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View Full Version : Justification for starting Tyler at PG for the remainder of the season



diveonthefloor
02-03-2011, 07:07 PM
I know a few folks have suggested this in the past, but based on what we saw vs Maryland and what Kyrie's status is:

1) TT at point allows Nolan to play at least 2/3 of the game at his more natural off-guard position
2) The remainder of he team can also get used to playing with a traditional PG for the next several games
3) The bigs can find a better "sweet spot" in their games, as close as they can get to playing with Kyrie, without actually playing with Kyrie.
4) Our defense improves; forcing more turnovers
5) THE BEST REASON OF ALL: When Kyrie returns, the transition of the remainder of the team becomes MUCH more seamless.

Any others?

OZZIE4DUKE
02-03-2011, 07:12 PM
I know a few folks have suggested this in the past, but based on what we saw vs Maryland and what Kyrie's status is:

1) TT at point allows Nolan to play at least 2/3 of the game at his more natural off-guard position
2) The remainder of he team can also get used to playing with a traditional PG for the next several games
3) The bigs can find a better "sweet spot" in their games, as close as they can get to playing with Kyrie, without actually playing with Kyrie.
4) Our defense improves; forcing more turnovers
5) THE BEST REASON OF ALL: When Kyrie returns, the transition of the remainder of the team becomes MUCH more seamless.

Any others?
Well you pretty well covered it but I think I (cough cough) said the same thing somewhere else (cough cough) elsewhere a few hours ago!

wilson
02-03-2011, 07:16 PM
Nolan himself said after the game last night (quoted in one of the stories linked on the first page, but I can't remember which) that he liked how playing at the 2 allowed him to guard off the ball, thus preserving energy for other parts of his game. Seems like comments like that, straight from the horse's mouth, should count for something.

DukeGirl4ever
02-03-2011, 07:27 PM
Tyler made some freshman mistakes with a few turnovers during the full court press, but I can handle that. He needs to make mistakes to improve. I think the offense looked a little more effective with him running the point.
I don't have numbers, data, efficiency ratings, etc. to support my thinking. However, I liked seeing Nolan back at the two...it just seemed like things were ticking.

billyj
02-03-2011, 07:53 PM
Clearly Coach K started Thorton so that Nolan can move back to his natural 2 guard position, this all signals the return for Kyrie is imminent.

Op(toe)mistic!

Newton_14
02-03-2011, 07:55 PM
I liked the move and it worked out well last night. I think this might be the new starting line up. It was the first post-Kyrie game where we truly took Nolan out of the PG position and allowed Tyler to actually run the point. I know K likely made the move for defensive purposes, but it actually helped our offense, especially for Miles and Mason.

I attribute Tyler's handful of mistakes last night (all were passes) to nerves and freshman-itis. He should quickly grow out of that though, if K sticks with this. It also allowed Andre and Seth to go back to the roles they were playing when we had Kyrie, which took pressure off of them.

Tyler is a good player who will grow into a really good player. If he can make this work, it will do wonders for the team as well as his development. Really great to see! 28 minutes! That is awesome.

OZZIE4DUKE
02-03-2011, 07:57 PM
Clearly Coach K started Thorton so that Nolan can move back to his natural 2 guard position, this all signals the return for Kyrie is imminent.

Op(toe)mistic!
Exactamundo!

Bob Green
02-03-2011, 08:02 PM
I liked the move and it worked out well last night. I think this might be the new starting line up.

I agree with you Tyler Thornton will be starting for the foreseeable future. Coach Krzyzewski has made a significant line-up change the past two seasons by inserting Elliot Williams as a starter in 2009 and Brian Zoubek in 2010. I believe Tyler Thornton will be the 2011 change as he brings defensive intensity onto the court and allows Nolan Smith to play his natural off-the-ball position. Moreover, Thornton seemed to emphasize dishing the ball inside, which involved Mason Plumlee in the offense.

dukelifer
02-03-2011, 08:18 PM
I agree with you Tyler Thornton will be starting for the foreseeable future. Coach Krzyzewski has made a significant line-up change the past two seasons by inserting Elliot Williams as a starter in 2009 and Brian Zoubek in 2010. I believe Tyler Thornton will be the 2011 change as he brings defensive intensity onto the court and allows Nolan Smith to play his natural off-the-ball position. Moreover, Thornton seemed to emphasize dishing the ball inside, which involved Mason Plumlee in the offense.

