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Martin acquisition achieving its goal and...boosting defense?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by CDrex, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. CDrex

    CDrex Contributing Member

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    This isn't really a thread about the defense of the Martin-Brooks backcourt combo. That's me throwing up sensationalist thread titles for fun. :grin: But I wanted to point out that I think they're doing exactly what we want them to do (outside of perhaps the last two minutes ;) ). The defense is just an interesting aside to the point.

    Now, obviously one of the biggest problems we faced in the early season was our starters getting mauled by the other team's starters until the Lowry-Landry bench corps came riding to the rescue. It was, to some extent, effective, but all it really said was that we had a great bench. If we had trotted out Lowry and Landry as starters, I doubt an enormous amount would have changed. We had depth, and the ability to run through most opposing benches with our bench talent, but it's not like the bench would have just dominated NBA starters - it was dominating other benches.

    Martin was brought in to help our starters have a little more starpower to throw at the opponents' starting fives, and attempt to play more evenly with the starters of playoff teams. Obviously this was expected at the offensive end, not the defensive end. Regardless, one of the real questions about the trade could be posed as following:

    "Does Kevin Martin help our starting lineup outplay the other team's to the extent that it justifies giving up Carl Landry's ability to help the bench be dominant against opposing benches?"

    Since the trade it has been a mixed bag of wins and losses, but most would say we're not playing super well. I think most smart fans know it's unfair to expect an immediate elite level of play after adding four new players, so the subjective "not off to a great start" can be turned into a "wait and see" by the optimistic fan, and I think "wait and see" is the fairest thing to do for a time, as far as waiting for this trade to net us wins.

    However, we can look at the performance of the version of starting lineup which features Battier rather than Ariza. Chemistry and performance may change if Shane slides to the bench in favor of Trevor, but let's just check out what's happening now, by looking at the performance of the Hayes-Scola-Battier-Martin-Brooks lineup, which has logged 50 minutes of court time so far according to 82games:

    [​IMG]

    Naturally, sample size is small, so curse me out for that if you will; know that I'm not treating this as fact, only an interesting trend which would be nice to see continue. However, it's still very interesting that the swing in the play of the starting five has been so dramatic. This isn't only because of the schedule, either. While this unit has logged minutes against the Wolves and Raptors, it also did so against the Magic and Spurs.

    The offensive and defensive numbers are points per possession. The starting five has, in the time available to them, improved slightly on the offensive PPS from the Battriza version of the lineup. But the really startling thing is the defensive numbers. Chalk it up to luck, or small sample size, or bad opposing offenses, or whatever...it's still jarring to see our new starters posting BY FAR the best PPS of any lineup we've played this season. You'd think maybe if you just throw a unit out there for less than 50 minutes, maybe they get lucky. But to be .18 points per possession better than the next best defensive lineup? That raises eyebrows. I'm not saying I'm a huge believer in projecting short-term trends into long-term, but I am saying that so far, the defense of the new starting five has been statistically solid. Anyways, in just 50 minutes of court time this unit has achieved the second-best TOTAL plus-minus (second-best net points) of any unit, posting a +30 over just a handful of games. The previous starting five was still fighting its way from a deep hole to move towards zero.

    I'm not going to post the advanced 5-man unit stats here (I'll link instead ), but to pick off a few key numbers...
    -eFG % is the second highest of any of the Rockets' most common five-man units, coming in at .494 and trailing only the little-used Brooks-Lowry-Battier-Landry-Andersen grouping.
    -The eFG% scored against this lineup is a jaw-dropping .337, again good for second among the Rockets' top 20 most used lineups.
    -Net FTA, against what you might have guessed, are not up too high (took 9 more than they gave up). Basically all the team's best lineups in this category involved Lowry, so we'll see what happens after he gets back.

    Now, I think this does tell us that within the limits of what you can tell with a small sample size, the starting five does look statistically improved. What we can't tell at this stage is whether the bench will still be strong or will collapse without Landry's scoring. Until Ariza and Lowry return, get some reps, and get our rotation solidified, there's no way to chart that. However, should the bench continue producing at a respectable level and the starters produce at anything resembling this level, I would say we made a great move.

    Hold tight, folks...there's hope!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. choujie

    choujie Member

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    We have been playing against bad teams especially bad defensive teams recently.
     
  3. JCDenton

    JCDenton Member

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    Your mastery of statistics is a bit lacking.
     
  4. OremLK

    OremLK Member

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    Like you're one to talk.
     
  5. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    Look in the mirror and repeat that about 100 times. People with 1 star threads being ridiculed by all but a couple of posters should not make fun of other people's threads... :rolleyes:
     
  6. Wilford_Knows

    Wilford_Knows Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. shaggylambda

    shaggylambda Member

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    Relax. JCDenton was joking. Right? You were kidding with your post right JC?
     
  8. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    JCDenton, WTF is this?

    The pic below makes more sense.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    Have you seen his posts? :confused:
     
  10. RocketRick

    RocketRick Member

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    I am new here but have been reading a lot of posts lately. So here is my analysis on JCDenton:

    JCDenton = Duche
     
  11. BEAT LA

    BEAT LA Member

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    One way Martin improves the defense is by being so active on offense. He wears his opponent down by cutting to the basket. He is like the energizer bunny.

    His quickness also helps on defense. The steals help out a lot.
     
  12. fallenphoenix

    fallenphoenix Contributing Member

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    you are the best troll i have ever seen.

    almost tempted to rep you... ALMOST
     
  13. nebula955

    nebula955 Member

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    You weren't statistically likely to do so.
     
  14. LCII

    LCII Contributing Member

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    Well that confirms it. JCD is a troll, a pretty good one at that.
     
  15. B-Bob

    B-Bob my celli weighs a ton

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    His other posts confirmed it earlier. Having survived some grade A (hole) trolls in D&D, I advise everyone quit replying to him. Just an idea. Right now, he's getting exactly what his broken psyche craves: attention.
     
  16. caffreys_irish_ale

    caffreys_irish_ale Contributing Member

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    Can JCD be banned somehow by this forum?

    But I guess then he'll just come as a new user and it may take a few posts before we figure out that it's him.
     
  17. SF3isBack!!

    SF3isBack!! Member

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    Pleeeease by all means... elaborate :rolleyes:
     
  18. CaptainRox

    CaptainRox Member

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    Samething with your thread posting. :grin:
     
  19. Naija Texan

    Naija Texan Member

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    The problem lies at the end of games and recently it might all have just been about Brooks, Battier and Scola, not getting long enough breathers, due to the losses of their usual backups. Now with the emergence of Hill, Ariza and Lowry returning to the court, our defense should once again improve to acceptable levels.
     
  20. htownhustla

    htownhustla Member

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    CDrex, Great post. I usually dont post but that was a good analysis of what our defense is capable of even though it was just slightly premature. I just had a difference on one point. Most of our bench cannot compete with others' starters but I beg to differ with Lowry. I am really high on AB and his abilities but the more I watch of Lowry, the more impressed I get at his energy, ability to push the tempo and surprisingly good defense. The combination of Martin, Lowry, Ariza, Battier are definitely going to help our steal numbers rise towards the one of the tops of the league.
     
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