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View Full Version : "Good" offense helping the defense vs "good" defense helping the offense



Unclebuck
11-15-2010, 12:25 PM
The general topic we have discussed several times over the years. I know coaches, coaching styles, coaching philosophies will enter into this discussion - but please lets not get into a long thread about O'Brien.

But I want to know your opinion. What is more important. What is a truer statement. Does a good offense help a team's defense or does a good defense help a team's offense.

Obviously the answer is both - but I think it is an interesting thing to discuss.

This recent quote from Rick Carlisle is what got me to thinking. he often said similar things while coaching the pacers and if I remember correctly he was criticized by many in this forum.


http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/art_garcia/11/14/mavs/index.html



"Execution and taking care of the ball go a long way toward putting you in a position to defend," Carlisle said. "This year that's become more of an emphasis for us. We want to be aggressive on one hand, but on the other hand we want to be efficient with the ball."

I used to think everything starts with good defense. But maybe that isn't correct, maybe a good solid balanced executing offense is more important building block. Maybe that helps the defense more than a great defense can help a struggling offense.

If I remember correctly, many criticized Carlisle while he was our coach because his offense seemed to many of you more geared to helping the defense be better than it was to scoring the ball.

Bringing this to our current team. I have no doubt our defense would be better if we played a controlled executing offense that made several passes, worked the shot clock......I think that is a proven fact IMO. But the question is would that make this current team better. I think it would help the defense but hurt the offense, but would the Pacers team be better overall - that I do not know.

But perhaps what I used to like about Rick more than anything was his belief that you play every game and every minute of every game like it was a playoff game, like it was the last 5 minutes of a close game. meaning you don't play a style of basketball whether early in games or in the regular season that isn't effective late in close games or in the playoffs. Rick used to call it playing playoff basketball all the time.

I think our team now gets into trouble late in games offensively because the game slows down and defenses gets better, so our motion/passing game is much harder to run with 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of a tied game than it is in the first quarter, so we have to change our play calls into plays that we don't run throughout the game, so no wonder the execution is not up to par.

(disclaimer - I am only using Rick as a springboard to a general discussion about the Pacers and the NBA in general. I would like to discuss different styles of play - not Rick vs Jim, please).

Just some thoughts for discussion

Peck
11-15-2010, 12:32 PM
He does make a good point.

Obviously you have to have good defense however you are not going to stop the other team from scoring every time & you are not always going to be able to force a turnover to make a quick fast break.

However you can always dictate the pace of the offense.

Actually your memory of the Carlisle complaints from around here are only partially correct. I think that people were not so offset by the speed of the offense but by the manner in which we delivered the ball to O'Neal for one of his patented turn around fade away shots with 3 seconds on the clock.

When J.O. wasn't on the floor we played differantly and when Rick has coached other teams the style of offense he runs is not the same as what it was here.

But I am going to think more on this question because it does make you re-evaluate your position.

daschysta
11-15-2010, 12:53 PM
Well turnovers lead to easy baskets which hurt any team, even if transition defense is good, so it has merit from that perspective. I think it is a balance of both, but if taking care of the ball leads to bad shots, or not creating easy shots due lesser risk taking... It's all about a healthy balance.

The well balanced teams, like the historical offense of the spurs, vs. a plodding offense that leads to bad fadeaway's by JO.

pwee31
11-15-2010, 01:24 PM
I think it's also player mentality. If you're hitting shots than you're more energized, confident, and can't wait to get the ball back to score again.

Where as if you're missing shots, you usually see a player with their head down or frustrated by the miss, we leads to lazy defense, or stupid defense (reach ins etc..)

I actually notice this with our team a lot. If we're hitting shots we dig in. If we're missing shots we tend to drift on defense and not dig in, move our feet, help etc..

I also agree that turnovers are a big factor, b/c it leads to other teams getting easier shots/looks. It puts your defense on it's heels a lot more than a missed shot, and is actually a lot more frustrating than missing a shot.

Eleazar
11-15-2010, 01:55 PM
I would rather have a good defense because it is less prone to having off nights. You are more likely to put yourself in a position to win with a good defense night in and night out than you are if you rely on having a good offense.

pacer4ever
11-15-2010, 01:57 PM
if u play good defense you can win any game

vnzla81
11-15-2010, 02:04 PM
I think a good offense and a controlled offense could bring the best out of your defense.

If you value every shot in offense and you don't take quick shots, your defense has a better chance to get back and get in position to defend.

pacer4ever
11-15-2010, 02:06 PM
I think a good offense and a controlled offense could bring the best out of your defense.

