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The "Culture Change" and Defense

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Post#61 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:36 am by Zonkerbl

nate33 wrote:I would prefer to trade Okafor rather than Booker.


Hm, yeah. He's a much more valuable asset, although overprices. Maybe if you package him with Booker you can get a solid starter and backup in return. Just switch same quality PFs for similar quality SFs or SF/backup PG.
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Post#62 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:48 pm by dobrojim

Pondering the too much depth to get useful production out of our likely
bench players argument and wondering if there are any recent examples
of teams that had starters and bench players playing a more equal # of
minutes. If the delta btw the starter and bench guy isn't that great, it
would seem to me that a team doing this would have an advantage in
the intensity of effort that players would be giving while they are on
the court. The conventional thinking downside to this is the argument
that players need some minimal threshold of minutes in order to
'get into the flow' or whatever euphemism one want to use for this.
I'm not sure I buy this except for maybe players whose main role will
be shooting.

Bottom line - how much chance is there that we'll actually see minutes
for our 4/5 players, Nene, KS, Oka, Book and Ves spread around enough
for all to get 15-20 minutes on average? Then there is always the injury
issue that could make all this a moot point.

ps - thanks to Fish for the shout out on my observation of
Ves = Human Monkey Wrench on D
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Post#63 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:07 pm by verbal8

dobrojim wrote:Bottom line - how much chance is there that we'll actually see minutes
for our 4/5 players, Nene, KS, Oka, Book and Ves spread around enough
for all to get 15-20 minutes on average? Then there is always the injury
issue that could make all this a moot point.

ps - thanks to Fish for the shout out on my observation of
Ves = Human Monkey Wrench on D

The Sixers minutes were 29/28/25/15/15 for Brand/Thad Young/Hawes/Vucevic/Allen. The minutes don't add up because there were games missed(especially Hawes). I could see a similar distribution for the Wizards bigs.
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Post#64 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:32 pm by nate33

dobrojim wrote:Pondering the too much depth to get useful production out of our likely
bench players argument and wondering if there are any recent examples
of teams that had starters and bench players playing a more equal # of
minutes. If the delta btw the starter and bench guy isn't that great, it
would seem to me that a team doing this would have an advantage in
the intensity of effort that players would be giving while they are on
the court. The conventional thinking downside to this is the argument
that players need some minimal threshold of minutes in order to
'get into the flow' or whatever euphemism one want to use for this.
I'm not sure I buy this except for maybe players whose main role will
be shooting.

Bottom line - how much chance is there that we'll actually see minutes
for our 4/5 players, Nene, KS, Oka, Book and Ves spread around enough
for all to get 15-20 minutes on average? Then there is always the injury
issue that could make all this a moot point.

ps - thanks to Fish for the shout out on my observation of
Ves = Human Monkey Wrench on D

It's rare to see starters and bench players go with a 24/24 split. In general the teams that utilize their bench the most do it with a 10-man rotation, but the second unit still only plays 16-18 minutes.

I also think there are diminishing returns with spreading around the minutes. Sure, a player that plays 30 minutes can give you a more sustained effort per minute than a guy playing 38 minutes, but I'm not sure if that logic can be extrapolated to lower minute players. A 14 mpg player doesn't player harder per minute than a 22 mpg player. Fatigue isn't really a factor for either guy. Indeed, I suspect that the 22 minute player would fare better on a per minute basis because he has more time to find his rhythm.
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Post#65 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:07 pm by Shorty

dobrojim wrote:Pondering the too much depth to get useful production out of our likely
bench players argument and wondering if there are any recent examples
of teams that had starters and bench players playing a more equal # of
minutes. If the delta btw the starter and bench guy isn't that great, it
would seem to me that a team doing this would have an advantage in
the intensity of effort that players would be giving while they are on
the court.
...


Taking it a step further outside the box, I wonder whether such a team could benefit from hockey-style shifts, just a couple of minutes at a time, with the goal/expectation of playing to exhaustion.

Even if Vesely and Booker don't both average 15 minutes, it could be useful to have both available on the bench, depending on the defensive matchup. In particular, Booker probably has the better chance to contend with powerful players like Lebron, while Vesely would fare relatively better against long players like Dirk.

