Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Barnstable on Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:36 pm

We all know our defense is horrible right now. Even before all the injuries, our D wasn't good. We basically out scored teams for the early part of the season. My question is, what's the problem, the system Pringles is using (is there a system?) or are our individual players really that bad defensively?

If our individual players are really this bad, they would be liabilities to the team no matter what star players we add.

I tend to blame the system more than anything because there doesn't seem to be an emphasis on defending from the coaches. Yeah, Rambis is here, but I'm honestly not seeing any pride in defending anymore. Often times, Williams was the only one I would see consistently giving his best effort (and failing sometimes). Everyone seems to get lost really easily and not be in sync on the communication. That screams not enough emphasis in practice to me.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Vasashi17 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:19 pm

You need players that pride themselves on that end, but the same can also be said about a coach.

This has system written all over it. First of all, if the trade off was worth it, then you can somewhat live with it, but our offense is just as bad. The only reason, we score in triple digits is cause of the pace we play leading to more possessions....but most of them are wasted possessions. So having a bad defensive concept is bearable if our offensive concept was working....but that just isn't the case here... we are at the bottom in both offensive and defensive efficiency (rating 23rd and 27th respectively).

In fact, our offense is so bad, that it is THE problem in how bad we are defensively. Increasing the pace, not only gives us more possessions, but it gives our opponents more possessions. Now if the other team is more efficient with their possessions than we are....ball game. Add to that that we are below average in taking care of the ball, rated 20th in turnover rate. And then to add insult to injury, teams are destroying us in the paint and that's hardly on our frontline...its due to opposing runouts on bad shots/turnovers on the offensive end.

I'm confident in saying that our offense is what causes our woeful defense.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby revgen on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Look at Dwight Howard last season with us and this season in Houston.

Neither us or Houston were/are very effective defensive teams despite having the 3x DPOY on the squads.

SVG enforced the defensive culture in Orlando, just as Thibs does in Chicago.

Orlando especially, because lets be honest, Hedo, Lewis, Nelson, and Reddick aren't exactly defensive stalwarts. But they always rotated the way they should and were held accountable by their coach when they didn't do what they were supposed to do.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:09 pm

It's both. When you get a bunch of players who have been marginal NBA players in the past and now ask them to play 30 minutes a night when they used to play 10 minutes every other game in garbage time it's hard for them to make the transition to playing both ends of the floor. Further it's a lack of a system's structure and quite frankly we've been without a defensive system since Dunleavy was the coach.

Defense is not an individual talent or ability as much as it''s a dedication and effort thing. Playing defense as a team takes time, patience and a philosophical direction. Throwing this team together in one offseason and expecting much more than we see given the circumstances is asking a little much. The players aren't used to the minutes.... don't really know one another and are getting little in the way of emphasis put on their play on that end of the floor.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Weezy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:40 pm

Both. Not enough players and talent at the moment so it sucks extra bad, points off turnovers have a lot to do with this IMO. Normally though, I still don't believe 'Antoni coaches a lot of defense in practice, and the offense of shoot quick and shoot a lot of 3's leads to long rebounds and quick points for the other team in transition.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Barnstable on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:48 pm

A philosophy of rushing back on defense would solve a lot of these transition points. If the coaches just taught the correct hustle mentality back on defense after a shot in practice, opponent scoring would go way down.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Ras Algethi on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:04 am

Both. You cant have Pau and Kelly as our front court and expect any kind of interior D. Add to that Marshall with hustle but ineffective Meeks in the back court and its a disaster on that end.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby MC on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:27 am

Let's put it this way.......... this is not the best talent to have a successful defense but the OFFENSIVE system that MDA forces does not help or even give the defense a fighting chance to be average.

fats perimeter shots, not attacking and getting after the boards and unbalance floor spacing when fast shots go up all lead to dysfunction in your ability to even get set and ready to try and play decent defense. This takes an average at best defense into a poor to pathetic one........ than to top it all off he over compensates in his match ups to gain an advantage solely for his offensive flow....... the guy's philosophy is seriously flawed when it comes to long term success....which is the Laker way

That is the problem with MDA and his philosophy, he believe in over compensating the floor spacing to get open perimeter looks while attacking in the high P&R action, when shots aren't falling he bleeds out easy hoops which gets your opponents going..... even if you play decent defense in the half court you can't be a good defense if you give up to much transitional action, it quickly disrupts any progress you possible made overall as a feel for the game...it's deflating for you and energy boosting your opponent.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby KareemTheGreat33 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:42 am

Is this even a question... Antoni has no D, as in ever
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby West's Formula 44 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:21 am

Barnstable wrote:A philosophy of rushing back on defense would solve a lot of these transition points. If the coaches just taught the correct hustle mentality back on defense after a shot in practice, opponent scoring would go way down.


We had eight offensive boards last night. EIGHT. We just don't have the mindset or personnel to make rushing back on defense work for us. We need to slow the pace of the game down. I wouldn't mind seeing Kaman and Gasol starting alongside of each other. That would slow the pace down no matter what D'Antoni says during timeouts. What do we have to lose at this point? At the very least these guys would learn to play in a structured offense.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby therealdeal on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:05 am

Both.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:59 pm

therealdeal wrote:Both.


