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View Full Version : Phase V (ish): Maryland through UNC (Sr Day)



CDu
02-15-2014, 05:21 PM
Well, the weather kind of threw things off with the phases, but it's time to talk Phase V. Thanks to Tommy for an excellent Phase IV post and wrap-up. He's handed the baton off to me for Phase V. This phase includes Maryland through the last regular season game vs UNC. This previously spanned 6 games, but thanks to the weather this week it is now 7. So here goes:

1. Health: I mean, I'm tired of seeing this number one. Especially on a team this deep. I think it's silly. It made sense during the 2010 season because that team quite literally couldn't afford an injury to anybody on the team. This team has it a little easier. But, people will yell at me if I don't do it, so there you have it. Health: don't get hurt, Duke. Don't get hurt.

2. Continue the dominance: Since the UVa game, we've been a dominant type of team for the past 7 games. The average score from those games was 83-64, and that includes the 2-point loss at Syracuse. That's just awesome. We dismantled everyone else by at least 15 points. Heck, even in the UVa game, we were cruising to a 15+ point win before we slipped off the gas and UVa made a late surge. This stretch of basketball has been the type of basketball I think we were all expecting coming into the season. Can we continue it? Or do we have another gear? Even though we've been truly fantastic over the past 7 games, there have still been several stretches of less-than stellar play. Against BC, we led by only 4 at the half before running away with it in the second half. The defense during this stretch (again, with the exception of Syracuse) has been really good. But one of the keys to this dominance continuing will be...

4. Point guard play: In the past phase, we saw Cook regress a bit. Prior to the BC game, he was shooting just 30.3% (23.8% from 3pt range) in Phase IV. And he was averaging just 3 assists per game. The BC game was a really nice bounceback game from a shooting/scoring standpoint, but the assists were still down. Can he return to early-season form? We've got some tough games in this stretch, so it'd be nice if he did. On the other hand, Sulaimon has stepped up substantially in the playmaker role. In the last four games, he's average 5.3 assists to just 1.3 turnovers (over 4:1!), all while still averaging 12 ppg. So it appears that we have two PG at this point. The question is, can/will both thrive? Or will Cook revert to being "just" a spot-up shooter as Sulaimon commands more of the playmaking duties? If both can play aggressively, we suddenly have a potentially devastating combo at PG, each capable of hitting 3s, driving to the rim, or dishing off the drive. It will be interesting to see how the two work together on the floor during this phase.

5. Return of Superman? In the last four games, Parker has averaged 23 ppg and 11 rpg while shooting over 50% from the field. A big part of that has been due to returning to an aggressive style rather than settling for long jumpers. Aside from the Pitt game, he's attempted just 1 3pt shot in each game of the last phase. His performance has returned to the awesomeness that we all hoped for but had missed during his well-documented early-ACC season slump. Let's hope he's back for good. Obviously he's not a machine, so he'll have some off-games to come. But if he can be more like he was in Phase IV and less like he was in Phase III, that's a good thing.

6. Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding: Don't look now, but we've now outrebounded 5 of our last 7 opponents. In 3 of those games, we've outrebounded our opponent by 14 or more. And when we've been outrebounded, it has been somewhat close (down 5 in each). Parker has averaged 11.4 rpg over that stretch. Jefferson has averaged 6.9 rpg (7.9 over the last 8). Hood has averaged 5 rpg over his last 6 games. Plumlee has added 14 rebounds in limited minutes over the past 4 games. We're suddenly a fairly decent if not good rebounding team. Can it continue?

7. Plumlee's knee? Plumlee hurt himself and did not play against BC. Will that continue to be an issue? Will it set him back and relegate him to spot minutes again? I think our ceiling as a team is reached if he's giving us 12-15 quality mpg backing up Jefferson. If those 12-15 mpg go to Hairston, I think that's a step down for us. Let's hope Plumlee bounces back in this phase.

8. Rotation: Well, we've seen some pretty interesting stuff over the last two phases. Late in Phase III, we saw the "line change" approach. In Phase IV, we've seen continued depth but straying back closer to the old Coach K style. What will we see moving forward? Are we going to go back to a 7+ rotation, or will guys like Plumlee and Jones continue to see meaningful minutes?

9. Preview of NCAA tourney week 2: The one thing the weather this week has created is an interesting "sneak-peak" of what a second-weekend of the tourney might look like. We'll face UNC on Thursday (on the road) and we'll host Syracuse on Saturday. That two-day turnaround and the quality of the opponents is very likely what we might see in a Sweet-16 /Elite-8 weekend. Let's hope it goes well.

10. Staying in the top 4 of the ACC: Given Syracuse's record and UVa's schedule, I think winning the ACC regular season title is a distant memory. In fact, I'd say finishing 2nd is highly unlikely. But we're in good position to stay in the top 4, which is pretty important come ACC tourney time. Avoiding the #5 spot will mean two things: one less tourney game required, and one less game against an NCAA tourney-quality opponent. I'd actually take it a step further. If we can stay in the top 3, we'll likely avoid even a bubble team until the ACC semifinals. That would be great.

So there you have it. Let's go devils!

Kedsy
02-16-2014, 09:37 AM
Thanks, CDu, you've given us some good gristle to chew on.



1. Health: I mean, I'm tired of seeing this number one. Especially on a team this deep. I think it's silly. It made sense during the 2010 season because that team quite literally couldn't afford an injury to anybody on the team. This team has it a little easier. But, people will yell at me if I don't do it, so there you have it. Health: don't get hurt, Duke. Don't get hurt.

Next thing you'll tell us you don't believe in rally caps, either. ;)

Seriously, though, Duke has had a major injury to a starter in each of 2011, 2012, and 2013. The Duke women have had one or more such injuries in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In the past month, Quinn Cook's been hobbled by an ankle sprain and Marshall Plumlee missed a game with a knee injury. On the national scale, within the last two weeks the (then) #1 team lost one of its best players for the season. Over the years, major injuries have influenced the outcome of many an NCAA Tournament. Injuries are game-changing in sports, especially in college basketball.

So, to me, health is the paramount question of any phase.



4. Point guard play: In the past phase, we saw Cook regress a bit. Prior to the BC game, he was shooting just 30.3% (23.8% from 3pt range) in Phase IV. And he was averaging just 3 assists per game. The BC game was a really nice bounceback game from a shooting/scoring standpoint, but the assists were still down. Can he return to early-season form? We've got some tough games in this stretch, so it'd be nice if he did. On the other hand, Sulaimon has stepped up substantially in the playmaker role. In the last four games, he's average 5.3 assists to just 1.3 turnovers (over 4:1!), all while still averaging 12 ppg. So it appears that we have two PG at this point. The question is, can/will both thrive? Or will Cook revert to being "just" a spot-up shooter as Sulaimon commands more of the playmaking duties? If both can play aggressively, we suddenly have a potentially devastating combo at PG, each capable of hitting 3s, driving to the rim, or dishing off the drive. It will be interesting to see how the two work together on the floor during this phase.

To me, this is the most interesting question of the new phase, especially after Quinn played just 14 minutes against Maryland. I think the offense runs much, much better with Quinn as the primary ball handler than it does with Rasheed.



6. Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding: Don't look now, but we've now outrebounded 5 of our last 7 opponents. In 3 of those games, we've outrebounded our opponent by 14 or more. And when we've been outrebounded, it has been somewhat close (down 5 in each). Parker has averaged 11.4 rpg over that stretch. Jefferson has averaged 6.9 rpg (7.9 over the last 8). Hood has averaged 5 rpg over his last 6 games. Plumlee has added 14 rebounds in limited minutes over the past 4 games. We're [b]suddenly[b] a fairly decent if not good rebounding team. Can it continue?

Actually, our defensive rebounding has been pretty good all season. Oddly, despite the common perception, it's been falling off over the past several games.

Conversely, our offensive rebounding was pretty poor for the first 15 or so games and has gotten very good lately. Hopefully that will continue.

NSDukeFan
02-16-2014, 10:11 AM
Nice post and good topics. I wonder too about the point guard / ball-handler play. It seems to me part of Rasheed's struggles early on were that he had trouble adjusting to not being one of the primary ball-handlers. We all want to see Quinn playing at his best (though we can debate whether we would prefer Quinn or Rasheed, or Tyus for the very impatient, to be the primary ball-handler), but when Quinn is back to being at his best, which I am very hopeful for, what is Rasheed's role? Jabari and Rodney also need to have the ball a fair bit and it's certainly not a bad thing when Amile has the ball at the high post.

Since you mentioned the dominance of the previous phase and Duke wasn't dominant in their first game of this phase, if the next couple of games don't go well, can we get a do-over and get Tommy to post the phase post? :D

CDu
02-16-2014, 10:39 AM
Nice post and good topics. I wonder too about the point guard / ball-handler play. It seems to me part of Rasheed's struggles early on were that he had trouble adjusting to not being one of the primary ball-handlers. We all want to see Quinn playing at his best (though we can debate whether we would prefer Quinn or Rasheed, or Tyus for the very impatient, to be the primary ball-handler), but when Quinn is back to being at his best, which I am very hopeful for, what is Rasheed's role? Jabari and Rodney also need to have the ball a fair bit and it's certainly not a bad thing when Amile has the ball at the high post.

Since you mentioned the dominance of the previous phase and Duke wasn't dominant in their first game of this phase, if the next couple of games don't go well, can we get a do-over and get Tommy to post the phase post? :D

Yeah, the one thing I'd do over with the post would be to change the "dominance" topic to be more of a "can we start to bring it all together?" question. Also, in my editing haste, I missed point #3 anyway. So I'll take the liberty to correct it now:

3. Can Duke start to bring it all together? We've now seen some terrific highs and some rough lows this season. We've seen several players (Sulaimon, Cook, and Parker most notably) reach some peaks and some valleys. Well, we're just a few weeks away from tourney time, so now is the time to start bringing it all together. Is it possible for Sulaimon, Cook, Parker, Hood, and Dawkins to start firing on all cylinders at the same time? We have lots of weapons, but it seems like they're rarely "on" in concert. It would be fantastic to see some signs of everyone on their "A" game as we approach March. Heck, I'll be fine if they continue to trade off hero duty from game to game, but it would be reassuring to see a monster game sometime in this phase as kind of a harbinger of things that could come in the NCAA tourney. At our best, we might be able to blow the doors off of anyone offensively. But I don't think we've actually seen us at (perhaps even near) our best offensively, which is scary. I'd like to get a glimpse of it in the near future.

