Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:25 pm

Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

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At 36, an ageless Tim Duncan has once again rewritten the guidebook for effective defense using physical efficiency and sharp mental awareness. His play this year has been nothing short of stellar, and he is the front runner for the Defensive Player of the Year.




http://www.poundingtherock.com/2013/3/20/4117576/tim-duncan-is-the-defensive-player-of-the-year

Nice take on defense. Timmy is really having a year. Do I think he's DPOY? Not necessarily, but he sure as hell is the anchor for the best defensive team and should be in DPOY conversation.

The tables in the full article illustrate that Dwight still has a lot of learning to do. He gets called for the most fouls among league leaders in blocks, and according to the author is a number that is
downright terrible
Last edited by Chillbongo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby dj vitus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:04 pm

Link is broken but I imagine the article didn't take into account that a large number of Dwight's fouls are offensive fouls.

If so, then that has nothing to do with being a good/bad defensive player, and the author lost a huge part of his argument.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:37 pm

I've said it before.... DPOY is a worthless award.... well most of the post season awards are fairly useless these days but this one stands out as even more useless.

Statistics and especially personal statistics have little to do with "defense" which is a team concept. Duncan plays on a disciplined team that has a long history together. Everyone knows where everyone else is and what they are going to do. Their coach actually emphasizes defense and I'm sure they spend a lot of time on it as well. To single out someone on that team is to diminish what they have accomplished IMO.

Duncan is a very good defender and a smart player. He also is backed up by dependable and disciplined players that know what to do when he chases a guard... or pursues a block. On the other hand he also know when to do those things within the team concept.

We have a great individual talent who is capable of playing great defense. The discipline and system behind him is what's missing....... along with the coaching emphasis/ability. The statistics are there but they are the problem not the indicator IMO. The proof is right in front of us on a nightly basis.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:58 pm

Link working now.

Roo,

If you read the article before responding, you would see that this actually analyzes Tim's individual D with respect to shot blocks only. It's not so much a barometer for DPOY as it is who is an effective shot blocker or shot contester. Great team defenses are often headed by a defensive anchor, and the statistics provided in the article make the case for why Tim is the most effective anchor.

Rooscooter wrote:Statistics and especially personal statistics have little to do with "defense" which is a team concept. Duncan plays on a disciplined team that has a long history together. Everyone knows where everyone else is and what they are going to do. Their coach actually emphasizes defense and I'm sure they spend a lot of time on it as well. To single out someone on that team is to diminish what they have accomplished IMO.


I think you jumped the gun with this one. If you read the article, it explains how SA's team defense and philosophy funnels things into their anchor (we don't have a philosophy here with MDA), but to take it another step, explains why he is ELITE at being the anchor in the sense of shot blocking (Dwight's not on Tim's level). So while it's true it is a TEAM concept, having an outstanding anchor will take you to the next level defensively.

DJ,

It was referencing defensive fouls. Link should be working now, take a look -- it shows some interesting stats.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:17 pm

Chillbongo wrote:Link working now.

Roo,

If you read the article before responding, you would see that this actually analyzes Tim's individual D with respect to shot blocks only. It's not so much a barometer for DPOY as it is who is an effective shot blocker or shot contester. Great team defenses are often headed by a defensive anchor, and the statistics provided in the article make the case for why Tim is the most effective anchor.

Rooscooter wrote:Statistics and especially personal statistics have little to do with "defense" which is a team concept. Duncan plays on a disciplined team that has a long history together. Everyone knows where everyone else is and what they are going to do. Their coach actually emphasizes defense and I'm sure they spend a lot of time on it as well. To single out someone on that team is to diminish what they have accomplished IMO.


I think you jumped the gun with this one. If you read the article, it explains how SA's team defense and philosophy funnels things into their anchor (we don't have a philosophy here with MDA), but to take it another step, explains why he is ELITE at being the anchor in the sense of shot blocking (Dwight's not on Tim's level). So while it's true it is a TEAM concept, having an outstanding anchor will take you to the next level defensively.

DJ,

It was referencing defensive fouls. Link should be working now, take a look -- it shows some interesting stats.


:man3:
I did read the article... I was pointing out that calling Duncan the DPOY is a disservice to the scheme and other players. The award implies that the Spurs defense is good BECAUSE of Duncan..... when Duncan's play is noticeable BECAUSE OF THE TEAM CONCEPT AND THE OTHER PLAYERS.....

The fouls thing is meaningless in the larger scheme of team defense. Veteran players never get the fouls the younger ones do.... that's a reality in the NBA
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby The Rock on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:20 pm

I dont know how you can get defensive player of the year awards when you play less than 30 minutes a game
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:26 pm

I'm not suggesting he's DPOY, I'm suggesting that he is one of the best anchors. And within that I acknowledged that it is the team philosophy and team defense that puts him in a position to do so.

