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Old 01-06-2008, 06:47 PM   #61
kps
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldNugg21
It is a widely accepted statement of fact that the Nuggets defense absolutely blows. Both general NBA fans and Nuggets fans alike seem to think that Denver is a good team that would be great if they could only get off their lazy asses and play a little defense. This "fact" is supported by the popular media, who often use the opponents ppg stat to back their claim, as well as the widely known "fact" that Melo and AI play no D.

The thing is, none of this is true. It doesn't take too hard of a look to discover that Denver is actually one of the top defensive teams in the league statistically, and a little objective analysis can show you that this is largely true. It annoys me to know end that people ignore what common sense will tell you if you just look, and continue to act as though Denver is the defenseless chucker team. It comes down to one word: pace. The Nuggets give up alot of points per game because they play fast, and people automatically assume they don't play defense.

The most shocking stat that shows the Nuggets defensive prowess is Hollinger's defensive efficiency measure. It's a pretty simple stat- just the amount of points a team gives up every 100 possessions. Denver is second, well behind Boston, but ahead of defensive juggernauts Detroit and San Antonio. This means the Nuggets give up fewer points per opponent possession than any team other than Boston. Is that really a stat that shows a Nuggets team that only needs to improve their defense to be a legit contender?

Looking at more conventional stats, the Nuggets defense still holds up. The Nuggets play the fastest paced game in the league, with nearly 2 possessions more per game than teams like the Warriors and Suns, which naturally leads to a number of easy baskets for the opposition in transition. Despite this, the Nuggets are 7th in the league in allowed FG%, at 44.5%. This is well ahead of the Spurs, who allow 45.7% shooting, and behind mostly teams who play at much slower paces, like Boston and Detroit. In addition, Denver leads the league in opponents TO's per game, blocks per game, and steals per game. It only makes sense that Denver has a strong D when these stats are considered together.

Now when you watch Nuggets games on a regular basis, the thing that you notice about their D is that it is very inconsistent. Some nights it just isn't there, and the opposition gets open shot after open shot. These are the games that have earned the Nuggets their poor defensive reputation. However, much more often the Nuggets D is formidable, and the team struggles to win games because of their inconsistent offense, which disappears far to often.

Even when the Nuggets defense is clicking, I am hard pressed to call it elite. There are several reasons for this, some of which can be remedied over time and some of which can't. The first is rebounding. Despite Camby pulling down 14 a game and other strong frontcourt players like Martin and Najera, the Nuggets often give up too many offensive rebounds, and get out rebounded by an average of two a game. Much of this can be attributed to the system, which has the 2 and 3 release to kick start the fast break on missed shots. It's a risk/reward system, and most games it's beneficial. However, some games the rebounding is a problem, and the team fails to respond. Against teams like San Antonio, who are adept at tipping loose balls out to their guards, this becomes a bigger problem. A second shortcoming is the team giving up open three pointers. This can, again, be attributed largely to the system, as Karl employs a trapping, scrambling defense much like what he used in Seattle. This causes turnovers, but also leaves shooters open. Again, this is something that the team needs to learn to adjust to when the opposition is hitting threes at a high clip.

Still, despite these shortcomings, the team plays defense at a high level nearly every game. The Nuggets struggles can often be directly related to the inability to score, which is ironic for a team with Iverson and Melo. And while I hope that Nene and Atkins getting healthy will give the offense a boost, it's hard to imagine not experiencing the droughts that kill us without a change to the free flowing system Karl employs. I just hope this post will do something to educate people about the Nuggets D, which has to be the most misunderstood thing I've ever seen on a decently educated forum.

Good post. ESPN Magazine had something about this too, how the Nuggets are better at defense than they are perceived, about the pace of the Nuggets and how it ups the time of possession for both teams because they are so fast. That they are number 2 in for points given up every 100 possessions.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:30 AM   #62
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldNugg21
It is a widely accepted statement of fact that the Nuggets defense absolutely blows. Both general NBA fans and Nuggets fans alike seem to think that Denver is a good team that would be great if they could only get off their lazy asses and play a little defense. This "fact" is supported by the popular media, who often use the opponents ppg stat to back their claim, as well as the widely known "fact" that Melo and AI play no D.

The thing is, none of this is true. It doesn't take too hard of a look to discover that Denver is actually one of the top defensive teams in the league statistically, and a little objective analysis can show you that this is largely true. It annoys me to know end that people ignore what common sense will tell you if you just look, and continue to act as though Denver is the defenseless chucker team. It comes down to one word: pace. The Nuggets give up alot of points per game because they play fast, and people automatically assume they don't play defense.

