Why shot-location defense matters

Playing effective NBA defense is more about dictating shot location than contesting shots.

To wit, here are effective field-goal percentages (which accounts for made 3-pointers being worth 50 percent more than made 2-pointers) of every NBA team for each of the five commonly used zones of the court: Restricted Area, In The Paint (Non-RA), Mid-Range, Corner 3 and Above the Break 3.

image thumb18 Why shot location defense matters

As you can see, teams are generally lumped by location on the floor.

Even the worst-finishing team in the Restricted Area (Cavaliers) shoots way better there than anyone does from In The Paint (Non-RA) or Mid-Range.

The worst team at Corner 3s (76ers) is also more effective from there than In The Paint (Non-RA) or Mid-Range, though the gap isn’t quite as wide.

Everyone except the Pistons shoots Above the Break 3s better than anyone shoots from the In The Paint (Non-RA) or Mid-Range,  and only the Heat’s In The Paint (Non-RA) shots – someone is practicing their floaters – fares better.

Clearly, you don’t want to shoot from In The Paint (Non-RA) or Mid-Range. Even the best teams from those zones are inefficient relative to other areas on the court.

That’s why defending a shot that is already being taken matters only so much. The bigger key is preventing shots from certain zones being taken in the first place and promoting shots from others zones.

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24

04 2014

PBT Extra: Clippers/Warriors playoff preview

These teams do not like each other.

After watching some chippy games during the regular season I expect by the time we get to the end of the second game there will be a fight. Or, what passes for a fight in the NBA, anyway. Blake Griffin is going to get knocked around as the Warriors try to knock him off his game. Matt Barnes likely steps in as the enforcer. It’s not hard to see how this unfolds.

It is hard to see how this unfolds with Golden State winning the series without Andrew Bogut playing. Julie Donaldson and I discuss all of that in the latest PBT Extra focused on the Warriors/Clippers series.

If you want more detail on this series, check out the official PBT preview post.

Tags: Andrew Bogut, Blake Griffin, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Matt Barnes

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24

04 2014

Live streaming Washington Wizards vs Chicago Bulls tv watch April 25, 2014

NBA, Chicago Bulls – Washington Wizards, Friday,


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24

04 2014

Bulls have no answer for Nene as Wizards take Game 1

 Bulls have no answer for Nene as Wizards take Game 1 Nene, Carlos Boozer

It’s more than likely that the Chicago Bulls prepared to play a very different version of the Wizards team they ultimately faced to open the playoffs on Sunday.

Washington big man Nene had missed 21 games due to a knee injury, and had just barely begun to make his way back into the rotation for four out of his team’s last five regular season contests.

But he got the start in Game 1 of the playoffs in Chicago, and the Bulls had no answer. Nene finished with a team-high 24 points, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and a couple of steals in leading the Wizards to a 102-93 victory.

Chicago’s defense did the job in shutting down John Wall and Bradley Beal, who combined to shoot just 7-of-25 from the field while scoring 29 points. But they were killed inside, with Nene and Marcin Gortat combining for 39 points and 21 rebounds.

All season long, it’s been the defense that’s won games for the Bulls. Chicago ranked second in the league in defensive efficiency, and somehow managed to secure the four seed in the East with an offense that ranked among the league’s worst. The Bulls forced just 10 turnovers in this one, however, and allowed the Wizards to shoot better than 48 percent.

There isn’t any one player Chicago can turn to for help offensively, but what the team can’t have is someone like D.J. Augustin playing 32 minutes off then bench and finishing just 3-of-15 from the field. Combine that with a rough 4-of-12 shooting night for Mike Dunleavy, along with limited touches for Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, and it gives you Chicago’s undesirable result.

The infusion of Nene into the starting lineup could have been enough of a wild card to steal Game 1, but the Bulls now are aware of exactly what they’re up against. It’ll be up to Tom Thibodeau to make the necessary adjustments, but Washington’s chances improve immensely with Nene on the floor, and the Bulls will need to find consistent offense from somewhere in order to even the series in Game 2 on Tuesday.

