NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Yesterday we highlighted the 2014 All-NBA Defensive 2nd Team.  Today we present the All-NBA Defensive 1st Team:

F – Andre Iguodala, GS

F – Tim Duncan, SA

C – Andrew Bogut, GS

G – Jimmy Butler, Chi

G – Danny Green, SA

The 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is the Golden State Warriors Andre Iguodala.  Check this out…

 

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OKC Thunder: Small Lineup Plays Big

The Oklahoma City Thunder have played ten playoff games in 2014.  Understanding the sample size is still small we could see flukes in OKC’s production by lineups.  But early on there are dramatic differences in Scott Brooks 5-man units.

The Thunder’s most common lineup is Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.  In 127 minutes played through 10 games this unit is playing even with it’s opponents.

When Brooks goes small and inserts Reggie Jackson and Caron Butler for Perk and Thabo we see an improvement in rebounding and big jump in shooting efficiency.  Overall this small unit is +30 points/100 possessions.

This is an outrageous difference and is not likely to last.  But ten games in there is no argument which Thunder lineup has been most productive this playoff season.

In ‘Defense’ of Mark Jackson

The Warriors are coming off their first fifty win season since Chris Webber‘s rookie year twenty years ago.

 

Oakland was the fourth best team in the NBA this year by ‘simple rating system’.

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and others forced a seventh game in a playoff series against the second best team in the NBA despite not having their best defensive player Andrew Bogut.

The 2014 Warriors were one of the handful best defensive units in the league even with Bogut and Andre Iguodala missing 34 total games in the regular season.

Mark Jackson is the first Warriors coach to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since Don Nelson in 1992.

You can even argue that this Warriors season was the second best by the franchise since they moved to Oakland in 1966…when Bill Sharman was head coach…and Nate Thurmond was an all-star.

I don’t know if Mark Jackson is a good coach or poor coach or great coach.  Coaching is extremely hard to evaluate objectively from afar.

But I would have a really hard time firing a guy with the above resume.

NBA Playoffs: Runner-up All-Stars

With five first round game sevens the 2014 NBA playoffs are shaping up to be one of the best of our lifetime.  As a consolation prize I have selected the ‘Playoff All-Stars’ among the teams who were knocked out in round one.

F – Paul Millsap, Atlanta – 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, 53% True Shooting

F – Draymond Green, Golden State – 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 59% TS

C – Dwight Howard, Houston – 26 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 58% TS

G – Kyle Lowry, Toronto – 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 57% TS

G – Stephen Curry, Golden State – 23 points, 8 assists, 2 steals, 60% TS

6th – Taj Gibson, Chicago – 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 63% TS

*stats are per game averages

NBA Playoffs: Strange Glasswork

Who was the leading rebounder in the seven-game series between the Thunder and Grizzlies?

It wasn’t Zach Randolph.  It wasn’t Marc Gasol.

Despite OKC decisively winning the battle of the glass (+5 Reb/game), Serge Ibaka only pulled down 9 boards/game.

The best rebounder in the series was Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with 10 rebs/game.

Oddly, the man preventing Memphis from getting absolutely blasted on the backboard was guard Tony Allen.  He tied Russ for the offensive rebounding lead in the series with 23.

The Mavs’ Two Keys

Two reasons the Dallas Mavericks have pushed the best team in the NBA to a game seven…big men rebounding.

Through six games the Spurs Tim Duncan has played 213 minutes and grabbed 51 rebounds.

The Mavs’ key 4/5’s (sans Dirk Nowitzki) have played  193 minutes.  Samuel Dalembert and DeJuan Blair totaled 85 boards.

Dalembert and Blair are posting two of the top-ten single playoff season rebounding rates in the NBA’s three-point era….

                                  Tota
Rk             Player  Season  Tm    G TRB  TRB
1        DeJuan  Blair 2013-14 DAL    5  32 17.5
2      Dennis  Rodman* 1994-95 SAS   14 207 16.2
3       Kevin  Garnett 2001-02 MIN    3  56 15.5
4      Ralph  Sampson* 1984-85 HOU    5  83 15.5
5        DeJuan  Blair 2009-10 SAS   10  39 15.4
6        Marcus  Camby 2007-08 DEN    4  53 15.4
7      Dennis  Rodman* 1993-94 SAS    3  48 15.2
8    Samuel  Dalembert 2013-14 DAL    6  53 15.0
9      Dennis  Rodman* 1988-89 DET   17 170 15.0
10        Larry  Smith 1986-87 GSW   10 137 15.0