Moreover, if all five bigs play well enough to be in the rotation, the coach will have more lineup flexibility in general, not just for defensive matchups, but also for chemistry on offense, not to mention, as others here have observed, for dealing with injuries or foul trouble.
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Post#66 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:59 pm by hands11

DCZards wrote:^^^^ ccj, the reason you disagree with "wait and see" is because you've obviously already decided what's going to happen with Bookers' minutes, etc. I don't have that crystal ball. So I'll have to stick with the wait and see approach.


Exactly. Way to much worrying going on. This is the best glass half full year we have had in a long long time.

People are so jaded from the past. Things are setting up nicely for them this year.

I will say this. It is funny to read more people posting about Booker playing some SF. I remember the first time I posted that and the response it got.

Book is more practiced at PF for sure but he did play some SF before. As he adds to his range, the better he will be suited to switch between the two if needed. The team does have some stuff to work out regarding Booker and Ves but thats ok.

And yes, Book is a core glue guy. He bridges the gap between the vets and the younger players. I always had him as a no trade player. I'm glad Ted/EG kept all the younger talent. I want to see what he becomes this year. Love the young mans fight, physical skills, strength, leaps, speed and slowly expanding BB skills.

I'm also looking forward to seeing all the other younger player and what they added. Should be a fun year to be a Wizards fan.
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Post#67 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:32 pm by hands11

Chocolate City Jordanaire wrote:I don't have a crystal ball but I told you what I didn't like about Flip one month after he became coach. I told you about Faried about a year and a half before the draft. I did say Wall would struggle and Cousins was going to be a stud.

I don't know what is going to happen with Booker's minutes, but I can do math pretty well. Between PF and C in a 48 minute game, there are only 96 minutes. If you expand and include the SF position, there are 144 available minutes. Starters generally play between 28 and 35 minutes. If I generalize at 30 minutes for those three positions, that's 90 minutes. I don't know Booker will not start, but I would bet my car that he won't. I would bet a lot of money that he won't be a part of those 90 minutes. DCZ, I know for certain that 144-90=54. Fifty-four minutes to be split between the SF, PF, and C backups.

Beyond those numbers, the number of backups at SF, PF, and C is at least 4. Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker are the four players I have in mind. Forget small ball with Beal at the SF position. Forget Cartier Martin playing any SF, his best position. Because that would make the number larger. Stick with 4 backups at those positions. If you divide the backup minutes among those four, you get 13.5 minutes. Trevor Booker, could conceivably get a double portion of those minutes if Singleton or Vesely or Seraphin play that much less. That is what I do not know. Will Trevor Booker play more than 12-15 minutes? Perhaps he can become a great 20-25 minute sub with others on the bench.

The other things: An injury to Hilario or Okafor opens minutes. Booker could simply outplay Okafor and Wittman would start him in time. Seraphin could possibly slump, but IMO that is HIGHLY unlikely. If anything, Seraphin is going to improve the most. Also, I think Vesely is going to become more useful in time because he has a great court sense and both Nene and Kevin play well off him. Ariza is going to find Vesely with the ball is my prediction. Booker's the odd man out, DCZ. That is how I see it now.

We shall see, DCZ. I don't have a crystal ball but I have had some success predicting outcomes with various personnel.


Reiterating my projection for minutes, I believe you are going to see more 20-24 min players then 30-35 min players.

What makes me say that ? I few things.
One. Its how they finished the year. Take a look. They already started doing this.
Two. The vets are here to stabilize the team, not to take it over.
Three. Its a long season, no reason to overplay older vets who have some injury questions. Same is true of Booker. Plus they have young players to develop and they are most likely going to be a defensive team so keeping everyone fresh will be important.

The players who are not guaranteed many if any minutes are Mack, Martin, AJ Price, C Singleton, Webster. Those are the players who have to fight to earn time. There will be serious competition this year in camp. Specially at SF. I don't think Booker is in that class that needs to worry about getting set minutes.

Line Ups and Minutes
Wall 30 plus. The rest go to AJ or Craw, maybe Mack
Crawford and Beal will split most the mins. 24 and 24. If Craw plays some PG, there is room for Martin or others. Beal may start closer to 14-16 depending on who he performs right out of the gate.
SF ? I assume Trevor get 20 somewhere with 28 avail between C Singleton/Webster/Martin (preseason battle)
Nene 20/Booker18/Ves 10 - Ves is still a young kid. No reason to force things.
Okafor20/Kevin 24/4 minutes for some Ves maybe

Plus they could try some Booker at SF and see how it works if the opportunity presents itself.