Tags: Bradley Beal, Chicago Bulls, D.J. Augustin, Joakim Noah, John Wall, Marcin Gortat, Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Washington Wizards

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24

04 2014

Tuesday playoff previews: Pacers, Raptors, Bulls need wins or can start making tee times

 Tuesday playoff previews: Pacers, Raptors, Bulls need wins or can start making tee times Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Jeff Teague

Three games on Tuesday night, Three games where the road team won Game 1. Three games where the home team should be desperate for a win. For our entertainment’s sake lets hope they are more like Monday’s Grizzlies/Thunder game than Warriors/Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (Hawks lead series 1-0). The Hawks were likely to win one game in this series because when you launch threes like they do — better than 25 a game, second most in the league — there are nights those are going to fall and you’re going to win. But the way the Hawks exploited the Pacers in Game 1 goes beyond that. Roy Hibbert was out of his customary help positions because he has to respect the range of Pero Antic. With him out of the lane Jeff Teague did whatever he wanted — Paul George has asked for the Teague assignment, expect him to get it. Paul Millsap also exploited Hibbert at points, because he can shoot with a little range and put the ball on the floor and drive. Figuring out how to defend against this team with Hibbert on the floor is key.

On the other end, Indiana’s spacing and ball movement on offense was unimpressive in the second half. Indiana needs a lot more David West, it needs to be a threat inside so they can play inside-out and get good looks.

—Kurt Helin

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (Nets lead series 1-0). Toronto has to find a halfcourt offense because the Nets are not going to miss 19 straight threes again. Toronto got good shots when it attacked the rim in transition but once the long, smart defense for the Nets was set Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan would drive and be forced to take a contested shot because the passing lanes were shut down — Toronto has to move better off the ball to create open looks. The Raptors also can’t turn the ball over 20.4 percent of the time (which goes back to the smart ball pressure and defense). On the other end Nets should just keep feeding Joe Johnson the rock — DeMar DeRozan can handle him in the post, Terrence Ross can’t handle him in the pick-and-roll, and Johnson just went straight at John Salmons and scored at will.

This is basically must-win for Toronto, lose the first two at home and it’s hard to see them bouncing back.

—Kurt Helin

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (Wizards lead series 1-0). If the Wizards or Bulls required any extra motivation, they just needed to watch the 38-44 Hawks rout the reeling Pacers. is there anyway the winner of this Washington-Chicago series isn’t favored to reach the Eastern Conference Finals?

The bigger question is whether the Wizards or Bulls are more likely to win this series.

Chicago is used to taking the hard road. In the Bulls’ last five playoff series, the Game 1 winner lost the series. Surprisingly, scoring wasn’t Chicago’s main issue in its 102-93 loss Sunday. With seven scorers in double digits in a slow-paced game, Chicago’s offensive efficiency was acceptable.

The Bulls’ just couldn’t slow the Wizards, but that might get easier going forward. Nene excelled in Game 1 — producing 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 35 minutes. He hasn’t played 35 minutes in consecutive games since November, though. If Nene can’t play as much in Game 2, Washington will need to get more from John Wall (16 points on 4-of-14 shooting in Game 1) and Bradley Beal (13 points on 3-of-11 shooting).

—Dan Feldman

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, BKN, Bradley Beal, David West, Demar DeRozan, Indiana Pacers, Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, John Salmons, John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Paul Millsap, Pero Antic, Roy Hibbert, Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptor, Washington Wizards

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24

04 2014

Watch Real Madrid vs Olympiacos Euroleague Live

Euroleague, Real Madrid v Olympiacos, Friday,

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24

04 2014

Watch Pittsburgh – Cincinnati Live

MLB, Cincinnati – Pittsburgh, Thursday,


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24

04 2014

Kevin Durant hits makes ridiculous clutch four-point play you’ll ever see (VIDEO)

Things looked bleak for Oklahoma City — down 5 with less than 20 seconds left, about to lose Game 2 at home. They needed a miracle.

That’s why you have Kevin Durant on the team.

He hit this completely ridiculous fade-away three to while fouled by Marc Gasol, which quickly made this a one-point game.

That and a missed free throw by Memphis gave Oklahoma City a chance to win or tie the game and send it to overtime… and they got another miracle not from the expected source of Russell Westbrook but rather Kendrick Perkins. Because of course.

It didn’t matter, even with Marc Gasol fouling out in overtime a night of fantastic offensive execution by the Grizzlies got them a 111-105 OT win.

Tags: Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Durant, Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook

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23

04 2014

Stream online Hawks – Pacers NBA

NBA, Indiana – Atlanta, Thursday,


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23

04 2014

Watch Golden State – LA Clippers Live

NBA, LA Clippers vs Golden State, Thursday,


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04 2014



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