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So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

the Nets at 3-4 lead the division and have third seed in the playoffs. Nets will get better as long as Collins isn't going to play the entire season in pain. Collins is critical to this team. It ain't fantasy ball they play out there every night. Dan Rosenbaum, the stats guy, is right: Nets play better when Collins is on the court.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

Regardless of conf/div seeds, there are several things that need to be addressed, of which, the first and the foremost is defense. In particular, the perimeter defense has been atrocious. Everytime the Nets have tried to come back from a deficit of 10 points or so, and worked hard for their points, they've given up 2-3 quick three pointers to squander their work. Also, the Nets have to get Kidd more into the offense. Does seem as though his role has changed this year, with VC and RJ (and even McInnis) handling the ball more.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

Aurelino said:
Regardless of conf/div seeds, there are several things that need to be addressed, of which, the first and the foremost is defense. In particular, the perimeter defense has been atrocious. Everytime the Nets have tried to come back from a deficit of 10 points or so, and worked hard for their points, they've given up 2-3 quick three pointers to squander their work. Also, the Nets have to get Kidd more into the offense. Does seem as though his role has changed this year, with VC and RJ (and even McInnis) handling the ball more.

Defense has been dreadful, particularly perimter defense. Went to 82games.com and learned that 70% of all shots taken by Nets' opponents have been jump shots. That's a very high number. It means opposing coaches know all about perimeter defense and are taking advantage of the situation.

http://www.82games.com/0506/0506NJN3.HTM

But it is still early. RJ said Nets fans could expect problems the first 20 games as the SEVEN new guys learn the offensive and defensive systems. Thirteen more to go. I was optimistic something would happen when the Nets were 2-12 last year. I am not going to be pessimistic now.

When taking a look at the 82games data, also take a look at how early in the shot clock teams are firing up shots. Another indication of how poor the perimeter defense has been.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

NetIncome said:
Defense has been dreadful, particularly perimter defense. Went to 82games.com and learned that 70% of all shots taken by Nets' opponents have been jump shots. That's a very high number. It means opposing coaches know all about perimeter defense and are taking advantage of the situation.
I'm (slowly) embarking on my own detailed analysis of Nets' defense, and my empirical observations jive with that data. The amount of jump shots being taken -- and the alarming percentage made -- by opponents really stands out. But I reach a slightly different conclusion about the cause.

Yes, the permiter defense has miles and miles to go. Kidd, in particular, is going to cede a lot of ground to the TJ Fords and Ben Gordons of the league and, unlike Carter or Jefferson, he doesn't have the length or leaping ability to still challenge the shot when laying back. Gordon shot over him like he wasn't there most of the Chicago game. He is the biggest weakness in the perimeter man-to-man defense, at least in the starting unit.

But that's not the whole story. The Nets (Kidd included) are doing a good job most of the time at keeping perimeter players out of the paint. That's the conventional wisdom, give up the jumper and take away the inside.

But if you're still getting beat that way, you'd like to be able to gamble a little more out high, play the perimeter tighter, capitalize on the extra turnovers or missed jumpers that high pressure causes, and rely on your interior defense to come through when the concomitant and inevitable increase in penetration happens.

The Nets could do that, but, unlike the really good defensive teams, they have no mammoth or athletic interior defender that can disrupt the shot of a penetrating guard at the right moment while still zoning on an opposing big man who's waiting on a pass. They have no Wallaces, no O'Neals, no Duncan, no Mourning. Until they upgrade the athleticism of their interior players, I don't see them becoming elite defensively.

To me it's no surprise that the most effective lineup for the team during tight spots of games has been a small lineup with RJ and VC as forwards and McInnis (or Vaughn) and Kidd in the backcourt. That lineup allows them to at least be a little more aggressive defensively on the perimeter and it helps on the offensive end because of the additional options of shooters and dribble penetrators.

The problem with the party line you always hear about "we're going to win games with our defense because that's how you win championships" is that not every team has the personnel to win that way. Barring personnel changes, these Nets are one team that will never be much above average if they program their lineup to maximize their defensive potential.

Sure there are some fixable problems with their defense right now: poor communication/coordination on how to defend high pick and rolls, particularly those involving Jefferson on the small; slow or wrong rotations; poor judgments about when to have a weakside defender collapse to help on strong side penetration; and just plain old intensity.

