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Thread: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Overall I don't think turnovers are as big of an issue as many make them out to be.

    Looking at the team stats for turnovers there would appear to be no correlation between winning and the number of turnovers a team commits.

    Let look at some of the top teams

    Rockets - 29th in the NBA at 15.6 per game
    OKC - 28th in the NBA at 15.3 per game
    Warriors - 26th in the NBA at 15.2
    Phoenix - 24th at 14.8
    Bulls - 21st at 14.7
    Pacers - 20th at 14.6
    Spurs - 19th at 14.5
    Heat - 16th at 14.4
    Blazers - 9th at 13.6
    Raptors - 7th at 13.5
    Clippers 7th at 13.5
    Mavs - 4th at 13.0
    Grizzles 3rd at 12.7

    So where is the correlation. I don't see it. And how many times have you heard that OKC is commiting too many turnovers or that the heat and Spurs who are basically committing as many as the pacers are committing too many. 6 of the best teams in the NBA are in the lowest 1/3 in committing turnovers.

    I mean sure it is better to committ fewer, but the correlation between being a team that commits few turnovers and being a top team - I don't see it.

    I expect someone to muddy the waters and suggest that because of the pace the Pacers play at it really is a problem.

    I think a much bigger problem is shooting percentage. Only teams to shoot worse than the Pacers at the Knicks, Nets, Cavs, Magic, Grizzlies, Celtics, Bobcats, Jazz, Bucks, and Bulls.

    Where as the top ten teams are the Clippers, Blazers, Rockets, T-wolves, OKC, Suns, Spurs, Mavs, Heat and Warriors.

    There are no elite teams that rank less than 10th in FG shooting percentage and the pacers are 20th. No other elite team ranks below 10th. That is our problem offensively. Our ability to get good shots and make shots - but it isn't turnovers.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-10-2014 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    It depends on who the turnovers are committed against and when. Turning the ball over 20 times and only giving up 10 points off of them is pretty negligable, for example, while turning it over 20 times and giving up 30 points can be crippling.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Someone should show that to Barkley next time he brings it up on TNT. By listening to him, you'd think the Pacers are the only playoff team with turnover issues.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    It depends on who the turnovers are committed against and when. Turning the ball over 20 times and only giving up 10 points off of them is pretty negligable, for example, while turning it over 20 times and giving up 30 points can be crippling.

    OK, so are you suggesting the Pacers commit more live turnovers than lets say the Heat, Spurs and the teams who rank worse than we do? I have no idea. We would have to see points off turnovers to determine that

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I think a lot of times our turnovers are preventable and thus frustrating. The cute passes and attempted top 10 plays that result in turnovers could easily be preventable.

    You will never be able to eliminate all turnover, as they are part of the game. We seem to have an abundance of turnovers which can easily be avoided by making the simple play as opposed to trying for a Sportscenter top 10 play though.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I think you are looking at the turnovers from a skewed perspective. An average number of turnovers may in fact mean very little. However the turnover margin within an individual game has a lot of significance. For example, we play a scrub team and commit 20 turnovers, they commit 18 turnovers and we have a positive rebounding margin, our average number of turnovers is ticked a little higher but it really doesn't mean much for the game in question.

    Let's look at the Mavs game. We had 20 turnovers, the Mavs 10 and they held a +5 margin of the offensive boards. The fact that they had 14 more shots than us bears this out. Why did we lose the game? Because of the margins I've indicated.

    Do you still think that turnovers aren't all that important?

    We play a lousy team and we can probably find other ways to make up a -8 or -10 turnover differential. We play a good team, and we'd better have our ball-handling and decision-making under control. We have a -10 differential against the Heat and we are eternally screwed.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    OK, so are you suggesting the Pacers commit more live turnovers than lets say the Heat, Spurs and the teams who rank worse than we do? I have no idea. We would have to see points off turnovers to determine that
    It's a strong possibility. Miami and SA are also transition teams that can get back on D faster off of a live TO than the Pacers usually.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I'd agree that it isn't just the turnovers, but I think when you combine them with the Pacers' other flaws they become a problem. Take the turnovers and link them to shooting (either FG% or eFG% or whatever), for instance. If a team is low at shooting, it would follow that a turnover is more harmful than it would be to a team that shoots better but turns the ball over similarly.
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    OK beast you make a good point. Let look at turnover margin. I guess no I don't think turnovers are a huge problem for the pacers. If you want to look at team stats FG shooting % is much more of a problem. Because all the other elite teams are in the top ten - we are 20th. Turnovers - many elite teams are in the bottom 3rd and several others in the middle third.

