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Thread: A question for the coaches and strategists

  1. #1

    Default A question for the coaches and strategists

    The Pacers committed 29 fouls last night. The Lakers made 20 fouls.

    But look here: The Lakers got 38 shots off of those 29 fouls, while the Pacers got to the line only 17 times thanks to the Lakers' 20 fouls.

    Clearly, the Pacers didn't simply foul more than the Lakers, they also gave more bad, two-shot fouls.

    Against the Knicks (Dec 17), the Pacers fouled 23 times and gave 36 shots. The Knicks fouled 15 times and gave 10 shots.

    I looked at the season, and find that the Pacers consistently are giving not just more fouls, but more shots per foul. That is true in 27 out of 35 games.

    This could be a good thing if most of the Pacers' free throws were coming after a score ("AND ONE, *&^%#&%^(^%#!!") But I don't think that is the case. More likely the Pacers get slap-happy when the other team is in the bonus. A year ago, we were talking about David Harrison's proclivity to foul. Now the whole team is doing it!!


    In the Lakers game, free throws was the margin of victory. We don't know what would have happened if the Pacers hadn't fouled (would the Lakers have missed shots?), but we know the result was a 16-point loss.

    Ordinarily, a few fouls is just the price of playing hard defense. But if that price begins to get too high and starts costing you games, you have to change. Does there come a point when you say, "Stop fouling and let 'em shoot it"? How do you coach a change like this?
    Last edited by Putnam; 01-07-2008 at 01:01 PM.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Ordinarily, a few fouls is just the price of playing hard defense. But if that price begins to get too high and starts costing you games, you have to change. Does there come a point when you say, "Stop fouling and let 'em shoot it"? How do you coach a change like this?
    The problem is that a lot of the Pacers fouls are right at the basket, so if they didn't foul they would be dunks or layups

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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    The problem is that a lot of the Pacers fouls are right at the basket, so if they didn't foul they would be dunks or layups

    Is the Pacers propensity to foul a product of opposing bigs getting the best of our bigs or is it due to poor perimeter defense?

  4. #4

    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    I think there is a perfect explanation for this, the Pacers are just a flat out bad defensive team.

    We don't have good defensive players and as a result we play poor team defense. Maybe we just haven't gotten use to the scheme but I am thinking we are just a bad defensive team.

    Tinsley gambles a lot on defense. Not quick enough IMO to stay in front of all these speedy guards. Mike Dunleavy plays smart but like Jamaal is just to slow. Danny, sure he has the tools and he is our best perminter defender but that isn't really saying much. He isn't no all defenseive team material.

    Jermaine is an excellant help defender. As many say he cleans up a lot of messes. The problem is he has to clean up to many messes due to our lack of perminter defense. Jeff is one of the best defensive bigs in the league IMO. He can guard the Duncans and the Dirks.

    I think that Owens, Rush, Daniels, Williams, and even David Harrison can play some solid defense. But it really isn't enough. These are our backups. We need stronger defensive play from our starters.

    We have a couple bright spots on the defensive end but not enough. For us to be where we want to be, a championship contender, some more changes need to be made. We need to get better defensively because we just don't have the right players.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by rommie
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    We don't have good defensive players and as a result we play poor team defense. Maybe we just haven't gotten use to the scheme but I am thinking we are just a bad defensive team.
    The Pacers do OK at limiting the other team's field goal attempts, and keep the other's team's field goal percentage within bounds most games. The only statistical measure where the Pacers are consistently beaten is free throw attempts and points off free throws. And they are very good in rebounding (thanks both the the speed of the Pacers' game and a good genuine effort.)


    Seems to me if they were just plain bad, they'd be falling behind consistently in all those measures.

    UncleBuck makes a good point (#2). The Pacers give more 2-point shooting fouls in close to the basket BECAUSE of missed assignments further out.
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    Member The Hustler's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Personally i believe it is amost entirely to do with the type of defencive system the pacers play, fronting the post and playing lots of help. This immediately leads to hacking at people when they break free from the perimeter, epecially if the bigs are too slow to rotate and get good position.

    To go into this more detail!

    The Defence is instucted to play help, encouraging pertimeter players to get up on there man and play in there face, this the leads to more defenders being beaten off the dribble, or by pick'n'rolls etc.