This is a basic outline as a starting point that can get tweaked if everyone is healthy. No need to play the front court players to much if they are on back to backs or if they have minor injuries. Its a long season. No need to pull an EFJ and kill everyone by the ASB. I predict Randy will coach smart like a Popovich does.

I say they start with something like this and play the hot player a little more depending on the night, fouls, injuries and match up.
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Post#68 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:10 am by dobrojim

the issue with Book playing the 3 is as much about his ball handling
as it is about his range. Defensively I have little doubt he could do a
fair job guarding many 3s but offensively, his skillset screams 4.

Re the minutes distribution, I was not necessarily saying an exactly
equal draw there. I guess what I was suggesting was that perhaps
they are looking to play agressive D and in so doing, force tempo
to a certain extent. The Wiz seem better suited than many teams
to play uptempo. Depth is something that should help that.
A lot of what we call 'thought' is just mental activity
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Post#69 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:43 am by nate33

dobrojim wrote:the issue with Book playing the 3 is as much about his ball handling
as it is about his range. Defensively I have little doubt he could do a
fair job guarding many 3s but offensively, his skillset screams 4.

Re the minutes distribution, I was not necessarily saying an exactly
equal draw there. I guess what I was suggesting was that perhaps
they are looking to play agressive D and in so doing, force tempo
to a certain extent. The Wiz seem better suited than many teams
to play uptempo. Depth is something that should help that.

I agree that our depth is a strength. I expect that nobody other than Wall will average more than 30 minutes a game (well, maybe Nene gets 31 or 32). And we definitely can go with a 10-man rotation since there doesn't seem to be much dropoff at any position other than PG.

All that said, I just don't see a way that we can get both Booker and Vesely into the rotation on a nightly basis. One of them is going to have to sit until a big man gets hurt. Chris Singleton won't play much either (unless his shot has dramatically improved). I expect one or both of Webster and Martin to displace Singleton as the backup SF.
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Post#70 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:48 am by LyricalRico

nate33 wrote:All that said, I just don't see a way that we can get both Booker and Vesely into the rotation on a nightly basis. One of them is going to have to sit until a big man gets hurt. Chris Singleton won't play much either (unless his shot has dramatically improved). I expect one or both of Webster and Martin to displace Singleton as the backup SF.


I tend to agree with this, and I'd love to move Crawford+Singleton for a reserve combo guard. Not sure who's available, though. As for Booker vs Vesely, obviously Jan is bigger and may have a higher ceiling so there's an advantage there. And if the jumpshot he showed in SL is for real, he has to be the favorite for the reserve PF minutes IMO.

But we really won't have to truly make a roster decision with those guys until 2014 when Booker is up for a new deal. Who knows what will happen by then. Assuming that Seraphin progresses the way many think he can, maybe Nene gets traded that summer to a team that thinks they are a vet big away from contention? Or maybe Nene's body/skills are such that he fits better into the role of backup C behind Seraphin, thus opening up more PF minutes? We'll have to see how it plays out.
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Post#71 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:00 pm by I_Like_Dirt

Shorty wrote:Taking it a step further outside the box, I wonder whether such a team could benefit from hockey-style shifts, just a couple of minutes at a time, with the goal/expectation of playing to exhaustion.



I've though about this, too, but it's just too tough to control the tempo when the other team has the ball for about half of the possessions. If one team is built to play to exhaustion, the other team is inevitably going to gring things to a halt whenever they've got the ball. And honestly, the teams that have played really uptempo either regularly or for stretches usually have freaks like Steve Nash who are so fit they can just keep running the whole time or just have a little more depth like the Spurs. I think coaches would really have to restructure how they learn and approach the game to even try that kind of strategy and when they'd run into a freak like Lebron or Tony Parker who could run all day and was just plain better than every player on their team and they'd get blown out.
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Post#72 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:30 pm by Shorty

I_Like_Dirt wrote:
Shorty wrote:Taking it a step further outside the box, I wonder whether such a team could benefit from hockey-style shifts, just a couple of minutes at a time, with the goal/expectation of playing to exhaustion.