The Nets' defense has been remarkably more intense in the 4th quarters of most games than at any other time. I'm not foolish enough to think that you can really play all out for 48 minutes. No one does, no matter what they say. The psychology will always dictate a higher level of effort down the stretch.

That said, the defensive intensity could certainly be higher earlier in the game.

They MIGHT have a chance at outscoring some teams if they utilized Padgett and Zoran more, particularly when Carter is in the game to draw weakside defenders on post ups or wing drives. I was encouraged that Frank at least tried Padgett in the starting lineup in Indy, though it's evident the guy doesn't have his confidence or rhythm yet because his minutes have been so sporadic. If Collins is out for a while, I hope he sticks with that experiment long enough to give it an honest look.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

FOMW said:
Yes, the permiter defense has miles and miles to go. Kidd, in particular, is going to cede a lot of ground to the TJ Fords and Ben Gordons of the league and, unlike Carter or Jefferson, he doesn't have the length or leaping ability to still challenge the shot when laying back. Gordon shot over him like he wasn't there most of the Chicago game. He is the biggest weakness in the perimeter man-to-man defense, at least in the starting unit.

But that's not the whole story. The Nets (Kidd included) are doing a good job most of the time at keeping perimeter players out of the paint. That's the conventional wisdom, give up the jumper and take away the inside.

But if you're still getting beat that way, you'd like to be able to gamble a little more out high, play the perimeter tighter, capitalize on the extra turnovers or missed jumpers that high pressure causes, and rely on your interior defense to come through when the concomitant and inevitable increase in penetration happens.

The Nets could do that, but, unlike the really good defensive teams, they have no mammoth or athletic interior defender that can disrupt the shot of a penetrating guard at the right moment while still zoning on an opposing big man who's waiting on a pass. They have no Wallaces, no O'Neals, no Duncan, no Mourning. Until they upgrade the athleticism of their interior players, I don't see them becoming elite defensively.
There has been an ongoing debate on this board about whether the perimeter defense would benefit more from an inside presence to control the paint or a good man defender who can take away easy shots.

I have always been a proponent of fixing the defensive problems on this team from the inside-out, mainly for two reasons.

1. The Nets' best players are perimeter players, and this new guy (say a Trent Hassell type) would take minutes away from guys who should be in the game.

2. I do not think Kidd, Carter, Jefferson or McInnis are bad defensive players. They look worse because other players in the league have a lot more leeway to play up on their man. Even Zoran could do a decent enough job on a team like the Nuggets or Pistons that owns the area near the rim.



The Nets' defense has been remarkably more intense in the 4th quarters of most games than at any other time. I'm not foolish enough to think that you can really play all out for 48 minutes. No one does, no matter what they say. The psychology will always dictate a higher level of effort down the stretch.
Exactly. I read constantly how this or that guy is a lazy bum - or that Coach Frank is crazy for playing a zone.

Well, the team isn't constructed to play man defense effectively for the whole game. This is how it has to be until things are fixed.


Even with all these defensive issues, the Nets are still a good enough team to win 45 games. They are in a shooting slump right now, so they look bad, but it won't last.

They have a nice offensive balance and once they start hitting those open looks, they will go on a roll. People won't be so focused on the defense.

Thorn has until the trade deadline to try and make this success translate into playoff wins.
 
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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

Lakermike05 said:
You guys will pick it up, I see this team making a big run .........Just think about it J-kidd Vince and Rj on one team? Mix it up and you got a contender !
ha I think they will...guys are a little nervous over here...

Sidenote- Smush is da man...bout time my boy got some PT...
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

2. I do not think Kidd, Carter, Jefferson or McInnis are bad defensive players. They look worse because other players in the league have a lot more leeway to play up on their man. Even Zoran could do a decent enough job on a team like the Nuggets or Pistons that owns the area near the rim.
Bingo. The same qualities that make Carter and Jefferson two of the best athletes in the NBA are qualities that, when fully exploited, make them well above average defenders at their positions. For short stretches when he's not having to worry about foul trouble and is fully focussed and intent on shutting down his man, Carter is an elite perimeter defender. I don't care about all the propaganda that Michael Jordan started when he was retired and jealous of all the Vinsanity hype. And I eschew the out and out fabrications of posters on this very forum who let others do their thinking for them. I trust my own eyes, and I've seen him do it time and time again at the end of games over the likes of Redd, Allen, Wade, etc. And RJ's defensive prowess is well recognized. If these guys could be turned loose on the outside to gamble and play tighter on their man because they had a solid, athletic interior defender and rebounder, the Nets' game would improve in almost too many ways to count.