CDu
02-23-2014, 09:42 AM
Well, so far (we're over halfway through this 7-game phase), we're seeing some answers:

1. Health has not been a problem so far.

2. Our stretch of dominance has wavered. No surprise there as we've only played one team against whom we might have anticipated dominating (Maryland at home). Let's see what happens over the next 2 games leading up to the UNC home game.

3. We haven't had that game where everyone is clicking. Hopefully it is still in store down the stretch. And hopefully it comes against UNC and/or in the next few phases.

4. Point guard play has been a bit of an issue. Cook hasn't quite found his game as a playmaker with any sort of consistency. Sulaimon has looked good at times and shaky at others. That's going to continue to be something to watch down the stretch.

5. Parker has emphatically re-emerged. He's averaged 18.75 ppg and 10.75 rpg in this phase while shooting 50% from the field and going to the line at least 6 times in each game. That aggressiveness to the rim is what we've been looking for. He needs to continue to do that and not fall back in love with the long jumpers.

6. Well, so much for the rebounding dominance, as we have been outrebounded in all 4 of our games so far in this phase. The rebound differential wound up close in the Cuse game, but we were blown away on the glass by UNC (a big part of our loss along with our terrible shooting). We need to keep it close on the glass if we're going to realistically make it deep in the tourney. So hopefully the next topic will help us in that regard...

7. Plumlee has emphatically answered any questions about his knee. He has put up back to back strong efforts and has been rewarded with the most playing time over a two-game stretch in his career. He's in the right spots defensively (hedging and recovering REALLY well), he's getting rebounds, and he's even functional on offense. I'd say he's been our best C over the past two games. If he keeps this up, I think he's a 15-20 mpg type guy. But at the very least he seems ready to be a regular rotation member moving forward. Which brings us to...

8. The rotation. There was a brief return of the line change early in this phase. So some folks were excited. However, over the last two games, we've gotten a glimpse of what is likely to come once we reach the tourneys. Coach K has reverted to the 7.5 man rotation, with Jones getting basically squeezed out (joining Hairston and Ojeleye) and Dawkins getting spot minutes. I suspect that Coach K is simply willing to use Dawkins as a "heat check" player. If Dawkins comes in and hits some 3s, he will get more run. If he comes in and doesn't give us a quick spark, he'll play 5-10 mpg. I think Coach K is more than willing to go to battle with a quartet of Cook, Sulaimon, Thornton, and Hood as our 3-man perimeter rotation if Dawkins isn't bombing home 3s. I think we've established our top-7, and Dawkins can make it 8 if he starts hitting shots again.

9. Well, our week 2 of the NCAA tourney preview ended with mixed reviews. We lost a close one to UNC in a Sweet-16 type game, but we returned with a win over Syracuse in an elite-8 type game. I'll take that as a promising sign regarding our team's chances of making it to the Final Four. We've now clearly proven we're capable of beating a 1- or 2-seed with our close games against Kansas and Syracuse. We're probably going to be a 2- or 3-seed in the tourney unless we win out and claim another ACC title. So a win over a 1- and/or 2-seed may wind up necessary come the second weekend of the tourney.

10. We're technically still in 3rd in the ACC by virtue of having played one more ACC game than UNC. If UNC beats State and VT like they should this week, we'll be in 4th. But thankfully, we have a virtual two-game lead over Pitt (thanks to our win at Pitt). So unless something really unexpected happens against VT or at Wake, we'll be the #4 seed at worst. It's going to come down to the UNC game to decide whether we get the #3 seed.

superdave
02-23-2014, 03:01 PM
6. Well, so much for the rebounding dominance, as we have been outrebounded in all 4 of our games so far in this phase. The rebound differential wound up close in the Cuse game, but we were blown away on the glass by UNC (a big part of our loss along with our terrible shooting). We need to keep it close on the glass if we're going to realistically make it deep in the tourney. So hopefully the next topic will help us in that regard...

7. Plumlee has emphatically answered any questions about his knee. He has put up back to back strong efforts and has been rewarded with the most playing time over a two-game stretch in his career. He's in the right spots defensively (hedging and recovering REALLY well), he's getting rebounds, and he's even functional on offense. I'd say he's been our best C over the past two games. If he keeps this up, I think he's a 15-20 mpg type guy. But at the very least he seems ready to be a regular rotation member moving forward. Which brings us to...


The rebounding thing is a concern. We gave up multiple offensive rebounds on a single possession a few times this week. Our opponents were playing volleyball against us. Our big guys have to be very careful when drawn out of the paint. We need our wings to rotate down in those instances and help clog things up and get a body on people.

The good news is Marshall is a viable option when Amile and Jabari are out. The other good news is Jabari had a monster rebound in the lane, in traffic at the end of the Cuse game. It was a big rebound, a big stop and he's clutch.

vick
02-23-2014, 03:18 PM
Well, so far (we're over halfway through this 7-game phase), we're seeing some answers:

1. Health has not been a problem so far.

2. Our stretch of dominance has wavered. No surprise there as we've only played one team against whom we might have anticipated dominating (Maryland at home). Let's see what happens over the next 2 games leading up to the UNC home game.

3. We haven't had that game where everyone is clicking. Hopefully it is still in store down the stretch. And hopefully it comes against UNC and/or in the next few phases.

4. Point guard play has been a bit of an issue. Cook hasn't quite found his game as a playmaker with any sort of consistency. Sulaimon has looked good at times and shaky at others. That's going to continue to be something to watch down the stretch.

5. Parker has emphatically re-emerged. He's averaged 18.75 ppg and 10.75 rpg in this phase while shooting 50% from the field and going to the line at least 6 times in each game. That aggressiveness to the rim is what we've been looking for. He needs to continue to do that and not fall back in love with the long jumpers.

6. Well, so much for the rebounding dominance, as we have been outrebounded in all 4 of our games so far in this phase. The rebound differential wound up close in the Cuse game, but we were blown away on the glass by UNC (a big part of our loss along with our terrible shooting). We need to keep it close on the glass if we're going to realistically make it deep in the tourney. So hopefully the next topic will help us in that regard...

7. Plumlee has emphatically answered any questions about his knee. He has put up back to back strong efforts and has been rewarded with the most playing time over a two-game stretch in his career. He's in the right spots defensively (hedging and recovering REALLY well), he's getting rebounds, and he's even functional on offense. I'd say he's been our best C over the past two games. If he keeps this up, I think he's a 15-20 mpg type guy. But at the very least he seems ready to be a regular rotation member moving forward. Which brings us to...

8. The rotation. There was a brief return of the line change early in this phase. So some folks were excited. However, over the last two games, we've gotten a glimpse of what is likely to come once we reach the tourneys. Coach K has reverted to the 7.5 man rotation, with Jones getting basically squeezed out (joining Hairston and Ojeleye) and Dawkins getting spot minutes. I suspect that Coach K is simply willing to use Dawkins as a "heat check" player. If Dawkins comes in and hits some 3s, he will get more run. If he comes in and doesn't give us a quick spark, he'll play 5-10 mpg. I think Coach K is more than willing to go to battle with a quartet of Cook, Sulaimon, Thornton, and Hood as our 3-man perimeter rotation if Dawkins isn't bombing home 3s. I think we've established our top-7, and Dawkins can make it 8 if he starts hitting shots again.

9. Well, our week 2 of the NCAA tourney preview ended with mixed reviews. We lost a close one to UNC in a Sweet-16 type game, but we returned with a win over Syracuse in an elite-8 type game. I'll take that as a promising sign regarding our team's chances of making it to the Final Four. We've now clearly proven we're capable of beating a 1- or 2-seed with our close games against Kansas and Syracuse. We're probably going to be a 2- or 3-seed in the tourney unless we win out and claim another ACC title. So a win over a 1- and/or 2-seed may wind up necessary come the second weekend of the tourney.

10. We're technically still in 3rd in the ACC by virtue of having played one more ACC game than UNC. If UNC beats State and VT like they should this week, we'll be in 4th. But thankfully, we have a virtual two-game lead over Pitt (thanks to our win at Pitt). So unless something really unexpected happens against VT or at Wake, we'll be the #4 seed at worst. It's going to come down to the UNC game to decide whether we get the #3 seed.

I agree with most of your post, but I don't think we should ink in a win for UNC against State just yet. Pomeroy has it a 4 point spread, Sagarin predictor 5, Massey 4. So they'll be favored, but not hugely.

arnie
02-23-2014, 04:17 PM
I agree with most of your post, but I don't think we should ink in a win for UNC against State just yet. Pomeroy has it a 4 point spread, Sagarin predictor 5, Massey 4. So they'll be favored, but not hugely.

Wish you were right; but Sagarin, Pomeroy, Massey don't factor in the Woe is Me problem with the Pack. Roy has their number and I think it takes a miracle for Heels to lose this one. We'll need to take care of business at Cameron in 2 weeks.

CDu
02-23-2014, 04:30 PM
I agree with most of your post, but I don't think we should ink in a win for UNC against State just yet. Pomeroy has it a 4 point spread, Sagarin predictor 5, Massey 4. So they'll be favored, but not hugely.

UNC is favored by the various systems. Those systems are based on the full season's worth of work. UNC has been playing much better lately. I expect them to win that game. I will not be surprised if they win it quite comfortably.

Regardless, even if UNC loses that game, they have two games they should easily win (@VT and vs ND). So the Duke/UNC rematch will almost certainly decide the #3/#4 seeds. I can't see either team losing 2 games before we play again, so it is going to come down to that game.

jv001
02-24-2014, 07:40 AM
Good Phase V(ish), Cdu. I agree about our lack of rebounding in this phase. Amile did not rebound like he did in the other phases and that came from playing against big front lines and a Cuse team that's a good offensive rebounding team. The one silver lining is the development of Marshall. Like you mentioned, he seems to be recovered from his past injuries(ankle & knee). I look for Coach K to use him more and I see no reason for him to regress. He played well against two good front lines(unc & Cuse). My main concern is the point guard play of Quinn and Rasheed. They have been inconsistent on offense but both are playing very good defense. So if I'd have my druthers, I'll take the good defense. GoDuke!

nocilla
02-24-2014, 07:46 AM
Regardless, even if UNC loses that game, they have two games they should easily win (@VT and vs ND). So the Duke/UNC rematch will almost certainly decide the #3/#4 seeds. I can't see either team losing 2 games before we play again, so it is going to come down to that game.

