A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Mo Williams

Jazz Improvisation and the Association in Chaos

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Image by StuSeeger via Flickr

10 thoughts after a whirlwind of a trade deadline:

1. I really wish I had more to say on the Deron Williams trade. I had a whole slew of points immediately on the tips of my fingers when Carmelo Anthony was traded barely more than a day before, and I consider Williams the superior players. Ideally I’d have more to say about it – heck, ideally *everyone* would have more to say about, but they may be suffering from a bit of the same thing I am. It’s just clear that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of the decision making in Salt Lake City. I’m generally one not to bothered by the prospect of venturing forth with theories in the wake of incomplete knowledge because complete knowledge is never assured, but here there’s just too much uncertainty.

2. That said, odds still seem pretty dang good that the Jazz don’t trade Williams unless they think he’s not going to be happy there in the long term. So yes, anyone not willing to include this happening amongst the trend of stars leaving well run small market teams, is being unreasonably cautious.

3. Good trade for the Jazz? They lost Deron Freaking Williams, and traded him for players you certainly can’t expect to be his equal. The most you can say is that given the macro trends of stars in the NBA right now, it’s hasty to call Jazz management incompetent for what when down.

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Breaking down the Cleveland Cavaliers’ last place defense

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The Cleveland Cavaliers just made NBA history by setting the all time losing streak at 26 and counting and now sit 30th in both ORTG and DRTG, giving them a record of 8-45. The last place offense was foreseeable with the lack of talent without Lebron. But the defense dropping from 7th last season to 30th this season is shocking. In their honor, I decided to finally dive into their shockingly bad defense with a wannabe basketball analyst’s best friends, basketball-reference.com, hoopdata.com, and 82games.com

Surprisingly, peripherals indicate a defensive strategy of play. According to basketball-reference.com, the Cavaliers rank 15th in DRB% and 29th in ORB% (when I began writing this the Cavaliers ranked 5th in DRB%, but nevertheless the gap is large enough even as it stands). A large difference between DRB% and ORB% in either direction is the easiest way to tell a team focuses on either side. The Cavaliers’ low ORB% indicates they prefer leaving players back to protect transition buckets instead of going for offensive rebounds, and their DRB% ranking top 5 for most of the season shows preferring defensive rebounding and stopping putback points over letting players leak out in front of the opposing team to score fastbreak points. Yet the Cavaliers are still 30th defensively behind teams like Toronto and Golden State who don’t even try to protect transition buckets or grab defensive rebounds? How do we explain this?

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