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.