It appears that the winner of the Duke/UNC game will get the #3 seed with most likely Syracuse as the #2. While the loser will be the #4 seed with #1 UVA. I certainly want to beat UNC regardless of tournament seedings, but would we rather potentially face Syracuse or UVA in the semi-finals?

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 10:04 AM
The rebounding thing is a concern. We gave up multiple offensive rebounds on a single possession a few times this week. Our opponents were playing volleyball against us. Our big guys have to be very careful when drawn out of the paint. We need our wings to rotate down in those instances and help clog things up and get a body on people.

The good news is Marshall is a viable option when Amile and Jabari are out. The other good news is Jabari had a monster rebound in the lane, in traffic at the end of the Cuse game. It was a big rebound, a big stop and he's clutch.

I agree Marshall has looked great in the past three games. And his presence seems to make our offensive rebounding worlds better. But coincidence or not, on the defensive end our team has rebounded a lot worse in games in which Marshall has played 10 or more minutes.

Marshall has played 10+ minutes in 9 games (including Eastern Michigan and Elon). In those 9 games, here are aggregate rebounding percentages:

OR%: 39.0%
DR%: 66.4%

In the other 19 games, here are our aggregate rebounding percentages:

OR%: 30.5%
DR%: 69.7%

So, in games where Marshall has played a big role, our offensive rebounding is almost at 2010 levels (that team collected 40.6% of available offensive rebounds), and when Marshall hasn't played so much our OR% would be the 2nd worst offensive rebounding performance in Coach K's tenure.

But on the defensive side, in games when Marshall has played fewer than 10 minutes our DR% would be the best in Coach K's time here, while in the games Marshall has played a lot our DR% would rank around 280th in the country.

I understand Marshall appears to box out well and, sure, nine games isn't the biggest sample in the world, and those nine games include three games against outstanding offensive rebounding teams (UNC, Syracuse). But the Marshall sample also includes Eastern Michigan and Elon. I also know CDu and others have told me I'm crazy to think we're a worse defensive rebounding team with Marshall than without him, but at least right now I still think it's true.

He's been advancing so rapidly recently that maybe he'll get better in this area as well. I hope so. I noticed he pulled down a couple monster defensive boards against Syracuse the other day. My point is just if your worry is that opponents are playing volleyball against us, Marshall may not be quite the good news that his 7 foot frame would suggest.

CDu
02-24-2014, 10:23 AM
I agree Marshall has looked great in the past three games. And his presence seems to make our offensive rebounding worlds better. But coincidence or not, on the defensive end our team has rebounded a lot worse in games in which Marshall has played 10 or more minutes.

Marshall has played 10+ minutes in 9 games (including Eastern Michigan and Elon). In those 9 games, here are aggregate rebounding percentages:

OR%: 39.0%
DR%: 66.4%

In the other 19 games, here are our aggregate rebounding percentages:

OR%: 30.5%
DR%: 69.7%

So, in games where Marshall has played a big role, our offensive rebounding is almost at 2010 levels (that team collected 40.6% of available offensive rebounds), and when Marshall hasn't played so much our OR% would be the 2nd worst offensive rebounding performance in Coach K's tenure.

But on the defensive side, in games when Marshall has played fewer than 10 minutes our DR% would be the best in Coach K's time here, while in the games Marshall has played a lot our DR% would rank around 280th in the country.

I understand Marshall appears to box out well and, sure, nine games isn't the biggest sample in the world, and those nine games include three games against outstanding offensive rebounding teams (UNC, Syracuse). But the Marshall sample also includes Eastern Michigan and Elon. I also know CDu and others have told me I'm crazy to think we're a worse defensive rebounding team with Marshall than without him, but at least right now I still think it's true.

He's been advancing so rapidly recently that maybe he'll get better in this area as well. I hope so. I noticed he pulled down a couple monster defensive boards against Syracuse the other day. My point is just if your worry is that opponents are playing volleyball against us, Marshall may not be quite the good news that his 7 foot frame would suggest.

Your data provide incomplete information. Specifically, you are ignoring the opponents faced in those two samples of games. They are not equivalent samples. Plumlee didn't play a 10-minute game until we faced Eastern Michigan. That means he didn't play big minutes against most of the patsies on our schedule. That inflates the numbers, as he did not play big minutes against Vermont, UNC-A, FIU, Davidson, or Gardner-Webb.

Conversely, let's look at the games in which he DID play 10 minutes per game or more: EMU, Elon, UVa, State, FSU, @Pitt, @Syracuse, @UNC, vs Syracuse. That's 3 games against arguably the best offensive rebounding teams we've faced all season (Syracuse and UNC). When 1/3 of the sample is against the toughest teams we've faced, that's going to skew the results, don't you think? In the other six games (which include some typically good rebounding teams in FSU and Pitt), we won the rebounding battle in all but the UVa game. And we absolutely killed FSU on the glass.

So when you take into account what makes up those two samples, I don't think a direct comparison is fair. It just isn't an apples-to-apples comparison.

Also, you've completely misstated the bolded argument above. You made an off-hand comment that you thought that a team with Cook/Thornton/Sulaimon/Dawkins in place of Plumlee could be a better rebounding team than with Plumlee. That's what I said was crazy. I make no argument that we're a better rebounding team with Plumlee than with Jefferson. Although over the past two games (small sample size caveat), that argument would be correct.

COYS
02-24-2014, 10:49 AM
Other posters have already mentioned this, but for me it's still the most important thing going forward. The team has gone through so many different phases this year. We had the early season success on offense with Jabari and Rodney hitting every jump shot they took while the team as a whole played poor defense. We had the games after the death of K's brother when Jabari slumped and the team continued to play poor defense. Then, after the win against UVA, we went on a stretch where we beat the crap out of a few teams, including pulling away against Pitt on the road and trouncing Miami @ Miami, played amazingly but lost @ Syracuse. Jabari slowly got his legs back during this stretch. The defense started out really good during that stretch, but slumped a bit by the end of it. Since then, we've entered a new phase where the defense has actually been pretty dang good. We played good D on Maryland, great D @GaTech, and good D against 'Cuse. Even in the loss @UNC the defense was pretty solid. Unfortunately, the offense has slumped during this stretch.

All along we've also seen individual players go through ups and downs. Rasheed, of course, started the year on the bench, even logged a DNP-CD, but has bounced back to become a key player. Marshall had trouble beating out Josh for minutes. Now Marshall seems to have emerged as a key bench contributor while Josh's minutes have been scant. Jabari was and unstoppable offensive force at the start of the year, logged a few single digit games, then a few inefficient double digit games. Recently, however, he's remade his game as an inside-out player (rather than an outside-in threat) and has regained some of that efficiency. Rodney has gone through a few off games. Andre looked to establish himself as a double digit scorer for a while, but has been very quiet of late. Quinn was leading the most efficient offense in the land before he suffered an ankle injury, went into a slump, and has yet to look quite as good since. Amile was a force on the boards, but has battled foul trouble and had a few sub par (by his standards of consistency) games.

What I would love to see during the rest of this phase is for the defense to continue to play well, and for the offense to reemerge. Basically, I hope the team can start to put it all together, individually and collectively. We've proven that we can be the best offensive force in the land (and, possibly, the best offensive force of the past ten years). We've proven that we are capable of playing good defense. Meanwhile, Jabari, Rodney, Andre, Quinn, Amile, Rasheed, and Marshall have all shown that they can fill their roles at an elite level at times. However, at no point thus far have all of those guys played at a high level at the same time. If they, along with Tyler, can all play defense well while also playing consistently in offense, the team really has the look of a Final Four squad.

To be quite honest, with better free throw shooting and a few more made threes from Andre, Rodney and Quinn, the win against 'Cuse might have been proof that we can put both dominant offense and good defense together against a really good team (and as Kedsy has noted, our performance against Syracuse on offense ranks as a top 3 performance against Syracuse this year with our first game performance being number 1). Despite the recent dip in form on offense, I think we might be closer to having a great team than we think, despite the close win against Maryland and the loss to UNC. I hope the team proves me right over the final regular season match-ups.

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 10:58 AM
Specifically, you are ignoring the opponents faced in those two samples of games. They are not equivalent samples. Plumlee didn't play a 10-minute game until we faced Eastern Michigan. That means he didn't play big minutes against most of the patsies on our schedule. That inflates the numbers, as he did not play big minutes against Vermont, UNC-A, FIU, Davidson, or Gardner-Webb.

Actually, I didn't ignore it at all. I explicitly mentioned that 3 of the 9 games were against UNC and Syracuse.

That said, UNCA is ranked #60 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, so they're not exactly a "patsy" in that area, and FIU has the same offensive rebounding percentage as NC State (a team on Marshall's list). But even counting all your patsies as patsies, they represent 26% of the teams on the "not Marshall" list and 22% of the teams on the Marshall list. Doesn't sound so different to me. And the non-Marshall list includes several games against very strong offensive rebounding teams like Arizona and Kansas. So while there might be a slight skew, it's not nearly as bad as you state.

Also, we "absolutely killed" FSU on the offensive glass (we got an amazing 61.4% of available offensive rebounds). Our defensive rebounding percentage in that game was 74%, which is really good, but I wouldn't put in absolute kill territory.


Also, you've completely misstated the bolded argument above. You made an off-hand comment that you thought that a team with Cook/Thornton/Sulaimon/Dawkins in place of Plumlee could be a better rebounding team than with Plumlee. That's what I said was crazy. I make no argument that we're a better rebounding team with Plumlee than with Jefferson. Although over the past two games (small sample size caveat), that argument would be correct.

I said putting Marshall in a lineup with Amile and Jabari (and thus moving Jabari to the wing, away from the basket) would possibly rebound worse on the defensive end. It may be crazy but I still think it's true.

Also, Amile had a poor rebounding game against UNC. Against Syracuse, his DR% (19.5%) was better than Marshall's (16.1%). And, yeah, "small sample size caveat" is a bit of an understatement here.