If you value every shot in offense and you don't take quick shots, your defense has a better chance to get back and get in position to defend.

this is my pet peeve about Obrian he doesnt value every possesion. He doesnt work forr the best shoot he works for a quick one

Unclebuck
11-15-2010, 02:19 PM
I would rather have a good defense because it is less prone to having off nights. You are more likely to put yourself in a position to win with a good defense night in and night out than you are if you rely on having a good offense.

You might have an off night shooting, but if a team plays a controlled use the shot clock work the ball for the best possible shot - isn't one of the benefits of doing that is that you will never or should never have an off night doing that. In other words with a controlled excution style offense even if you only shoot 38% wouldn't you still be in good position to play defense?

Unclebuck
11-15-2010, 02:23 PM
this is my pet peeve about Obrian he doesnt value every possesion. He doesnt work forr the best shoot he works for a quick one

Ok, but shouldn't the goal in each position be to get the best shot possible, whether it is with 18 seconds on the shot clock or 1 second. If a team can get a wide open 10ft shot with 18 seconds on the shot clock what is wrong with that - surely that is better than a rushed shot with 2 seconds on the clock. Is the key shot selection. Passing up a good shot early in the shot clock can ruin your offense almost as bad as taking a quick bad shot.

Brad8888
11-15-2010, 02:40 PM
I agree with the general premise that it can and should be both ways.

For me, what it really amounts to is the level of discipline that the team plays with on either end of the floor can and should lead to better opportunities to perform better at the other end, and pressing advantages as they present themselves instead of forcing the issue and gambling a lot, which has tended to be the Pacers style since Carlisle left.

Ultimately, if I had to choose, I would choose defense to excel at and press the advantage on more frequently as a result, and then have the offense be enhanced due to created turnovers and additional possessions that more and better defensive rebounding would produce, with a controlled offense that operates more frequently in the half court that squanders fewer of its possessions on missed poor shots and turnovers.

Sookie
11-15-2010, 02:43 PM
I think it goes both ways.

If you take bad shots, the other team will have an easier time scoring off of you, because transition baskets become easier. So good offense helps the defense.

If you play good defense though, it'll always keep you in the game, and perhaps you can get some transition opportunities of your own.

Eleazar
11-15-2010, 02:46 PM
You might have an off night shooting, but if a team plays a controlled use the shot clock work the ball for the best possible shot - isn't one of the benefits of doing that is that you will never or should never have an off night doing that. In other words with a controlled excution style offense even if you only shoot 38% wouldn't you still be in good position to play defense?

If you are playing a ball control offense I would consider that as being defense that helps the offense. Although that might get into things more complex what you are looking for.

cordobes
11-15-2010, 03:09 PM
What are the Mavericks doing differently in their offense this season? I don't see much - if anything, they're more reliant on isolation sets.

Slower pace and taking better care of the ball? They're playing basically at the same pace - 92.5 possessions per game vs. 91.4. And they're actually turning over the ball more this season: 12.3 TOV% last season, 15.3% this season (this number will improve as the season progresses). Their fast-break points allowed is basically the same of last season - 13.6 vs. 12.4 per game. Are they drawing more fouls? Nope, they're going to the line at a lesser rate. Points in the paint? 37 to 38... once again, basically the same.

Where is this impact coming from?

Carlisle is making up stuff because coaches like to exaggerate their role (when something good is happening).

I said before the season that Dallas should be a top-5 defensive team because they had enough quality defenders to be one of the best defensive teams in the league. The writer of that article underestimates the quality of their individual defenders, especially Marion and Chandler. Marion is one of the best wing defenders in the league right now - I thought he was finished as an elite defender when he was in Miami and Toronto, but I was wrong. His resurgence in Dallas has been fantastic. If I had to pick the player who bothered more LeBron, Durant, Wade, Kobe and Pierce in the last year and half it'd be Marion. And putting 48 minute of Chandler/Haywood out there is huge.

-------------------------

As for this effect, it obviously exists - less turnovers, a higher percentage of shots made, a higher percentage of FTAs = less transition game for the opponent, which is the most efficient form of offense. Also, there's the tradeoff between offensive rebounding and transition defense. But it's quite small, I believe. And there are always tradoffs, as daschysta states. As for the topic title, I'd rather have my defense fuelling my offense than the opposite. An efficient offense can help your transition defense but it does nothing for your half-court defense. A good defense can fuel the offense for the entire 24 seconds.

What really helps your defense is to have quality defenders though. Very few things are more overrated in basketball than defensive rotations. Possibly none.

