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Another Look At Defensive Problems

Brian, just watched the Minnesota game (didn't know it was MLK day...)

I know you are a Iguodala fan and I'm not asking this to annoy you (or anyone), but do you think you (or anybody else) can make a research of Iguodala stats for game winners in the last, say, 3 years? Even 2 would be ok. Is there a site that counts them?

I mean "shots-to-win-or-tie-the game" in the last, what would be reasonable..., 5 seconds?

Off the top of my head I'd say he's around 3/12. And he continues to take those shots. Not blaming Iguodala for the loss, of course, just curious to know this stat.

Ouh, and btw this team and its coach is pure shlt, but I'm digressing. Sorry for going OT on this post

In fairness to him, our multiple coaches are really the ones who continue to ask him to take those shots.

completely correct, that's why I said I'm not blaming him. Not only him, better.

It's not meant as a specific knock to Iguodala, it's more general.

It was already done for 2008/2009 season over at 82games.com

The 'top of your head' isn't so much a reliable source...and you're looking at him in a vacuum unless you watch every game of every team?

I don't get what you mean by vacuum etc etc

thx anyway, I'll try to find that research, so we would basically just have to update that with stats from this year

Vacuum in that do you know how much 'clutch shots' that Lebron or Kobe has missed this year - how does Iguodala compare to the rest of the NBA universe...unless you're watching every game you can only go by the 'highlights' that ESPN loves to show of their makes

Tray reply to JohnEMagee on Jan 19 at 19:49

Maybe LeBron or Kobe don't make many game-winners, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't be wise to move away from the predictable "give the ball to your best player in an iso" strategy that the rest of the league employs.

I'm fairly certain, going from memory alone, that Iguodala has more game-winning shots in the past 2.5 seasons than Iverson had in his entire first run with the Sixers. Only two come to mind with Iverson, he made a steal/layup against the Wizards as the clock expired and he hit about an 18-footer but I can't remember who that was against.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Jan 19 at 20:24

Yeah Iverson hit an 18 footer against Indiana when JOB was the coach.

Yep. That was the one.

I'm not saying there weren't more, but those are the only two I can remember, and I think there was a big deal when he hit the one against Indy because they were saying it was the first of his career.

Iguodala has 3 in the past 2 years, @ Memphis, @ LAL, @ Orlando in the playoffs and he missed a fourth by .000001 seconds against the Clippers this season.

those were the ones that I remembered as well, correct.

I'm 90% sure Ig also had a buzzer beater just at Minnesota in his rookie year, a desperation "catch and shoot" shot off a loose ball situation or something like that, from around the FT line.

So it's 4 game winning shots, and yes, he has surely more than Iverson (at least Iverson as a Sixer, I think he had a couple in Denver).

Now we have to count Ig misses, I say he has a dozen or close, I'll try to count them in the next days

Actually, there were not more. It was a major point when he hit the game-winner for Team USA. That one was the 1st one he'd ever hit at any level. He followed by making the 2 you mentioned

So, Iguodala has already doubled him up in roughly half the time

I recalled well, maybe few of you guys remember this, good times, LOL:


eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jan 19 at 20:49

@ MEM last year
@ LAL last year
vs. ORL in playoffs last year


Mentioned above, and I remember it now. Iguodala got an offensive rebound in mid-air right inside the foul line and hit the jumper. So 4.

eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jan 19 at 21:49

Yeah, sorry I was reading and then replied and saw it after mine went through. But who was that fourth one against and when?

@ Minnesota in his rookie year, check the You Tube link I posted ;-)

I tracked Iguodala "in the clutch" last year, and he was better than most would think in end-game situations. I define these as situations where it was 24 seconds or less, 3 points (1 possession) or less either way:

