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View Full Version : charting Our Defense: Clemson and Accumulated - last 5 games



tommy
01-19-2012, 12:24 AM
The defensive charts for this game are below.

After the charts for the Clemson game in this post, I also am going to include the sum totals for each of our players for the 5 games I've charted so far -- Western Michigan, Temple, Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Clemson. I missed Penn and still may go back and do it if I have time, or I may not. The totals may provide additional insights (or maybe not) due to their representing a larger sample size, obviously.

I also wanted to let you guys know that defensive charting of a different sort will soon be posted on Airowe's blog, dukehoopblog.com. It will include some formulas conceived by experts to measure things like defensive efficiency, defensive rating, and the like, that are based on a lot of the numbers that I am putting together here on DBR, but will not include other numbers that I'm charting, like staying in front of your man, help, ball denial, etc. Both types of charting have value, in my opinion. One or the other may be more to your liking, or you may also enjoy both. This has been a public service message.

OK, so Copy/pasting from my posts from earlier games, the "legend" for the chart goes like this:

1. Which players were on the floor? If you're on the floor for a given possession, it counts for you, if not, not. Obviously.
2. Were you engaged in the outcome of the possession in my judgment? Shows general level of activity, but also perhaps how involved in the opponent's offense your man was.
3. Forcing a missed FG attempt, either a 2 or a 3. I tracked 3's separately, but lumped them together in the table below.
4. FG's allowed, again both 2 and 3 pointers.
5. Forced turnover. Many of these are shared. Also, turnovers include charges taken, but not blocked shots, as the latter are forced FG misses.
6. "Creating" a missed free throw.
7. "Creating" a made free throw.
8. General catch-all for good defensive play that doesn't fit into other categories. I call it deflection/peskiness/disruptiveness. DPD. Might be able to capture some of the "intangibles" that have interested many on these boards lately.
9. Ball denial, both on the wing and in the post. Good denial gets you a plus. Failure to deny when you could've/should've gets you a minus.
10. "SIF" My shorthand for staying in front. These are only counted when your man makes a definitive move to the hoop. Stay with him, you get a plus, lose him you get a minus.
11. Help. Good help gets you a plus; failure to help when you could've/should've gets you a minus.
12. Catch-all for defensive lapses not otherwise covered, sort of the flip side of #8. I just call this "got beaten - other."

Then below I did one additional analysis: on what % of plays that a guy was on the floor did the team get a stop vs. what % of plays that he was on the floor did we give up points? How did guys measure up against each other and compared to the team as a whole? I thought this might address a little bit the issue of "intangibles" as well, as if you're doing things to help the team make stops, even if they don't show up in other areas of the charting -- like how you move, your talk, being in the right spot, getting other guys in the right spot, leadership, etc., that might show up in the team's success defensively while you're on the floor. So that's the second chart below.

OK here's the first table for Clemson:







On floor
Engaged
FG miss (3's)
FG allowed (3's)
Turnover
FT miss
FT make
DPD
Denial +
Denial -
SIF +
SIF-
Help +
Help -
Beat-other


Curry
59
11
5(1)
2.5(1.5)
2
0
0
3
0
0
4
0
0
0
1


Rivers
49
3
1
1.5 (.5)
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
1
1
0


Dawkins
54
9
3.5 (2)
2
1
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
1
1
1


Mason
48
10
5
2 (.5)
2
2
0
0
3
0
0
0
1
1
0


Thornton
23
4
2 (2)
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
1


Kelly
50
12
6.5 (2)
3.5 (.5)
1.5
0
0
1
2
0
2
0
2
1
0


Miles
42
17
7 (1)
5.5
0
1
2
1
0
2
0
0
5
0
0


Cook
33
4
1(1)
1
.5
0
0
0
2
0
2
3
0
0
0


Gbinije
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0


Hairston
6
2
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0





































These numbers, not surprisingly, look a lot better than they did in recent games. It was apparent that our defensive intensity (after the first 2 minutes anyway) was excellent for much of the rest of the game, and that turned up in the numbers.

Seth Curry was very active on the perimeter and did very well staying in front. Quinn continued to struggle in that area, as did Ty, which may be one reason why we went for extended stretches with Seth, Austin, and Andre on the perimeter, without either of our more "traditional" points.