Obviously, opponents' outisde shooting percentage, particularly from 3, would drop. Turnovers caused by deflections and steals would increase. That in turn would ignite the fast break because permiter turnovers are the surest avenue to fast break points, usually because the players causing them already have their momentum going toward the opposite goal.

And even when the gambles outside fail and the permiter offensive player drives inside, if the interior defense can cause a tough shot AND still rebound the ball, you now suddenly have a big man rebounding inside the paint instead of a 6'4" guard or 6'7" forward. That means a better chance at a quick outlet pass because of the sheer geometry involved in being able to see and pass over the top of a crowd. That in turn means more fast break opportunities which means utilizing Jason Kidd's best assets, raising your FG%, and maybe even encouraging Carter to run half as consistently as RJ (once he gets jealous of all the RJ fast break dunks).

This is a good point to mention what advantage a dominant big man REBOUNDER would mean to the team, even if he's just a wide body that's not going to get off the ground and really challenge shots. It means you liberate your perimeter, and particularly Kidd, from having to hang around inside the paint after every opponent's FG attempt in order to make sure the Nets get the rebound. Yes, it's nice for their individual stat sheets for RJ, Kidd, and Carter to be getting as many rebounds as they're getting, and it's nice for the team that they are contributing so heavily to make sure there's a change of possession after an opponent's missed FG. But that is coming at the expense of the break, which, I repeat, is the only way you are going to see the best of Jason Kidd. You aren't going to get nearly as many fast break opportunities, and certainly not as high a quality, if your smalls never feel the freedom to release on the shot and at least start even with their perimeter defenders, who are drilled in transition defense to forfeit offensive rebounds in order to protect the other end of the court. Look at how many Net breaks actually begin with a quick outlet from inside to a ball handler that's already at or beyond the 3 point line. It's almost zero. I have never seen a good fast breaking team operate that way. It almost always starts with defensive rebounding and quick outlets.

Even with all these defensive issues, the Nets are still a good enough team to win 45 games. They are in a shooting slump right now, so they look bad, but it won't last.
I agree. I'm not panicked. The offense will improve much more than the defense, IMO, because guys will gradually come to top form and will learn when and where their shots are going to come in the offense. That result will be even surer if Padgett and Zoran get good minutes.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

FOMW said:
For short stretches when he's not having to worry about foul trouble and is fully focussed and intent on shutting down his man, Carter is an elite perimeter defender.
In the first quarter against the Bucks, Carter played Redd straight up and Redd was 1-3 with 5 points. Carter blocked him once.

As soon as Frank went to the zone, Redd went insane.

Why did he switch? Because the Nets can't win in the 4th quarter if they play man defense the whole game.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

even if we go and become the third seed, the question is that can we beat the elites in the second round?
the answer is no if we stay w/ these current bigs.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

Great thread, FOMW and ghoti.
Like FOMW said, not having a physical rebounding big in the middle means that RJ and/or Kidd have to shoulder the responsibility of rebounding the ball, which takes away Kidd's greatest strength--running the break. It also means that when the opposing team gets second chance opportunities through long rebounds or kick-outs, our perimeter players are so out of position that it becomes extremely difficult to challenge such shots. In many cases the opposition gunners get wide open looks.
 
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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

Aurelino said:
Great thread, FOMW and ghoti.
Like FOMW said, not having a physical rebounding big in the middle means that RJ and/or Kidd have to shoulder the responsibility of rebounding the ball, which takes away Kidd's greatest strength--running the break. It also means that when the opposing team gets second chance opportunities through long rebounds or kick-outs, our perimeter players are so out of position that it becomes extremely difficult to challenge such shots. In many cases the opposition gunners get wide open looks.
Another vote for fixing the defense inside-out!

I don't see any of those outside-in guys around, but they have made some good counter-points in past discussions.

Hope they find this thread.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

There are reasons I come to this board.