I think Duke will be better off with this change- and with each game- he will get more confident with his passing.

OZ
02-03-2011, 08:26 PM
I know a few folks have suggested this in the past, but based on what we saw vs Maryland and what Kyrie's status is:

1) TT at point allows Nolan to play at least 2/3 of the game at his more natural off-guard position
2) The remainder of he team can also get used to playing with a traditional PG for the next several games
3) The bigs can find a better "sweet spot" in their games, as close as they can get to playing with Kyrie, without actually playing with Kyrie.
4) Our defense improves; forcing more turnovers
5) THE BEST REASON OF ALL: When Kyrie returns, the transition of the remainder of the team becomes MUCH more seamless.

Any others?



... and TT himself becomes a better and more confident player as he gets the experience.

taiw93
02-03-2011, 08:45 PM
I have always believed that we are a MUCH better team with Nolan at the 2, and I'm thrilled that Tyler has stepped up and proven himself to be very steady as a point guard. I think this team is just built to have Nolan and a natural PG (whether it be Kyrie or Tyler) in the backcourt, giving us two primary ball-handlers on the court at once on offense, and two guys capable of guarding the opposing team's point guard on defense. Nolan did a FANTASTIC job filling in at the point, but I just think our team is much better with two guards capable of PG duties on the floor at once, both from a defensive and offensive perspective. It also makes our transition offense much more effective. I imagine that this will be the starting lineup - with either Tyler or Kyrie, if and when he's healthy - for the rest of the season. However, it is worth noting that in crunch time late in the second half, Coach K went with experience over youth, opting for Seth and Andre over Tyler.

superdave
02-03-2011, 09:03 PM
I believe Kedsy said in the MD post-game thread that Tyler is probably more valuable in short bursts where he brings lots of energy. I do think we're better off with Seth and Andre getting consistent minutes but with Tyler having minutes flux based on matchups or the need for an influx of energy. That does not mean he cant start, but I'd be concerned with him playing 30 minutes at the expense of Seth and Andre.

dukelifer
02-03-2011, 09:10 PM
I believe Kedsy said in the MD post-game thread that Tyler is probably more valuable in short bursts where he brings lots of energy. I do think we're better off with Seth and Andre getting consistent minutes but with Tyler having minutes flux based on matchups or the need for an influx of energy. That does not mean he cant start, but I'd be concerned with him playing 30 minutes at the expense of Seth and Andre.

I agree with this. Andre and Seth are important weapons. They can blow a game open and get separation. They need to be on the floor at critical moments- like the end of the first half when Duke usually makes a run. TT can start to get the big guys involved and help to get some fouls on the opposing big guys- making it easier on Nolan and Kyle to drive. Ultimately- the big guys need to be active early- and then bring in the bombers late.

Bob Green
02-03-2011, 10:04 PM
That does not mean he cant start, but I'd be concerned with him playing 30 minutes at the expense of Seth and Andre.

But this didn't happen in the Maryland game. Thornton started and played 28 minutes with Curry playing 25 minutes and Dawkins playing 20 minutes off the bench. I believe Thornton should start.

Scorp4me
02-03-2011, 10:06 PM
Well you pretty well covered it but I think I (cough cough) said the same thing somewhere else (cough cough) elsewhere a few hours ago!

A few hours ago??? Guess I wasn't clear here http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?24096-Adding-a-new-dimension-to-this-team-A-look-at-who-s-going-to-break-out-in-2011.&p=470924#post470924

or here http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?23868-Starting-lineup-ideas-for-Duke-UVA-Saturday&p=464764#post464764 following the Florida State loss.