I had documented a large number of poor defensive plays by Andre in the UVA game, and I wanted to acknowledge how much better he played in this game. (I know, K thought he was great in the UVA game too, but, well, see that thread for my feelings about that.) But Andre was way, way better in this game in terms of his activity level, not allowing hoops that he was responsible for, and just not getting beaten either on or off ball. I attribute a lot of it to increased attention and focus. The kid has the ability to play D, but I think his mind tends to wander, he loses focus, and therefore forgets where he is, where his man is, what his responsibilities are, and before he knows it he's in trouble. Didn't happen nearly as much in this game, which was great to see. Maybe he's better defensively when he's hitting his shot, I don't know, but whatever the reason, let's just hope it continues.

As for the guys on the interior, Miles did give up a number of hoops, way more than we normally see. But he was very active. Not only did Clemson go inside a lot, but he continued to provide excellent help for teammates who have been beaten. Just look at how many plays he was involved in defensively -- significantly more than Ryan or Mason, and he played fewer minutes and therefore fewer possessions.

By the way, in initially watching the game, I hadn't realized just how quick K's hook had been for the starters. He sent the 5 subs to the table after only four defensive possessions by the starters. The first we got a turnover, then two hoops, followed by a timeout. After the timeout, we gave up another hoop, but this one was on a runout/fastbreak. That was all it took. K had seen enough. Seemed to get everyone's attention though, that's for sure.


OK here's the second table:





Stops
Scores
Stop %


Curry
34
24
59%


Rivers
27
20
57%


Dawkins
28
24
54%


Mason
25
22
53%


Thornton
11
12
48%


Kelly
27
21
56%


Miles
25
16
61%


Cook
19
13
59%


Gbinije
2
4
33%


Hairston
2
4
33%


TEAM
40
32
56%























So despite Miles giving up a lot of hoops himself, the team did best when he was on the floor. Not surprising given the excellent help defender he is. Curry, as borne out by the individual numbers played very well defensively, and the team was excellent with him in there as well. Thornton's numbers here are obviously the outlier. Not sure what to make of it, but it may suggest that, at least in this game, the "intangibles" he is said to bring to the game did not impact it, at least at the defensive end.

OK now here are the cumulative numbers for the five games I've charted so far, as noted at the top of this post.





























On floor
Engaged
FG miss (3's)
FG allowed (3's)
Turnover
FT miss
FT make
DPD
Denial +
Denial -
SIF +
SIF-
Help +
Help -
Beat-other


Curry
279
41
12.33 (2)
10.5 (3.5)
9.5
0
5
14
6
3
14
4
1
1
4


Rivers
268
37
8.5 (3.5)
13.5 (4.5)
4
4
2
6
15
1
11
5
1
2
10


Dawkins
197
37
10 (6)
16.33 (4)
2.33
1
8
5
3
3
6
8
3
3
12


Mason
251
58
23.833(2)
13.833 (1.5)
9.833
3
3
3
8
2
0
7
24
3
0


Thornton
165
31
12 (2)
3
5.33
3
5
5
5
0
10
13
3
2
1.5


Kelly
231
65
26.5 (4)
19.5 (1.5)
7.5
3
2
1
6
4
3
6
12
5
1.5


Miles
189
65
30.833 (2)
11.33
6.5
2
7
8
5
3
0
3
25
3
1


Cook
173
30
8 (2)
12.5 (4)
2.833
2
2
5
5
0
10
16
1
0
2


Gbinije
55
11
2
2 (1)
2.33
0
4
3
2
0
1
1
0
0
0


Hairston
66
13
2
5.5 (1)
.5
2
2
0
1
1
2
3
7
0
0






























Lots of things of interest here. One that I see is that, per these numbers -- which again are compiled by a pretty meticulous viewing and reviewing of what each guy is doing on each and every possession, understanding that there is subjectivity involved sometimes in deciding whether and when to "credit" or "blame" a guy for something -- but per these numbers perhaps our most unsung defensive player so far (or at least in these 5 recent games) has been Seth Curry. He has been extremely active, he stays in front of his man the best of our perimeter guys, he's forcing a lot of turnovers, and he's allowed the second least hoops of that group, with Thornton leading in that latter category. Seth seems to be perceived by many as a marginal-at-best defensive player, and these numbers tell a different story.

The numbers really do show the difficulties that both Ty and Quinn have had with containing dribblers going to the hoop. Both are succeeding at that less than 50% of the time, while Austin and Seth combined are succeeding about 75% of the time in that area. Now maybe Ty and Quinn are covering better penetrators, I don't know -- no way to measure that -- but maybe not.

I know I'm sounding like a broken record already, but Miles Plumlee has just been superb defensively. HE is involved in so many plays as a % of the possessions he's been on the floor. He's a terrific help defender, is very active, and forces a lot of missed shots. I have to say, though, Mason's numbers look pretty good too.