CDu
02-24-2014, 11:12 AM
Actually, I didn't ignore it at all. I explicitly mentioned that 3 of the 9 games were against UNC and Syracuse.

Your data ignored it, and you made your argument off of that data. Which was my point.


That said, UNCA is ranked #60 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, so they're not exactly a "patsy" in that area, and FIU has the same offensive rebounding percentage as NC State (a team on Marshall's list). But even counting all your patsies as patsies, they represent 26% of the teams on the "not Marshall" list and 22% of the teams on the Marshall list. Doesn't sound so different to me.

UNC-A and FIU have played much inferior (and almost certainly smaller) competition than the ACC. As such, their rebound percentages are inflated relative to teams that play bigger and better opponents. So, yes, UNC-A and FIU are much more in the "patsy" category than State.


And the non-Marshall list includes several games against very strong offensive rebounding teams like Arizona and Kansas. So while there might be a slight skew, it's not nearly as bad as you state.

So we played 2 really strong rebounding teams in the 19 games (~10%) that Plumlee didn't play 10 minutes. We played 3 really strong rebounding teams in the 9 games (33%) that Plumlee did play 10+ minutes. And you don't think that skews things substantially?


Also, we "absolutely killed" FSU on the offensive glass (we got an amazing 61.4% of available offensive rebounds). Our defensive rebounding percentage in that game was 74%, which is really good, but I wouldn't put in absolute kill territory.

And 74% is far better than our season average (with or without Plumlee), is it not?


I said putting Marshall in a lineup with Amile and Jabari (and thus moving Jabari to the wing, away from the basket) would possibly rebound worse on the defensive end. It may be crazy but I still think it's true.

Right. So you essentially said that a lineup with one of Cook/Sulaimon/Thornton/Dawkins/Jones in the game in place of Plumlee would possibly be a worse rebounding team (since the entire debate was defensive rebounding, I left that out as a given that we were talking defensive rebounding). I can't possibly imagine why you would think that we'd suddenly be a worse rebounding team with, say, Jones on the floor in place of Plumlee.

The argument that "Parker would be stuck on the perimeter" doesn't really hold water to me. You do realize how many times we have 3 guys around the basket when it comes time for defensive rebounds, right? Wouldn't you rather that third guy be Plumlee rather than Jones?

There are a lot of reasons why I don't think a Plumlee/Jefferson/Parker trio on the floor would work. Defensive rebounds just isn't one of them. And quoting individual rebound percentages just doesn't seem like the way to do that.


Also, Amile had a poor rebounding game against UNC. Against Syracuse, his DR% (19.5%) was better than Marshall's (16.1%). And, yeah, "small sample size caveat" is a bit of an understatement here.

I said "over the past two games," not "in each of the past two games." And as I said, I'm not making that argument in general. I was just noting the 2-game sample.

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 11:43 AM
So, yes, UNC-A and FIU are much more in the "patsy" category than State.

OK, like I said, if you count them as patsies the "patsy percentage" is 26% with "less Marshall" and 22% with "more Marshall." Essentially no difference.


So we played 2 really strong rebounding teams in the 19 games (~10%) that Plumlee didn't play 10 minutes. We played 3 really strong rebounding teams in the 9 games (33%) that Plumlee did play 10+ minutes. And you don't think that skews things substantially?

Honestly, I'm not good enough with statistics to do a full regression on how much it skews things. My guess is it doesn't skew it nearly enough to account for the difference between 69.7% over 19 games against 66.4% over 9 games. But that's just a guess, I really don't know. If you're better with statistics than I am and can provide more than a guess, please do.


And 74% is far better than our season average (with or without Plumlee), is it not?

Like I said, it's really good. But you said we "absolutely killed" FSU on the boards. If FSU had gotten just two more offensive rebounds in the game, our DR% would have been below our season average. That's not a kill to me.


Right. So you essentially said that a lineup with one of Cook/Sulaimon/Thornton/Dawkins/Jones in the game in place of Plumlee would possibly be a worse rebounding team (since the entire debate was defensive rebounding, I left that out as a given that we were talking defensive rebounding). I can't possibly imagine why you would think that we'd suddenly be a worse rebounding team with, say, Jones on the floor in place of Plumlee.

The argument that "Parker would be stuck on the perimeter" doesn't really hold water to me. You do realize how many times we have 3 guys around the basket when it comes time for defensive rebounds, right? Wouldn't you rather that third guy be Plumlee rather than Jones?

I don't know. That's why I said "might." I do know that Marshall only grabs 13.6% of available defensive rebounds while Andre grabs 10.6% and Matt grabs 8.8%. I realize rebounding is a team thing so individual rebounding percentages is not definitive, but it seems to me the 3% (or 5%) that Marshall outrebounds our taller guards (which I believe is just 1 or 2 rebounds in a game) could easily be overshadowed by the decreased rebounding opportunities for Jabari if he's guarding someone at the three-point line.

Saratoga2
02-24-2014, 12:05 PM
Thanks for keeping this thread open. My ideas of important aspect going to the end of this phase are as follows:

1.) The emergence of Marshall in this phase has given us something we just didn't have before. A big who could match up with opponent centers. Amile is a good player, but is not strong enough to keep big bodies from forcing their way inside. When he tried, he picked up fouls forcing Jabari to provide defense inside. Marshall sets screens, get offensive rebounds, handles the ball fairly well and can get dunks if our guards would put him in the plan. Rasheed has been the only one to date to do that and it worked. Marshall has also shown himself to disrupt opponent offenses. He hedges, he is hard to shoot over, can block and boxes out well on rebounds. I think he could to be even more effective if he provided help defense going for blocks and was more aggressive going for defensive rebounds.

2.) Jabari has improved his game in this phase and as others indicate, he is looking to score inside but is also getting more open looks outside. The variety in his game is very difficult for others to stop. His rebounding is excellent and his defense improving. With Rodney, they have improved as a one two punch that opponents can't seem to stop.

3.) Rodney has also found that he can score well against the zone by getting to the top of the key and using shot fakes, and/or his size to get effective shots off. His defense has also been improving. Solving the opponents zone defense has been a big development for the team in this phase. The 1-3-1 zone still gives us fits and has not been solved.

4.) Despite having 5 usable guards, we have seen and inconsistent effectiveness from their offense in this phase. The defensive aspects have been very good and getting better. Quinn and Rasheed work well together defensively and Tyler does a good job defensively with the exception of occasional foolish fouls. Matt is a very good defender with size and might be trusted to handle the ball more. Hope this phase doesn't signal cutting Matt out of the substitution plan going forward.

Our slashing into the zones we see has resulted in too many turnovers. Quinn tends to commit to a shot when he does penetrate. Andre has taken threes that were not high percentage shots. I would like to see the guards start the offense earlier and keep it moving, looking for opportunities to feed Jabari, Rodney, Amile or even Marshall, while trying also to set up threes. The dribbling and passing back and forth on the outside followed by a one on one slashing attempt has been ineffective.

Looking forward to the next three games and how the team plays offense against UNC.

fuse
02-24-2014, 12:09 PM
Not sure this belongs here, but one other aspect of this phase that is intriguing to me is the time in between the end of the regular season and the ACC tournament.

Maybe its not but it feels longer than normal.
How will the team use this time? Rest? New wrinkles on offense/defense?

Lots of exciting possibilities!

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 12:22 PM
Not sure this belongs here, but one other aspect of this phase that is intriguing to me is the time in between the end of the regular season and the ACC tournament.

Maybe its not but it feels longer than normal.
How will the team use this time? Rest? New wrinkles on offense/defense?

Lots of exciting possibilities!

We usually play our last regular season game against UNC on a Saturday (or Sunday) and the ACC tournament starts the following Wednesday or Thursday, so I think it's exactly the same as always.

What's unusually long is the 8-day break after tomorrow's game until next Wednesday's game at Wake Forest.

jv001
02-24-2014, 12:27 PM
One thing I've noticed is that Coach K has used Amile and Marshall together. In some instances, it was because of foul trouble but in others not. I didn't think it would work. But so far, so good. Coach K was asked about the key 3 pointers from Quinn. He seemed to hesitate for a second and then he said that Quinn needs to shoot and I agree. But I believe he's best suited for an assisted three pointer. He doesn't need to dribble the clock down and shoot a contested three. Matter of fact, he doesn't need to take a driving contested shot after dribbling so much. Quinn is a good shooter if he takes the right shot and like I said his defense against the tarheels and Cuse was great. I saw no head dropping either and that's great news. As for his assists, they are down but I don't think Quinn is down. He's going to get it back at the right time. Like many have said, I'm waiting on all the players to begin clicking at the same time. GoDuke!

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
02-24-2014, 12:28 PM
I swear, if we didn't have MP3 to argue about this season, this board would have 50% fewer posts.

--back on topic

I'm pleased with development through this phase thus far. I think there might have been an element of posters on this board who might have expected Duke to ride their winning streak and continue barreling through the competition, but I'm very pleased with the 3-1 outcome of the last week, I'm glad to only have ONE game this week, and I expect that K will add a wrinkle or two between now and the ACC tournament.

Troublemaker
02-24-2014, 12:41 PM
Solving the opponents zone defense has been a big development for the team in this phase. The 1-3-1 zone still gives us fits and has not been solved.

The 2-3 zone has been solved since the 2nd half of the UCLA game. Duke put up an incredible 1.31 ppp in the Carrier Dome, for example.

You are correct that the 1-3-1 has given us some trouble. Overall, though, we've probably played fewer than a dozen possessions against it between the MD and UNC games. And even in the UNC game, we got two wide-open threes by Rodney and Quinn against the 1-3-1 that both rimmed out. I don't know how I feel about those two shots, though. Watching them live, I didn't "feel" like those shots were gonna go in -- even though they were wide-open -- because we had been in such an offensive rut. But I bet Duke's philosophy is something like "shooters gotta shoot (wide-open shots)."

CDu
02-24-2014, 12:54 PM
Honestly, I'm not good enough with statistics to do a full regression on how much it skews things. My guess is it doesn't skew it nearly enough to account for the difference between 69.7% over 19 games against 66.4% over 9 games. But that's just a guess, I really don't know. If you're better with statistics than I am and can provide more than a guess, please do.