Yep. And injuries. But I'd put most of the onus on the system. Mike no D Antoni has that label for a good reason. His defensive philosophy has always been: let's score more points than the other team, especially by shooting threes. It's no coincidence that after the Utah loss at home he was asked about the defense and his response was, and I quote, "Well, our threes weren't falling." Yes, he did say that.

We really need to move into a new direction. We've gone all defense, no comprehendible offense with Mike Brown, we've gone all offense, no D with Mike Antoni. We need a two-way coach to succeed as well as some more two-way players. Let's hope that happens in the near future.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby D.B. Cooper on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:35 pm

Both.
70% personnel 30% system.

Freaking Marshall as good as his offensive numbers are, he stands around instead of helping to get a rebound. Same with Gasol, can't jump to alter a shot or grab rebounds. Even with injuries players should be able to put a body on someone.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby karacha on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Both, definitely both. The system does not encourage good D, and the players are... well... it's even more on them then the system. Marshall has great talent for passing and his court vision is impressive. But he's not a defender. Meeks tries, resulting is something people like to call "fake hustle". Swaggy worked on his D and is now just bad instead of atrocious. Wes can be awesome, but he has no BB IQ to play defense consistently. Hill fouls a lot and then complains about it, and I don't have words to describe how bad Pau can be on defense sometimes (not every time, but often). That's your team right there.

It's the players, closely followed by MDA and Rambo. Neither gets a pass on this.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:59 pm

Not a difficult question to answer when you have a HC who doesn't believe in defense.

Of course, it doesn't help when your remaining "star" player (read: Gasol) doesn't believe in defense either.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Chillbongo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:27 pm

Vasashi17 wrote:You need players that pride themselves on that end, but the same can also be said about a coach.

This has system written all over it. First of all, if the trade off was worth it, then you can somewhat live with it, but our offense is just as bad. The only reason, we score in triple digits is cause of the pace we play leading to more possessions....but most of them are wasted possessions. So having a bad defensive concept is bearable if our offensive concept was working....but that just isn't the case here... we are at the bottom in both offensive and defensive efficiency (rating 23rd and 27th respectively).

In fact, our offense is so bad, that it is THE problem in how bad we are defensively. Increasing the pace, not only gives us more possessions, but it gives our opponents more possessions. Now if the other team is more efficient with their possessions than we are....ball game. Add to that that we are below average in taking care of the ball, rated 20th in turnover rate. And then to add insult to injury, teams are destroying us in the paint and that's hardly on our frontline...its due to opposing runouts on bad shots/turnovers on the offensive end.

I'm confident in saying that our offense is what causes our woeful defense.

This pretty much sums it up. Are our players defensively elite? No. But I don't think they're this bad either.

Team defense is about communication and schemes. You can have an elite defender but if the team on the floor doesn't know where to rotate, when to rotate, when to trap, when to help, when to hedge etc...is when a team looks as bad as we do. So both, and injuries and turnovers have obviously played a part.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby LakersN4 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:48 pm

Injuries have alot to do with it too.. We were able to get by early in the season because we were playing so many guys.. We almost always had more fresh players on the floor than our opponents so we were able to exert more energy on both sides of the ball.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Doc Brown on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:29 pm

Let's break it down per player....

Average PER is 15.00

PG - Average opposing PER - 14.6
Farmar - 22% of minutes at PG, holds opposing players to 9.0 PER
Marshall - 13% of minutes at PG, holds opposing players to 12.7 PER
Blake - 30% of minutes at PG, holds opposing players to 16.6 PER
Nash - 7% of minutes at PG, holds opposing players to 15.8 PER
Meeks - 20% of minutes at PG, holds opposing players to 19 PER

SG - Average opposing PER - 17.6
Henry - 22% of minutes at SG, holds opposing players to 13.5 PER
Meeks - 44% of minutes at SG, holds opposing players to 20 PER
Blake - 7% of minutes at SG, holds opposing players to 25 PER
Young - 15% of minutes at SG, holds opposing players to 12.0 PER

SF - Average opposing PER - 12.4
Johnson - 33% of minutes at SF, holds opposing players to 10.6 PER
Kobe - 8% of minutes at SF, holds opposing players to 13.8 PER
Young - 42% of minutes at SF, holds opposing players to 13.7 PER
Henry - 10% of minutes at SF, holds opposing players to 11.6 PER

PF - Average opposing PER - 18.4
Gasol - 14% of minutes at PF, holds opposing players to 22.4 PER
Kelly - 8% of minutes at PF, holds opposing players to 16.2 PER
Johnson - 14% of minutes at PF, holds opposing players to 18.6 PER
Williams - 34% of minutes at PF, holds opposing players to 16.9 PER
Hill - 24% of minutes at PF, holds opposing players to 17.7 PER

Center - Average opposing PER - 19.1
Kaman - 19% of minutes at C, holds opposing players to 23.5 PER
Gasol - 44% of minutes at C, holds opposing players to 20.8 PER
Sacre - 18% of minutes at C, holds opposing players to 17.8 PER
Hill - 17% of minutes at C, holds opposing players to 14.6 PER

From this we see that we are getting killed by opposing SG's, PF's and C's. We hold opposing PG's to league average and opposing SF's to below league average.

