Timberwolves Get A Lesson From Los Spurs On Exploiting Mistakes To The Fullest
"I guess that was acceptable, guys."
There has been much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the past few weeks about the continued struggles of the Minnesota Timberwolves to win either close games or games versus the better teams in the league. While there has been some silliness about team unity and guys not joining huddles (not good, but not why you lose the game), the reasons for these struggles are not based in narrative, but in personnel and system.
I've been noodling around some more with the data from my look at total offensive load (still would LOVE a better name for the stat, suggestions please. EDIT: Colin suggests "True Usage" done and done), and seeing if there are some interesting tidbits to be gleaned. I mentioned a few of them in that post, but here are a few more. Further, I cleaned up the numbers a little (stupid spreadsheet errors!). All data is through Monday's (1/6/14) games.
I'm pretty happy with the way the "isolated rim protection" analysis I've been noodling with works as a broad measure of that particular area of defensive achievement. It also translates NBA.com's SportVU numbers into a more easily digestible data point. Most of the numbers are interesting, but without context don't really explain whether the actions tracked are good, or indifferent as far as positive contributions on the floor. For that reason, I've been on the lookout for more ways to try and interpret the publicly available data, perhaps in combination with other, more traditional stats to provide that context. One area where I think this is possible is "offensive load carried."
Being a professional coach is hard; in no way do I think I could step in and do the job. The amount of information hey have to weight and process in designing offensive and defensive sets, scouting matchups and determining rotations is daunting to say the least. But much like NFL coaches (aside from Riverboat Ron Rivera) can't quite grasp moderately complex time, clock and score management principles as well as your friendly neighborhood Madden addict can, NBA coaches have certain blind spots on relatively simple matters which drive me absolutely insane.
Ricky Rubio and the Ripple Effect (Point Guard O Series)
Last night in twitter convo with Alex from Gothic Ginobili, he pointed me to this post concerning the best game theoretic way to maximize the value of an offensive possession. (Warning, wonky!) A subtle point of the post is that even if a given option in a play isn't an especially effective means of scoring, having that option as a threat at all increases the overall play's effectiveness.
It's time for the New Year's addition of the PPPpodcast at WhereOffenseHappens Theater brought to you by bad puns and worse stutters (sorry, I was especially bad about it this week...) With a special guest appearance at the beginning! Rob and talk about the future for Andrew Bynum and Andre Miller following their "conduct detrimental" suspensions as well as ponder the Timberwolves late game foibles. Podcast below the jump for listening and/or downloading pleasure. Enjoy!
The hardest part about this blog is the editing. I tend to be a typographical error machine. Usually, I have my wife edit pieces for me since she is a trained professional in such things. Unfortunately, she's much more of a baseball person, so getting her to copyedit these posts is difficult because she simply doesn't understand what I'm trying to say in many cases. So with that thought in mind, I thought it might be useful to break down some of the more technical stuff I talk about into some less-jargonny component parts. Hi Honey!