Here's a breakdown of the ESPN box scores. For the 19 games "without Plumlee", I get a total of 446 defensive rebounds out of 640 chances.* That's a 69.7% defensive rebound percentage. In the 9 games "with Plumlee", I get 211 defensive rebounds out of 314 chances,* for a percentage of 67.2%. The 90% confidence interval (assuming a beta distribution) around these numbers is (66.7%-72.6%) for the "without" scenario and (62.8%-71.5%) in the "with" scenario.

So my first point would be that you are overstating the significance of the difference between our rebound percentage in the two scenarios. The difference does not come close to passing any reasonable confidence interval. It's essentially 6 rebounds' difference in the 9 games "with" scenario from being equivalent.

Now, if you take out the Syracuse, UNC, Kansas, and Arizona games, the results look like this:
"without" Plumlee: 69.8% (66.6%-72.9%)
"with" Plumlee: 72.0% (66.8%-76.9%)

So I can confidently say the following:
1. the difference in defensive rebounding percentage is not statistically significant at any reasonable confidence interval; and
2. the games against really good offensive rebounding teams absolutely does skew the results.

So, back to my original point, I don't think the overall team rebounding percentages in games with and without Plumlee come close to telling the story, and I would thus not use those numbers to make any strong claims on the issue.

* I used ESPN's numbers, which don't take into account "team rebounds". But I doubt those drastically affect the results one way or the other.

jv001
02-24-2014, 01:02 PM
Could it be that we're a better rebounding team because Marshall has improved and is now close to being 100% healthy and we now have three good rebounders. Jabari has improved his rebounding since the beginning of the year as well as anyone in the country. GoDuke!

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 01:28 PM
* I used ESPN's numbers, which don't take into account "team rebounds". But I doubt those drastically affect the results one way or the other.

I used statsheet and those numbers had us with only 204 defensive rebounds, which comes to 66.4%. No idea if that makes a difference or not. Obviously the confidence intervals would be further apart, but based on what you're saying it doesn't seem like they'd be apart enough.

That said, I wouldn't think simply removing the games is the proper way to tell how much they matter. Wouldn't you have to measure how close we were to the other teams' averages? For example, UNC has an OR% of 38.8% but against us they grabbed 44.1% of available offensive rebounds. Syracuse has an OR% of 39.0% but in their two games against us they grabbed 44.4% and 41.0%. So, we did worse than expected in all three games.

By contrast, Arizona has an OR% of 38.3% but against us they only got 30.7%. Kansas averages 37.7% but against us only got 32.1%. So in those games we did better than expected in both games.

So I'm not sure your analysis tells the whole story, either.

EDIT: Also, why did you choose 90% confidence interval? That sounds pretty big to me, but as I said before, my statistics knowledge isn't very good, so maybe it's right on. I was just curious.

CDu
02-24-2014, 01:42 PM
I used statsheet and those numbers had us with only 204 defensive rebounds, which comes to 66.4%. No idea if that makes a difference or not. Obviously the confidence intervals would be further apart, but based on what you're saying it doesn't seem like they'd be apart enough.

Even making that adjustment (whether or not statsheet is correct, I don't know), the confidence interval still easily envelopes both estimates.


That said, I wouldn't think simply removing the games is the proper way to tell how much they matter. Wouldn't you have to measure how close we were to the other teams' averages? For example, UNC has an OR% of 38.8% but against us they grabbed 44.1% of available offensive rebounds. Syracuse has an OR% of 39.0% but in their two games against us they grabbed 44.4% and 41.0%. So, we did worse than expected in all three games.

By contrast, Arizona has an OR% of 38.3% but against us they only got 30.7%. Kansas averages 37.7% but against us only got 32.1%. So in those games we did better than expected in both games.

So I'm not sure your analysis tells the whole story, either.

First of all, I wasn't suggesting that removing those games is scientifically sound. I was just using a quick-and-dirty approach to show how influential those games are to the story.

And I certainly didn't mean to suggest my simple analysis tells the whole story. That was never my intention. My point was simply to point out that simply taking overall rebound percentages doesn't tell the story. And my analysis does do that.

If you want to make the argument that we are a worse rebounding team with Plumlee on the floor than we are when he's not on the floor, then you're going to have to take a LOT into account, including (but not limited to):
- opponents' rebound percentage
- our rebound percentage
- some estimate of our expected rebound percentage given the two bullets above
- probably a bunch of other stuff, too, including the minutes distribution for teammates (as that will influence team rebounding percentages too)
- probably want to factor in time between games, as one could certainly make the argument that fatigue may have played a part in the team's rebounding woes against UNC and Syracuse.

Ideally, we'd break it down even further and do a regression considering the number of minutes Plumlee plays in each game, because a simple dichotomous "over or under 10 minutes" is pretty arbitrary (not complaining: that number was understandably chosen for convenience).

My only point was that you shouldn't make that case based on rebound percentages without considering the wealth of other factors that play into it (beyond just the additional 6-8 minutes per game difference in Plumlee's average playing time).

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 01:45 PM
Even making that adjustment (whether or not statsheet is correct, I don't know), the confidence interval still easily envelopes both estimates.

I just checked against the GoDuke box scores, and the statsheet number appears to be correct.


My only point was that you shouldn't make that case based on rebound percentages without considering the wealth of other factors that play into it (beyond just the additional 6-8 minutes per game difference in Plumlee's average playing time).

I can agree with that. My basic point was we shouldn't assume we're a better rebounding team with him just because he is 7 feet tall.

CDu
02-24-2014, 01:46 PM
EDIT: Also, why did you choose 90% confidence interval? That sounds pretty big to me, but as I said before, my statistics knowledge isn't very good, so maybe it's right on. I was just curious.

Actually, a 95% confidence interval is standard statistical practice for making a claim that one value is significantly different than the other. I went with a looser definition to be less restrictive on the possibility that there is a significant difference.

CDu
02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
I can agree with that. My basic point was we shouldn't assume we're a better rebounding team with him just because he is 7 feet tall.

And I would agree with that argument. My disagreement was with the argument that you made instead (that we are a worse rebounding team with him). If you're willing to revise that to say that we're not a clearly better or worse defensive rebounding team with Plumlee than without, then I completely agree. It would take too much work to tease out all of the variables to determine whether we're better or worse at defensive rebounding with him on the floor.

On the other hand, the confidence intervals for the offensive rebounding do suggest that we are a better offensive rebounding team with Plumlee on the floor than without. So I would posit the argument that we are in fact a better overall rebounding team overall with Plumlee than without. But I realize that wasn't the real point of discussion there.

Kedsy
02-24-2014, 02:33 PM
On the other hand, the confidence intervals for the offensive rebounding do suggest that we are a better offensive rebounding team with Plumlee on the floor than without.

Completely agree with the above statement. I mentioned this in another thread, but offensive rebounding prowess has a potentially interesting correlation to Duke post-season success. Here are the top ten Duke offensive rebounding teams since 1986-87:

1999: 44.3% (3rd in the country)
1990: 40.9%
2010: 40.6% (6th)
1988: 40.5%
1998: 39.7% (39th)
1992: 39.5%
2004: 39.2% (16th)
1996: 38.3%
1991: 38.0%
1994: 38.0%

That's 8 Final Four teams, one Elite Eight team and only one false positive. And the only reason the 1986 team isn't on the list is because offensive rebounds weren't kept as a stat that year. Based on the overall rebound percentage of the '86 team I'm fairly confident that team would be on this list, meaning 9 of our 11 Final Four teams (including 3 of our 4 national champions) have had offensive rebounding percentages of 38.0% or better and only one such team fell short of the Elite Eight.

In games Marshall has played 10+ minutes, our team has on OR% of 39.0%, so while these sorts of things obviously don't really predict the future, I think continuing our great play on the offensive boards would be a good thing.

superdave
02-27-2014, 09:22 AM
Vs Virgina Tech Tuesday night, Duke's perimeter pressure was pretty good. We picked up full court and tried to force the ball out of the primary ballhandlers hands. We did this vs NC State as well MLK weekend.

Is this a game specific strategy vs a weaker ball-handling team? Or is this a trend we may see the final 4-5 weeks of the season? It would certainly work vs Nate Britt and put more pressure on Paige.

Also, we saw a big help trap on a number of possessions. It seems like we've done this a few other times this year. These opportunistic traps seem to have worked better than our full-court pressure this season. I will be interested in whether we see this going forward as well.

Quinn only played 11 minutes Tuesday. Rasheed and Tyler provided the perimeter pressure and got into the passing lanes. However, Quinn played bigger minutes vs Unc last week and really played a great defensive game for about 3/4 of that game. I am not sure if Quinn is still hobbled or if we will see matchups dictate playing time a lot.

This seems like a lot of scheme and lineup variability this late in the season.

COYS
02-27-2014, 10:09 AM
This seems like a lot of scheme and lineup variability this late in the season.

This is what makes this season and this team so interesting. It's hard for me to think of a parallel from past teams. We've certainly seen K alter lineups late in the season. 2001 after the Boozer injury being an example as well as 2010 after Zoubek's emergence as a consistent force. However, 2001 was necessitated by injury while 2010 did not involve a chance for our three primary leaders Kyle, Nolan, and Jon.

While Jabari and Rodney seem to be locked in as starters, it is interesting to think that, as of right now, there is still so much variability as to the rest of the rotation. Will Amile rebound from a mini-sump after a week of rest and go back to demanding 25-30 minutes of post time or will we see him continue to play diminished minutes? Can Quinn reclaim a starting spot? Will Andre move from the 8-12 minutes he's been getting to something closer to the 15-20 minutes he was getting earlier and will he get back on track with his three point shooting? Marshall has been playing great. Does his role continue to grow or does he remain where he currently is as a big boost of the bench? I can see a scenario where Duke goes into the tournament and Coach K leans on Tyler, Rasheed, Jabari, Rodney, and Amile for heavy minutes. I can also see a scenario where Quinn returns to form and supplants some of Tyler and Rasheed's minutes. There's also the possibility that Andre just can't miss and demands 15-20 minutes per game.

It is just a different scenario than what we've seen with most recent Duke teams.

Kedsy
02-27-2014, 10:21 AM
It is just a different scenario than what we've seen with most recent Duke teams.