Very interested to hear what you guys take from this chart.

OK the stop % cumulative chart will be the last one of this incredibly long post.






Stops
Scores
Stop %


Curry
136
121
53%


Rivers
136
113
55%


Dawkins
100
86
54%


Mason
116
118
50%


Thornton
82
71
54%


Kelly
117
100
54%


Miles
100
74
57%


Cook
87
75
54%


Gbinije
25
34
42%


Hairston
34
28
55%


TEAM
187
164
53%

Kedsy
01-19-2012, 12:56 AM
OK the stop % cumulative chart will be the last one of this incredibly long post.






Stops
Scores
Stop %


Curry
136
121
53%


Rivers
136
113
55%


Dawkins
100
86
54%


Mason
116
118
50%


Thornton
82
71
54%


Kelly
117
100
54%


Miles
100
74
57%


Cook
87
75
54%


Gbinije
25
34
42%


Hairston
34
28
55%


TEAM
187
164
53%





























Great stuff, Tommy. I'd been most interested in the cumulative stop chart, but it seems half the team is within 1% of the team average. And two more guys are 2% above average (Austin and Josh). Mason is 3% below average. Miles 4% above average, and Michael is a whopping 6% below average.

Does it mean anything? Well, for starters, you've been touting Miles as our best defensive player, and these numbers bear that out. I'm surprised at Mason's low stop percentage but I'm not sure what to make of it. And Michael's subpar number is attention-grabbing. For someone we were hoping would carve out a niche as a plus defender, the numbers seem to support the idea that he's just not ready yet as a freshman. Combine his low stop percentage with his somewhat raw offense, and it's easy to see why Coach K hasn't been playing Michael very much lately (well, that and his recent cold).

As far as the other cumulative table, there's a lot of information, some of it conflicting, so it's difficult to draw firm conclusions. It would seem that Seth and Austin are playing decent defense, Andre is a mixed bag, and Tyler and Quinn are having trouble staying in front of their man. One thought that occurred to me is perhaps we're closer to decent perimeter defense than I thought. If we can contain the opposing point, we might be OK, because everything else seems to work. Not sure how we can get there, though. As some of us have hypothesized, maybe we should consider putting Austin on the point on D, although if we try that we can't have him teamed with two shortish guys (i.e., Seth, Tyler, Quinn -- only one of them can play when Austin guards the opposing point). Also, despite his numbers, I still believe Michael can be effective in short bursts guarding the opposing PG, although I doubt he gets more than 5 minutes a game going forward.

We did seem to exhibit more defensive energy against Clemson. Hopefully this trend will continue, because the more time marches on, the less likely we are to solve our defensive problems in a satisfactory manner.

Thanks again, Tommy, for your hard work.

jv001
01-19-2012, 07:50 AM
tommy thank you for taking the time to put together your charts. I too am surprised that Mason's numbers aren't better. But for Miles, I'm not that surprised, because he seems to be very active on both ends of the court. He's having a very good senior year. Let's hope it continues. What's encouraging is the defensive play of Seth, Austin and now Andre. What's discouraging is the defensive play of Quinn, Tyler and Michael. As for Quinn and Tyler they have been guarding the opposing PG who is usually their best ball handler. Once again thanks for your hard work. GoDuke!

TampaDuke
01-19-2012, 08:49 AM
As some of us have hypothesized, maybe we should consider putting Austin on the point on D, although if we try that we can't have him teamed with two shortish guys (i.e., Seth, Tyler, Quinn -- only one of them can play when Austin guards the opposing point).

Switching Austin or Seth so that they guard the point on a regular basis might be an interesting experiment. My guess, though, is it would likely not make much difference and may be worse. The difficulties Thornton and Cook have experienced staying in front of the opponent's point seemed to me to stem less from their defensive ability than from the position on the floor where they typically guard and the tendencies inherent in our overall defensive scheme.

Put differently, it's much easier for Austin or Seth to stay in front of their man when guarding on the wing at the three point line in "crowded" space, as compared with Tyler or Cook trying to stay in front of their man when guarding the point out toward half court playing tight on the opponent where there is plenty of open space for the opposing player to initiate his drive.

jv001
01-19-2012, 10:58 AM
Switching Austin or Seth so that they guard the point on a regular basis might be an interesting experiment. My guess, though, is it would likely not make much difference and may be worse. The difficulties Thornton and Cook have experienced staying in front of the opponent's point seemed to me to stem less from their defensive ability than from the position on the floor where they typically guard and the tendencies inherent in our overall defensive scheme.