    Now the rotations mean that the big man 'should' step in to cover, then, the weakside defenders rotate round to cover the man that has just broken through.
    Unfortunatly, so far this season this team hasn't been nearly fast enough, so it leads to a hack on the opposition player as they are about to take a lay-up or dunk. Obviously it's better the hack them than to let them have to 2 easy points, but better still is rotating fast enough to stop the play.

    One of the issues that i know what raised before the start of the season and that i know i discussed was how difficult it is to learn this defence, and how it has to become almost natural to the players, knowing exactly where they are suposed to be, reading the game in advance, unfortunately the Pacers are not in this position yet, and until they are, they will foul a lot!

    Similarly with fronting in the post, if a player is pushed off the post, a lob pass past them leaves the opposing big free under the basket, so all that can be done is get the nearest defender to him to foul hard and stop the dunk!

    A few games back i remember a period of play where Jermaine showed in about 7 or 8 offences almost all the possible good and bad parts of this offence, he took a charge by rotating perfectly, got a steel on the weakside, and blocked a shot helping on a drive, he also picked up two fouls, one blocking foul where he didnt get there in time, and one hack where he had no other choice, and they also got a lay up somewhere in there cause there was no help anywhere to be seen, which, even on an isolation, i'm willing to bet makes Dick Harter very angry!
    (Yes i am one of those mad people that decides to watch a game twice through just so the second time they can look at each indiviual aspect, such as one teams defence or one players movement!)

    So yeah, i think it's all to do with the Obrian/harter defence we play, emphansising help, and yes, i do think it can be learnt to avoid fouling, but i definitely dont think the pacers have got it yet!

    It's certainly made a lot harder by the fact none of our perimeter players are good enough defenders to give the bigs a better chance, so i dont think it's fair to just blame the bigs, i truely believe 1 elite perimeter defender would make a huge difference to the pacers, possibly to the tune of 10 -15 points a game! Well, i can dream that one day i will watch a well oiled defencive unit for the pacers not just teams like the pistons doing it to us!

    As always JMO!
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    UncleBuck makes a good point (#2). The Pacers give more 2-point shooting fouls in close to the basket BECAUSE of missed assignments further out.
    The Pacers are not the quickest team in the league as far as lateral movement goes. Murphy, Shawne, Mike and Tinsley, for sure, have a difficult time guarding individually...which is a big reason O'B (and Harter) stress just a few defensive fundamentals like proper rotation and helping out. When we do like he says...defend as a team...we can get stops. If that breaks down, or really great slashers and passers are facing us, the opponents blow through our perimeter.

    That leads to the bigs as a last line of defense, leading to more fouls from trying to react at the last moment, leading to more free throws for the opponents. Our bigs have a much higher foul-per-minute rate than anyone else on the team.

    So the fouls add up, we get in the penalty, then the opponent shoots every time Shawne or Danny or whoever slaps instead of moving their feet. It feeds on itself.

    The "good" defense coach describes is the only cure for a team with the personnel we have...moving the feet, rotating correctly, talking, helping out...good team D. When we become a bunch of individual defenders we are definitely sub-par.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99
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    Our bigs have a much higher foul-per-minute rate than anyone else on the team.

    This is true.

    It is also true for a lot of other teams. The NBA top 11 foulers this season are:

    C. Boozer
    D. Granger
    D. Howard
    A. Bogut
    Z. Ilgauskas
    M. Moore
    S. O'Neal
    S. Dalembert
    M. Yao
    D. Stoudamire
    B. Miller
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
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    Member andreialta's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    we could have gone old school and played box and 1 on kobe.

    is it box and 1 or box in 1? where 1 guy sticks with the best defender and then the rest play a 4 man zone down the paint.

    I remember in our league this year, our Coached had us practiced a 1 3 1 zone. and when perfected, a very good defensive strategy with lots of trapping area.
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    This is true.

    It is also true for a lot of other teams. The NBA top 11 foulers this season are:

    C. Boozer
    D. Granger
    D. Howard
    A. Bogut
    Z. Ilgauskas
    M. Moore
    S. O'Neal
    S. Dalembert
    M. Yao
    D. Stoudamire
    B. Miller
    True, my well-drawn friend...so I dug further. We have 4 of the top 49 foulers-per-48 minutes at the center position (78 found total). There are 30 teams. At a statistical average, we should have what? 1.6? guys on that top 50 list. They count Sims, so we have 4. (David, Sims, Murph, Jeff)

    Likewise at forward, where JO, Danny and Shawne are listed in the top 28 of 173....umm...28 guys, 30 teams...we should only have 14/15ths of a guy on that list. We have three.

