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@  majik19 : (13 October 2015 - 09:09 PM) Apparently we claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks today... yet another undersized (6'7") power forward for Morey's cupboard.
@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Loving that, hope he hits 30 PPG this year
@  thejohnnygold : (06 October 2015 - 06:15 PM) Someone is feeling confident :) : LINK
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 05:54 PM) 10 Teams done, will need 2 more
@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (05 October 2015 - 06:23 PM) I use leaguepass here in Austin with no problems...
@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK

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A (Reasonably) In Depth Analysis of Houston's Defense


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#1 NorEastern

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    Posted 03 February 2015 - 12:51 AM

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    I decided to look at the SportVU defensive data for the top eight Rocket's players in minutes played. For your information SportVU data is the seminal analytical tool available to NBA teams. Even the neutered version offered to fans is the most precise measure available of many different metrics in the NBA. SportVU data offers a special look into the defensive prowess of NBA players. Normally we fans are limited to imprecise metrics such as xRAPM. SportVU offers a precise analysis of every play in the NBA, and distinguishes between the specific offensive player versus the specific defensive player. SportVU then rolls all of that data up into an easily digested format.

     

    In this article I will focus on the Rocket's defensive player's ability to reduce the offensive player's FG%. After all that is what NBA defense is all about. There are a number of caveats to this analysis. It does not take into account the Howard effect (The Dwight Effect:A New Ensemble of Interior Defense Analytics for the NBA, MIT Sloan Sports Conference, 2013). I have assumed that the SportVU data properly corrects for the quality of the offensive player. I believe it does, but I have no proof that Westbrook is treated differently than Canaan on offense. That issue is easily solvable. Unfortunately Jones does not have a statistically significant amount of data this season. For that reason I did not include his numbers. Papa is on the borderline, but I did include him. He has four times as many minutes this season than Jones.

     

    The data presented in the following graphs is easily interpreted. The better defender will always hold their opponent to a lower FG%. Therefore the more negative the number the better the defense.

     

    This chart will be the over riding theme of this article. Smith is really really good on defense. And D-Mo is really good. Otherwise it is a mixed bag that I would not have expected. Smith, despite who he guards around the rim is a great defender. Dropping the FG% around the rim from say, 54% to 44%, is actually a huge deal. That reduces an opponent like West to somewhere around the offensive force of a second string power forward like Plumlee. D-Mo, with around fifty percent of his court time at center, effectively reduces a Cousins to a Len. From a powerhouse to an average NBA center. Ariza, Bev and Brewer are obviously over matched around the rim.

     

    This graph documents each players defense from inside the arc to the basket. It is reminiscent of the previous rim protection graph. What this graph really describes is how quick a player is closing out on two point shots, and how effective they are on the close out. And again somehow we again see that Ariza is less effective than other Rockets defenders. A 7.6% over average FG% is huge. More on this later. But I would like to point out that besides D-Mo and Smith, the Rockets cannot effectively defend a player like LMA. It will become obvious later why Howard would not be a great choice to defend LMA.

    What really stands out to me in this graph is how darn good Papa and Harden are at defending the arc. Those two players basically convert a Curry into a D-Mo from beyond the arc. And look at D-Mo's numbers. I have little doubt that D-Mo is the fastest seven footer in the NBA. This graph illustrates why the Rockets team is the best in the NBA at defending the three point shot. A minus five percent in opponents three point percentage takes an offense from ~36% to ~31%.

    No surprises here. Except Papa being so good 15 feet and out from the basket. The eye test is certainly satisfied that Howard has a difficult time leaving the paint to close out on shots away from the basket. This means that whoever is playing power forward along side of Howard must be great at switching on defense so that they can cover Howard"s defensive outside responsibilities. Howard definitely won't be there 18 feet out.

    Less than 10 feet. The paint. Again it becomes obvious that Brewer, Bev and Ariza need help down there. Significant help. However Smith, Howard and D-Mo can obviously handle their defensive assignments down there with little support. I do find Harden's defense to be less robust than I would have expected. But then again it is approximately league average.

    And then the overall data. How important is the difference between Smith's -4% and Bev's +2.5%. About 13 points per 100 possessions. At 1.03 points per shot in the NBA. D-Mo's stats do pass the eye test. He is all over the floor, and is great at intimidating shots. Harden's numbers belie the MSM rhetoric that Harden is not a very good defender this season. Brewer, Ariza and Bev are not as good on the defensive side of the ball as my eye test. However their three point defense is obviously the league best. These numbers were much better earlier in the season. Which is why the Rockets are gradually falling in defensive ranking.

     

    A final caveat. Some statistical analysis has shown that Houston's defense benefits from an above league average of missed wide open shots.

     

     

     


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    #2 thejohnnygold

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    Posted 03 February 2015 - 01:41 AM

    This is awesome and goes well with what I was tinkering with earlier.

     

    Is the only sportvu available for free at NBA.com?  I can't seem to access anything through their home site.

     

    Is there data available that shows the volume of shots that correlates to each player's percentages?  I find that information very relevant and interesting, but seem completely unable to find it outside of the rim defense section at NBA.com.

     

    I do think that who a player guards matters as well.  Ariza and Bev often take on the toughest perimeter assignments which surely affects their overall scores.


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    #3 thenit

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      Posted 03 February 2015 - 05:07 AM

      Agreen JG.

       

      Harden's D and effort has improved but I don't think you can read the 3p defending into so much account since most games he guards the opposing spot up shooter. 


