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What's the difference in our defense this year?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    Last year, we were 13th, 6th, 11th, and 4th in eFG%, FTA rate, TOV%, and REB% defense, respectively.

    This year, we are 20th, 25th, 7th, and 29th, in those team defensive metrics, respectively.

    What are the main factors contributing to this decline?

    Since December 11th of this season, we are 18th, 24th, 4th, and 29th in those defensive metrics, respectively, 19th in overall defensive rating. Before that point, we were 23rd, 27th, 11th, and 29th in those metrics and 27th in overall defensive rating.

    Chris Paul returned from his injury on Jan 27th. Since that date, we are 14th, 21st, 1st, and 29th in those metrics, 13th in overall defensive rating.

    Clint Capela returned from an injury after the all-star break. Since that point, we are 13th, 17th, 1st, and 26th in those metrics, 6th in overall defensive rating.

    So throughout the year, it seems like we've been pretty consistently worse at defensive rebounding and keeping the opposing team off the free throw line, compared to last year. We've been more aggressive at forcing turnovers, especially since January.

    It's the defensive rebounding that is most worrying to me. Could it be a consequence of us focusing more on forcing turnovers? Several years ago, I looked at historical data and found that there is a correlation between opponent TOV% and opponent OREB% and opponent FT rate. That is, the more turnovers a team forces, the more offensive rebounds they give up and also the more free throws they tend to allow.

    I wonder if we'd be better off recalibrating our focus away from trying to force turnovers and more towards going after the defensive boards. Based on the same historical data I reviewed, defensive rebounding is about twice as important in explaining a team's overall defensive rating compared to the ability to force turnovers.
     
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    Very good points.

    And just from the eye test.... the SF position. Not having Ariza and EG starting. EG isn't a great rebounder. But House is pretty good there and good at boxing out. Also, CP, when rested, is pretty quick at getting rebounds but when tired he doesn't snag them as well. Just the little things.

    A huge benefit of getting those rebounds is it allows you to get out in transition and not allowing the defense to set up. Capela on the fast break, House on the rail. Options there. Further, you aren't allowing other teams secondary offensive chances with those offensive rebounds. In particular the BOGO 3ptr. Just killers.
     
  3. bmelo

    bmelo Member

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    TREVOR ARIZA

    We never had starting-material SF since we parted ways with him... not only that - he is long, he is tough, and he has great defensive fundamentals + abillity. Great leadership too. Vocal on the defensive end. Now we are undersized in every spot except SG (Capela too small for real C, Tucker too small for PF, Harden too small for SF, Paul shorter than most PG). IT doesn't matter on offense or perimeter defense... but boy does that matter inside
     
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  4. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member

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    I would think that a turnover is worth more than a defensive rebound given that turnovers are more likely to lead to a score.
     
  5. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    Effort. Less length. Less rebounding. Capela declined.
     
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  6. Ericonomist

    Ericonomist Member

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    Ariza’s long arms
     
  7. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    While that is true, it’s also true that a team that focuses their energies on trying to force turnovers are likely to sacrifice other aspects of defense. The net effect can be therefore be worse for the defense compared to a team that focuses more on contesting shots and then defensive rebounds.
     
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  8. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    Start House and watch that rebounding problem clear up a lot.

    DD
     
  9. BaselineFade

    BaselineFade Member

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    The lack of defensive rebounding has been my main concern all season long. I’m confident in our core players ability to switch and play sound defense come playoff time. Jeff B has the right scheme.

    Our lack of front court size is an obstacle that that the team will have to overcome. If we stay with EG and PJ at the 3 and 4, then the only thing we can fundamentally is box out better as a team. Even that may not help against other imposing front courts.

    Maybe a little more Nene and Faried vs bigger teams can help. Only giving up one shot per trip has to help our overall defensive production.
     
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  10. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    Man...I really wish that trade with Memphis went through...ugh.
     
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  11. Tankeio

    Tankeio Member

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    Yes,
    Capela not the same defensively as last season.
     