Unclebuck
11-15-2010, 03:18 PM
cordobes - I agree with you on the Mavs specifically. I think any improvement the mavs are showing has to do with Chandler who when healthy is one of the best defenders in the NBA.

I will disagree wioth you in regards to team defense being overrated. Sure good defenders is important, but team defense can help make up for 1 or 2 poor defenders on a team

Young
11-15-2010, 03:20 PM
I don't really know if you can be a good defensive team without being a efficient offensive team. You can be a good offensive team without being a good defensive team though.

You take low percentage shots, don't rebound, and turn the ball over that will lead to easy fast break points for the other team. You just do that and be good defensively in the NBA.

If you limit your turnovers, rebound, and take good shots then you can be good defensively in the NBA. Doing these things allows your defense time to set up because it slows the game down.

With that said good defense can lead to easy offense. Just not as much as good offense leading to good defense.

Someone else to think about...in the middle of both sides is rebounding. Rebounding can change just how effective good offense = good defense and how good defense = good offense.

Just check out the team stats thus far this season.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/stats/byteam?&cat1=Total&cat2=team&conference=NBA&year=season_2010&sort=243

There isn't a one stat that tells the whole story but it is interesting to compare them.

Alabama-Redneck
11-15-2010, 03:38 PM
At the end of the night, regardless of the score, you still need 1 more point than the other team. That's offense.

Defense is necessary to take the pressure off the offense but you still have to score.

Just my opinion

:cool:

90'sNBARocked
11-15-2010, 03:39 PM
I think, bottom line, you play to the strengths of the personel on the team

Pat Riley to me , is a great example of this

When he was winning championships in LA it was "showtime" run and gun , because he had one of the most unique floor generals of all time in Magic, and a great running PF in Worthy , so they won by beating teams up and down the court.

Then Riley goes to a Knick team with Mason, Oakley and Patrick Ewing, all tough defeneders and he starts winning games 85-81 and simmilar low scores


To me its all about adjusting to the strengths of your players

Hicks
11-15-2010, 06:11 PM
The general topic we have discussed several times over the years. I know coaches, coaching styles, coaching philosophies will enter into this discussion - but please lets not get into a long thread about O'Brien.

But I want to know your opinion. What is more important. What is a truer statement. Does a good offense help a team's defense or does a good defense help a team's offense.

Obviously the answer is both - but I think it is an interesting thing to discuss.

This recent quote from Rick Carlisle is what got me to thinking. he often said similar things while coaching the pacers and if I remember correctly he was criticized by many in this forum.


http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/art_garcia/11/14/mavs/index.html



I used to think everything starts with good defense. But maybe that isn't correct, maybe a good solid balanced executing offense is more important building block. Maybe that helps the defense more than a great defense can help a struggling offense.

If I remember correctly, many criticized Carlisle while he was our coach because his offense seemed to many of you more geared to helping the defense be better than it was to scoring the ball.

Bringing this to our current team. I have no doubt our defense would be better if we played a controlled executing offense that made several passes, worked the shot clock......I think that is a proven fact IMO. But the question is would that make this current team better. I think it would help the defense but hurt the offense, but would the Pacers team be better overall - that I do not know.

But perhaps what I used to like about Rick more than anything was his belief that you play every game and every minute of every game like it was a playoff game, like it was the last 5 minutes of a close game. meaning you don't play a style of basketball whether early in games or in the regular season that isn't effective late in close games or in the playoffs. Rick used to call it playing playoff basketball all the time.

I think our team now gets into trouble late in games offensively because the game slows down and defenses gets better, so our motion/passing game is much harder to run with 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of a tied game than it is in the first quarter, so we have to change our play calls into plays that we don't run throughout the game, so no wonder the execution is not up to par.

(disclaimer - I am only using Rick as a springboard to a general discussion about the Pacers and the NBA in general. I would like to discuss different styles of play - not Rick vs Jim, please).

Just some thoughts for discussion

As you say, both are true and needed, but if I had to pick one to focus on, it'd be good defense helping the offense.

Even the best offensive teams have scoring droughts, and the better your defense, the less those hurt you, and then some defenses are really good at forcing turnovers, which can lead to easy baskets.

Bball
11-15-2010, 08:43 PM
Defense wins championships...
Your offense should never take away from your ability to play tough defense or put your defense in bad positions.

But obviously you have to score.... but not nearly as much if you have a good defense.