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      #4 Mario Peña

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      Posted 03 February 2015 - 05:33 PM

      This information is great and this is about the third time I have sat down to take it in. It kind of raises lots of questions for me.

       

      I wonder about about the post defense numbers for the wings and what the break up is between actually defending versus standing there and letting the opponent shot while avoiding a foul which seems like something Ariza and Harden might do but not Beverley?

       

      Should these numbers give me more assurance that this stretch without Dwight is not as much of a problem and some fans and media make it out to be? Will Smith and Jones more than make up for what Black did earlier in the season?

       

      I wonder about that final caveat about missed open shots. I wonder if those are open shots for third or fourth options on opposing teams or if it is a fatigue/pace related group of shots influencing the total missed open shots?


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      How sweet it is!

      #5 NorEastern

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        Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:23 PM



        This is awesome and goes well with what I was tinkering with earlier.

         

        Is the only sportvu available for free at NBA.com?  I can't seem to access anything through their home site.

         

        Is there data available that shows the volume of shots that correlates to each player's percentages?  I find that information very relevant and interesting, but seem completely unable to find it outside of the rim defense section at NBA.com.

         

        I do think that who a player guards matters as well.  Ariza and Bev often take on the toughest perimeter assignments which surely affects their overall scores.

        You can purchase SportVU if you want. For a mere $10,000+ for a season. The analysis I have seen using SportVU's full suite of capabilities is absolutely amazing. It can answer trivially questions like "Is the performance out of a timeout in the last 5 minutes of a game with the score within 5 points better or worse than if the coach just didn't call a timeout?" (It actually is much worse. Timeouts help the defense much more than the offense.)

         

        The data provided at nba.com/stats requires a massive amount of leg work to put together a reasonable analysis. I am not sure I understand your question. You can obtain data such as this rather easily. But I assume you already knew that.

        Who the defensive player guards is critically important. I agree with you there. As with all statistical analysis understanding the context of the data is vitally important to the conclusions. Subject matter expertise is a minimal requirement for reaching a valid conclusion.


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        #6 NorEastern

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          Posted 03 February 2015 - 06:44 PM

          This information is great and this is about the third time I have sat down to take it in. It kind of raises lots of questions for me.

           

          I wonder about about the post defense numbers for the wings and what the break up is between actually defending versus standing there and letting the opponent shot while avoiding a foul which seems like something Ariza and Harden might do but not Beverley?

           

          Should these numbers give me more assurance that this stretch without Dwight is not as much of a problem and some fans and media make it out to be? Will Smith and Jones more than make up for what Black did earlier in the season?

           

          I wonder about that final caveat about missed open shots. I wonder if those are open shots for third or fourth options on opposing teams or if it is a fatigue/pace related group of shots influencing the total missed open shots?

          I have no detailed knowledge of the image analysis software that SportVU runs. I do not understand how it assigns defensive responsibility for a wing player easily penetrating into the paint. However, my understanding is that they dry ran the system for Morey's team and accepted feedback. So I am assuming that these defensive numbers are very accurate. One could verify this by looking at the penetration numbers of point guards versus the Rockets team. A difficult analysis. I would love to be able to look at the source code behind their video analysis algorithms.

           

          The Dwight effect. Certainly an interesting topic. I do believe that losing Howard is very bad for the Rockets, having done the +/- numbers. D-Mo is an excellent defender, but Howard is an intimidating factor on the court.

           

          I do believe that opponents missing open shots against the Rockets is a valid observation. The Rockets slide in defensive efficiency is mostly due to that number reverting to the mean.


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          #7 thejohnnygold

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          Posted 03 February 2015 - 09:40 PM

          You can purchase SportVU if you want. For a mere $10,000+ for a season. The analysis I have seen using SportVU's full suite of capabilities is absolutely amazing. It can answer trivially questions like "Is the performance out of a timeout in the last 5 minutes of a game with the score within 5 points better or worse than if the coach just didn't call a timeout?" (It actually is much worse. Timeouts help the defense much more than the offense.)

           

          The data provided at nba.com/stats requires a massive amount of leg work to put together a reasonable analysis. I am not sure I understand your question. You can obtain data such as this rather easily. But I assume you already knew that.

          Who the defensive player guards is critically important. I agree with you there. As with all statistical analysis understanding the context of the data is vitally important to the conclusions. Subject matter expertise is a minimal requirement for reaching a valid conclusion.

           

          That's the one I was looking for....guess I missed it....will try again.  I only found one that focused on rim defense rather than all across the court.

           

          I'll have to pass on the $10K sportvu package :unsure: ....got a few other things that need attention first.


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          #8 Losthief

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          Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:01 PM

          That's the one I was looking for....guess I missed it....will try again.  I only found one that focused on rim defense rather than all across the court.

           

          I'll have to pass on the $10K sportvu package :unsure: ....got a few other things that need attention first.

           

          its under the tracking tab (far right) instead of stats tab on the players stats page. Its easy to overlook if you don't know where it is already.


          Edited by Losthief, 03 February 2015 - 11:02 PM.

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          LoSTHieF

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          #9 Losthief

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          Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:16 PM

          Hey noreastern are brewers/smiths numbers inclusive of minny/detriot, or just the rockets?


          Edited by Losthief, 03 February 2015 - 11:18 PM.

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          LoSTHieF

          I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled


          #10 NorEastern

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            Posted 03 February 2015 - 11:27 PM

            Hey noreastern are brewers/smiths numbers inclusive of minny/detriot, or just the rockets?

            Just the Rockets good sir.


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