I'll admit I'm a fan, always a fan of the underappreciated players. But even I'm surprised by how well he did the things I hoped he'd do. And I apologize for the untidy links:D

diveonthefloor
02-03-2011, 10:10 PM
But this didn't happen in the Maryland game. Thornton started and played 28 minutes with Curry playing 25 minutes and Dawkins playing 20 minutes off the bench. I believe Thornton should start.

Agreed.

Especially if we are playing a team which predominantly plays man to man defense and most especially if the opposition likes to press.

Andre and Seth will get their minutes for sure! But I would selectively place Seth and Andre in the lineup when the matchups dictate, particularly if we find ourselves playing against a relatively traditional zone defense.

yancem
02-03-2011, 10:44 PM
But this didn't happen in the Maryland game. Thornton started and played 28 minutes with Curry playing 25 minutes and Dawkins playing 20 minutes off the bench. I believe Thornton should start.

True but part of that was because Smith played fewer than normal minutes due to his foul situation. I'm for Thornton starting and think that he should get solid minutes but I would like to see him taking a few minutes from Smith and less from Curry and Dawkins. That's not to say anything bad about Smith, he has been absolutely fantastic this year but I think he will be more explosive at crunch time if he gets a few breaks during the game. I also think that it helps Curry and Dawkins with their rhythm since they will be looked upon to shoot more when Smith is out of the game.

Kedsy
02-03-2011, 10:55 PM
But this didn't happen in the Maryland game. Thornton started and played 28 minutes with Curry playing 25 minutes and Dawkins playing 20 minutes off the bench. I believe Thornton should start.

Well, in the Maryland game, Kyle played 34 minutes (3.5 less than he averaged in ACC games prior to Maryland), Nolan played 29 minutes (11.1 less than he averaged in ACC games prior to Maryland), and Ryan played 6 minutes (15.4 less than he averaged in ACC play). Assuming they all go back up to their average, then 30 minutes would have to disappear from the other players. Assuming they don't come from Tyler, they'd almost have to come from Seth, Andre, or Miles, and personally I don't think that's a great thing.

I don't care who starts, but as I said in another thread, I'd prefer this season to see Tyler playing 8 to 12 minutes to bring bursts of energy. Not that anybody who matters cares what I'd prefer, but I'm just saying.

UrinalCake
02-03-2011, 10:58 PM
I agree with starting Tyler, but I disagree with reasons #3 and #5. Tyler plays nothing like Kyrie. He brings almost the exact opposite skillset to the floor. So I don't see how playing with him will get other players "used" to playing with Kyrie. Nolan is a closer approximation to Kyrie as far as what he does offensively. So for everyone else on the court, having Nolan as the PG is more like what it would be like to have Kyrie playing.

As I said, I do like the idea of having Tyler start and letting him, Curry, and Dawkins play about 25 minutes each. Those four guys (with Smith included) playing in various combinations provides a lot of variety, making it a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Scorp4me
02-03-2011, 11:06 PM
...I'd prefer this season to see Tyler playing 8 to 12 minutes...

I said the exact opposite while watching the game. I was glad to see Tyler playing substantial minutes, not just starting as a symbolic thing.

Now Nolan, Kyle, and Ryan all were in foul trouble. So perhaps it's not K's game plan to play him as much as he did. However, seeing how well things worked out perhaps it maybe his game plan now.

I think Seth and Dre played better coming off the bench in spurts as they did earlier in the year. Looks like we're both looking for burst of energy off the bench, just looking in different places:)

Kedsy
02-03-2011, 11:12 PM
I said the exact opposite while watching the game. I was glad to see Tyler playing substantial minutes, not just starting as a symbolic thing.

Now Nolan, Kyle, and Ryan all were in foul trouble. So perhaps it's not K's game plan to play him as much as he did. However, seeing how well things worked out perhaps it maybe his game plan now.