I've though about this, too, but it's just too tough to control the tempo when the other team has the ball for about half of the possessions. If one team is built to play to exhaustion, the other team is inevitably going to gring things to a halt whenever they've got the ball. And honestly, the teams that have played really uptempo either regularly or for stretches usually have freaks like Steve Nash who are so fit they can just keep running the whole time or just have a little more depth like the Spurs. I think coaches would really have to restructure how they learn and approach the game to even try that kind of strategy and when they'd run into a freak like Lebron or Tony Parker who could run all day and was just plain better than every player on their team and they'd get blown out.


Even if it's not realistic to tire the other team out, might their efficiency on offense be reduced when they slow the tempo? But the main benefit, in principle, would be that the team with the short shifts could maximize the intensity that DCZards rightly described as so important for good defense.

I don't know how to reconcile Nash and other freaks of nature with my understanding of biology, which is that anaerobic effort is more productive but less sustainable.

I agree that short shifts would be huge paradigm shift for the coaches and the players. The Wizards aren't the ideal candidate either, because of big dropoff in talent from Wall and Nene to their reserves.
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Post#73 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:03 pm by I_Like_Dirt

I do think there is actually a team making a variation on the hockey-style shifts in the NBA right now: the San Antonio Spurs. I think they've done a pretty good job of recognizing that hockey shifts are just too short and not feasible for the NBA because of too many stoppages in play which allow for resting and being unable to change while play is under way (and also being without the added advantage that hockey gets for having one player switch from one side of the bench while the other jumps on on the other side gaining distance on the ice). The Spurs, though, are severely limiting the minutes of their players across the board and are doing a phenomenal job of figuring out where to find productive players for cheap who can produce within a specific role in their system for limited minutes every game. The Spurs had 12 players last season who played at least 19 mpg and played in at least 20 games. Of those players, 8 of them had a PER of 15.5 or more and Richard Jefferson was the only one with a PER under 12 and he was moved at the first available opportunity. They obviously didn't roll 12-deep but they had the ability to do so if they needed to and were highly adaptable with their shifts with an eye to always having their best players on the floor and well-rested to close the game if it was close (and it usually wasn't). That's the kind of hybrid that I think is more of an effective idea for the evolution of NBA shifts than the NHL-style.
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Post#74 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Sat Sep 1, 2012 10:23 am by hands11

dobrojim wrote:the issue with Book playing the 3 is as much about his ball handling
as it is about his range. Defensively I have little doubt he could do a
fair job guarding many 3s but offensively, his skillset screams 4.

Re the minutes distribution, I was not necessarily saying an exactly
equal draw there. I guess what I was suggesting was that perhaps
they are looking to play aggressive D and in so doing, force tempo
to a certain extent. The Wiz seem better suited than many teams
to play uptempo. Depth is something that should help that.


Exactly, only I would add they actually should have a decent post game in the half court.

As for Booker, that is true but that doesn't mean he can't play there some. I don't think he would be breaking people down with fancy dribbling but he is capable of one or two dribbles as he cuts hard to the hoop and he improved his a mid range shot last year. But Booker at SF isn't really an issue. Most likely if he did it, it would only be in spot minutes if everyone is healthy.

Primarily, I think the Wiz will be focuses on defense and getting out on the break and an above average half court post game. The only real question I see they need to answer is how reliable will their outside shooting be and can they stay healthy.
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Post#75 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Sat Sep 1, 2012 10:38 am by hands11

nate33 wrote:
dobrojim wrote:the issue with Book playing the 3 is as much about his ball handling
as it is about his range. Defensively I have little doubt he could do a
fair job guarding many 3s but offensively, his skillset screams 4.

Re the minutes distribution, I was not necessarily saying an exactly
equal draw there. I guess what I was suggesting was that perhaps
they are looking to play agressive D and in so doing, force tempo
to a certain extent. The Wiz seem better suited than many teams
to play uptempo. Depth is something that should help that.

I agree that our depth is a strength. I expect that nobody other than Wall will average more than 30 minutes a game (well, maybe Nene gets 31 or 32). And we definitely can go with a 10-man rotation since there doesn't seem to be much dropoff at any position other than PG.