    But lets look at turover margins

    Pacers committ .08 more turnovers than they force. Which once again puts us as 20th worst in the NBA

    Rockets are -2.1 - 29th
    Blazers - 1.9 - 26th
    Spurs -1 - 24th
    OKC and the Bulls are tied with us at -.08.

    the heat do quite well as they are +1.6.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-10-2014 at 01:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Not all turnovers are created equal.

    Turnovers are only a problem when they occur in a way that the team turning the ball over has a diminished capacity to defend against the resulting change in possession, or if the turnover prevents what otherwise would have been a high efficiency scoring opportunity.

    Earlier in the season, the Pacers had higher ability to defend overall, which somewhat diminished the impact of the turnovers. Also, there may have been a higher percentage of the turnovers that simply went out of bounds as opposed to resulting in a live ball change of possession.

    Higher turnover numbers also diminsh the flow of the offense, leading to an overall decrease in offensive efficiency, especially for a team that relies heavily on players creating their own shots as opposed to having an offense designed to both encourage better shot selection and make opposing teams work longer and harder on defense.

    So, while the turnovers weren't as much of an issue earlier in the season, they are much moreso now IMO.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    OUr transition D has been the bigger issue lately IMO, but that's just an eye test thing don't know if the stats back it up.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    OUr transition D has been the bigger issue lately IMO, but that's just an eye test thing don't know if the stats back it up.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I think another reason turnovers get hyped so hard for the Pacers is because we assume/know that at some point we're going to come across Miami and they absolutely are fantastic at converting live ball TOs, so they are the team where turnovers could really hurt us, so it gets more focus than say if we were going through a San Antonio.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Turnovers themselves are not the problem, it is unforced turnovers that is the problem. We have a high amount of unforced turnovers which without statistics will exaggerate how many turnovers we commit in the viewer's eyes.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    OK, so then lets look at how many steals teams get against us. Because those are live right?

    We are 8th best in this category. Teams get 7.2 steals against us. No problem there.

    OK, so you say well maybe teams get a lot of blocked shots against us and those can turn into almost like a live turnover - although they are not counted as such. We get 4.5 shots blocked per game. which puts us tied for 11th best - 11th fewest.

    we are 26th in assist to turnover ratio.

    We are 27th in our assists per game. That seems like a much bigger problem than turnovers. Although we allow by far the fewest number of assists per game, we are a plus two in this category
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-10-2014 at 02:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Not all turnovers are created equal.

    Turnovers are only a problem when they occur in a way that the team turning the ball over has a diminished capacity to defend against the resulting change in possession, or if the turnover prevents what otherwise would have been a high efficiency scoring opportunity.

    Earlier in the season, the Pacers had higher ability to defend overall, which somewhat diminished the impact of the turnovers. Also, there may have been a higher percentage of the turnovers that simply went out of bounds as opposed to resulting in a live ball change of possession.

    Higher turnover numbers also diminsh the flow of the offense, leading to an overall decrease in offensive efficiency, especially for a team that relies heavily on players creating their own shots as opposed to having an offense designed to both encourage better shot selection and make opposing teams work longer and harder on defense.

    So, while the turnovers weren't as much of an issue earlier in the season, they are much moreso now IMO.

  28. #17

    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I find that I agree with UB, trader Joe, and Eleazar frequently of basketball stuff, and this is no exception.

    Turnovers are highlight plays, which make them stick out in a viewer's mind more. That exaggerates their importance.

    Transition points can be tough to gage, because at what point does a play stop being a transition play? This makes transition stats subjective.

    For what it is worth, though, Synergy Sports has the Pacers defense at 1.07 points per possession in transition, #1 in the NBA. Team Rankings has them at the #3 transition defense by raw points per game (11.7). Charlotte is #1 at 10.3, Philly is worst at 17.2.