Thank you.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

ghoti said:
Another vote for fixing the defense inside-out!

I don't see any of those outside-in guys around, but they have made some good counter-points in past discussions.

Hope they find this thread.
As one of the outside-in guys, I'll respond.

First, I believe we need to define what we are talking about. I see this as a question of if you could add a 15 MPG player to the Nets (that Frank would actually play) would you rather it be a defensive big man or a defensive perimeter player. From a pure rotational perspective, it appears that the easiest 15 MPG to replace in the lineup is Uncle Cliffys and I agree that the Nets need to improve their big man depth. However, with what I'm proposing, I would rather see a versatile big with a good bball IQ like Padgett on the court.

What I would like to see is that when the Nets zone they use more ball pressure and zone traps up the court. This is where the defensive specialist would come into play. Allow them to be the initator of that ball pressure and then utilize another of the reserve wings (such as the tall Zoran) or Padgett (who has experience with this style from playing under Pitino in college) as the second player for the trap. Which ever of the big 3 wings are in the game, they can stay back and play free saftey to react to the direction of the passes out of the trap or if the opposing guard is able to split the double.

If you remember, when Ainge gave Mike James to the Pistons, they were able to apply a ton of ball pressure with James and Hunter. With those two defending in the backcourt, the Pistons were still able to play solid defense for streches with Okur and Corliss as the C and PF.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

cpawfan said:
As one of the outside-in guys, I'll respond.

First, I believe we need to define what we are talking about. I see this as a question of if you could add a 15 MPG player to the Nets (that Frank would actually play) would you rather it be a defensive big man or a defensive perimeter player. From a pure rotational perspective, it appears that the easiest 15 MPG to replace in the lineup is Uncle Cliffys and I agree that the Nets need to improve their big man depth. However, with what I'm proposing, I would rather see a versatile big with a good bball IQ like Padgett on the court.

What I would like to see is that when the Nets zone they use more ball pressure and zone traps up the court. This is where the defensive specialist would come into play. Allow them to be the initator of that ball pressure and then utilize another of the reserve wings (such as the tall Zoran) or Padgett (who has experience with this style from playing under Pitino in college) as the second player for the trap. Which ever of the big 3 wings are in the game, they can stay back and play free saftey to react to the direction of the passes out of the trap or if the opposing guard is able to split the double.

If you remember, when Ainge gave Mike James to the Pistons, they were able to apply a ton of ball pressure with James and Hunter. With those two defending in the backcourt, the Pistons were still able to play solid defense for streches with Okur and Corliss as the C and PF.
Let's say the Nets employed this strategy when the 2nd unit hit the floor.

Right now, Kidd and Carter are sitting around the 4:00 mark of the 1st and 3rd.

First, if the pressing, trapping guards were effective and kept the score close (especially with Zoran and RJ on the floor to create and drive offensively), could the Nets play intense man defense the rest of the game?

I think it's possible. At the very least, it would cause the other coach to react to what the Nets are doing, rather than the other way around.

Second, is there anyone currently on the roster who could give the other team's ballhandlers pressure? Can Wright, Vaughn, McInnis or Linton accomplish this in the interim until another player is acquired?
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

ghoti said:
In the first quarter against the Bucks, Carter played Redd straight up and Redd was 1-3 with 5 points. Carter blocked him once.

As soon as Frank went to the zone, Redd went insane.

Why did he switch? Because the Nets can't win in the 4th quarter if they play man defense the whole game.
ghoti, I'll go back and check on the # of instances of zone. I recall it being used, for sure, but I'm pretty sure there was a good deal of man in the 2nd half too.

Carter wasn't guarding Redd too much the second half. I assume that was because he picked up two 1st quarter fouls and has shown he is prone to foul trouble when he gets a couple early.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

cpawfan said:
What I would like to see is that when the Nets zone they use more ball pressure and zone traps up the court. This is where the defensive specialist would come into play. Allow them to be the initator of that ball pressure and then utilize another of the reserve wings (such as the tall Zoran) or Padgett (who has experience with this style from playing under Pitino in college) as the second player for the trap. Which ever of the big 3 wings are in the game, they can stay back and play free saftey to react to the direction of the passes out of the trap or if the opposing guard is able to split the double.

