Author Topic: Why do we continue to struggle on pick and roll defense? And don't box out!!  (Read 630 times)

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Online footey

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The loss to the Clips really exposed our continued struggles on defense, especially pick and roll defending. Look, Gallinari, Williams and Shamet were very hot from 3 (team shot nearly 50% from 3) and I concede that is as much great shooting as it is failing to cover guys effectively from that range. 

What I can't understand, and what really has frustrated me this entire season, is when guys get caught in picks, and don't communicate to determine who is going to cover the guy who is with the ball, suddenly wide open, and going straight to the hoop, or the guy who rolls to the hoop, unattended.  It seems like guys are stuck dumbfounded, pointing (in their minds if not with their hands) the proverbial finger at a team-mate.  Is this a system problem? A lack of communication problem?  A lack of talent problem? A lack of caring problem? Whatever, it continues to be a problem. We are especially vulnerable to guards with good handles, who attack the hoop.

Fox tonight will be a good test case.  We had no answer to Williams in Clips game. What happened to our great defenders, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier?  Just frustrates the heck out of me.

My other major beef:  We are the poorest defensive rebounding team I have ever witnessed. Our boxing out skills are non-existent.  Brad should pull any player whose failure to box out causes a hoop. I caught Kyrie with a lack of box out that led to easy Harrell put back. Not to single him out, there were a half dozen examples.  Good fundamentals are a starting point to becoming a good team. We are near the end of season and we still are inept in this??

Offline Celtics4ever

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Quote
My other major beef:  We are the poorest defensive rebounding team I have ever witnessed. Our boxing out skills are non-existent.  Brad should pull any player whose failure to box out causes a hoop. I caught Kyrie with a lack of box out that led to easy Harrell put back. Not to single him out, there were a half dozen examples.  Good fundamentals are a starting point to becoming a good team. We are near the end of season and we still are inept in this??

How many pros box out though in all honesty.   This is not grade school.   

Online footey

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Quote
My other major beef:  We are the poorest defensive rebounding team I have ever witnessed. Our boxing out skills are non-existent.  Brad should pull any player whose failure to box out causes a hoop. I caught Kyrie with a lack of box out that led to easy Harrell put back. Not to single him out, there were a half dozen examples.  Good fundamentals are a starting point to becoming a good team. We are near the end of season and we still are inept in this??

How many pros box out though in all honesty.   This is not grade school.

Just the good ones.

Offline alt

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Boston rebounds 77.3% of the opponents' misses. Good for 13th league wide - a slight decline from #11 last season. Average/mediocre; mind that Baynes, the team's best rebounder, has played less than 600 minutes so far though. Last season the team rebounding was noticeably better with him on court.

I agree boxing out is somewhat overrated in the NBA. Much more important at this level to leave the floor fast and get the ball. Still better to box out than not to box out, but not a major factor.

As for the screenball defense

Opponents points per possession in pick'n'roll plays:
defending the roller is 1.14, 18th best in the league
defending the ball-handler plays is 0.83, 5th in the league

Last season:
defending the roll man - 1.06 ppp allowed, 12th best
defending the ball-handler - 0.78 ppp allowed, 2nd best

Noticeable, even if not dramatic, decline.

Of course, the pick'n'roll is also often used as a tool to open subsequent scoring plays - find a cutter or a spot-up shooter after the defense moves.

Overall, Boston's defense went from absolutely elite (1st in the league, historically great) to merely good (5th in the league)

I've addressed why I believe that's the case in another comment a few days ago:


1 - Less defensive individual talent on the floor.

Above average (team wide) defensive players who are on pace to play fewer minutes relatively to last season:

Horford: minus 280
Baynes: minus 820
Ojeley: minus 570
Brown: minus 190
Rozier: minus 250

Smart is on pace to play more 470 minutes.

The rest were almost all absorbed by Irving, Morris, Tatum and Hayward.