I think Seth and Dre played better coming off the bench in spurts as they did earlier in the year. Looks like we're both looking for burst of energy off the bench, just looking in different places:)

Well, everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion. I agree you can't argue with the results, but I thought Tyler played much worse last night than he has in the games he played 8 to 12 minutes. He spent a fair amount of time looking uncertain running the offense and his defense wasn't nearly as good as it has been. I don't know if he was conserving his energy because he was playing so many minutes or not, but I was much more impressed with him in the first Maryland game (as well as the other games he played 8 to 12 minutes).

Kedsy
02-03-2011, 11:19 PM
As I said, I do like the idea of having Tyler start and letting him, Curry, and Dawkins play about 25 minutes each. Those four guys (with Smith included) playing in various combinations provides a lot of variety, making it a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Now we're back to the big/small debate. If you distribute the minutes as you suggest (25 each to Tyler, Seth, and Andre), along with Nolan and Kyle playing 37 or 38 (and let's face it, on average they aren't going to play much less), that leaves only 50 minutes for Ryan, Mason, Miles, and Josh. Which would mean the "small" lineup would be playing 30 out of 40 minutes. Currently, the small lineup is averaging just over 13 minutes a game, so your preference would be a major shift in the way we play.

Perhaps, as you say, it would be a nightmare for opposing defenses, but I think this would also be a nightmare for our own defense. To me it makes no sense to play so small for three quarters of the game.

pfrduke
02-04-2011, 01:48 AM
Well, in the Maryland game, Kyle played 34 minutes (3.5 less than he averaged in ACC games prior to Maryland), Nolan played 29 minutes (11.1 less than he averaged in ACC games prior to Maryland), and Ryan played 6 minutes (15.4 less than he averaged in ACC play). Assuming they all go back up to their average, then 30 minutes would have to disappear from the other players. Assuming they don't come from Tyler, they'd almost have to come from Seth, Andre, or Miles, and personally I don't think that's a great thing.

I don't care who starts, but as I said in another thread, I'd prefer this season to see Tyler playing 8 to 12 minutes to bring bursts of energy. Not that anybody who matters cares what I'd prefer, but I'm just saying.

It's worth noting that the official box score is wrong (although not hugely so) about minutes played. They have Nolan playing only 15 in the second half, when he actually played 19. It's funny, actually, if you look at the play-by-play, it shows Tyler checking in for Nolan at the 15:58 mark, and then 4 of the next 7 plays all involve Nolan in some way. So Nolan really played 32, and Tyler 24 (which is still a career high).

dukeimac
02-04-2011, 06:45 AM
LOL, slow down people, slow down. One game, it was just one game.

Some things said here are so off base. Tyler's turnovers didn't all come from passing. Twice he we double teamed and lost the ball and once he saw the double team coming and he dribbled it off the opposing players leg.

He made some freshman mistakes and in a game in which they are in control of, not a problem. But if this was FSU, I think things would have been different with his playing time.

Ty, Dre and Curry's playing time were affected by Smith's foul problems and thus these guys got more playing time. Cut these guys playing time down if Smith doesn't get into foul trouble. We have no idea if Coach would have gone with Ty as much or cut back on Seth's or Dre's time.

Maybe starting Ty will heat up Dre and Seth. That could very well affect Ty's playing time. I believe they want Nolan at the 2. But they have tried Seth at the PG. IMO, that is the best person for the PG without Kyrie. But Seth hasn't worked out, maybe starting Ty puts a fire under Seth.

With their shooting on, Coach was able to play this way. I'm curious to see how Coach plays things if their shooting isn't on or if Nolan doesn't get into foul trouble.

I also don't buy into it that this is the coming of Kyrie. Duke hasn't played very good with the teams he has put on the floor and he needs to experiment to see which rotation is the best. This has nothing to do with Kyrie's return, no one can replace that guy, Tyler is no where near the player Kyrie is. Thus, this wasn't done to prepare for Kyrie, Ty isn't even close to the floor general Kyrie was.

