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Thread: Some Love for the Three

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    I believe that the ranking of 14th seems too high, and that similar to where the team was ranked in the league from a team record standpoint (21st) is likely more representative of its defensive effort...
    You're a stubborn old cuss. I don't mind that, but you're going to have to offer something more substantial if you want to persuade me, for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    That is why I (and others) asked previously in another thread why you believe that the team was better defensively than it was offensively this past season, and we await your response if you could indulge us with your insights.
    Because on offense they were poor at shooting, turned it over a lot, and couldn't offensive rebound worth a lick. You can quantify those things, it's not something that requires imagination.

    If they "were" in some idealized sense a better offensive team than they showed on the floor - meaning that, given good health, they would have scored more points per possession, is a worthwhile consideration, but abstract - it's hard to be too interested in what might have been; if you sign a player you get his tendency to roll his ankle over along with his terrific first step, for instance. In the real world, on the floor, over the course of a season, they were 26th. That's a poor offensive team.

    On defense their big strength was stopping shots; they were particularly good at the rim and at the arc. Their worst area was fouling, and they were below average at defensive rebounding. Turnovers average, but top ten at shooting defense. Shooting defense is probably primary; it takes the most effort and focus.

    You mention effort - a team, as I pointed out in the previous thread you referenced, that defended the three-point line so well is not a team that is lacking in effort; you've got to run to close those shots out and contest. Along with the good rim defense they fouled a lot; could've been better - should definitely get better if they want to move to the next level - but you can appreciate the demand from the coaching staff not to allow layups.
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Rather than get into highly complex stats, I will just say that the absence of Troy Murphy will translate to more wins.

    I don't have any data to back that up yet, but I should have some by Christmas.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    Rather than get into highly complex stats, I will just say that the absence of Troy Murphy will translate to more wins.

    I don't have any data to back that up yet, but I should have some by Christmas.
    Well, in a way you do. What was the pacers overall recored without Troy Murphy? What was G.S. record immediately after trading Murphy?

    Like all numbers it does not tell the whole story but like all numbers they are there.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    This has been a very enlightening thread and I hope it continues.

    I have no idea if this stat is available or not, but it would be interesting to see how many passes per possession the Pacers average and then compare that to the rest of the league, and then to also compare where on the floor the assisted shots that go in are taken in comparison to the rest of the league.

    My guess the results on these two subjects would be quite telling.

    I suspect the Pacers average passes prior to an assist would be a low number compared to the rest of the league on average due to the relative lack of focus the players have on off the ball movement and receiving passes (a lot of players must become accustomed to receiving passes consistently and then be able to anticipate what to do given what the typical outcome of their part of that play normally would be before they can be expected to execute their portion of any given possession with reliability) within the few called plays that seem to exist in the Pacers apparently trademarked "read and react" offense due to being focused instead on making too many pass vs. shoot decisions on every possession with an apparently limited ability to make sound decsions that led to high turnovers and poor shot selection. A little additional structured movement and passing would go a long way towards stabilizing that aspect of the offense, and tend to produce a more highly consistent quality of available shots and likely would help reduce turnovers as well in my opinion.

    I would also think that the location of the Pacers assisted makes would tend to be either shots at the arc off of catch and shoots or back door cuts that result in layups with a higher frequency than the rest of the league on average.

    It believe it may also be telling to know where the assist passes originate, as well. I suspect that a lot of our assists happen from somewhere in the vicinity of the paint, and that the Pacers have a higher number that originate from the area in or near the paint than the rest of the league on average. Knowledge of this would lead opposing coaches to allow dribble penetration with a converging collapse that cuts off the Pacers primary passing lanes and lead to a higher number of turnovers than might otherwise occur because the opponents "read and react" defensively by judging where our relatively stationary perimeter players, or at least their preferred shooting spots, tend to be versus where the dribble penetration from the pg or wings tend to lead them to be when they typically make their decision whether to finish the play themselves or kick out to the perimeter (or hopefully to our interior players this year which would be a HUGE change).

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    [QUOTE=O'Bird;1058239]
    Isn’t the question really: are the threes open makeable shots?
    It can be a question but it does not negate my part of the question. First you will have to define makeable? Pretty much using Putnam's theory as well as Occam's in this case if the ball goes in it was makeable if it did not then it wasn't.

    But again it still does not take away the point of was there a better shot. just because you have a makeable three does not mean that it was the best shot to take.


    Player decision - that’s how the offense works - unless, of course, there’s a crunch-time need to get three on a possession.
    I'm going to assume that you are fine with this. That is your right however I have a problem with everything being left up to their discretion. Unless that is of course that we are to assume that every single day in practice that they are drilling in their heads to look inside first and the players are just choosing to take the easier shot. I don't really beleive that is the case here but let's assume that it is for the sake of this argument. Why then is it not on the coach to take out players who are not going with option #1, which would be to explore inside?