2 - Team and players are underperfoming defensively in terms of execution and engagement (even adjusted to the diminished individual talent). I believe the main reason for this is players being uncomfortable with their roles on offense - a problem that didn't exist last season even though the offense was worse - different expectations. This leads to sloppiness and lack of engagement on defense.

Transition defense is a great example. It doesn't require great defensive individual talent.

Last season Boston allowed 10.5 fastbreak points per game, 4th in the league.
This season Boston is allowing 13 fastbreak points per game, 12th  in the league.

Online GreenWarrior

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uggh!!! I really can't stand this site when we clearly have an issue and someone comes up with these advance stats that "actually show the opposite" of that issue.

you guys lost all credibility with these stats with Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, jae crowder... and please don't force me to go any further.

rebounding on this team has been an issue on this team long before brad stevens, the difference between doc's teams and Stevens' teams is doc did it on purpose and would rather guys get back on defense. Stevens' teams don't box out and just watch guys go by 'em and usually end up with an "and 1" when it comes to defensive rebounding.

oddly enough this game against SAC I was crying for morris to be pulled in the 1st half but I actually saw him boxing out and was like - of course the one guy that deserves to get yanked is the only guy boxing out... it's really a microcosm of this entire team's season.

Offline RPGenerate

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uggh!!! I really can't stand this site when we clearly have an issue and someone comes up with these advance stats that "actually show the opposite" of that issue.

you guys lost all credibility with these stats with Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, jae crowder... and please don't force me to go any further.

rebounding on this team has been an issue on this team long before brad stevens, the difference between doc's teams and Stevens' teams is doc did it on purpose and would rather guys get back on defense. Stevens' teams don't box out and just watch guys go by 'em and usually end up with an "and 1" when it comes to defensive rebounding.

oddly enough this game against SAC I was crying for morris to be pulled in the 1st half but I actually saw him boxing out and was like - of course the one guy that deserves to get yanked is the only guy boxing out... it's really a microcosm of this entire team's season.
Yeah! Why bother letting tangible advance stats get in the way of our mindless ranting and the all-elusive eyetest.

Online Big333223

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Quote
My other major beef:  We are the poorest defensive rebounding team I have ever witnessed. Our boxing out skills are non-existent.  Brad should pull any player whose failure to box out causes a hoop. I caught Kyrie with a lack of box out that led to easy Harrell put back. Not to single him out, there were a half dozen examples.  Good fundamentals are a starting point to becoming a good team. We are near the end of season and we still are inept in this??

How many pros box out though in all honesty.   This is not grade school.

It's true, nobody on the NBA boxes out. They probably should, but it just doesn't happen for some reason.
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Offline Triplenickle

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Yeah, and nobody really plays defense anymore. It LOOKS like they are, but it's some sort of matador mess that I hate looking at. The only thing that stops players and teams on runs is basically their arms get tired from shooting.

It's the new NBA rules...but honestly it's just this generation.

They killed Boxing, R&B and real Hip hop, and now slowly killing Bball while thinking they're the best that ever took the court. They can say all they want but truth is truth.

Nobody has their own style or charisma anymore either.

And why would the league think a sport that's played at such a high pace based on reflexes is never gonna touch anyone? That's the biggest problem right there.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 11:44:47 AM by Triplenickle »

Offline mmmmm

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Per NBA tracking data, the Celtics are #2 in box-outs per game:

https://stats.nba.com/teams/box-outs/?sort=BOX_OUTS&dir=1&Season=2018-19&SeasonType=Regular%20Season

So guys are boxing out.  That doesn't always correlate with better rebounding, of course.  Overall though, we are fairly average on defensive rebounding.  Not great, but not bad.

Our pick & roll defense HAS been terrible, though.  The OP is correct about that.

And I personally believe it has to do with our reluctance this year to play with two bigs on the floor.   We have gone way over 90% of our minutes this season with only one big on the floor at a time. 