Saratoga2
02-04-2011, 06:57 AM
I agree with this. Andre and Seth are important weapons. They can blow a game open and get separation. They need to be on the floor at critical moments- like the end of the first half when Duke usually makes a run. TT can start to get the big guys involved and help to get some fouls on the opposing big guys- making it easier on Nolan and Kyle to drive. Ultimately- the big guys need to be active early- and then bring in the bombers late.

To a large degree it is a story of matchups.Tyler is strong with the ball and plays a harrying frenetic defensive style. Seth in particular is small and not super quick although he does have quick hands. Against a quick point guard, especially one who has size, I prefer Tyler. That is because Tyler can cause more problems for the offense of the point guard, while Seth has trouble getting his shot off when guarded closely. Since Tyler is not expected to be a scorer, having a defender limit him is not a big issue.

I do think Seth has picked up his defense recently so the difference has gotten smaller, but in my mind, Tyler matches up better in some cases.

NSDukeFan
02-04-2011, 08:05 AM
I believe Kedsy said in the MD post-game thread that Tyler is probably more valuable in short bursts where he brings lots of energy. I do think we're better off with Seth and Andre getting consistent minutes but with Tyler having minutes flux based on matchups or the need for an influx of energy. That does not mean he cant start, but I'd be concerned with him playing 30 minutes at the expense of Seth and Andre.


Now we're back to the big/small debate. If you distribute the minutes as you suggest (25 each to Tyler, Seth, and Andre), along with Nolan and Kyle playing 37 or 38 (and let's face it, on average they aren't going to play much less), that leaves only 50 minutes for Ryan, Mason, Miles, and Josh. Which would mean the "small" lineup would be playing 30 out of 40 minutes. Currently, the small lineup is averaging just over 13 minutes a game, so your preference would be a major shift in the way we play.

Perhaps, as you say, it would be a nightmare for opposing defenses, but I think this would also be a nightmare for our own defense. To me it makes no sense to play so small for three quarters of the game.

Sign me up for the "I don't care if Tyler starts, but I would rather see Seth and Dre play significantly more minutes (as well as Ryan and Miles) than Tyler unless he shows he can make a major impact defensively over a larger number of minutes" camp. If there is a camp like that.

CrazieDUMB
02-04-2011, 09:01 AM
Seeing as how TT and I went to the same high school, Iím a huge fan. That said, I think that at this point his game is still pretty limited. The one thing that we need most out of our point guard is the ability to get some dribble penetration, which TT simply doesnít do. The basis of our offense this year seems to rely on our PG beating the first defender to open up either a man underneath (Kyrieís specialty - see MP2ís 22 point game), or kicking out to one of our many three point weapons. Maybe this is just my perception, but to me Tyler didnít do much more on the ball than take it up the court and pass it off to Nolan at the top of the key. He had some good entry passes to the bigs, which were great, but I still donít think his game is complete enough to be our primary PG.

The flip side is that our offense may be good enough without him. I donít really want to rehash the whole big/small argument, but as others have said, having Nolan, Kyle, Ryan and MP2 on the floor is plenty of firepower even without a playmaking PG. I think TTís defense is contagious, and heís one of the best at forcing the turnovers our pressure defense needs to be successful. Iíd slate him in for a solid 15 min per game, maybe even start to set the tempo on D, but I think itís a little early to say him being in the starting lineup will be as transformative as either the E-Will or Zoubek changes of the last two years.

Bob Green
02-04-2011, 09:34 AM
I don't care who starts, but as I said in another thread, I'd prefer this season to see Tyler playing 8 to 12 minutes to bring bursts of energy.

You raise several valid points in regard to minutes distribution and Thornton's increased playing time. I do not believe he will average 24 mpg from this point forward, but I do expect to see his minutes rise dramatically over the 13.4 minutes he has averaged in the first eight ACC contests.