    So, in both efficiency and raw volume, the Pacers are an elite transition defensive squad. I think this is because of the Pacer's at-all-costs aversion to fouling in transition. But I digress.

    Charlotte is also #1 in lowest (best) turnover percentage (turnovers per 100 possessions), and 26th (bad) in Offensive Rating.

    The top 10 teams in turnover % have many of the top ten offensive teams, and vice versa. But there are several teams whose TO% is the opposite of their O performance.

    Now, if you sort by eFG%? That puts teams very close to their order of offensive performance.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    OK beast you make a good point. Let look at turnover margin. I guess no I don't think turnovers are a huge problem for the pacers. If you want to look at team stats FG shooting % is much more of a problem. Because all the other elite teams are in the top ten - we are 20th. Turnovers - many elite teams are in the bottom 3rd and several others in the middle third.

    But lets look at turover margins

    Pacers committ .08 more turnovers than they force. Which once again puts us as 20th worst in the NBA

    Rockets are -2.1 - 29th
    Blazers - 1.9 - 26th
    Spurs -1 - 24th
    OKC and the Bulls are tied with us at -.08.

    the heat do quite well as they are +1.6.
    My question is " What is easier to correct...Shooting % or turnovers." I would think it would be turnovers. Maybe not !! We are a poor shooting team and have been for several years.
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    The Indiana Pacers, on the season, have turned the ball over 15.9 times per 100 possessions.

    The Indiana Pacers, since (and including) the first Suns loss (aka Operation Poop the Bed), have turned the ball over 15.5 times per 100 possessions.

    Turnovers have gone down, people.

    The day before Operation Poop The Bed was Jan. 21st. Let's look at before and after.

    Before:
    Paul George - FG% 46, 3PT% 40
    George Hill - 3PT% 40
    Luis Scola - FG% 50

    After:
    Paul George - FG% >40, 3PT% 33
    George Hill - 3PT% 35
    Luis Scola - FG% 40

    Before:
    Pacers Corner 3 Defense: 30.9% (#1)
    Pacers Above the Break D: 32.7% (#4)
    Pacers Midrange D: 37.5% (#3)

    After:
    Pacers Corner 3 Defense: 46.8% (#29)
    Pacers Above the Break D: 35.9% (#18)
    Pacers Midrange D: 41.4% (#24)


    The Pacers are shooting like crap, and opponents are shooting like Steve Kerr.

    Do the Pacers need to get more creative on offense and close out harder on defense? Probably. The later comes with more effort. The former comes with a riskier offensive strategy, and that will come with more turnovers. Be careful what you wish for.

    Or, alternately, PG and Scola can stop being sub-average shooters and give a boost to the first and second units. I think this is more likely.
    Last edited by FlavaDave; 03-10-2014 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I think what makes the turnovers stand out is that in our offense it's a product of poor offensive execution. How often do you see one person hold the ball for 15 seconds dribbling while the other team members watch and stand around? When the shot clock starts running down, the person initiating the offense has to make something up on the fly and we end up turning the ball over. Or when we start playing one-on-one basketball and make foolish attempts at passing the ball in the lane. This is why TOs are an issue for us. It's not that we commit a heinous amount, but rather, it's an extension of just horrible offensive execution.
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I would tend to agree with you that tunovers are no bigger of a problem than any other part of the offense.

    The Pacers are mediocre to worse in just about everything offensively. They have very little to hang their hat on:

    13th in FG percentage
    18th in 3% percentage
    24th in 3PA (none of the bottom 10 teams in 3PA are in the top 10 in Ortg)
    tied 13th in FTA
    5th in FT%
    27th in assists (could be affected slightly by pace)
    25th in Turnover percentage
    20th in offensive rebound percentage

    The Pacers have a drastically better FG% than they did last year and a slightly better turnover percentage. However, they are around the same offensively because they shoot less threes, they get to the line less (although their percentage has improved quite a bit when they do get there), and their offensive rebound percentage has plummeted from 4th to 20th.

    Their offense especially lately seems to be geared towards the mid-range shot. West, Scola, George, Turner, and even Hibbert now have plays run for them where the end goal seems to be an open 12-18 foot shot. That's an easy way for the Pacers to get what most people call a "good" shot. And while it is a pretty solid percentage shot (for some more than others) it shouldn't be the shining example of an offensive possession. To use a baseball term, it should be a changeup that the Pacers are using as their fastball.