    That’s what the offense is designed to produce.
    Well in theory all offense is designed to make baskets, not all of them work. In our case you can correctly assume that our lack of ball handlers and scorers does prohibit a certain amount of our ability to go inside.

    For a moment I thought you’d strayed in from a Colts forum.
    Well to your defense there would have to be clear initial plays called to have audibles, so I may be going back to a time where the offense had structure.

    They want to take the shots that the defense gives them; it’s not that the three is some sort of emergency measure - they WANT to take threes, and they should be taking them. But they want to use threes to get into the paint, and they want to get into the paint to get open threes. And even when they’re running a play out of their offense, there are options to kick out for threes.
    Communism was designed so that everybody would have equal shares of both work and reward. Didn’t work for them and this offense is flawed as well. Sure there is nothing wrong with a three point shot. I’ll say that again so that I am clear there is nothing wrong with a three point shot. It should be an option, it should open the paint and yes spread the floor. But when it is not working then it’s time to try something else. You can quote me stats till your blue in the face about our offensive efficiency and where we rank in % of this or that. 32-60 and no way in hell will I accept that it is all the defense.



    I think that you're right to place a high value on drawing fouls; this is one of several reasons why Tyler got so much burn last season, and why you can expect more minutes for him this year.
    Ok, we are in complete agreement here.


    Lengthy stuff snipped to shorten this post
    We agree that spot up shooters are a problem with motion offense. Now why did Jim play two spot up shooters more than anyone else on the team?

    Also I'm sorry but 2+2 does = 4 here. Brandon Rush & Troy Murphy are the two spot up shooters, they also play the two most min. other than Granger yet they are the two players who shoot the least free throws because they don't draw fouls very often. In fact I wonder how many freethrows either of them shot while on the offensive end in the act of shooting? Troy a lot more than Brandon for sure.

    Yes our defense is lousy, now is that because the players are just lousy (which is probably the case) or is it possible the defensive system is flawed and the players that O'Brien chose to use were lousy as well (this is also possible).


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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  7. #106
    This Thing Is Working® O'Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    ...the Pacers apparently trademarked "read and react" offense
    Trademarked yes, but not by the Pacers (!), and used by all sorts of people to mean all sorts of things. It can mean a sort of Larry Brown-esque "playing basketball the right way", for instance, but for Rick Torbett it's a style of playing offense and a set of instructional DVD's.

    I don't normally use the term because of this ambiguity, but it certainly communicates; I only addressed it because I was responding to imawhat's grab bag of possible O'Brien basketball philosophies (strategies or tactics would be better terms), and he included that one. The (much) older NBA expression is "taking what the defense gives you", but it doesn't quite have the same snap, does it?
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    Last edited by O'Bird; 09-07-2010 at 12:27 AM.
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  8. #107
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    First you will have to define makeable? Pretty much using Putnam's theory as well as Occam's in this case if the ball goes in it was makeable if it did not then it wasn't.
    Putnam's razor?

    Point taken; what I mean is that the shooter is a guy with a history of making the shot. But it seems to me that your point undermines your previous one; weren't you arguing that the players should know if a better shot is available?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    But again it still does not take away the point of was there a better shot. just because you have a makeable three does not mean that it was the best shot to take.
    Can't argue with that; I would just remind you that you get an extra point for making a three, compared to a two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    I'm going to assume that you are fine with this. That is your right however I have a problem with everything being left up to their discretion.
    Taking bad shots doesn't win you more minutes with any team in the league. It is the job of the players to be clear about what shots to take. Gunners hurt any team in any system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Unless that is of course that we are to assume that every single day in practice that they are drilling in their heads to look inside first and the players are just choosing to take the easier shot...
    ... Why then is it not on the coach to take out players who are not going with option #1, which would be to explore inside?
    That is not option #1, nor is a three option #1. What the system is designed to get is close shots and three-point shots. But good shots are open, makeable shots, though, so even a long two is a good shot if, for instance, Troy Murphy is unguarded and in one of his sweet spots.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    In our case you can correctly assume that our lack of ball handlers and scorers does prohibit a certain amount of our ability to go inside.
    I would add a lack of good screeners and an inability to play much pick and roll.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Well to your defense there would have to be clear initial plays called to have audibles, so I may be going back to a time where the offense had structure.
    I appreciate the joke, but in fact the offense is highly structured, it just isn't rote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    ... You can quote me stats till your blue in the face about our offensive efficiency and where we rank in % of this or that. 32-60 and no way in hell will I accept that it is all the defense.
    I think that you misunderstand me. I'm not claiming that the Pacers had a good offense; they were poor, in fact, though with better health they likely would also have had better offense. By the way it was 32-50, not 60 - the season was long enough!