All that said, I just don't see a way that we can get both Booker and Vesely into the rotation on a nightly basis. One of them is going to have to sit until a big man gets hurt. Chris Singleton won't play much either (unless his shot has dramatically improved). I expect one or both of Webster and Martin to displace Singleton as the backup SF.


I proposed a way. Time will tell if I was right. For me, I don't see it as a possible option that they don't get them into the rotation. They didn't keep Booker to not play him nor did they draft Ves #6 to sit him on the bench. Ves is a gamer. He is active on the court. He does a lot out there and I think he will prove to be a reliable rebounder this year. And he will shoot some from outside as well. He will see minutes every game. So will Booker.

As for C Singleton, Webster and Martin, they will compete for the remain 24-28 minutes at SF. I think each will get their chance at different parts of the season and different parts of the game. I can't see how that will work out until we see them on the court. SF will be the most rotated position on the team this team.
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Post#76 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Fri Nov 9, 2012 9:52 am by fishercob

Bump. Tiny sample of 3 games. The Wizards are 8th in defense rating in the league and Okafor and Ariza are terrible.
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Post#77 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Fri Nov 9, 2012 10:04 am by Nivek

Tiny sample against teams that were terrible offensively last season. Boston ranked 25th in offensive rating; Cleveland ranked 24th.
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Post#78 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:57 am by fishercob

Bump.

The Wiz have won 4 of 6 to improve to 8-30. While still ranked last in the league in offense, the Wizards are 10th in defensive rating.

Pasting this from the Clippers game thread:

nate33 wrote:
MD's Finest wrote:The best part I think about the game was the fact the Wiz did not havea great game and still were right there, they just never let the Clips put them away and if not for a couple big plays from CP3 and some bad FT shooting really could have had this one down the stretch. I just like the whole vibe of the team right now, everyone seems into it and they are getting contributions from so many guys.

This.

Despite playing poorly offensively, despite lopsided officiating, and despite missing a boatload of free throws, the Wizards gave one of the best teams in the league all they could handle, on the road, on a back to back. If the Wizards can bring this effort and defensive intensity every night, they're going to easily win more than half of their remaining games.

I hate to say this, because it's dangerously close to giving EG credit, but I kinda like the way the team is constructed. Everybody on the roster defends. The bigs are all physical on defense. With Beal, Webster, Price and Cartier Martin on the perimeter, the guards actually shoot like professional basketball player should. Nene and Seraphin can score on the block and usually require a double team. Most of the players are unselfish and are willing to move the ball.

I really feel like the overall character and style of play of this team is that of a contender. They play the right way. The only problem is that there isn't contender-level talent on the roster. Okafor does his best with the gifts God gave him, but he's no Tyson Chandler as a defensive anchor. He's just not long enough. Likewise, Nene and Seraphin are good at PF when they're at their best, but Nene is rarely 100% and Seraphin is still way too inconsistent. I like Ariza and Webster for the things that they bring to the team, and both are borderline starting-caliber players, but neither are above-average starters. If you could combine Ariza's defense with Webster's shooting you would have the ideal SF. Beal has been great on offense in January, but he still suffers from typical rookie inexperience on defense. Wall is fine.


Now we all know what Red from Shawshank said about hope being a dangerous thing. But you do sort of see the blueprint here. It will be interesting to see how a full-strength team finishes (well, full strength with a gimpy Nene) and what this team does next season assuming the roster remains basically intact. Wall, Beal, Crawford, Ariza, hopefully Webster, Nene, Okafor and Seraphin as your top 8. If the vets can stay healthy and maintain their level of play while the kids continue to elevate theirs, it could be real solid.

Then it gets interestign heading into next offseason; before Wall's extension we will have but 4 players under contract at $24M. 3 and $20M were we to dlecline Vesely's option. There will be opportunity to add to/reshape the roster, potentially coming off of a good season.
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Post#79 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:35 am by tontoz

They are 10th and closing on the teams ahead of them. The Wizards are giving up 101 pts per 100 possessions. 6th place OKC is giving up 100 pts.
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Post#80 Re: The "Culture Change" and Defens
Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:35 am by pancakes3

This is why I don't get the Whitman hate. His "lineups" are directly affected by the (lack of) talent he has to work with. The defense is the true testament to his coaching. He can't go in there and force Craw or Ariza to shoot better, but he can coach up the D.
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