What is dramatically? I'd say Thornton plays 18-20 minutes because he makes Duke a tougher defensive team. Therefore, it is around five to seven minutes increase in playing time.

Where do the five to seven minutes come from? Nolan Smith is averaging 37.8 minutes so two minutes a game could come from Smith. I remember lots of people disagreeing with me over the summer when I posted Smith would average 35 mpg. The consenus seemed to be more like 32 mpg. The remaining five minutes would come at the expense of Curry (23.8), Dawkins (23.1) and Kelly (20.8).

There are plenty of minutes to go around.

***All the minutes per game stats utilized in this post are from GoDuke.com (https://www.nmnathletics.com//pdf8/736348.pdf?ATCLID=205089064&SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_OEM_ID=4200) and are from the eight ACC games.

Scorp4me
02-04-2011, 10:35 AM
Well, everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion. I agree you can't argue with the results, but I thought Tyler played much worse last night than he has in the games he played 8 to 12 minutes. He spent a fair amount of time looking uncertain running the offense and his defense wasn't nearly as good as it has been. I don't know if he was conserving his energy because he was playing so many minutes or not, but I was much more impressed with him in the first Maryland game (as well as the other games he played 8 to 12 minutes).

I would agree he looked like a freshman and I'm sure you do have to play differently when you have 5 fouls and 10 minutes to go wild in as opposed to staying on the floor and running the offense. Just not sure it's fair to classify it as "much worse" due to it.

And I understand those that want to see Seth/Dre on the floor more. But they seem to work better coming off the bench. I don't know why, but some kids are like that and it's completely ok.

As I've said all along. Those who don't feel Tyler should be on the floor seem to be concentrating on what he can't do. Those who wanna see more seem to be realizing the difference he makes for everyone else. As long as it's a net gain I'm all for it.

Kedsy
02-04-2011, 01:18 PM
As I've said all along. Those who don't feel Tyler should be on the floor seem to be concentrating on what he can't do. Those who wanna see more seem to be realizing the difference he makes for everyone else. As long as it's a net gain I'm all for it.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm not concentrating on what he can't do; I'm focusing on what I see on the court. Tyler has played better in more limited minutes than he did Wednesday night. Was it just an off game? I don't know, but to me it's odd that his performance in the second Maryland game seems to be the justification for many people suggesting he start and play big minutes.

As for realizing the difference he makes for everybody else, I admit I haven't seen very much, other than possibly (a) when Tyler has the ball the other players aren't standing around watching Nolan, which is a good thing; and (b) against Maryland with Tyler running the point Nolan seemed more tentative, which is not such a good thing.

Tyler only had 3 assists against Maryland, and they were all on jumpers (one to Seth, one to Nolan, one to Kyle), so it's not like he was feeding the post any better or more than Nolan or Seth. I think some of you are romanticizing his contributions because he's the new guy.

As for being "all for it" if it's a "net gain," I think the calculation is more complex. It has to be a higher net gain than the net gain would be if Seth or Andre or Miles or Ryan were on the floor during the minutes now taken up by Tyler.

diveonthefloor
02-04-2011, 01:29 PM
Well, if these recent "tweets" regarding Kyrie's non-return this year are true, then K has a decision to make.

Try to play a conventional offense using Tyler as the main point, or go back to Nolan as the main point.

Obviously there will be games when both of these scenarios play out, but which will be our "emphasis?"

Scorp4me
02-04-2011, 01:42 PM
...I'm focusing on what I see on the court. Tyler has played better in more limited minutes than he did Wednesday night....

I suppose there's nothing to gain in trying to change either of our opinions so I won't do it. But I will say as much as some seem to be "romanticizing his contributions" you seem to be discounting them. I just hope one of us is proven wrong cause that would indicate progress and not both of us which would indicate...well, probably another loss.

But I won't say anymore than that:)