Using Dwight as a comparison again, if we had better team defense and an actual philosophy, would those numbers be better? Probably.

I'm not sure I understand why the fouls are "meaningless". If you are an anchor and contesting shots all day, I think a foul/block ratio indicates something. Not everything, not necessarily a complete picture, but something. To add, Dwight is a veteran, so I'm not sure if that excuses his ratio.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby therealdeal on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:45 pm

Well if you're taking just total fouls into account, Dwight gets whistled for more offensive fouls than defensive fouls every game. I don't have any stats, just guessing off of observations.

Offensive fouls have literally nothing to do with defensive presence.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:45 pm

Chillbongo wrote:I'm not suggesting he's DPOY, I'm suggesting that he is one of the best anchors. And within that I acknowledged that it is the team philosophy and team defense that puts him in a position to do so.

Using Dwight as a comparison again, if we had better team defense and an actual philosophy, would those numbers be better? Probably.

I'm not sure I understand why the fouls are "meaningless". If you are an anchor and contesting shots all day, I think a foul/block ratio indicates something. Not everything, not necessarily a complete picture, but something. To add, Dwight is a veteran, so I'm not sure if that excuses his ratio.


It's not the numbers IMO or the award but if Dwight and the rest of our team had a philosophy and discipline his play would stand out and our defense wouldn't suck as much as it does.

Blocks are not a real good indicator of "defense" IMO. They are a record of touching the ball after someone shoots it..... nothing more. Over 50% of them do not result in a change of possession and missed blocked shots result in very easy looks. A very good player at blocking shots is successful on average about 2.5 times a game in about 15 to 18 attempts.

I really don't like using blocks as a indicator of "defensive" value unless you can follow it to changes of possession or the team rotating behind the block and getting the rebound. Our game in Denver a few weeks ago was a good example of that. Howard chased shooter all over the place and McGee and others scooped up the easy rebounds for dunks and layups behind him.... Stat's said he got blocks and the announcers said he was changing shots.... the results were different.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:26 am

Rooscooter wrote:Blocks are not a real good indicator of "defense" IMO. They are a record of touching the ball after someone shoots it..... nothing more. Over 50% of them do not result in a change of possession and missed blocked shots result in very easy looks. A very good player at blocking shots is successful on average about 2.5 times a game in about 15 to 18 attempts.

I really don't like using blocks as a indicator of "defensive" value unless you can follow it to changes of possession or the team rotating behind the block and getting the rebound.


Sure you read the article? There's a table in there that shows that Tim Duncan's blocked shots for example. result in his team recovering the possession 64% of the time. In fact, with regard to the examples used in the article (top shot blockers and defensive anchors), these players' blocks actually end up returning possession to their team more than 50% of the time.

While I agree that missed blocks end up causing easy 2nd chance points, I think that's another reason the author measured % of blocks on layups. While we can't document every single action on defense, if an anchor is more keen on blocking layups than jumpers, it would allow that player to potentially rebound the ball more easily than if he was contesting jumpers. Obviously, contesting shots is going to result in easier rebounding opportunities for the offense sometimes, but in basketball you have to contest shots. But there should be a strategy/philosophy about it.

The article also addresses the concern with offensive rebounds, which is why it used the possession recovery numbers in the first place.

Overall point being, blocks do mean something. How you block makes a difference. Being an effective shot blocker while minimizing your defensive fouls and returning possession to your team is huge. Tim Duncan ranks at the top of anchors who do that, and possibly as a result of the Spurs outstanding team defense and philosophy.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:02 pm

Chillbongo wrote:
Rooscooter wrote:Blocks are not a real good indicator of "defense" IMO. They are a record of touching the ball after someone shoots it..... nothing more. Over 50% of them do not result in a change of possession and missed blocked shots result in very easy looks. A very good player at blocking shots is successful on average about 2.5 times a game in about 15 to 18 attempts.

I really don't like using blocks as a indicator of "defensive" value unless you can follow it to changes of possession or the team rotating behind the block and getting the rebound.


Sure you read the article? There's a table in there that shows that Tim Duncan's blocked shots for example. result in his team recovering the possession 64% of the time. In fact, with regard to the examples used in the article (top shot blockers and defensive anchors), these players' blocks actually end up returning possession to their team more than 50% of the time.

While I agree that missed blocks end up causing easy 2nd chance points, I think that's another reason the author measured % of blocks on layups. While we can't document every single action on defense, if an anchor is more keen on blocking layups than jumpers, it would allow that player to potentially rebound the ball more easily than if he was contesting jumpers. Obviously, contesting shots is going to result in easier rebounding opportunities for the offense sometimes, but in basketball you have to contest shots. But there should be a strategy/philosophy about it.