Magic 11/26/08: 2 of 2 FT, 0:14 left (down 1,
went ahead by 1)
Bulls 12/2/08: turnover, 0:23 left (up 2, game to OT)
Pacers 12/20/08: 5-ft missed, 0:00 (down 1, lost by 1)
Nuggets 12/26/08: traveling, 0:03 (down 1, lost by 4)
Bucks 1/7/09: 1 of 2 FT, 0:17 (up 2, went ahead by 3);
2 of 2 FT (up 3, went ahead by 5)
Mavs 1/19/09: lay-up, 0:08 left (down 2, tied game)
Rockets 1/28/09: 18-ft missed, 0:06 (up 2, won by 2)
Celtics 2/3/09: 16-ft made, 0:03 (tied, went ahead by 2)
Nets 2/23/09: 1 of 2 FT, 0:01 (tied, went up 1)
Magic 2/28/09: 14-ft missed, 0:22 (down 1);
1 of 2 FT, 0:17 (down 3, went to down 2)
Bulls 3/13/09: 1 of 2 FT, 0:22 (tied, went up 1);
assist to Thad, 0:16 (up 1, went up 3)
Lakers 3/17/09: 25-ft 3-pt made, 0:01 (down 2, went up 1)
Blazers 3/23/09: 2 of 2 FT, 0:20 (down 2, tied it)
Bobcats 4/7/09: 18-ft missed, 0:18 (down 1);
28-ft 3-pt missed, 0:11 (down 3)
Celtics 4/14/09: 13-ft missed, 0:04 (down 1);
38-ft 3-pt missed, 0:01 (down 2, lost by 2)
Magic 4/19/09: 18-ft made, 0:02 (tied, went up 2)
Magic 4/26/09: assist to SD, 0:14 (down 2, tied game)
28-ft 3-pt missed, 0:00 (down 3)

4-12 FG, 1-4 3P, 10-14 FT, 19 pts, 2 assists, 2 turnovers

That's 23 points in 23 possessions. However, in situations where the Sixers were down (by 3 or less) or the game was tied with less than 24 seconds left, Iguodala produced the necessary points (to tie or give the Sixers the lead) in 9 of 17 situations, with 3 of the failures being desperation 3's. So make of it what you will, but I think he was quite good last year in end-game situations. This year has been a different story, no doubt.

Tray reply to Statman on Jan 19 at 22:08

I would be more interested in seeing how he does in the late fourth quarter in general. From the series against Detroit a few years back to now, my admittedly subjective impression is that he tends to turn the ball over a lot (frequently by charging) and miss a lot of big foul shots.

Statman great stuff man, kudos !!!

too tired to check that in details now (4 AM here, time to go to bed...) but I'll surely do it tomorrow. It looks like he's better than I expected, but I would add #s from this year, and perhaps the year before, to have a complete picture

Great job anyway, I appreciate, thanks !

I don't care about the other players, I hate comparisons.
I just want to know Iguodala's hit/miss ratio in those situations.
I thought that in order to know the misses one should perhaps go through all the play-by-play pages, so I was just trying to save some time asking if anybody had already done it in the past, that's all.

Ok - but you can't say if he's 'good' or 'bad' in those situations without comparisons...unless of course you just want to say he's bad, which it seems like you want to

I just would like to know the exact stats before confiming what is currently a feeling (= that he's a pretty bad performer in those situations), based mainly on memory.

You want him to be bad so you won't compare him to anyone else to find out if he's 'just as badf' as every one else - it's ok -

I see you are continuing to put in my mouth things I never said, this is becoming pretty annoying. I never said I want him to be bad, I would like him to be the best clutch performer of all time, being a Sixers fan.
Let's turn this around, how about you provide numbers showing that he's clutch? I am all ears !!
This year - this time based on FACTS, I just checked - he's 0/4 on last second shots: @ NY (end of the regulation), @ Dallas, @ Charlotte, @ Minnesota.
Statman can update his (nice) research, that is now starting to look ugly.


I absolutely agree. We have been saying it all along. They have the personnel to be a decent defensive team. Now the Iverson signing is showing it is a problem with Lou in the backcourt. If we had AI9 at the 2 and Jrue with significant minutes and Carney at the 2 as a backup I think they could be pretty darn good defensively. Unfortunately we need to get rid of this system and to do that we need to get rid of this coach. I hope ES uses this Minnesota loss to maybe effect a change ?