Put differently, it's much easier for Austin or Seth to stay in front of their man when guarding on the wing at the three point line in "crowded" space, as compared with Tyler or Cook trying to stay in front of their man when guarding the point out toward half court playing tight on the opponent where there is plenty of open space for the opposing player to initiate his drive.

But it would be harder for most point guards to shoot over Austin than say, Quinn and Tyler. Seth on the other hand is about the same size as Quinn and Tyler. Seth however has probably the quickest hands of all our guards. I'm sure Coach K will have his best unit in the game come crunch time. GoDuke!

Kedsy
01-19-2012, 11:22 AM
Switching Austin or Seth so that they guard the point on a regular basis might be an interesting experiment. My guess, though, is it would likely not make much difference and may be worse. The difficulties Thornton and Cook have experienced staying in front of the opponent's point seemed to me to stem less from their defensive ability than from the position on the floor where they typically guard and the tendencies inherent in our overall defensive scheme.

Put differently, it's much easier for Austin or Seth to stay in front of their man when guarding on the wing at the three point line in "crowded" space, as compared with Tyler or Cook trying to stay in front of their man when guarding the point out toward half court playing tight on the opponent where there is plenty of open space for the opposing player to initiate his drive.

Yeah, but Nolan Smith, Daniel Ewing, Chris Duhon, Jay Williams, Will Avery, Wojo, Bobby Hurley, Tommy Amaker, etc., all played in the same system, and they managed to stay in front of their man most of the time. Austin's a competitive kid with all the tools to contain an opposing PG. He lacks experience, but he seems to me to be the sort of person who likes to rise to a challenge. At the same time, Seth has quick enough hands to bother a perimeter shooter, and Tyler seems the sort of kid who could get in a shooter's face if the height difference isn't too large. And if what you say is true, Quinn might also benefit from guarding a wing (again assuming the height disparity isn't too large). Seems to me it might be worth a shot.

tommy
01-19-2012, 03:24 PM
Great stuff, Tommy. I'd been most interested in the cumulative stop chart, but it seems half the team is within 1% of the team average. And two more guys are 2% above average (Austin and Josh). Mason is 3% below average. Miles 4% above average, and Michael is a whopping 6% below average.

Does it mean anything? Well, for starters, you've been touting Miles as our best defensive player, and these numbers bear that out. I'm surprised at Mason's low stop percentage but I'm not sure what to make of it. And Michael's subpar number is attention-grabbing. For someone we were hoping would carve out a niche as a plus defender, the numbers seem to support the idea that he's just not ready yet as a freshman. Combine his low stop percentage with his somewhat raw offense, and it's easy to see why Coach K hasn't been playing Michael very much lately (well, that and his recent cold).

As far as the other cumulative table, there's a lot of information, some of it conflicting, so it's difficult to draw firm conclusions. It would seem that Seth and Austin are playing decent defense, Andre is a mixed bag, and Tyler and Quinn are having trouble staying in front of their man. One thought that occurred to me is perhaps we're closer to decent perimeter defense than I thought. If we can contain the opposing point, we might be OK, because everything else seems to work. Not sure how we can get there, though. As some of us have hypothesized, maybe we should consider putting Austin on the point on D, although if we try that we can't have him teamed with two shortish guys (i.e., Seth, Tyler, Quinn -- only one of them can play when Austin guards the opposing point). Also, despite his numbers, I still believe Michael can be effective in short bursts guarding the opposing PG, although I doubt he gets more than 5 minutes a game going forward.

We did seem to exhibit more defensive energy against Clemson. Hopefully this trend will continue, because the more time marches on, the less likely we are to solve our defensive problems in a satisfactory manner.

Thanks again, Tommy, for your hard work.

I was expecting a bigger spread among our main rotation guys on the cumulative stop % table. Maybe it's still too small a sample size. If everyone remains tightly bunched, though, I guess it might suggest that it doesn't really matter, from a defensive perspective, who's out on the floor. We're going to get stops on 55% or so of our defensive possessions no matter what. I doubt that's the conclusion drawn by coaching staff, however. Maybe the tight bunching is part of the reason why K continues to experiment with lineups this much. Maybe he's looking for combinations that will get us stops on 60+%. Just throwing it out there.

As far as Mike G goes, keep in mind that he had terrible numbers in the Temple game, only 4 stops and 13 hoops while he was in the game, for 24%. Some (though as you pointed out, not all) of that was a product of his being on the floor in the endgame when we were fouling a lot and Temple was scoring on every possession. Still, even removing that game entirely, he'd only be at 50%, essentially tied with Mason for low on the team. You're right. He's not ready to be a stopper.