This can leave you vulnerable against teams with a good pick & roll big man because they can always force the mismatch of a rolling big against a small or wing or else the ball handler pops free.

Brad finally relented in last night's game and let Al play at the 4 next to Baynes for a long stretch.  And surprise surprise, the Kings stopped using pick & roll during that stretch.  And that's when we made our run to get back in this game.
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Online Big333223

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Yeah, and nobody really plays defense anymore. It LOOKS like they are, but it's some sort of matador mess that I hate looking at. The only thing that stops players and teams on runs is basically their arms get tired from shooting.

It's the new NBA rules...but honestly it's just this generation.

They killed Boxing, R&B and real Hip hop, and now slowly killing Bball while thinking they're the best that ever took the court. They can say all they want but truth is truth.

Nobody has their own style or charisma anymore either.

And why would the league think a sport that's played at such a high pace based on reflexes is never gonna touch anyone? That's the biggest problem right there.

And no matter how much you yell, they just won't get off your lawn!
1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008

Offline PhoSita

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Our pick & roll defense HAS been terrible, though.  The OP is correct about that.

And I personally believe it has to do with our reluctance this year to play with two bigs on the floor.   We have gone way over 90% of our minutes this season with only one big on the floor at a time. 

This can leave you vulnerable against teams with a good pick & roll big man because they can always force the mismatch of a rolling big against a small or wing or else the ball handler pops free.




A good illustration of this is how the Celtics have been quite competitive against the Warriors this year but get manhandled by teams that use more traditional lineups with a pick and roll heavy offensive attack, like the Blazers.
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Offline BMark

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Last nite showed we need to play a big with Al at least 20 mpg. Al can challenge stretch 4s and Baynes/Theis can protect the rim

Offline Triplenickle

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Yeah, and nobody really plays defense anymore. It LOOKS like they are, but it's some sort of matador mess that I hate looking at. The only thing that stops players and teams on runs is basically their arms get tired from shooting.

It's the new NBA rules...but honestly it's just this generation.

They killed Boxing, R&B and real Hip hop, and now slowly killing Bball while thinking they're the best that ever took the court. They can say all they want but truth is truth.

Nobody has their own style or charisma anymore either.

And why would the league think a sport that's played at such a high pace based on reflexes is never gonna touch anyone? That's the biggest problem right there.

And no matter how much you yell, they just won't get off your lawn!

I was gonna put that at the end of my post :) But I ain't THAT old.

The young bucks still can't stop me on the court, even though I might be sore for a couple days.

But like I said...truth is truth...cause to lie means you have fear.

They killed more than that too, I was being nice.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 02:13:12 PM by Triplenickle »

Online nickagneta

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uggh!!! I really can't stand this site when we clearly have an issue and someone comes up with these advance stats that "actually show the opposite" of that issue.

you guys lost all credibility with these stats with Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, jae crowder... and please don't force me to go any further.

rebounding on this team has been an issue on this team long before brad stevens, the difference between doc's teams and Stevens' teams is doc did it on purpose and would rather guys get back on defense. Stevens' teams don't box out and just watch guys go by 'em and usually end up with an "and 1" when it comes to defensive rebounding.

oddly enough this game against SAC I was crying for morris to be pulled in the 1st half but I actually saw him boxing out and was like - of course the one guy that deserves to get yanked is the only guy boxing out... it's really a microcosm of this entire team's season.
There is nothing wrong with those stats. They are 100% accurate and tell the story of what the Celtics do on an average night against the average competition.

But you are right, they do have a pick and roll defense problem and it's with a specific type of team, not an average team. Where the Celtics struggle is with a pure pick and roll with a long big who can go to the basket and finish while there is yet another big on the floor with that team.

Denver, Utah, Portland, Sacramento, are all teams that fit this description and the C's have struggled against those teams and teams like them. If Ben Simmons' could make an outside shot, Philadelphia would be on this list too.

Against those teams Boston needs to go with two bigs on the floor or they will struggle.

 

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