The most shocking stat that shows the Nuggets defensive prowess is Hollinger's defensive efficiency measure. It's a pretty simple stat- just the amount of points a team gives up every 100 possessions. Denver is second, well behind Boston, but ahead of defensive juggernauts Detroit and San Antonio. This means the Nuggets give up fewer points per opponent possession than any team other than Boston. Is that really a stat that shows a Nuggets team that only needs to improve their defense to be a legit contender?

Looking at more conventional stats, the Nuggets defense still holds up. The Nuggets play the fastest paced game in the league, with nearly 2 possessions more per game than teams like the Warriors and Suns, which naturally leads to a number of easy baskets for the opposition in transition. Despite this, the Nuggets are 7th in the league in allowed FG%, at 44.5%. This is well ahead of the Spurs, who allow 45.7% shooting, and behind mostly teams who play at much slower paces, like Boston and Detroit. In addition, Denver leads the league in opponents TO's per game, blocks per game, and steals per game. It only makes sense that Denver has a strong D when these stats are considered together.

Now when you watch Nuggets games on a regular basis, the thing that you notice about their D is that it is very inconsistent. Some nights it just isn't there, and the opposition gets open shot after open shot. These are the games that have earned the Nuggets their poor defensive reputation. However, much more often the Nuggets D is formidable, and the team struggles to win games because of their inconsistent offense, which disappears far to often.

Even when the Nuggets defense is clicking, I am hard pressed to call it elite. There are several reasons for this, some of which can be remedied over time and some of which can't. The first is rebounding. Despite Camby pulling down 14 a game and other strong frontcourt players like Martin and Najera, the Nuggets often give up too many offensive rebounds, and get out rebounded by an average of two a game. Much of this can be attributed to the system, which has the 2 and 3 release to kick start the fast break on missed shots. It's a risk/reward system, and most games it's beneficial. However, some games the rebounding is a problem, and the team fails to respond. Against teams like San Antonio, who are adept at tipping loose balls out to their guards, this becomes a bigger problem. A second shortcoming is the team giving up open three pointers. This can, again, be attributed largely to the system, as Karl employs a trapping, scrambling defense much like what he used in Seattle. This causes turnovers, but also leaves shooters open. Again, this is something that the team needs to learn to adjust to when the opposition is hitting threes at a high clip.

Still, despite these shortcomings, the team plays defense at a high level nearly every game. The Nuggets struggles can often be directly related to the inability to score, which is ironic for a team with Iverson and Melo. And while I hope that Nene and Atkins getting healthy will give the offense a boost, it's hard to imagine not experiencing the droughts that kill us without a change to the free flowing system Karl employs. I just hope this post will do something to educate people about the Nuggets D, which has to be the most misunderstood thing I've ever seen on a decently educated forum.

You were saying......
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:52 AM   #63
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

Ouch
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:37 AM   #64
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

one bad game doesnt change anything. plus consider we were playing our 4th game in 5 nights, on the road vs a great team who can score against anyone. that game is hardly indicative of how our D has been most of the year - a pathetic one game sample to use.

our D is still better than average and a hell of a lot better than what most people think it is.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:33 AM   #65
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMac&Luther
You were saying......

Why didn't you reply in this thread when the Nuggets held the Spurs to 77 points or when they had double figure blocks in three straight games?
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:38 AM   #66
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMac&Luther
You were saying......

oh please.

All these idiots watching one game and pretending they have any idea how the Nuggets D has been all year. I knew this thread would be brought up after the Suns game.

The main problem all night was our unwillingness to get a hand up on perimeter shooters, which is the one thing that we almost always stuggle with. Having played 4 games in 5 days had obviously caught up to us, and the Suns were able to capitalize to an extreme extent due to fantastic shooting.

We sucked on D tonight, but dont come in here acting like this is a reflection of our D for the whole season. The OP has it right, this is just one poor performance.

Quote:
Ouch

The only thing that has me saying ouch right now is the fact that people make assumptions based on one game and one poor performance. Yes we flat out sucked tonight. No, that doesnt make the OP wrong, it just means the Nuggets sucked for one night.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:35 PM   #67
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Default Re: Misconception: The Nuggets Defense

I'm gonna take flack for this but watch out. By the end of the year Denver will be the 3rd best team in the league. The only teams they won't surpase are Phoenix and San Antonio. BTW San Antonio will win the title again and nobody will even take them seven games.
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