Other observations.....

Meeks - Plays the most minutes on the team at 32.4 mpg and gives up the worst PER in the PG category and the 2nd worst in the SG category. Add in the eye test of his awful defense, combined with the numbers, shows he's a huge liability on the court defensively.

Blake - When healthy, played the second most minutes on the team at 31.9 mpg, and gives up the worst PER in the SG category and the 2nd worst in the PG category. He plays SG and gets cooked at 25 PER, that's awful. He's an average defender and coaching (Him playing SG) has really exploited him defensively.

Pau - PF or C, it does not matter, this dude gets cooked nightly by opposing competition. Gives up the worst PER at PF and the 2nd worst at C. His defense has taken a nose dive and playing the 3rd most minutes on the team, really hampers us defensively.

Young - Has held his own at the SG/SF spot holding each position under league average. His defense has been surprisingly good this season. He's someone you can't put the blame on as to why we suck defensively.

Henry - Same as Nick Young description.

Wesley - He gets tore up at PF and that's all on coaching. He should never be in that position. Holds opposing SF's to the lowest PER at 10.6. If used correctly, he's not a liability on defense.

Kaman - Gets lit up. But he doesn't play much and he's in the dog house.

Hill - Holds opposing players to around average at both positions collectively. Too bad he doesn't get to play as much as he should.

To answer the question, it's a combination of both. Having Meeks and Pau play a majority of the minutes is a buzzkill defensively. Coaching dooms us by playing Blake at the SG and Johnson at the PF.

Add in the injuries, no fundamentals, no team defense, no emphasis on defense and you get what we are seeing. Teams racking up points.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby sister golden hair on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:46 pm

Thank you, Doc Brown. That was an informative post. Props.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby trodgers on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:47 pm

Nice breakdown. PER isn't the be all, end all of defensive stats, but it's not bad. I imagine nearly everyone will find that the eyeball test isn't too far off much of that data.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Doc Brown on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:49 am

trodgers wrote:Nice breakdown. PER isn't the be all, end all of defensive stats, but it's not bad. I imagine nearly everyone will find that the eyeball test isn't too far off much of that data.


I agree that it's not the best to evaluate. For example, I think Marshall's rating is too low, but that might be due to sample size. Kaman is another example, I don't think it's that bad, but he doesn't play much to fairly evaluate based on that number.

Pau/Meeks/Blake(SG)/Johnson(PF)/Young/Henry/Hill all seem accurate when comparing the number to what I see when watching the games.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby Barnstable on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:19 pm

Watching us play the Spurs reinforces something I've thought for quite a while. Our player, over all, aren't terrible. It's the F-ing defensive coaching. You can't tell me freaking Paddy Mills and Marco Belanelli are defensive juggernauts. They're just on a team that has played together long enough to know one another, and more importantly, are coached with a real defensive philosophy that works. Yes we have some players that IMO suck defensively (Meeks being at the top IMO), but even Meeks would be passable if he was on the Spurs. They don't get lost. They don't shade on the wrong side. They don't forget to communicate. The Spurs coaching values defense and obviously know how to instruct their players. It's no coincidence that the Spurs are always near the top of defensive categories year after year after year, no matter who they bring in. They've had some really good defenders over the years, but now they have guys like Boris Diaw, and they still look great defensively. That should tell you something right there!

1. Offensively, we need a few go to players in the crunch, like a Kobe or Melo (yes as much as people hate on him on CL, offensively, he's a go to guy) to make plays when we need scoring. Other than that, our scoring isn't bad.

2. Our defense is terrible and I don't think it's mostly the players faults. I think it's 80% the coaching on this one.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:56 pm

Our defense doesn't suck.

We'd have to have defense before it could suck.

I'm sure if anyone asked MDA he'd say the defense was fine and point to missed 3s and not shooting fast enough.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby KB24 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:41 am

Its the personel and the coach/system. We are not bad...we are absolutely embarassing.
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Re: Defense Sucks!!: Personnel or System?

Postby wcsoldier81 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:47 am

The total absence of a defensive system/ care and the high pace we play at , highly accentuate how bad the majority of our personnel is at defending .

This Antoni crap aside , nobody on this roster is better than "average" defensively .. AND few players have the tools to become a solid defensive player .

Bazemore , Young , maybe X have the athleticism/length tools under the right "tutor" , Wes has them too but his defensive IQ is quite low ... forget about the rest ( unless you consider Hill is still part of this team) .

Great team defense can get away with one bad defensive player and maybe another average one but not with an entire bad/below average starting lineup .

To be an elite defensive team , you often need two (near) elite defenders ... one wing and one on the inside
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