  12. ClutchCityReturns

    ClutchCityReturns Contributing Member

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    Injuries and the subsequent inconsistent lineups and rotations are probably a key factor. As the saying goes, I believe you can often just "roll out the ball" and good players will figure out how to put points on the board, but performing as an effective defensive unit requires a level of familiarity, comfort, coordination and trust that only comes with time and repetition.
     
  13. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member

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    I am not sure that the "focus" is on turnovers per se as it is in disruption of a teams offense. Switching and traps are going to increase turnovers and decrease fg% as you put more pressure on the ball and on the passing lanes. But as your stretch your defense out it makes sense you sacrifice rebounding.
     
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  14. BaselineFade

    BaselineFade Member

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    You know I beat that horse to death. I still fantasize about this team with J Green and Ellington. I have to get over it but man o man.
     
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  15. BigBum

    BigBum Member

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    2013-2015
    Shumpert was top 30 defender in the nba

    After Knee, ankle, Hip and Calf surgery,
    2016-2018
    Shumpert was bottom 5 defender in the nba.

    MDA is trying to bring back Shumpert, but it was too late. He can't suddenly get younger.
     
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  16. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    So, correlation between forced TOV% and eFG% against is actually slightly positive (i.e. more forced turnover, allow better field goal efficiency) based on data from 1974-2012 when I looked at it a number of years back. The relationship between forced TOV% and opp OREB% is more pronounced, and between forced TOV% and opp FT rate even more so.

    That's not to say that forcing a turnover hurts you, but teams that force a lot of turnovers tend to not be as good at other aspects of defense. It causes you to gamble more, get out of position, etc..
     
  17. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member
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  18. harold bingo

    harold bingo Member

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    It's all rebounding. Our rebounding last year was very good with Ariza and Ryan Anderson at the 3 and 4. You get a 6'8 guy at the 3 and a 6'10 guy at the 4, then Capela or Nene. If you look at the lineups with those guys from last year, they did very well in rebounding.

    This year we have been playing a ton of Eric Gordon at the 3, and PJ Tucker at the 4. Eric Gordon is probably the worst rebounder on the team, even for a guard he is pretty bad. And then PJ Tucker, as much as I love him, just doesn't produce as a rebounder at the 4. This isn't really his fault, he's 6'6 and playing the 4, but speaking purely in terms of results, this spot is a problem. Capela has also regressed as a rebounder, and a defender overall.
     
  19. BigBum

    BigBum Member

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    If true,
    Defense is the biggest problem not to win Championships.
    no home court in 2nd, 3rd and fourth rounds = no refs favor

    Last night has killed chance of home court advantage
    How can you get homecourt?
    Nuggets 22 losses
    Rockets 27 losses
     
  20. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Twice? Can you reference that historical data? And also try to explain why GSW is an equally bad DREB% team during this current Dynasty.

    My yearlong comment about our rebounding is to note that it isn't an issue vs the Warriors (more below)​

    Without looking, I can safely say that defensive TOV% has resounding more importance to your ORtg than DREB%. So, why adjust if it reaps benefits on other end, and your adjustment isnt' required against the team you're trying to beat. Ball control teams like the Rockets who have low TOV% while on offense combined with good TOV% on defense (ie a significant positive net) can offset issues like DREB%, just like GSW has ways to make their bottom-cellars numbers irrelevant, too.

    Since Jan 27th when Paul came back
    • Rockets are #9 on offensive TOV%
    • Rockets are #1 in defensive TOV%

    • For entire year, GSW is 22nd on OREB% (ie, not the threat to take advantage of our DREB issues)
    • vs GSW, we are winning the Four Factors (just like playoffs last year) -- significant FTRate advantage and a huge TOV% advantage, with basically tying on eFG% and OReb%/DReb%.
    So, key factor to remember about the Rockets is that we are designed to beat GSW. We don't have the same rebounding issues with them as other teams. And we count on our superior ORtg to beat the other teams who actually give us rebounding problems. GSW is not one of them. I would not make drastic changes to our defense that isn't necessary for GSW.
     
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