NBA - 2014/15 Season.

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sloopjohnc
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 07 Dec 2017, 18:40

Quinn Cook of Duke and two-way contract for Santa Cruz and GS Warriors started last night. He grew up in Washington DC with KD and they're good friends. Probably didn't hurt, but he looked good: 8 points and 3 assists in 20 minutes.

Because of Curry and McCaw being out, they brought him up.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby WG Kaspar » 07 Dec 2017, 19:04

It's looking pretty good so far for the teams you'd expect to fight for the conference finals. Cavs after starting slow have turned it on and Boston are super efficient without being impressive. Spurs are being Spurs which means they again will make it tough for whoever meets them in the playoffs and the Rockets look improved. GS again is the team to beat obviously. Good signs for Timberwolves, Pelicans and the Nuggets I would say, they all look pretty good.
What strikes me as interesting is how bad the bad teams in the west are.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 08 Dec 2017, 17:26

WG Kaspar wrote:Spurs are being Spurs which means they again will make it tough for whoever meets them in the playoffs and the Rockets look improved.


And they've done it without Parker, who just came back, and Kawhi. Aldridge has been the Aldridge of old.

If the Warriors win against Detroit tonight, which is not a given since they already lost to them, they'll have gone 6-0 on a road trip with lots of hurt players.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 08 Dec 2017, 18:19

Really good article about what makes the Warriors different, strategically and tactically.

The Warriors shun pick-and-roll, destroy switching defenses with quick cuts and sharp instincts
Special to The Athletic 4 hours ago
By Dylan Murphy

As a defense, the Warriors have long been known for their switching. With many like-sized players capable of guarding multiple positions, they dismantle the utility of opponent screening actions to force one-on-one basketball as the shot clock winds down. The Warriors' defensive possessions end in an isolation 10.4 percent of the time, with a scoring rate of 0.85 points per possession (according to NBA.com), which is good for the second-highest and fifth-lowest rates, respectively.

In short, the Warriors successfully funnel opponents toward inefficiency.

Switching is the most effective NBA defense because it walls off penetration. Instead of fighting through contact, helping and recovering, defenses switch to cut down on the creases that screens reveal. In a lineup filled with versatile defenders, the mismatches that can arise are relatively manageable.

The most common offensive response to a switching defense is to seek out the biggest conceivable mismatch. This is done in one of two ways:
Send a skillful isolator through a series of off-ball screens that will likely result in a switch, or manufacture a switch by putting a skillful isolator in a ball-screen with a teammate who is guarded by the opponent’s weakest defender.

In the last three NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers opted for the latter strategy, running pick-and-rolls with LeBron James and whomever Stephen Curry was guarding. Once the switch was achieved, James was left to attack and create.

On the surface, the reasoning behind such a strategy appears sound. Curry cannot guard James by himself. But single basketball plays do not exist in a vacuum, and resorting to such an individualized approach too often misses the bigger picture.

Ultimately this strategy fosters a lack of ball and player movement, which in turn saps defensive energy from the offensive players who are not involved. A lack of touches also limits the efficiency of their offensive contributions, as it’s tough to find a rhythm when handling the ball once every five possessions. Lastly, there’s the matter of the isolator himself, who likely feels pressure to score when he has an advantage. This can lead to a lot of bad shots.

When facing the Warriors, opposing defenses tend to throw a switching scheme right back at them. Even though Curry (who is currently out with a sprained ankle) and Kevin Durant are two of the league’s most dangerous offensive players, defenses gamble that the isolation-heavy basketball that proceeds from both on- and off-ball switching is less dangerous than letting the Warriors democratic offense flow freely. This is especially true in the playoffs, when defenses really lock into individual player tendencies.

To coach Steve Kerr’s and the players’ credit, they do not fall into the same trap they set for opponents. From a statistical standpoint, we can see this clearly: only 7.2 percent of the Warriors' offense is derived from isolation, according to Synergy Sports. That's the sixth-lowest rate in the NBA.

This is due to two factors, the first of which is stylistic. According to Synergy Sports, 19.3 percent of the Warriors' offense is derived from pick-and-roll, which is the lowest rate in the league. No other team even dips below 21 percent, and the top half of the league sits above 34 percent.

But the real reason for their departure from the league-wide pick-and-roll obsession is their ability to punish switch imperfections in other ways. More specifically, built into their base offense are certain concepts that attack exploitable tension points.

The first component is a transition action that can sometimes render switches impossible. This concept, in what amounts to a transition pindown (a down screen), is sometimes known as a “pin-in.”

When most NBA teams sprint the floor in transition, the ball-handler dribbles middle while teammates run the wings to the basket or 3-point line. Either way, the key is spacing. The Warriors, however, sometimes ignore spacing to manipulate the traditional tenets of transition defense — which are designed to defend the traditional tenets of transition offense.

