick Patterson 37.9 45.8 -7.8
    DeMarre Carroll 42.6 45.9 -3.3
    PJ Tucker 44.6 45.8 -1.2
    Lucas Nogueira 45.6 46.6 -1.0
    Jonas Valanciunas 48.0 48.6 -0.7
    DeMar DeRozan 45.2 45.0 +0.2
    Serge Ibaka 47.5 46.8 +0.7
    Cory Joseph 46.1 43.8 +2.3
    Kyle Lowry 47.5 44.5 +3.0
    Norman Powell 47.6 44.5 +3.1
    Jakob Poeltl 50.5 47.2 +3.3
    Pascal Siakam 49.2 45.5 +3.7
    A few subjective observations.
    • Patterson has the best DFG% on the team - surprisingly, Patterson has the best DFG% in the NBA this season (min 40 GP). Doesn't mean Pat is the league's best man-to-man defender. But, he does seem to somehow wreak havoc with his opponent's scoring percentage.
    • Carroll has drawn a lot of criticism based on his salary and inconsistent shooting. On the plus side, he has actually held opponents scoring in check quite nicely.
    • JV may struggle guarding the perimiter, but he is solid as a man-to-man paint defender.
    • DeMar has picked up his on-ball defensive intensity this year. Still not what it could be if he wasn't as busy on offense, but not bad at all.
    • On the down side, Joseph, Lowry and Powell have struggled to contain their opponent's scoring. However, all three were much better last season when they had Biyombo backing them up. But, I'm not sure it's all the Biyombo factor. When I get a chance to watch the games closely at home, I am not impressed with our guards defensive play. Not sure if it's the schemes or guys are not defending as hard as they did last season or what. Maybe somebody who watches the guard play more closely than I do has an idea about this.
    • Finally, the DFG% numbers indicate that the rookies (Poetl and Siakam) are over their heads guarding veteran NBA players one-on-one. Just par for the course. Just need more experience.

    So, do these numbers help explain anything about the team's performance? Should Patterson be given a more prominent role defending other team's top scorers? Do we need a more aggressive interior defensive presence to protect are guards? Other ideas? Again, if you think advanced statistics are nonsense, feel free to ignore these observations.