It's called depth and I suppose this is what Coach K meant at the beginning of the season when he said he'd be using his depth more this season.

I suspect similar scenarios will be unfolding next season as well, for the same reason.

superdave
02-27-2014, 01:54 PM
This is what makes this season and this team so interesting. It's hard for me to think of a parallel from past teams. We've certainly seen K alter lineups late in the season. 2001 after the Boozer injury being an example as well as 2010 after Zoubek's emergence as a consistent force. However, 2001 was necessitated by injury while 2010 did not involve a chance for our three primary leaders Kyle, Nolan, and Jon.

While Jabari and Rodney seem to be locked in as starters, it is interesting to think that, as of right now, there is still so much variability as to the rest of the rotation. Will Amile rebound from a mini-sump after a week of rest and go back to demanding 25-30 minutes of post time or will we see him continue to play diminished minutes? Can Quinn reclaim a starting spot? Will Andre move from the 8-12 minutes he's been getting to something closer to the 15-20 minutes he was getting earlier and will he get back on track with his three point shooting? Marshall has been playing great. Does his role continue to grow or does he remain where he currently is as a big boost of the bench? I can see a scenario where Duke goes into the tournament and Coach K leans on Tyler, Rasheed, Jabari, Rodney, and Amile for heavy minutes. I can also see a scenario where Quinn returns to form and supplants some of Tyler and Rasheed's minutes. There's also the possibility that Andre just can't miss and demands 15-20 minutes per game.

It is just a different scenario than what we've seen with most recent Duke teams.


It's called depth and I suppose this is what Coach K meant at the beginning of the season when he said he'd be using his depth more this season.

I suspect similar scenarios will be unfolding next season as well, for the same reason.

I could be convinced that we should go back to the platoon substitutions for the first 12 minutes of each game. It would do two things: Keep our defensive energy high and help us identify who has the hot hand.

I am sure that's easy to do vs the Wakes and VaTechs of the world. Maybe a little harder to justify in the Sweet 16 or ACCT championship game. But it really did invigorate our team after some ugly outings.

But at a minimum, Coach K has options and a willingness to use them.

I still really want to see a consistent use of the trap (since the press never took off).

jv001
02-27-2014, 02:24 PM
Vs Virgina Tech Tuesday night, Duke's perimeter pressure was pretty good. We picked up full court and tried to force the ball out of the primary ballhandlers hands. We did this vs NC State as well MLK weekend.

Is this a game specific strategy vs a weaker ball-handling team? Or is this a trend we may see the final 4-5 weeks of the season? It would certainly work vs Nate Britt and put more pressure on Paige.

Also, we saw a big help trap on a number of possessions. It seems like we've done this a few other times this year. These opportunistic traps seem to have worked better than our full-court pressure this season. I will be interested in whether we see this going forward as well.

Quinn only played 11 minutes Tuesday. Rasheed and Tyler provided the perimeter pressure and got into the passing lanes. However, Quinn played bigger minutes vs Unc last week and really played a great defensive game for about 3/4 of that game. I am not sure if Quinn is still hobbled or if we will see matchups dictate playing time a lot.

This seems like a lot of scheme and lineup variability this late in the season.

We put pressure on GT as well. Many times making them start their offense way out, almost to the half court line. I could see us trying it against unc, as long as we don't leave Paige open for 3s. Controlling Marcus is the key in winning against the tar heels. GoDuke!

CDu
03-06-2014, 01:55 PM
As we near the end of this phase, I'm going to write up a pre-requiem for the phase.

1. Health: Injuries were not a factor in this phase. Shocking, but true.

2. Continue the dominance: Not only have we not continued the dominance, but we've barely shown ANY dominance in this phase. We blew out the tech schools as expected. But we squeaked by Maryland at home, lost at UNC and at Wake, and squeaked by Syracuse at home. Our offensive juggernaut has fallen on hard times, and we topped 70 points just once in the past 6 games. Anyone care to venture a guess as to the last time we had a 5-game streak with below 70 points? Heck, we have gone entire seasons without 5 games below 70, let alone 5 in a row.

3. Can Duke start to bring it all together: Hasn't happened yet. Hasn't come close to happening. Plumlee, Hood, Thornton, and Parker have stepped up, Cook, Sulaimon, Dawkins (partly due to lack of PT), and Jefferson have stepped back. It's almost like a zero-sum game, and it doesn't have to be.

4. Point guard play: This is has been, in my opinion, the biggest culprit in our rough phase. We made a mid-season shift to Sulaimon taking more of the reins on offense. Cook has regressed mightily as a PG and looks VERY tentative out there. And Sulaimon is just too sloppy with the ball to be a true PG. The result is that we don't seem well organized and our offense has been very inconsistent. Unless we're bombing 3s or Parker is dominating on the blocks, we just aren't doing a good job of manufacturing points right now. The PG play is going to have to improve for us to make a deep run in either tourney. And I think that means we need Cook to regain his confidence and return to his early-season form. But I remain concerned about the situation.

5. Return of Superman? Yup. Parker has been a bad, bad man in this phase. He has had a double-double in 5 of the six games so far, and his only non-double-double was a 23 and 8 performance against Maryland. He's averaging 17.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2 bpg, and 1 spg shooting 48.6% from the field. He's been fantastic in this phase, just as he was in the last phase.

6. Rebounding: Well, this phase hasn't gone well in the rebound department. We were outrebounded by everyone except VT and Wake. And we were killed on the glass by UNC. There had been a brief stretch where rebounding looked good. That has ceased to be the case. We're a fantastic offensive rebounding team. But our defensive rebounding has been atrocious in this phase.

7. Plumlee: well, the knee injury was quickly resolved, and he's played some of his best basketball of his career of late. He's still a work in progress, but he's putting up solid numbers as a backup C, and I think he's earned his 15-20 mpg that he's been getting of late.

8. Rotation: Still in flux a bit. Plumlee's minutes are increasing, Dawkins' minutes have diminished, and Jefferson has seen a reduction in minutes corresponding to his recent struggles to affect the game. There is still some definite uncertainty with regard to the rotation, especially in the backcourt where we have lost our identity in terms of playmaking.

It has not been the best of phases for Duke, with two losses in six games. Hopefully we finish the phase strong.

One thing I hope to see in our next phase post is a discussion of how we fare against the zone. I expect we'll see a lot more of the zone moving forward until we prove we can beat it consistently.

Kedsy
03-06-2014, 02:13 PM
6. Rebounding: Well, this phase hasn't gone well in the rebound department. We were outrebounded by everyone except VT and Wake. And we were killed on the glass by UNC. There had been a brief stretch where rebounding looked good. That has ceased to be the case. We're a fantastic offensive rebounding team. But our defensive rebounding has been atrocious in this phase.

And you don't think our improvement in offensive rebounding and our corresponding deterioration in defensive rebounding is at all related to Marshall seeing more minutes and Amile seeing fewer minutes?

gam7
03-06-2014, 02:16 PM
As we near the end of this phase, I'm going to write up a pre-requiem for the phase.

1. Health: Injuries were not a factor in this phase. Shocking, but true.



I made this point in a prior phase thread - I would say your health comment is true of our players, but I think Coach K's mental, and now physical, health have been a factor in this phase and will be worth watching in future phases. I wouldn't be surprised to see a strong public statement (perhaps after the Carolina game) of his renewed commitment, health and focus on the end of the season - perhaps something similar to what we saw him do after the Virginia game.

superdave
03-06-2014, 02:23 PM
And you don't think our improvement in offensive rebounding and our corresponding deterioration in defensive rebounding is at all related to Marshall seeing more minutes and Amile seeing fewer minutes?

How correctable do you think Marshall's defensive rebounding is at this point in the season?

CDu
03-06-2014, 02:25 PM
And you don't think our improvement in offensive rebounding and our corresponding deterioration in defensive rebounding is at all related to Marshall seeing more minutes and Amile seeing fewer minutes?

As we've discussed in a separate thread, I think our offensive rebounding is definitively better with Plumlee on the floor than without. I don't think we're a significantly different defensive rebounding team with Plumlee than without. The quality of the opponents we've faced during this stretch has a LOT to do with the rebounding numbers. Aside from VT and Wake, we faced really good rebounding teams.

And in the VT and Wake game, it's not like Jefferson did a lot to contribute to our defensive rebounding totals (6 defensive rebounds in 41 minutes for Jefferson versus 4 defensive rebounds in 29 minutes for Plumlee). So, no, my opinion on this matter has not changed from the last time we discussed this. At all.

Kedsy
03-06-2014, 02:38 PM
How correctable do you think Marshall's defensive rebounding is at this point in the season?

I don't know. My guess is not very until the off-season. As I mentioned in another thread, Wake Forest got 11 offensive rebounds during Marshall's 17 minutes and only 5 offensive rebounds during the 23 minutes that Marshall wasn't on the floor. That works out to a horrible 38.9% defensive rebounding percentage with Marshall and a 68.8% defensive rebounding percentage (about what we did earlier in the season when we were good at defensive rebounding) without him.

So, despite the one game sample and CDu's skepticism, I think this is a real issue.

gcashwell
03-06-2014, 02:46 PM
I don't know. My guess is not very until the off-season. As I mentioned in another thread, Wake Forest got 11 offensive rebounds during Marshall's 17 minutes and only 5 offensive rebounds during the 23 minutes that Marshall wasn't on the floor. That works out to a horrible 38.9% defensive rebounding percentage with Marshall and a 68.8% defensive rebounding percentage (about what we did earlier in the season when we were good at defensive rebounding) without him.

So, despite the one game sample and CDu's skepticism, I think this is a real issue.

Is it possible their are more good offensive rebounding possibilities for opposing teams when Plumlee is in the game? Maybe he causes more misses in the lane which are put back, etc.

Kedsy
03-06-2014, 02:58 PM
Is it possible their are more good offensive rebounding possibilities for opposing teams when Plumlee is in the game? Maybe he causes more misses in the lane which are put back, etc.

I suppose it's possible. Wake shot 12 for 28 when Marshall was in the game and 14 for 28 when he wasn't. But I doubt the two extra misses is either statistically significant or enough to explain the drastic difference in Wake's offensive rebounding.