The article also addresses the concern with offensive rebounds, which is why it used the possession recovery numbers in the first place.

Overall point being, blocks do mean something. How you block makes a difference. Being an effective shot blocker while minimizing your defensive fouls and returning possession to your team is huge. Tim Duncan ranks at the top of anchors who do that, and possibly as a result of the Spurs outstanding team defense and philosophy.


Yes I read the article.... and I think I've said TWICE that the team that Duncan is part of is a fantastic defensive team and covers well for him when he pursues a shot. We are the exact opposite.....

Blocked shots return to the team shooting over 50% of the time in all of the seasons I've researched. Maybe this season is an anomaly or the author is considering something differently than the numbers I've seen.

Blocked shots are not that good of a defensive indicator IMO..... they are an individual stat and have little to do with stopping offensive possessions by themselves. How the shot is blocked, who is rotating and team rebounding can all make a blocked shot more effective but unto itself it isn't a indicator that the defense is good or bad. It's just a recording of touching a shot

If you have READ my posts you would know that DPOY and individual defensive stats are pretty meaningless to me. Give me a team that defends like the old, slow and un-athletic Spurs over all of the athletic, high jumping shot blockers in the league. Good defense is about position, BBIQ and trusting in your teammates not trophies, pundit recognition and fantasy stats......
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:15 am

It sounds like you're saying the person who blocks shots isn't as crucial to getting stops as is the rest of the defense. So let me ask you this.

You think the numbers in the article on Duncan are purely as a result of the team defense? You don't think his selection of what shots to block, how he blocks them (possession), and whether or not he fouls in the process is indicative of his defensive savvy? And you don't think those factors influence the team's ability to get a stop (in addition to the team defense, rotations, etc like you noted)?

While I agree blocks in and of themselves do not indicate much, I think the breakdown in that article takes it a step further. Duncan is not the league leader in blocks, but he is damn good at avoiding fouls, blocks mostly on layups, and his team obtains possession on almost 65% of his blocks. Replace Dwight Howard with Duncan on that Spurs team and I'm not convinced those numbers are the same.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:57 pm

Chillbongo wrote:It sounds like you're saying the person who blocks shots isn't as crucial to getting stops as is the rest of the defense. So let me ask you this.

You think the numbers in the article on Duncan are purely as a result of the team defense? You don't think his selection of what shots to block, how he blocks them (possession), and whether or not he fouls in the process is indicative of his defensive savvy? And you don't think those factors influence the team's ability to get a stop (in addition to the team defense, rotations, etc like you noted)?

While I agree blocks in and of themselves do not indicate much, I think the breakdown in that article takes it a step further. Duncan is not the league leader in blocks, but he is damn good at avoiding fouls, blocks mostly on layups, and his team obtains possession on almost 65% of his blocks. Replace Dwight Howard with Duncan on that Spurs team and I'm not convinced those numbers are the same.


Oh I agree it takes it a step further and I'm actually glad to see someone actually equate this to actual defensive results. It takes someone capable of blocking shots in the first place as well.

My issue has always been with the whole statistical evaluation of defense on an individual basis. Defense is a team aspect of basketball. There are individual aspects to it but for it to be effective it cannot be the result of one or two players and, IMO, cannot be quantified in a statistic. Especially the blocked shot statistic.

Rotations, rebounding, switching, effort, desire to play on that end of the floor, technique and most importantly coaching philosophy are what results in good defensive play.

Howard has more physical tools than Duncan ever had and yet IMO his "defense" is a double edged sword for us. George Karl obviously game-planned for Howard's propensity to chase shooters a few weeks ago when we played Denver. The guards were penetrating and just throwing stuff up at the backboard... Howard was biting on it and leaving their center to chase the shot. McGee and the others cleaned up a bunch of those missed attempts. The announcers were proclaiming that Howard was causing a ton of misses with his "effort".

Now for what really happened... Karl isolated Howard and their center low and on the weak side of the floor.... ran a pick and roll with Lawson with the SF or PF. They overloaded the set opposite of Howard so when he chased the shooter (Lawson) he left McGee alone in a position where no one could rotate to him to secure the rebound. It worked for them on at least 6 possessions in the second half of that game. For all of his natural ability he doesn't have the fundamental discipline to stay home when he has no balance on his side of the floor to account for his man.

That is what defense is about.... Howard got a couple blocks in that game and the announcers applauded his effort but Karl got Howard to do exactly what he wanted him to do and got the results he wanted to get. We were out coached and no one recognized the issue until Kobe and Nash pulled Howard aside midway through the 4th quarter when he was barking at them for not covering for his man.