BTW, and I won't post anymore here about it since I'm 100% OT, last year Basketbawful had a very interesting post called "The Kobe effect" where they showed how actually Kobe's #s in those situations weren't exactly brilliant cuz he ALWAYS takes the last shot, and he missed a lot of them, same for Billups and Melo (while Ginobili and LBJ are really clutch):
This was BEFORE this year's 3 buzzer beaters, so Kobe's updated stat should be better

Great analysis Brian, as usual. You're insights are keen and I couldn't agree more about your assessment of Brand and improving our defense by moving Thad to the 3 and starting Brand at the 4 for 35 minutes a game. That makes a lot of sense and makes the whole team a much better defensive (and probably helps our offense as well) team.

A few more observations. I put the spreadsheet together late last night and sort of rushed through my thoughts on my lunch hour today.

1. Brand is, in large part, responsible for the free throw rating. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. On the one hand, if you get close to the hoop when he's in there, he knows he has limited minutes and there's no way he's going to have time to use all his fouls, so he's going to hammer you. That sends a message. But those fouls add up. I don't think he'd be doing this if he was getting starter's minutes. Speights is a fouling machine as well.

2. We didn't really talk about assist rate, mainly because I think it's down because of the number of times guards get right to the rim against Lou, AI3 and Willie. But I'm not sure you can back that up with stats. Mainly because it seems equally likely that the penetration leads to an open jumper, which is assisted.

3. The most-interesting thing about this exercise was being able to see San Antonio's defensive philosophy portrayed in numbers. They rarely get steals, rarely block shots, they just simply contest the hell out of everything and clean the glass. It's such a fundamental approach, like there are no risks being taken they just have their principles and they executive them almost flawlessly.

Tray reply to Brian on Jan 19 at 20:45

I thought SAS's defense was having a down year?

deepsixersueder on Jan 19 at 21:04

Brian, that is why I don!t want to blow it up, I like our mix of guys with a defensive mindset and young guys that could be influenced by these guys if our coach emphasized it. If we draft properly this year, getting a wing that can shoot and defend [Henry?] and a banger that can be paired with Marreese off the bench [Lawal ?] we could have an athletic, trapping 2nd unit with Thad, Marreese and L.Will!s defensive deficiencies covered somewhat by pushing the tempo, and a more standard, or less gimmicky, starting 5. An outside shooting defender is the missing ingredient from making this team a contender.Question, 2 years from now, is it realistic to think we can let J.Smith go and resign Sam and Thad for what the 3 of them got in Sam!s last year? I know money is a big part of it but why create another hole IF Sam continues his solid play.

Maybe this will help IA9 defenders:

on ESPN: Chad Ford
Iguodala for T-Mac still in play

"The Sixers have been shopping Dalembert for two years. The Iguodala thing is new. I'm pretty skeptical they'd give those two guys away for T-Mac's expiring contract (T-Mac and AI on the same team ... wow). But I keep hearing enough rumblings about it that I think it has legs. If Darryl Morey can turn T-Mac into Iguodala ... I'm really impressed. That's a home run for the Rockets. As for Sixers fans ... a major disaster."

And I agree

Tray reply to DeanH on Jan 19 at 22:52

Would Iverson for a similar, huge expiring contract have also been a disaster? If we're going to trade Iguodala and quit on the Iguodala-centric Sixers project, it should obviously be for nothing, not for talent.

raro reply to Tray on Jan 19 at 23:20

Oh man, I almost had a heart attack! ESPN has TMac and AI3 pictured next to each other with the title, "The Fix is in"

Jeff reply to Tray on Jan 19 at 23:53

When you're talking about a team that is looking to avoid the luxury tax next year, yeah, it still wouldn't clear enough cap space.
If the sixers are going to blow it up, they have to blow it up big, which would most likely have to include some of their younger, upside guys as well.

When they traded Iverson he was 31 and they had exactly one young piece on their roster. You're talking about trading a guy who's 26 with at least one or two other building blocks on the roster. It was impossible to rebuild around Iverson (even if they could've traded Webber), so getting rid of him for expirings would've been the good move, different situation.