Even if Marshall's defensive presence caused more rebounding opportunities, however, it doesn't explain why we grabbed such a low percentage of those opportunities. If your theory is correct, the only thing I can think of is Marshall contesting shots is taking him away from good rebounding position, and since he's the guy manning the middle nobody else is in good position either. But if that's true, it gets back to the theory that the more minutes Marshall takes from Amile, the worse our defensive rebounding is going to be.

For the game (and totally understanding that one game plus/minus figures aren't worth much, if anything), our defensive efficiency against Wake with Marshall in the game was 1.38 ppp and without Marshall was 1.17. I assume the difference is due mostly to Wake's fierce offensive rebounding when Marshall was in there.

azzefkram
03-06-2014, 02:59 PM
And you don't think our improvement in offensive rebounding and our corresponding deterioration in defensive rebounding is at all related to Marshall seeing more minutes and Amile seeing fewer minutes?

Partially but Amile has not been rebounding as well over the last few games (2 drb/ 29min @ GT, 1/23 @ UNC, 4/21 @ Cuse, 4/21 @ VT, 2/15 @ Wake). Marshall during that stretch had 0/8, 3/16, 3/19, 3/12 and 1/17. In the games where we got substandard drb out of the 5, Amile was just as culpable as Marshall. If I had to guess, I'd peg Rodney as a factor in our rebounding woes.

jv001
03-06-2014, 04:00 PM
I suppose it's possible. Wake shot 12 for 28 when Marshall was in the game and 14 for 28 when he wasn't. But I doubt the two extra misses is either statistically significant or enough to explain the drastic difference in Wake's offensive rebounding.

Even if Marshall's defensive presence caused more rebounding opportunities, however, it doesn't explain why we grabbed such a low percentage of those opportunities. If your theory is correct, the only thing I can think of is Marshall contesting shots is taking him away from good rebounding position, and since he's the guy manning the middle nobody else is in good position either. But if that's true, it gets back to the theory that the more minutes Marshall takes from Amile, the worse our defensive rebounding is going to be.

For the game (and totally understanding that one game plus/minus figures aren't worth much, if anything), our defensive efficiency against Wake with Marshall in the game was 1.38 ppp and without Marshall was 1.17. I assume the difference is due mostly to Wake's fierce offensive rebounding when Marshall was in there.

From what I've seen, most of Marshall's shot blocking attempts come from someone getting beat off the dribble. I agree that when that happens someone else should step up and go for the missed shot. Someone posted that Rodney is probably the biggest problem in Duke's lack of defensive rebounding. I totally agree with that, as I've watched some of our games in slo-mo and it's evident that Rodney has not rebounded like an athletic 6'8" player should. I also see a regression in Amile's rebounding. I don't know what's causing that because he's getting the starts, with a chance to rebound like he was a month or so ago. GoDuke!

luvdahops
03-06-2014, 05:15 PM
From what I've seen, most of Marshall's shot blocking attempts come from someone getting beat off the dribble. I agree that when that happens someone else should step up and go for the missed shot. Someone posted that Rodney is probably the biggest problem in Duke's lack of defensive rebounding. I totally agree with that, as I've watched some of our games in slo-mo and it's evident that Rodney has not rebounded like an athletic 6'8" player should. I also see a regression in Amile's rebounding. I don't know what's causing that because he's getting the starts, with a chance to rebound like he was a month or so ago. GoDuke!

I agree with both points. Rodney seems to be lacking in terms of both instincts and technique (e.g. getting his body on someone, if only for a split-second). I don't know what's causing Amile's regression either, though I think he just seems out of sorts generally the last few games. The less frequent touches on offense, with the emphasis now on getting the ball to Jabari in the paint or Rodney at the high post, may be factoring in on the defensive end somehow.

Kedsy
03-06-2014, 05:41 PM
I don't know what's causing Amile's regression either, though I think he just seems out of sorts generally the last few games.

Amile may or may not be regressing. The fact is there were only 10 defensive rebounding opportunities during the 15 minutes he was in the Wake game. Three of those ended up as "team rebounds," which I think usually means the ball went out of bounds. One of the "rebounds" was when Amile blocked a shot and the ball ended up back in the shooter's hands. And of the remaining 6 defensive rebounding opportunities, Amile grabbed two of them.

So while two defensive rebounds doesn't sound like that many, it actually was a pretty good percentage of his available opportunities. In contrast, Marshall grabbed one defensive rebound in 18 opportunities (only one of the 18 opportunities ended up as a "team rebound"), and the one was on a Marshall block that he managed to grab the ball after the block.

ncexnyc
03-06-2014, 06:06 PM
I'm not sure why so many people are surpised by Amile's recent lack of production. You've got someone who's listed at 6'8" or 6'9" and approximately 210 lbs, give or take a few pounds, banging with bonafide 5's and it's no wonder his numbers have decreased. The kid is getting worn down, which means he's a step slower. I believe that is also the reason you're seeing him get more fouls, as he's getting caught out of position.

Newton_14
03-06-2014, 09:38 PM
I could be convinced that we should go back to the platoon substitutions for the first 12 minutes of each game. It would do two things: Keep our defensive energy high and help us identify who has the hot hand.

I am sure that's easy to do vs the Wakes and VaTechs of the world. Maybe a little harder to justify in the Sweet 16 or ACCT championship game. But it really did invigorate our team after some ugly outings.

But at a minimum, Coach K has options and a willingness to use them.

I still really want to see a consistent use of the trap (since the press never took off).

We first used it (with great success) against the best team in the ACC (UVA) and even though that game was at home, we beat a Top 5 team that night. (Who knew?)

We have the best coach in the world. I rarely question his decisions. I do think he zigged when he should have stayed pat with this team. Without asking, I would suspect K changed the starting lineup to the current, dialed Andre's minutes back from 19/20mpg to 9/10mpg, and eliminated Josh's minutes altogether, in an attempt to make this team the defensive juggernaut he demanded it to be. I thought the GaTech defense was easily the best all year, and the defense has been a bit better overall (prior to last night), but in the process of all that, our offense has stagnated. Again, toss out any numbers you want to, the eyetest does not lie nor does the scoring droughts. Quinn is a mess, Andre is a spectator, and the well oiled offensive machine is leaking in several key spots. I honestly think we attempted to fix something that did not need fixing and in the process turned a really good team with many weapons into a fairly good team with a couple of weapons. One sad part is MP3 has come on and played really well. (Sorry Kedsy. It's the truth) More on our problems in a minute.

I will preface this with the fact that I do not subsribe to the theory that losing to Wake in early March on the road, means doom and gloom for the tourney's. Hogwash. Teams can and do go on late season runs, sometimes even after laying an egg in an embarrassing loss to an inferior team. That said,

My worry started prior to last night. Prior to the unc game, I felt really good about where this team was at and where they were going. That game knocked me back and caused me to reassess. Again, not because we lost. It was how we lost. How we played. The player rotation. The body language. Lots of little things. We were playing so badly in that 2nd half and I kept looking at the score and we were still up. Without the long drought from 12min to 6min mark, we pull away, unc folds, etc. Duke wins. Except we had the drought. But why? I felt better at the Syracuse game, but since that game we just have not looked right.

I was really anxious to see how we would look against Wake. Would Duke come out, establish control early, and put Wake away? Or would Duke come out strong but be matched by an inspired, talented Wake team giving it their all on Senior Night, crowd going crazy? We got neither. Wake came out semi-strong, crowd was benign, and Duke came out flat and rusty. Then came early foul trouble, then came Hood carrying us to a lead by himself, then came a huge Cook turnover which led to a buzzer beating runout. Yet, Duke establishes itself in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd Half and take a 3 possession lead late. Andre drains a 3. I feel good. We are going to close them out here I thought. On to Carolina. Then McKie immediately answers. Warning sign. Bad Omen. Jabari picks up the 4th, then inexplicably, out trots Quinn to replace Andre. I am like, why on earth make this move? Tyler and Rasheed are handling fairly well at that moment, Andre just hit a 3 and is playing fine on defense. W/o Jabari we need Andre in for offense. The Wake run started almost immediately. 17-0. Duke is totally lost on both ends of the floor.

I worry because it is March 6th not February 6th, and our current rotation is not faring well, even in wins. Is it possible to get Quinn back to normal in time? I will argue anyone down that says Andre has slumped. He has not slumped. His minutes were cut from 19 to 9 in favor of the new defensive minded 7.5 man rotation. As of last night, Matt & Andre are splitting the .5 minutes in that 7.5.

I said in the Wake thread that I don't think Quinn has responded well to coming off the bench, but will the staff return him to a starter with 25+ mpg or will they just leave him in the doghouse and playing 10-12 mpg? I just don't feel we can win much unless Quinn goes back to being Quinn, Andre goes back to his 19mpg, and the rotation looks more like the late Jan/ealy-mid Feb, when we were playing much better. Think @Pitt, @Syracuse, @Miami games. That team can beat anybody.

To close, and sorry for the longwinded post, in all 7 losses there has been one common denominator for the most part. Not rebounding, not interior defense, not bad 3point %,not size issues, but marginal to bad guard play on both ends of the court. That in my opinion, has been our real Achilles Heel.

To acheive the goals, I personally believe the rotation has to go back to the way it was when we were having success, with or without the full bore hockey line changes, and our guards/perimeter guys have to collectively play at a high level game in and game out. Getting the ball to Jabari and Hooda lot more and in the right spots will help for sure, but the first two things are critical in my opinion.

Kedsy
03-06-2014, 10:53 PM
Without asking, I would suspect K changed the starting lineup to the current, dialed Andre's minutes back from 19/20mpg to 9/10mpg, and eliminated Josh's minutes altogether, in an attempt to make this team the defensive juggernaut he demanded it to be. I thought the GaTech defense was easily the best all year, and the defense has been a bit better overall (prior to last night), but in the process of all that, our offense has stagnated. Again, toss out any numbers you want to, the eyetest does not lie nor does the scoring droughts. Quinn is a mess, Andre is a spectator, and the well oiled offensive machine is leaking in several key spots. I honestly think we attempted to fix something that did not need fixing and in the process turned a really good team with many weapons into a fairly good team with a couple of weapons. One sad part is MP3 has come on and played really well. (Sorry Kedsy. It's the truth) More on our problems in a minute.

