Monday, February 01, 2010

Season-Long Theme: Backcourt Defense

Previously: 11/10/09, 10/30/09

This edition, being overdue, will be more thorough in its breakdowns than previous posts on this subject.

Let's start with Mike Bibby as he's (relatively) easy to break down in this fashion since he plays point guard exclusively.

Mike BibbyDef EffPoss
w/ Evans0.258
w/ Crawford0.985131
w/ Teague & Crawford113
w/ Johnson1.0091420
w/ Josh Smith & Horford1.0221809
on court1.0422319
w/ Josh Smith or Horford1.071432
w/ Crawford & Johnson1.12739
w/ neither Josh Smith or Horford1.34678
w/ Johnson & West1.35317

I suspect the explanation for the Hawks allowing 5.6 fewer points per 100 possessions when Mike Bibby is on the court compared to when he's if off the court is as simple as Bibby playing 78% of his possessions with both Josh Smith and Al Horford on the floor with him.

Joe JohnsonDef EffPoss
w/ Teague & Crawford0.98102
w/ Crawford & West116
w/ Bibby1.0091420
as a 21.0632362
on court1.0753216
as a 31.103841
w/ Bibby & Crawford1.12739
w/ Crawford1.139897
w/ Teague1.29224
w/ Bibby & West1.35317

Earlier in the season, the Hawks were more effective defensively with Johnson as the biggest of three guards than when he played in a two-guard lineup. That is no longer the case.

For completists only: The Hawks have allowed 9 points on 6 possessions when Johnson has played point guard and 4 points on 4 possessions when Johnson has played power forward.

Jamal CrawfordDef EffPoss
w/ Teague & West0.64314
w/ Bibby0.985131
w/ West132
w/ Johnson & West116
w/ Bibby & Teague113
w/ Teague1.077597
as a 21.0781591
on court1.0992682
w/ Bibby & Johnson1.12739
w/ Evans1.121132
as a 11.1321078
w/ Johnson1.139897

The Hawks allow 8.8 more points per 100 possessions when Crawford is on the court than when he is off the court. The Hawks score 2.3 more points per 100 possessions when Crawford is on the court than when he is off the court.

It's not a case of Bibby hoarding all the defensive possessions when Horford and Josh Smith are on the floor either. True, only 38% of Crawford's possessions come with both Smith and Horford on the floor but Smith and Horford are significantly worse defensively when Crawford is on the floor with them.

Josh Smith and HorfordDef EffPoss
w/o Crawford0.9961265
w/ Crawford1.0881029

This is why, despite his good season, I didn't take his All-Star case seriously.

Jamal CrawfordDef EffPoss
w/ Josh Smith & Horford1.0881029
w/ Josh Smith or Horford1.095958
w/ neither Josh Smith or Horford1.121695

In the minutes he's gotten, Jeff Teague (both by eye and by these numbers) has demonstrated some defensive talent. I suspect that will bode well for him next year as he should begin the process of replacing Mike Bibby at the point.

Jeff TeagueDef EffPoss
w/ Crawford & West0.64314
w/ Evans0.77431
w/ Crawford & Johnson0.98102
w/ Bibby & Crawford113
on court1.049804
w/ Crawford1.077597
w/ West1.14314
w/ Johnson1.29224

All the Mo Evans combinations appear in the tables above. To refrain from redundancy, I'll simple provide his defensive work by position.

Mo EvansDef EffPoss
as a 2
on court
as a 31.1331144
as a 41.15246

There's a discrepancy of 1 possession between the on court and the positional breakdown but I can't find it in the 143* different 5-man units the Hawks have used so far this season.

*Maybe there are, in fact, 144 different 5-man units the Hawks have used so far this season.

Mario WestDef EffPoss
on court1.04394
off court1.0684099

The numbers don't lie.

Below are a couple of tables that don't fall under the category of "backcourt defense" but I'll include in this post as I still have the master spreadsheet (which will be out-of-date again in 36 hours) open.

First, Marvin Williams by position:

Marvin WilliamsDef EffPoss
as a 31.022123
on court1.0342503
as a 41.11375

The Hawks allowed 4 points on 3 possessions with Marvin at center and 4 points on 2 possessions with Marvin playing alongside one guard, Joe Smith, Horford, and Pachulia.

Finally, the various post combinations:

NameDef EffPoss
Horford & Pachulia0.941205
Josh Smith & Horford1.0422350
Joe Smith & Horford1.11164
Josh Smith & Pachulia1.115462
Joe Smith & Pachulia1.212339

The Hawks are allowing 0.975 points per possession with Jason Collins on the floor. 82 of the 122 possessions for which Collins has been on the floor have also featured Randolph Morris and/or Othello Hunter. Sounds like garbage time to me.

Jason CollinsDef EffPoss
garbage time0.92682
not garbage time1.07540

Questions, comments, and corrections welcome as always from those of you who've made it this far.


Bronnt said...

Very nice breakdown Bret, thanks for doing this.

It's interesting to the difference between Bibby and Crawford on the court, since neither of them is a very good defensive player. Bibby ends up looking like a good defensive player through his on/off breakdown as a result.

It's also nice to see how good the Hawks defend with Marvin Williams at the three. It's such a shame that so many late game situations see us using Crawford with Bibby and JJ to the exclusion of Marvin.

I don't know if you've got this in your breakdown or not, but I'd be interested to see just how many minutes Crawford spends with Marvin at the 3, rather than Moe Evans or JJ. I suspect that might be having a larger effect on his defensive efficiency than the minutes he plays with Smith and Horford. Marvin is our only plus defender at the 3.

Bret LaGree said...

Bronn --

Crawford on court & Williams at the 3: 1.066 PPP.

Crawford on court & Williams off the court: 1.112 PPP

Crawford on court & Williams at the 4: 1.111 PPP

Crawford on court & Williams at the 2: 2 points allowed on 1 possession.

Unknown said...

*I predicted Bibby+Craw defense would be one of the worst defense in the history of the NBA. Shockingly, according to these numbers, it has been the best defensive backcourt.

* Teague and West's numbers are severely skewed by garbage time stats.

* It's astounding how terrible Bibby's defense is without Smoove & Horf.

* Crawford's defense on-off court discrepancy is aweful. I just calculated Joe's defense without crawford and it looks like his defense takes a nosedive 8.9 pts when Crawford is with him. Part of that has to be because JJ plays 3.

* Horf+Zaza has been awesome.

* Marvin gives 102, Joe gives 110 and Evans gives 113 points in every 100 possession at 3. Looks like Craw @2 brings down Joe & Evans. I wonder how does Marvin+Craw look on defense.

* Teague's defense is probably much better than these numbers show, because he plays with Craw most of the way and Joe seems to sleep walk when he is with Teague (1.292 Yak!). It looks like Teague has the physical ability to play all NBA defense. Mentally, who knows.

Bronnt said...

Nice! You got to that one quickly.

So it's clearly a factor, even though Crawford is still dragging down the defense. /w Marvin, that's right at the Hawks' season average, but without him (or playing him out of position), it's among the worst in the league.

So nice when the numbers back up your sentiment about Crawford: when he's not making shots, he's a detriment on the floor.

CoCo said...

Wait, what?

Unknown said...

Mario West signed for rest of season?!? Goodbye Teague minutes..

weemsildinho said...

This is great info, Bret. Thanks for everything you do on this site