I'm not picking on Howard... it's just an example of a team that knows each other and is well coached on that end of the floor and one that doesn't know each other and the coach has maybe heard the term "defense" somewhere before.....

Duncan gets blocks and his team is making them count. That's what I took away from the article.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Chillbongo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:32 pm

Rooscooter wrote:George Karl obviously game-planned for Howard's propensity to chase shooters a few weeks ago when we played Denver. The guards were penetrating and just throwing stuff up at the backboard... Howard was biting on it and leaving their center to chase the shot. McGee and the others cleaned up a bunch of those missed attempts. The announcers were proclaiming that Howard was causing a ton of misses with his "effort".

Now for what really happened... Karl isolated Howard and their center low and on the weak side of the floor.... ran a pick and roll with Lawson with the SF or PF. They overloaded the set opposite of Howard so when he chased the shooter (Lawson) he left McGee alone in a position where no one could rotate to him to secure the rebound. It worked for them on at least 6 possessions in the second half of that game. For all of his natural ability he doesn't have the fundamental discipline to stay home when he has no balance on his side of the floor to account for his man.

That was terrible, just terrible. He really did outsmart Dwight and MDA. And it's MDA's job to coach Dwight on those things. Great game plan by Karl, our team would benefit from a smart coach like that.

Rooscooter wrote:That is what defense is about.... Howard got a couple blocks in that game and the announcers applauded his effort but Karl got Howard to do exactly what he wanted him to do and got the results he wanted to get. We were out coached and no one recognized the issue until Kobe and Nash pulled Howard aside midway through the 4th quarter when he was barking at them for not covering for his man

Exactly, his shot blocking is exploited because he's not disciplined in it. If we had Duncan replace Dwight on this team, we'd still be terrible defensively. But what this article tells me is that we would still return more possessions than with Dwight, we'd contest less jumpers and more layups (likely leading to rebound the ball more), and get called for less defensive fouls. Which would help us get more stops. In a vacuum, Tim is still a more effective anchor than Dwight.

Rooscooter wrote:Duncan gets blocks and his team is making them count. That's what I took away from the article.

That's a true statement, but it's not just that Duncan "gets blocks". Dwight "gets blocks" too. The difference is that Duncan has a disciplined shot blocking philosophy -- reinforced by his coach, their philosophy, and their team defense.
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Re: Tim Duncan is the Defensive Player of the Year: Blocks

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Chillbongo wrote:
Rooscooter wrote:George Karl obviously game-planned for Howard's propensity to chase shooters a few weeks ago when we played Denver. The guards were penetrating and just throwing stuff up at the backboard... Howard was biting on it and leaving their center to chase the shot. McGee and the others cleaned up a bunch of those missed attempts. The announcers were proclaiming that Howard was causing a ton of misses with his "effort".

Now for what really happened... Karl isolated Howard and their center low and on the weak side of the floor.... ran a pick and roll with Lawson with the SF or PF. They overloaded the set opposite of Howard so when he chased the shooter (Lawson) he left McGee alone in a position where no one could rotate to him to secure the rebound. It worked for them on at least 6 possessions in the second half of that game. For all of his natural ability he doesn't have the fundamental discipline to stay home when he has no balance on his side of the floor to account for his man.

That was terrible, just terrible. He really did outsmart Dwight and MDA. And it's MDA's job to coach Dwight on those things. Great game plan by Karl, our team would benefit from a smart coach like that.

Rooscooter wrote:That is what defense is about.... Howard got a couple blocks in that game and the announcers applauded his effort but Karl got Howard to do exactly what he wanted him to do and got the results he wanted to get. We were out coached and no one recognized the issue until Kobe and Nash pulled Howard aside midway through the 4th quarter when he was barking at them for not covering for his man

Exactly, his shot blocking is exploited because he's not disciplined in it. If we had Duncan replace Dwight on this team, we'd still be terrible defensively. But what this article tells me is that we would still return more possessions than with Dwight, we'd contest less jumpers and more layups (likely leading to rebound the ball more), and get called for less defensive fouls. Which would help us get more stops. In a vacuum, Tim is still a more effective anchor than Dwight.

Rooscooter wrote:Duncan gets blocks and his team is making them count. That's what I took away from the article.

That's a true statement, but it's not just that Duncan "gets blocks". Dwight "gets blocks" too. The difference is that Duncan has a disciplined shot blocking philosophy -- reinforced by his coach, their philosophy, and their team defense.


We have the pieces to have a good defense but lack of time together and lack of a disciplined approach. Howard can be coached on this and his abilities maximized by the right coach. Personally I'd like to see Jeff Van Gundy get a shot at it.....

Dwight does need to know when to go after shots and not to block them out of bounds. This is where Duncan is very good.
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