I agree with most of what you say, but would like to clarify two things. First, Andre's minutes were down in the line change games (12, 13, 10, and 11 in the four games where we used the line changes). Then they went up for a few games, then back down again. If I had my way, he'd be playing 20+ mpg for us every game, but obviously Coach K disagrees.

Second, I've never said Marshall isn't playing well. He is. What I said was, contrary to popular opinion, his contributions are primarily on offense rather than defense. Whatever defensive gains we get from his "rim protection" we lose from his poor defensive rebounding. And the argument that "he boxes out well so even if he personally doesn't get the defensive rebound his teammates do" was clearly not true against Wake Forest (and I haven't charted it in previous games). That said, I think Marshall has made great progress and hopefully will continue to do so both this season and beyond. I was thrilled when he earned his 10 to 12 mpg. I'd just rather he didn't get too far above that and eat too much into Amile's minutes right now. (Although of course, if Coach K thinks the team's better with Marshall playing 15 to 20 minutes, I can't really argue with him any more than I can regarding Andre's minutes.)

superdave
03-07-2014, 08:21 AM
Andre's efficiency is high. His defense is better than last season. He is hitting more shots off the dribble than his previous three seasons combined. What's not to love?

For the remainder of the season, Andre should start and should also be on the court every time Jabari is off the court. Quinn and Rasheed should also concentrate on breaking down the defense and getting into the paint rather than looking for 3's. They should discipline themselves to opportunistic 3s and concentrate on feeding Andre/Jabari/Rodney.

Tyler was earning big minutes when he knocking down his 3s and getting steals. But his shot has been a little off and we may honestly just need to out-score people to win in March. Tweaking the lineup to get better D has worked some of the time. I would flip Andre and Tyler's minutes and embrace the high-scoring offense that has been hidden a while. I would also get Rodney crashing the defensive boards more to shore up our rebounding.

This team could be like 2009 Unc, where Roy simply dared teams to score at their pace.

Matches
03-07-2014, 08:27 AM
I think one of the reasons Dawkins' minutes have dipped is the amount of zone we've been seeing. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but when we're facing that zone, I think K considers it pretty essential to have Hood in the game almost all the time. With Sulaimon playing 30+ mpg at one guard, and TT and Cook splitting minutes at the other, most of Dawkins' minutes come backing up Hood. If Hood's playing 33-35 mpg, there are few left over for Dawkins.

I guess the response to that is "well, play Dawkins at the 2 more", but his suspect handle causes a problem there, esp. if he's paired with Sulaimon in the backcourt.

superdave
03-07-2014, 08:32 AM
I think one of the reasons Dawkins' minutes have dipped is the amount of zone we've been seeing. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but when we're facing that zone, I think K considers it pretty essential to have Hood in the game almost all the time. With Sulaimon playing 30+ mpg at one guard, and TT and Cook splitting minutes at the other, most of Dawkins' minutes come backing up Hood. If Hood's playing 33-35 mpg, there are few left over for Dawkins.

I guess the response to that is "well, play Dawkins at the 2 more", but his suspect handle causes a problem there, esp. if he's paired with Sulaimon in the backcourt.

That worked when Tyler was hitting 3's. He is 4-16 in the last 6 games. Andre should take minutes from Tyler, not Rasheed.

Matches
03-07-2014, 08:37 AM
That worked when Tyler was hitting 3's. He is 4-16 in the last 6 games. Andre should take minutes from Tyler, not Rasheed.

I don't necessarily disagree, but I think a Sulaimon/ Dawkins backcourt potentially has some ballhandling issues.

I hate to keep harping on PG play but I really think our unsettled situation there is causing a LOT of problems, and this is one of them. It's one thing to use Sulaimon as the primary ballhandler, but it's tough to justify using him as the ONLY ballhandler.

superdave
03-07-2014, 08:51 AM
I don't necessarily disagree, but I think a Sulaimon/ Dawkins backcourt potentially has some ballhandling issues.

I hate to keep harping on PG play but I really think our unsettled situation there is causing a LOT of problems, and this is one of them. It's one thing to use Sulaimon as the primary ballhandler, but it's tough to justify using him as the ONLY ballhandler.

Andre can play the 8-10 minutes at the 3 when Rodney is out, the 10-15 minutes where Rasheed is out, without screwing up the point guard spot.

I would also argue that ballhandling is not one of Tyler's strengths. He cannot break people down off the dribble so our offense either stagnates with him in there or someone else has to make a play. Tyler is on the court to bring our defense up a level. It has worked at times, but not consistently enough for this team to reach its potential. Time to discard that idea and move on.

azzefkram
03-07-2014, 08:53 AM
That worked when Tyler was hitting 3's. He is 4-16 in the last 6 games. Andre should take minutes from Tyler, not Rasheed.

Andre's not shooting much better. I am not as enamored with Tyler's game as many here but if he's not hitting shots he is helping the team in other ways. Much of Dre's value is tied up in hitting threes.

Troublemaker
03-07-2014, 09:10 AM
To close, and sorry for the longwinded post, in all 7 losses there has been one common denominator for the most part. Not rebounding, not interior defense, not bad 3point %,not size issues, but marginal to bad guard play on both ends of the court. That in my opinion, has been our real Achilles Heel.


Nice post, Newton. I'm with you and CDu and others that have been saying similar. I'm almost perfectly happy with our post players right now. The 3-man rotation of Jabari, Amile, and MP3 can win a championship. I'd like to see Amile show us that he's not in a late season slump due to banging with 5s all year. But besides that, I have no real complaints about our 3 post guys.

The perimeter has to play better. And since everyone's been tossing out solutions left and right, here is mine: let's get back to the 3-man perimeter units that were working beautifully during the platoon games.

Sheed-Tyler-Dawk
Quinn-Matt-Hood

Start and finish games with the latter but substitute every 5 minutes or so through the end of the game. These two platoons are equivalent in quality and they have good synergy with each other. Play them equally throughout the game. Win game.

That will get Andre the appropriate amount of minutes he needs, too, to destroy teams with his shooting.

pfrduke
03-07-2014, 09:15 AM
Nice post, Newton. I'm with you and CDu and others that have been saying similar. I'm almost perfectly happy with our post players right now. The 3-man rotation of Jabari, Amile, and MP3 can win a championship. I'd like to see Amile show us that he's not in a late season slump due to banging with 5s all year. But besides that, I have no real complaints about our 3 post guys.

The perimeter has to play better. And since everyone's been tossing out solutions left and right, here is mine: let's get back to the 3-man perimeter units that were working beautifully during the platoon games.

Sheed-Tyler-Dawk
Quinn-Matt-Hood

Start and finish games with the latter but substitute every 5 minutes or so through the end of the game. These two platoons are equivalent in quality and they have good synergy with each other. Play them equally throughout the game. Win game.

That will get Andre the appropriate amount of minutes he needs, too, to destroy teams with his shooting.

Even in the line change games we weren't doing this. Eventually we'd bleed such that Sheed slipped into Matt's spot and/or Tyler into Quinn's (which I agree with - Matt Jones is not yet my idea of a crunch time player). Also, there's no real way, at this point in the season, that Hood's going to be spending nearly half the game on the bench. And I don't think he should be.

Troublemaker
03-07-2014, 09:30 AM
Even in the line change games we weren't doing this. Eventually we'd bleed such that Sheed slipped into Matt's spot and/or Tyler into Quinn's (which I agree with - Matt Jones is not yet my idea of a crunch time player). Also, there's no real way, at this point in the season, that Hood's going to be spending nearly half the game on the bench. And I don't think he should be.

Fine, pfr! If you love Rodney so much, then let's shrink the 3-man units to 2-man units to accomodate your love for Rodney.

Sheed-Tyler -Rodney
Quinn-Matt -Rodney
Sheed-Dre -Rodney

Rotate those three 2-man units. Figure out who's playing best in that particular game and roll with them more.

jv001
03-07-2014, 10:47 AM
Fine, pfr! If you love Rodney so much, then let's shrink the 3-man units to 2-man units to accomodate your love for Rodney.

Sheed-Tyler -Rodney
Quinn-Matt -Rodney
Sheed-Dre -Rodney

Rotate those three 2-man units. Figure out who's playing best in that particular game and roll with them more.

Hey Troublemaker, I love Rodney also, lol. I like the 3rd trio you named. But in the original line change/rotation, Rasheed was not in the group with Jabari and Rodney. That's when Rasheed really started to turn his season around. He was the primary ball handler, was able to get Andre involved and played the point guard position very well. I think the first unit was ; Tyler, Matt, Marshall, Josh and Andre. Both units played with much more energy than before. Would we want to take Rasheed off the first unit with Quinn playing so badly. I would think that Quinn would assert himself in practice and show Coach K that he's a pass first point guard. I just want to see Andre get more minutes and Coach K have patience with him. Beat UNC and GoDuke!

Kedsy
03-07-2014, 11:44 AM
Hey Troublemaker, I love Rodney also, lol. I like the 3rd trio you named. But in the original line change/rotation, Rasheed was not in the group with Jabari and Rodney. That's when Rasheed really started to turn his season around. He was the primary ball handler, was able to get Andre involved and played the point guard position very well. I think the first unit was ; Tyler, Matt, Marshall, Josh and Andre. Both units played with much more energy than before. Would we want to take Rasheed off the first unit with Quinn playing so badly. I would think that Quinn would assert himself in practice and show Coach K that he's a pass first point guard. I just want to see Andre get more minutes and Coach K have patience with him. Beat UNC and GoDuke!

In the true line change games, the "first unit" was Amile, Jabari, Rodney, Quinn, and Matt. The "second unit" was Marshall, Josh, Andre, Rasheed, and Tyler. As the game wore on, Rasheed moved onto the first unit instead of Matt.

Troublemaker
03-07-2014, 12:37 PM
Hey Troublemaker, I love Rodney also, lol. I like the 3rd trio you named

Oh I love Rodney, too. (And I love pfr and was just fake snarking because the board's been a snarkfest lately and I'd been feeling left out.)

I do believe that the two 3-man units I mentioned (Quinn-Matt-Rodney and Sheed-Tyler-Dre) have good basketball chemistry. My theory is, even though Rodney is a very good player, reducing his minutes some to accomodate seeing those two 3-man units more often would help the perimeter play. But I have to agree with pfr that a perfect 20/20 split is taking it too far.