According to most team principles, the first man back protects the rim. The next two or three players load to the ball, and the stragglers find uncovered players on the weak side. In this process of prioritizing the rim and the ball, defenders often find themselves one or two steps below the 3-point line as they convert from a sprint to a backpedal. When this happens, the Warriors look to set a quick pindown.

Most switching occurs in the half-court, however, and that’s where the Warriors' switching exploitation really shines. Unlike most teams, the Warriors use off-ball screens as a dual-threat weapon by pressuring the timing of the switch itself, specifically by entering the action with speed and presenting the screener as a scoring threat. The overall idea is one of brute force: Switching at pace is hard, and the Warriors only need one lapse among several properly communicated switches to score.

In a traditional switch, both defenders come together and “switch to a touch,” leaving no gap between them. Otherwise, a heady screener can slip to the rim through this open space. Most commonly, the Warriors catch defenders anticipating a switch too early on pindowns or with their “split cuts” out of the post — an action where the post feeder screens for the nearest perimeter player, with both players reading the defense to determine their cuts. If a defender loosens his grip on the screener in preparation for a switch, the backdoor cut is automatic.

This type of slip is the most common off-ball switch attack. But what separates the Warriors is their ability to punish slightly late switch calls as well. The first way they do this is with their 3-point shooting — a skill they have in deep supply.

The other and more technical approach results from inside leverage gained from even a good switch. As long as one of the two offensive players involved in the screening action moves with speed, a proper switch can still result in a slight misstep. In many cases, this small mistake leaves one defender sitting behind an offensive player, opening up a basket cut straight across a defender’s face. Time it up perfectly and a passing lane opens.

From a defensive perspective, one of the most tempting times to call for a switch is in these situations, with the assumption that it shuts down the 3-point line. In practice, these very slight holes emerge. But it takes an alert offensive player both to recognize and capitalize, and most Warriors have this down pat.

Instead of slowly cycling through several pick-and-rolls to generate a mismatch, the Warriors elect to trust their cutting intuition. The constant off-ball screening against switches also gives the Warriors the best of both worlds: They have quick and consistent player movement, and the ball tends to find their best players in advantage situations anyway. The result is one more defensive tactic the Warriors' offense has efficiently solved.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 09 Dec 2017, 19:21

The Warriors are that good: 6-0 on their road trip despite sitting three or four important players each game or having them ejected.

Only the 8th time it's happened in NBA history.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Dec 2017, 16:46

I understand Oladipo not fitting in with Westbrook and OKC last year, but why wasn't he like this at Orlando?

So far, he's the comeback player of the year, except he has never come back from anything this close before.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby The Great Defector » 11 Dec 2017, 18:12

Bad shot selection sums him in Orlando. One game winning shot doesn't change that.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby WG Kaspar » 11 Dec 2017, 18:32

Well, he's definitely an All Star this season, and probably MIP too.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Dec 2017, 18:45

The Great Defector wrote:Bad shot selection sums him in Orlando. One game winning shot doesn't change that.


He had 47 points yesterday numbnuts.

I was thinking about this the other day in reference to the Heisman Trophy with Pete in American football but it also applies to you guys not seeing these guys play in college. The frame of reference can be limiting.

Oladipo was a stud at University of Indiana and i thought he'd be a good pro. I wondered what happened to him in Orlando because I thought it was a good situation. OKC wasn't, but he's back to being the guy he was at Indiana.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Dec 2017, 18:46

WG Kaspar wrote:Well, he's definitely an All Star this season, and probably MIP too.


That's the award he should get.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby The Great Defector » 11 Dec 2017, 19:03

sloopjohnc wrote:
The Great Defector wrote:Bad shot selection sums him in Orlando. One game winning shot doesn't change that.


He had 47 points yesterday numbnuts.


:lol: one game sloop, and 2 GM's agree with me.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Dec 2017, 22:00

The Great Defector wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:
The Great Defector wrote:Bad shot selection sums him in Orlando. One game winning shot doesn't change that.


He had 47 points yesterday numbnuts.


:lol: one game sloop, and 2 GM's agree with me.


You're going to have to correct your response. Oladipo was just voted Eastern Conference player of the week.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby The Great Defector » 11 Dec 2017, 22:06

:lol: he had one good week? That's me sold.
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby The Great Defector » 13 Dec 2017, 14:24

Ball in "had a respectable game" shocker!
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Re: NBA - 2014/15 Season.

Postby sloopjohnc » Yesterday, 18:21

If there had to be a time where a few Warriors are injured, now's the time. At home and very few games for the next couple weeks.

They played Wednesday, play tomorrow night, Monday, and then Wednesday, Friday, Monday. Then they have a few games and the Xmas Day game against the Cavs in Oakland.
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