The most interesting point you raise, though, is whether our defense hasn't really been all that bad. I tend to agree with you. The post D I'm pretty happy with, and I bet the coaches are as well. We're not giving up much that's easy inside, we're helping, we're contesting a lot of shots, all good. And I do think we're doing better on the perimeter than people are giving us credit for. Curry and Rivers, in particular, have been good out there. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. If Dawkins could maintain his focus and attention, he can be more than adequate as well.

The lingering concern for me is Thornton and Cook. While they are applying ball pressure, it's just been too easy for opposing guards to go around them with any kind of decent move. That distorts the rest of our defense, and we just can't have that. See: Paulus, Greg, and the hundreds of posts on the defensive problems his lack of lateral quickness caused us as a team. Quinn's minutes have not been consistently high, even as he has emerged offensively as a significant threat. Ty's minutes have decreased noticably from some early season games, and remain inconsistent. Maybe K feels that the ability to contain opponents on the perimetr from getting into the lane and forcing help from our other guys, and distorting the defense, is so important to our overall scheme that he's willing to sacrifice a little more of what Ty and Quinn bring in order to improve the perimter D. Thoughts?

Kedsy
01-19-2012, 05:20 PM
Maybe K feels that the ability to contain opponents on the perimetr from getting into the lane and forcing help from our other guys, and distorting the defense, is so important to our overall scheme that he's willing to sacrifice a little more of what Ty and Quinn bring in order to improve the perimter D. Thoughts?

If K thinks that, then I completely agree with him. I think it's critical.

I have always felt that Seth/Austin/Andre is our best defensive perimeter. But that's a relative thing. Even when we were winning in Hawaii (and Seth/Austin/Andre was our primary perimeter), our biggest weakness was perimeter D. That's why I'd like to see that trio with Austin defending the opposing PG, rather than Seth, so see if that improves things.

I also think Quinn and Tyler would be more effective on defense if they were guarding the wing instead of the point. Tyler loves to jump away from his man to disrupt a ballhandler elsewhere, and that's a lot harder to do when you're covering the PG. Quinn seems much better at ball denial than he is at staying in front of his man. So, even when Tyler or Quinn are in, I think the D would benefit if Austin (or Seth, I suppose) guarded the ball.

MChambers
01-19-2012, 05:37 PM
If K thinks that, then I completely agree with him. I think it's critical.

I have always felt that Seth/Austin/Andre is our best defensive perimeter. But that's a relative thing. Even when we were winning in Hawaii (and Seth/Austin/Andre was our primary perimeter), our biggest weakness was perimeter D. That's why I'd like to see that trio with Austin defending the opposing PG, rather than Seth, so see if that improves things.

I also think Quinn and Tyler would be more effective on defense if they were guarding the wing instead of the point. Tyler loves to jump away from his man to disrupt a ballhandler elsewhere, and that's a lot harder to do when you're covering the PG. Quinn seems much better at ball denial than he is at staying in front of his man. So, even when Tyler or Quinn are in, I think the D would benefit if Austin (or Seth, I suppose) guarded the ball.
First, thanks to Tommy for his hard work and great data and analysis and to Kedsy for more great analysis.

One point as to Kedsy's suggestion. It seems to me to be possible your changes might be best in the short term, but K is aiming for the best possible team in March, and maybe he thinks that means Tyler and Quinn on the point. Or maybe, given the way that Duke switches in the perimeter, the starting assignments on a possssion don't matter all that much.

TampaDuke
01-19-2012, 07:39 PM
Yeah, but Nolan Smith, Daniel Ewing, Chris Duhon, Jay Williams, Will Avery, Wojo, Bobby Hurley, Tommy Amaker, etc., all played in the same system, and they managed to stay in front of their man most of the time. Austin's a competitive kid with all the tools to contain an opposing PG. He lacks experience, but he seems to me to be the sort of person who likes to rise to a challenge. At the same time, Seth has quick enough hands to bother a perimeter shooter, and Tyler seems the sort of kid who could get in a shooter's face if the height difference isn't too large. And if what you say is true, Quinn might also benefit from guarding a wing (again assuming the height disparity isn't too large). Seems to me it might be worth a shot.

I agree with you on Austin's competitiveness and defensive potential. I'd also love to see K experiment with these assignments, possibly even rotating to give the opponent a different look depending upon matchups and game situations.