    But no one has made a good argument that the poor offense was because of the system; most people don't even seem to understand the system, and the majority seems to overestimate the offensive ability of the players on the roster.

    The Pacers won 32 games because they had a commitment to defend, at least enough to make up for their offense, at least enough to win 32. They've got to get better at both ends, but the steepest curve is on the offensive end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    We agree that spot up shooters are a problem with motion offense. Now why did Jim play two spot up shooters more than anyone else on the team?
    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Also I'm sorry but 2+2 does = 4 here. Brandon Rush & Troy Murphy are the two spot up shooters, they also play the two most min. other than Granger yet they are the two players who shoot the least free throws because they don't draw fouls very often. In fact I wonder how many freethrows either of them shot while on the offensive end in the act of shooting? Troy a lot more than Brandon for sure.
    What I said was, "if guys are only spotting up...", and that certainly does not describe Murphy; Rush is another matter. It's true that Murphy only rarely drove to the rim, and picked his spots when he had a clear path - give him credit for that, he played within his limitations; but he took a lot of midrange twos in open areas - makeable shots - let's face it, you wouldn't want him putting it on the floor a lot. They used him in a super-efficient way with good scoring and low turnovers, and in pick and fade situations to facilitate ball movement.

    I think that they played Brandon because he's an outstanding man defender, giving Granger a break on defense, and because they think that at his age and skill-set he can develop into an effective starting wing on both ends of the floor; remember Bird's prediction in April, 2009: "Brandon'll score points, and he'll score in bunches." I think they put up with his limitations for those reasons.

    Spotting up works in any system, it's just a basic skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Yes our defense is lousy, now is that because the players are just lousy (which is probably the case) or is it possible the defensive system is flawed and the players that O'Brien chose to use were lousy as well (this is also possible).
    I don't agree that the defense was lousy; it was average. I don't flatter myself that you're reading every word of all my posts, but I've made the point at length elsewhere and won't repeat myself... ad nauseam.
    :
    Last edited by O'Bird; 09-07-2010 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Getting the edge in...
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    "The first shot does not beat you." - Chuck Daly

    "To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful." - Chuck Daly

  9. #108
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Sure seemed like 60 losses to me.

    Also on a side note, no I read every word you have to say. At first I thought you might have been one of our frequently banned posters with your name and all but it didn't take but about two posts to figure out that you actually know what your talking about. You might be misguided and wrong about it but you still know it.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    We're still trying to explain why the Pacers only won 32 games, but we know now that we can't justify the argument of reliance on 3-point attempts and we can't blame increased use of the 3PA on Jim O'Brien.

    The explanation is going to have to come from observation and careful thought, but when the right explanation is given it will be supported by the data.
    BIG kudos for the great visuals and starting this stimulating thread - once again you've come through with the quality!

    I think that there is more than one explanation, or, better, multiple factors that when impacted next season lead to the playoffs.

    Is it worth pointing out that Danny Granger, the team's one and only star, missed 20 games and played hurt in a number of others, and that the Pacers still lost only four fewer games than the year before? Is it possible that in four or more of those 20-plus games a healthy Danny might have made the difference?

    So number one is health.

    Number two is turnovers on offense.

    Number three is shooting.

    Number four is defensive rebounding.

    Number five is not fouling - and defending second shots.

    This thing is working. On to the playoffs.


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    Last edited by O'Bird; 09-07-2010 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Chuck would have wanted it this way.
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    "Defense doesn't break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery." - Chuck Daly

    "The first shot does not beat you." - Chuck Daly

    "To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful." - Chuck Daly

  11. #110

    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    I wonder if the 09-10 season will ever become another "Season of which we do not speak."

    There's a strong impression that the season was just terrible: that apart from the early five-game win streak and those "meaningless" late victories, the Pacers usually got blown out and weren't even in games to the end.

    But actually the Pacers opponents outscored the Pacers by (on average) only 3 points per game. This aggregation is consistent with some blow-outs, but it is not the hallmark of a team that was a league-wide doormat.


    The Pacers reliance on outside shots logically resulted in fewer free throw attempts, and the stats bear that out. But the difference was small. The stats show that opponents took just about 4 more free throw attempts per game than the Pacers, leading to just 2.6 points per game from the line for the opponent.

    The Pacers 3-point game more than compensated for that loss of free-throw opportunities. The Pacers attempted 6 more 3-pointers per game than their opponents and converted those attempts into 5.5 more points per game from outside.

    So if we focus on the "trade off" between free throws and three-pointers, we find that the Pacers came out on top. They outscored the opponents by 5.5 while foregoing only 2.6 points at the line.