    Since none of those guys make it individually in the top 10, we can see that we have just quite a few guys with a fair number of fouls...which leads me back to the systemic, or 'team' problem, rather than just getting to point fingers at one or two particular knuckleheads.
    Last edited by kester99; 01-07-2008 at 09:11 PM.
    [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Elgin56 View Post
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    Is the Pacers propensity to foul a product of opposing bigs getting the best of our bigs or is it due to poor perimeter defense?
    Both, but our perimeter defense is our first problem.

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    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Both, but our perimeter defense is our first problem.

    I believe that to be the case also. The question would be, who is out there that we could trade for, without gutting the team as it now stands? Catch 22 if you ask me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: A question for the coaches and strategists

    This is an interesting topic...deducing what's causing this team to foul at such a high rate while simutaneously trying to find ways to limit fouls and improve team defense.

    The Hustler is correct. The defensive scheme the coaching staff has implemented is a learned scheme that relies heavily on team play. As the roster is currently formed, no one individual player will make that much of a impact. Because the Pacers don't have a lock-down defender, they rely heavily on help defense. However, I think that as the season goes on we'll probably see more players going 1-on-1 defensily because certain players have shown improvement in their individual defense.

    Owens and Rush are two players I've witnessed who play very good 1-on-1 defense. These two along with Granger, JO, Foster IMO are the team's best individual defenders who coincidentally perform at a different position. Therefore, if I were JOB, I'd try to get this group on the court at the same time, particularly to start the third quarter. Statistically, this has been the quarter where the Pacers have stumbled the most. The following is a breakdown illustrating which quarter and the number of times per quarter the team has struggled to score in each loss:

    1Q: 4

    2Q: 5

    3Q: 7

    4Q: 5

    While the above numbers show the Pacers have struggled to score at times in each quarter, it's been the third quarter where they have had their worse breakdowns defensively. What my study shows is that in each game where the Pacers were leading going into the half they've lost the lead in the third quarter by a margin of 10 or more points. In most other cases, the disparity in scoring has come moreso from sluggish starts offensively (which would explain the miscues in the first quarter), key players among the starters being in deep foul trouble and having to sit early (which would explain the miscues in the second quarter) or the team just running out of gas or relying more on jump shooting than driving the lanes (which would certaining explain their miscues in the fourth quarter). But nowhere have the Pacers struggled most often defensively than in the third quarter!
    Quote Originally Posted by andreialta View Post
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    we could have gone old school and played box and 1 on kobe.

    is it box and 1 or box in 1? where 1 guy sticks with the best defender and then the rest play a 4 man zone down the paint.

    I remember in our league this year, our Coached had us practiced a 1 3 1 zone. and when perfected, a very good defensive strategy with lots of trapping area.
    When I read that JOB wouldn't use Zone defense, I was a bit suprised! I realize there are some limitations with most zone defenses, such as the inability of interior players to be in the right position to rebound effectively, and the mismatches they can create when players rotate defensively, or that it's harder to defend screen-N-rolls from a zone, when implemented properly most zone defenses can limit your opponent's ability to score thereby taking your opponent out of their rythme.

    You just have to be careful when going with zone defenses, but yes, they can be very effective! My advice to JOB would be to have each player start out in a zone defense after the score w/the man nearest the ballhandler taking up a defensive posture. I know normally, you want a Guard on a Guard, but if the ball hander is coming back down court in transition which is something teams have tried to take advantage of against the Pacers lately due to their lack of speed, you want the man closest to him to halt his progress and the best way to do that is to address him early at least at the half-court area long before he's able to get down court and setup the offense. Otherwise, you've either allowed the ball handler to go coast-to-coast on you or quickly run the offense.

    A Zone defense will atleast met the opponent on the opposite end of the court. The Pacers could then go to man-D as the situation on the floor dictates.
    Last edited by NuffSaid; 01-08-2008 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Combined posts

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