    What concerns me going forward for this offense is that the Pacers don't seem to have anybody who can consistently break down a defense. Who commands a doubleteam? West does against certain teams. People would rather play Hibbert 1 on 1. George can sometimes draw an extra man but is often stopping at the midrange for a shot instead of taking the ball into too much traffic. Lance often has to use his strength and go through his man to get buckets rather than beating his man and drawing a double.

    Defenses are staying home and taking their chances. People (especially announcers!) often talk about moving the ball side to side and getting easy buckets, but passes are difficult when screens are usually required to get the defense out of position whatsoever. The Pacers are effective enough individually to grind their way to a close to mediocre offense even without that. Their starting unit is also often better than that when they have five solid offensive options on the floor, but it's still a structural flaw that I'm not sure how it will be corrected. Maybe it won't have to, maybe the Pacers can win without it. But I don't think a major part of their problem is execution.

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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    I think what makes the turnovers stand out is that in our offense it's a product of poor offensive execution. How often do you see one person hold the ball for 15 seconds dribbling while the other team members watch and stand around? When the shot clock starts running down, the person initiating the offense has to make something up on the fly and we end up turning the ball over. Or when we start playing one-on-one basketball and make foolish attempts at passing the ball in the lane. This is why TOs are an issue for us. It's not that we commit a heinous amount, but rather, it's an extension of just horrible offensive execution.
    Well said. I think the poor shooting percentage is because of very poor execution and hero ball by Lance and Paul. And because of poorly executed offense very risky passes are attempted. Plus the Pacers appear to have a lot of unforced turnovers. Plus I do not believe the Pacers in general are a good shooting team. Hopefully they will get better as they mature. I just have a hard time seeing this team winning the championship this year. They may make it to the finals or I could see them losing in an earlier round.
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Suaveness View Post
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    I think what makes the turnovers stand out is that in our offense it's a product of poor offensive execution. How often do you see one person hold the ball for 15 seconds dribbling while the other team members watch and stand around? When the shot clock starts running down, the person initiating the offense has to make something up on the fly and we end up turning the ball over. Or when we start playing one-on-one basketball and make foolish attempts at passing the ball in the lane. This is why TOs are an issue for us. It's not that we commit a heinous amount, but rather, it's an extension of just horrible offensive execution.
    You make an excellent point and a similar to one I made 4 or 5 weeks ago. Turnovers are not the problem, but they might be the symptom of the problem. Problem being we have some significant limitations offensively.

    To suggest if we limit the turnovers our problems are solved is false IMO. We commit turnovers because we are limited offensively, we don't commit them because we get lazy or don't care. No, we commit turnovers because we have 24 seconds to get a decent shot off and we have some limitations that makes that difficult, so we have to try and force things a lot of the time.

  38. #24

    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    IMO offensive and defensive efficiency are both very important, as is number of scoring opportunities (how many more than the opponent)

    Ignoring defense for now,

    Our offensive efficiency would be better if
    -we shot it better (difficult fix)
    -we turned it over less (easier fix)

    number of shot attempts would be better if
    -we rebounded better on both the offensive and defensive ends (we already do this well)
    -we turned it over less

    So it seems that taking care of the ball is a affecting both, it can compensate in part for poor shooting, and it can reduce opponent's shooting percentages (I'd bet that opponents shoot much worse in half court than the so in fast breaks off turnovers)


    What I'm saying is that in principle making less turnovers is an easier fix for offensive efficiency than is "shooting better" though either would help tremendously.

    The percentage of our turnovers that seem to be careless/ unforced make it more frustrating. The coaching staff should be able to "fix stupidity" shouldn't they?
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    Default Re: Are turnovers really a problem for the Pacers. I say nope

    I don't think turnovers are the problem, I think it's the one-on-on iso basketball and also that our defense is no longer suffocating our opponents which used to jump-start our offense. Early in the year, you saw guys making the extra pass and trusting their teammates. When we blew out Houston, how many times did you see guys make that extra pass for a wide open three or back-cutting player? We just aren't moving the ball like we used to.

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