Tray reply to Brian on Jan 20 at 0:25

Aren't we pretty stuck with about the same team we've got until Brand's contract runs out - unless we move Iguodala? That's just a long time to stay stagnant.

Do you really see a point in still being stuck with Brand's contract, but without Iguodala? I mean, clearing the deck is one thing, but if you have Brand's contract and a bunch of young guys, what are you going to do with him? I guess just make him irrelevant, like Jordan's trying to now, but unless you're talking about using Igudoala as the bait to move EB, I don't see the gain, financially, of moving Iguodala.

Curious to hear your thoughts on what Thad's role would be in your ideal rotation. You say:

"Lou and Iverson could split minutes at one guard however you like, with either Jrue or Iguodala always on the floor with them in the back court."

Doesn't this mean that Iguodala would be playing a significant portion of the game at the 3 (assuming you want Jrue to be playing more minute and Iguodala to still be playing the majority of the game)? You also want Brand to start at the 4 and play 35+ minutes. This doesn't seem to leave too much room for Thad. If not, I completely agree, but would like to hear your opinion.

mike reply to Jesse on Jan 19 at 23:43

i think the team would be best served with thad providing scoring off the bench

I'd have him play a few games a month in the D-League at SF. Make him play point forward and learn to handle the ball on the wing.

Of course this would never happen...

Anything that requires coaching will never happen on this team as long as we have EJ as a coach.

Yes, that would be a great idea, btw.

This is how I'd split it up:

C: Dalembert 30 minutes (more if he's able), Speights 10 minutes, Brand 8 minutes
PF: Brand 28 minutes, Speights 20 minutes
SF: Thad 30 minutes, Iguodala 18 minutes
SG: Iguodala 18 minutes, Iverson 10 minutes, Lou 20 minutes
PG: Holiday 30 minutes, Iverson 18 minutes

Something like that. Still plenty of minutes for Thad and Lou and Iverson would get somewhere this would have one of either Lou or Iverson on the floor at all times, which I don't think is necessary. I'd go for stretches with AI9/JH in the back court. I'd also probably work Carney or Willie into the Lou/AI3 mix depending.

I actually like the team starting out the first 5 minutes with a more offensive minded line-up to hopefully get the team in a flow and maybe out running. Then I'd gradually turn the screws tighter on defense as the game progressed.

On some nights the current starting line-up has jumped out to some early leads. It is also easier to get defensive intensity out of guys early in the game. But for the remaining 40+ minutes I'm with you and your more defensive minded rotations.

Cornelius Talmadge reply to Brian on Jan 20 at 12:53

Wow, we're quite similar on this, Brian. Here's mine...

C: Dalembert 30 minutes, Brand 8 minutes, Speights 10 minutes
PF: Brand 30 minutes, Speights 18 minutes
SF: Iguodala 30 minutes, Thad 18 minutes
SG: Iverson 30 minutes, Lou 18 minutes
PG: Holiday 30 minutes, Iguodala 10 minutes, Carney 8 minutes

Andre Iguodala.....40
Elton Brand........38
Jrue Holiday.......30
Allen Iverson......30
Sam Dalembert......30
Marreese Speights..28
Thaddeus Young.....18
Lou Williams.......18
Rodney Carney.......8

Lou and Thad take a bit of a hit wrt playing time, but that's the way the cards seem to fall.

I think you'd probably have to play Carney at the two. He can't handle the point, so you put Iverson at the point for that stretch.

CT reply to Brian on Jan 21 at 9:16

Agreed. My whole alignment wrt the backcourt relates to the necessity of never having AI and Lou on the court at the same time. That's why I have Lou and A.I. in the same row (i.e. SG) and Jrue, Iggy, and Carney in the same row (i.e. PG). When it's all said and done, I definitely agree that either A.I. or Lou would be the ball handler when Carney's in the game.

Defense is overrated. Put Kapono out there and drain some 3s

Cornelius Talmadge on Jan 20 at 10:45

Beautifully written and 100% correct from first to last sentence, Brian.

With the talent on this team, almost any reasonable basketball fan could take over for our Moron and make an improvement... and a good coach could get us home court in the first round.

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