Today on TIPOFF I mentioned this idea: What if box scores also mentioned what the player you were guarding did? It certainly would change the behavior of players. However, it is a bit of an unfair way to judge defenders. For example, last night Richard Jefferson’s man came around on a curl and Gordon Hayward slid down to the nail to stop his penetration and the kick-out pass to Corey Brewer (Hayward’s man) resulted in a 3-pointer. On the same level, dribble penetration gets into the lane and the Jazz big cuts off the dribbler and the ball gets dropped off to the opposing big who would be on the Jazz big … who actually made the right play.
Understanding the flaws in this system, I thought I would try it for last night’s game and see what I discovered. Here’s how the Wolves’ first 100 points came about. It is possible that I missed a shot here or there, but this is pretty close.
* Marvin Williams had a good defensive night against Kevin Love, who did almost all of his damage on Jeremy Evans.
* The Wolves were going at Alec Burks and took advantage of his inability to get off a pick. The guy he was guarding took 14 shots, and the next closest is Hayward’s with 10. Feels as though Hayward over-helps at times.
* You have to stop transition in this league.
Overall, I found this to be an interesting exercise. I’m not sure it is perfect, but I think if you did it for each night the flaws would be minimal and you could learn a lot.
(Note: Created play means the man he was guarding created a play that led to points for another player’s man.)