Friday, October 30, 2009

Season-Long Theme: Backcourt Defense

This may or may not be a regular* feature, but with little news prior to tonight's game I thought I'd take a moment and look at one game's worth of evidence regarding one of my areas of concern: backcourt defense.

Pacers @ Hawks, 10.28.09

First, the two-man backcourts...

BackcourtDef PossOpp PtsDef Eff

As for three-man backcourts, the Hawks played Joe Johnson at small forward for just three defensive possessions. Atlanta allowed 3 points on 2 possessions with the Teague/Crawford/Johnson backcourt on the floor and 0 points on 1 possession with the Bibby/Crawford/Johnson backcourt on the floor.

There aren't, of course, many definitive conclusions to draw from such a small sample size. The Bibby/Johnson backcourt allowed the fewest points but also got to play the most against Indiana's TJ Ford/Brandon Rush backcourt. How much credit for Indiana's starting backcourt's offensive struggles should go to Bibby and Johnson and how much blame should be assigned to the Pacers is, as far as I'm concerned, an open question but at least now we know what happened.

Here's a table of the on-court defensive efficiencies for each player mentioned in this post:

PlayerDef PossOpp PtsDef Eff

Lest anyone get too concerned about Jeff Teague's defense, the Hawks scored 33 points during the 27 offensive possessions (Off Eff: 1.222) for which he was on the floor. For the game, the Hawks scored 1.188 points per possession.

*Regular in the sense of bi-weekly, monthly, etc. It will almost certainly not be a regular feature after each game.


Unknown said...

this is great periodic info - my question would be...can you provide for context in the future what some great, good, and bad def. eff stats would be?

I need to know if I should be saying Bibby Defensive stopper in my future and whether or not any of that data over time is really great NBA wide or simply functional. See you at the game tonight!!!

Bret LaGree said...

Not having looked at this sort of data breakdown as a season progresses before, my guess is I'll discover (or not discover) the useful context along with everyone else. Unless someone more learned comes along and teaches us all a little something about basketball and statistics.

Jason Walker said...

I like-a the sauce, Bret--look forward to seeing this develop.