    Field goals from inside the arc is where the Pacers fall short. The Pacers took nearly the same number of field goal attempts as their opponents from inside the arc -- the difference being only 0.6 per game. But the opponents turned those attempts into 5.9 more points per game than the Pacers got.

    So here's how those three means of scoring balqanced out over the season:

    -2.6 -- average difference at the free throw line
    -5.9 -- average difference in two-point goals
    +5.5 -- average difference in three-point goals

    -3.0 average difference between Pacers' and opponents' scoring



    So, again, I don't see that the mix is the problem. The Pacers don't need to get to the line a lot more and they certainly don't need to take fewer three-point attempts.

    They need to get better at converting their field goal attempts from all over the floor. And I have no idea how they should do that.




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  12. #111
    Member Speed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Interesting analysis, Putnam. I look at things from the other team defensive perspective.

    I'd continue to like the chuck em up mentality. I'd not like to have to foul guys constantly to keep them from scoring, that wears you out. This is as mentally taxing as it is physically. I guess it goes back to what you said, if the Pacers are making the 3s, it can be disheartening or if the Pacers are making teams defend first then hitting 3s, you're in business.

    For me, its the chess match within the game that can work.

    If you take a quick missed 3, to me, it's as good as turnover. Give sme energy for offense, since I didn't have to defend. Doesn't develop foul trouble that makes me play softer defensively.

    The old/good Pacer playoff teams weren't exceptional defensively, what they were good at is getting really good shots and hitting them, that impacts a game, even from an opposing defense perspective.

    In summary, you can be an adequate defensive team, if you're a really good offensive team, 09/10 were neither, imho.

  13. #112
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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Interesting analysis, Putnam. I look at things from the other team defensive perspective.

    I'd continue to like the chuck em up mentality. I'd not like to have to foul guys constantly to keep them from scoring, that wears you out. This is as mentally taxing as it is physically. I guess it goes back to what you said, if the Pacers are making the 3s, it can be disheartening or if the Pacers are making teams defend first then hitting 3s, you're in business.

    For me, its the chess match within the game that can work.

    If you take a quick missed 3, to me, it's as good as turnover. Give sme energy for offense, since I didn't have to defend. Doesn't develop foul trouble that makes me play softer defensively.

    The old/good Pacer playoff teams weren't exceptional defensively, what they were good at is getting really good shots and hitting them, that impacts a game, even from an opposing defense perspective.

    In summary, you can be an adequate defensive team, if you're a really good offensive team, 09/10 were neither, imho.
    After all the number crunching and analysis and debating three's, fouls, etc. this is really the true answer. The Pacers were neither good enough on the defensive end or the offensive end to be a good team or even a mediocre team. They were by definition a bad team.

    Now the debate can still fall on was it lack of talent, injuries, coaching or other and my answer to that is yes.


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    Default Re: Some Love for the Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    The Pacers reliance on outside shots logically resulted in fewer free throw attempts, and the stats bear that out. But the difference was small.
    If your intention is to determine if "reliance on outside shots" depressed the number of free throws, what you want to look at is how many free throws there were compared to how many field goal attempts there were. No team wants turnovers, no offense is designed to produce turnovers; if you're looking at total FT's, the number is affected by how many squandered possessions where no scoring opportunity was reached. The Pacers were a high-turnover team.

    When you do that, you find that free throws were a relative strength, and indeed the strongest part of the Pacers' offense. FTA/FGA last season was .296, tied for 14th in the league with Miami and San Antonio. They were average. It was not the outside shooting that depressed their FT totals, but their turnovers; and there's another hidden factor in comparing team to opponent total FTs, see below.

    A more sophisticated measure is free throw makes per field goal attempt, since that factors in not only the extent to which the team works to get itself to the line, but also its effectiveness once it gets there; but in the Pacers' case their ranking is the same, 14th in the league, for this measure.

    The other factor that's hidden in comparing opponents' total FT's to the Pacers' is that what you're really comparing is Indiana's fouling on defense to their ability to get to the line on offense - in other words, you're comparing the worst part of their defense to the best part of their offense, so if you think that you're only measuring the latter you get a skewed idea of it.

    The best way to increase FT attempts is to reduce the turnovers, and the best way to erase the gap with opponents' attempts is to reduce fouling (better defensive rebounding would go a long way, though better defense of second shots would help, too).

    The offense is designed to open up driving lanes, and the three-point shooting is an integral part of it. If you want to draw fouls you need action off the dribble, going to the rim (more pick and rolls, please), or postups in the low-block area. Players who are better drivers, like Darren Collison (or, dare I say it, Lance Stephenson), will help a lot in that area, but taking better care of the ball is the most urgent task ahead.
    :
    Last edited by O'Bird; 09-08-2010 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Better and better by taking out "better"?! WUWT?
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    "The first shot does not beat you." - Chuck Daly

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