And the defense rests « Queen City Hoops

And the defense rests

A quick jump back to last week's game against Dallas – I know I have already done one of the briefest recaps ever (here) for this game, but despite only paying some attention to the game on the tv, I was still following the score online, just in case it got closer. And I remember noticing at the end of the 3rd quarter that as a team, Dallas was scoring about 1.5 points per shot. Which is incredible to me: No one on the Bobcats averages that, but as a team Dallas was at that mark. So, I assumed that this had to be among the Bobcats worst defensive performances of the year. I was wrong.

By the end of the game, the Bobcats wound up allowing “only” 122.9 points per 100 possessions – good for a tie for 7th worst performance of the year. The Cats have managed to do much worse – 127.3 points per 100 to the New Orleans Hornets on 1/18. Detailed boxscores for these games are available through the stats page, to check them out click here (and yes, I am going to continue to promote this page and the stats page – I find it interesting to look through, so there is bound to be someone else).

I am not going to be a “negative Nancy” this entire post, though, Mr. Hat. To counter my previous negative comments, I will point out the Bobcats best efficiency performances of the season. Only one week after the debacle against New Orleans, the Bobcats managed a complete reversal in Chicago, holding “da Bulls” to 84.6 points per 100 possessions (granted there are some differences in the offensive abilities between the two teams, but still an impressive performance). Another highlight to note: The Bobcats best offensive output of the season came less than 2 weeks ago against Minnesota, as the Cats scored at a rate of 121.1 pp100p (funny looking abbreviation – I will not make the toilet jokes – feel free on your own).

Looking up all these efficiency numbers at the extremes got me thinking – what extreme are the Bobcats better at? Offensive or defensive? And here is the breakdown:

Efficiency Range Record for Defense Record for Offense
<= 100 points per 100 poss 14-4 1-24
100 to 110 points per 100 poss 9-14 14-15
> 110 points per 100 poss 1-25 10-4

From those records, it seems the Bobcats are slightly better off when they pretend to be a great defensive team than a great offensive one (it has happened more often too, so perhaps a bit easier to imagine). One odd thing that I noticed when looking through all the efficiency numbers: When the Bobcats play at a faster pace, their defensive efficiency improves (decreases – and there was not a strong correlation between pace and defensive efficiency, but they have trended that way). This was not what I expected (I thought that as the game sped up, less energy would be focused/available on the defensive end) – and a quick glance around the league seems to validate my initial thought. Taking pace numbers and defensive efficiencies for each team in the league, the norm is for defensive efficiency to worsen as the pace increases (and with a significantly higher correlation than the Bobcats have shown). Again, not one of those things that I can explain, but interesting nonetheless.

If you have made it this far, then you probably are still wondering what the title of the post is referring to: Again, one of those things I cannot really answer. I wanted to mention a few different items on defensive efficiency and it was the best I could come up with that remotely made sense. At least it was more creative than adding “Again” to the end of a previous title.

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