If you remember, when Ainge gave Mike James to the Pistons, they were able to apply a ton of ball pressure with James and Hunter. With those two defending in the backcourt, the Pistons were still able to play solid defense for streches with Okur and Corliss as the C and PF.
I've never been a big fan of full court trapping at the NBA level. Certainly it can produce results from time to time, especially against young teams or teams with below average ball-handlers in the back court. And I wouldn't be opposed to mixing up a defense to include some possessions where full court traps were used.

But by and large it's a high-risk defense that leads to easy shots for the opponent at least as often as it nets turnovers or easy shots for the trapping team, and it requires the expense of a lot of energy from the trapping players, which means it's not an ideal defense for teams that don't like to use the bench (like the Nets). I was still a committed Celtic fan when Rick Pitino took over the Celtics, and his NBA experiments with trapping defenses were ultimately disappointing.

Where I do think an outstanding ball pressure specialist would be valuable to the Nets is in simply applying full court (single) pressure on the ball handler every single time the opponent brings the ball up court with an eye towards delaying the half court offensive sets as long as possible. The lower you can get the shot clock before the other team really starts to get into what they want to do, the more aggressive the individual defenders can be on their man because they won't have as many rotations to sustain. And consistent full court pressure can yield an occasional 8 second call or turnover all on its own.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

FOMW said:
I've never been a big fan of full court trapping at the NBA level. Certainly it can produce results from time to time, especially against young teams or teams with below average ball-handlers in the back court. And I wouldn't be opposed to mixing up a defense to include some possessions where full court traps were used.

But by and large it's a high-risk defense that leads to easy shots for the opponent at least as often as it nets turnovers or easy shots for the trapping team, and it requires the expense of a lot of energy from the trapping players, which means it's not an ideal defense for teams that don't like to use the bench (like the Nets). I was still a committed Celtic fan when Rick Pitino took over the Celtics, and his NBA experiments with trapping defenses were ultimately disappointing.

Where I do think an outstanding ball pressure specialist would be valuable to the Nets is in simply applying full court (single) pressure on the ball handler every single time the opponent brings the ball up court with an eye towards delaying the half court offensive sets as long as possible. The lower you can get the shot clock before the other team really starts to get into what they want to do, the more aggressive the individual defenders can be on their man because they won't have as many rotations to sustain. And consistent full court pressure can yield an occasional 8 second call or turnover all on its own.
I'm not asking for full court traps, rather 3/4 or near half court. Full court defenses and traps are hard to pull off in the NBA because of the number of above average ball handlers these days. Additionally, when you plan to use a full court defense, it is obvious to the other team and they can adjust quickly. By making use of delayed traps, you accomplish 2 things. 1) Generally there is only 1 offensive player in the backcourt and 2) you're delaying a team moving the ball past half court with the majority of the 8 second count gone.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers

FOMW said:
ghoti, I'll go back and check on the # of instances of zone. I recall it being used, for sure, but I'm pretty sure there was a good deal of man in the 2nd half too.
The Nets have been playing man defense in the 4th quarter. Without watching the game again, I recall the 2nd and 3rd being almost exclusively zone.

The Nets just got killed in those quarters. Once the Bucks shooters got hot, even contested shots went in and the game was lost.
 

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Re: So if the Clips beat the Sixers (W/Defensive Analysis)

ghoti said:
Let's say the Nets employed this strategy when the 2nd unit hit the floor.

Right now, Kidd and Carter are sitting around the 4:00 mark of the 1st and 3rd.

First, if the pressing, trapping guards were effective and kept the score close (especially with Zoran and RJ on the floor to create and drive offensively), could the Nets play intense man defense the rest of the game?

I think it's possible. At the very least, it would cause the other coach to react to what the Nets are doing, rather than the other way around.

Second, is there anyone currently on the roster who could give the other team's ballhandlers pressure? Can Wright, Vaughn, McInnis or Linton accomplish this in the interim until another player is acquired?
Of the 4 players you mentioned, I would want to see what Wright could do if he focused on denying the dribble. I don't believe Linton has the lateral quickness to guard PGs and Vaughn is more speed bumb than ball hawk. McInnis would probably pick up some fouls attempting to do it, but since he appears willing to take direction from Frank, why not try it with him?
 
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