I don't know if anyone else posted the article here, but there was a great article on Grantland that discusses the trends in NBA defense. Its a great read: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...-their-offense
After reading it, I think it explains a lot of what Dunlap was trying to install on the defensive side, and that rather than being a clueless idiot as a lot of yall suspected, he actually was trying to emulate the system of the best defensive mind in the game. Its just we don't have the personnel, experience, and/or basketball IQ to pull it off at a competent level, and just as important, offensives are catching on and catching up to this strategy of defense.
So all those open 3s aren't just a sign of incompetence, but is a purposeful act:
If executed well, then you have the Bulls and Celtics level of defense (which both have the common denominator of Thibodeau). The goal was to haveCoaches want players away from the ball "to 2.9" on defense, and the meaning is simple: Stay in the paint for as long as possible without committing a defensive three-second violation. It's a tenet that has swept across the league during the last few seasons in the form of ultra-aggressive help defense, a sea change that has inspired a slower but perhaps more important evolution in the way NBA teams approach offense.However, unfortunately for Dunlap, just this yeardefenses committed to clogging the lane, sending an extra defender toward the ball, and forcing offenses into second, third, and fourth options.So the intentions were good this summer when installing the system, but Dunlap couldn't have anticipated that it would be figured out this year already. Obviously, adjustments have to be made, with new players who understand defensive principles and have athleticism, and not completely selling out on the help, because quite frankly, players are much better shooters than they were even 5 years ago.Other coaches have copied that style, and smart offenses over the last two seasons — and especially this season — have had to adapt.
I remember when 33% from 3 was considered good, because it was considered equal to shooting 50% from 2. But now, players are hitting at a 40-45% clip from 3 as an average, with probably a much higher percentage for spot up, standstill 3s that are wide open. It makes more sense to force a player to drive and shoot an off balance runner than set up for 3s.
As we've frustratingly seen this year,We keep getting sucked in on purpose in order to swing the ball back out."Players are penetrating now with no intention to score," Casey says. Post-up players, including James and Carmelo Anthony, have gotten better at reading help and skipping the ball immediately to the other side of the floor instead of just hitting the closest player and starting a series of passes, Casey and other coaches say.
A few more highlights about defense in the NBA, which apply directly to our team:
We lack brains.Coaches and GMs are looking harder for specific skill sets that fit within this evolution:
• Brains. Players have to understand a five-man team scheme on defense, and, if they manage to get that down, how to react almost instantly to dozens of different variables that govern how they should react at any given moment.
We're not the only ones suffering from this inability to play D. The Hornets have troubles, the Wizards allowed 20 threes against the Knicks.... on and on.Williams says he knew he was risking that kind of long-distance death, because so many of his players are young and don't yet understand basic NBA things — how to rotate on the spot, which shooters demand closer attention, etc. "We just had to get back to ground zero and protect the rim," Williams says. "We're not trying to give up 3s. But sometimes you give up 3s due to lack of experience and mental breakdowns. My first two years, we had guys who had been on teams where they really defended. Now you bring in young guys who played AAU and all these college zones, and it's just a work in progress."
Last quote:So I myself was scratching my head at this seemingly bizarre tendency to overhelp in the lane and leaving shooters wide open for 3. I still hate it, but this at least explains the reasoning, and what defenses in the league need to do to adapt to the changing schemes. So in conclusion, our players inabilities and lack of experience are what contributes to many of the defensive breakdowns, not necessarily faulty coaching. The key to seeing how good Dunlap is will be looking how he adjusts this summer, and our results next year.Perimeter guys need to know how to slide into the paint, deter some penetration there, and sprint back out at their original mark — a guy who can presumably both shoot and attack off the bounce. That's not easy. "The hardest thing to do in the NBA," Boylan says, "is to help in the paint and then rush back out to the 3-point line to get your guy."