I have no problem with 72-68 scores. In fact those are typically more enjoyable games (for me) than some 135-131 track meet. I enjoy strategy and smart play. There's little of that in a track meet style game. Just a question of who is going to blink and miss a couple of shots and waste a possession.

beast23
11-15-2010, 09:18 PM
As you say, both are true and needed, but if I had to pick one to focus on, it'd be good defense helping the offense.

Even the best offensive teams have scoring droughts, and the better your defense, the less those hurt you, and then some defenses are really good at forcing turnovers, which can lead to easy baskets.For the most part, I agree with this. But one can also stretch this further.

It is true that when your offense is subpar, you rely on your defense to keep you in the game. And, I believe that an offense that is balanced and well spaced will lend very well to holding the other team's defense to offense transition in check, and will then lead to your opportunity to play better defense in the half court.

However, let's consider that your offense is not only subpar, but is also being played poorly, i.e. poor balance and poor spacing. That will likely lead to better defense to offense transition by your opponent, leading in less likelihood of playing good defense in the half court.

I've always considered this debate a very enjoyable one. But long ago I had to conclude that it truly is a chicken-egg debate.

Sookie
11-15-2010, 09:30 PM
As you say, both are true and needed, but if I had to pick one to focus on, it'd be good defense helping the offense.

Even the best offensive teams have scoring droughts, and the better your defense, the less those hurt you, and then some defenses are really good at forcing turnovers, which can lead to easy baskets.

Defense decides who win games, offense decides by how much.

That's the general rule.

However, I feel that it applies more for those teams that don't have the possibility of scoring. A truly elite team is, more often than not, going to beat those that are not, even if they have great defense. Because often times, even good offense beats great defense.

So if your team has trouble scoring, defense will equalize, and the team can probably sneak into the playoffs. But I think with elite teams, the best offense typically wins. (But I think obviously, most elite teams are good defensively)

Our team is funny though, as I don't think we have the capability of being a great defensive team, but we have scorers, so that needs to be solid.

15th parallel
11-15-2010, 09:46 PM
Comparing the importance of good offense over good defense is like comparing the strongest sword versus the strongest shield. The strongest sword can break any shield but the strongest shield can withstand the attack of any sword. So what will prevail between the two?

There are many factors that affect the game outside of good offense and good defense. There are times when players struggle on offense even if the opposing team does not implement tight defense because off "off-nights". Defense that is consistently implemented cannot have "off-nights" but there are times that no matter how tight the defense is the opposing team can just hit shots like crazy.

For me, it is more on how teams can break the other's strategy on both ends of the floor that is important. Just look at the championship Spurs team. They are just so good on offense that they can beat teams like Phoenix in the playoffs that scores tons of points on fast-paced tempo and also so good on defense that the can beat teams like Detroit in the finals that likes slow, low scoring games.

cordobes
11-16-2010, 07:16 PM
cordobes - I agree with you on the Mavs specifically. I think any improvement the mavs are showing has to do with Chandler who when healthy is one of the best defenders in the NBA.

I will disagree wioth you in regards to team defense being overrated. Sure good defenders is important, but team defense can help make up for 1 or 2 poor defenders on a team

Hmmm... what do you mean by team defense?

Team defense is still executed by individuals. Having great help-defenders, having someone like Howard, Garnett, Bogut can turn around a defense - not because of their dominance (or not) of their individual matchups but due to how they play team defense.

I was referring to different concept. Let's see if I can explain this. Say, coaches have to decide how to defend the first pass on offense. Their opponent is playing the classic 1pg+2 wings formation and they may place their wings closer to the middle, to help early on any attempt from the PG to penetrate from the top or they can focus more on denying the pass to the wing and place them accordingly. They settle their priorities and give up something. Then if the pass is made, how aggressive is the positioning of the weakside defenders? If the guy who receives the pass blows by his man, where the help comes from and who helps the helper?

It's that kind of stuff that I think it's overrated. Not the act of helping, that's a lot of what defense is in the NBA, but how much how a coach designs his help schemes on a white board may impact a game. If they decided to bring help from here or from there and even how synchronized and dedicated the team is executing the plan is unimportant when compared to the quality of the players executing it. Mostly because regardless of how smart your rotations are and how well-coached your players are executing them, they can't make up for constant breakdowns. At some point, you're going to get burnt. As a coach I know uses to say, good defensive teams don't have great defensive rotations, they just have few.

flox
11-16-2010, 09:00 PM
What really helps your defense is to have quality defenders though. Very few things are more overrated in basketball than defensive rotations. Possibly none.

I kind of disagree on this point. A good defensive rotation with players capable of rotating properly I think is better for most teams that don't have a plus defender in every position.

It just happens to be that most good teams have a plus defender at almost every position.