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The Bobcats and Threes

Stat of the week: Since Paul Silas took over as head coach of the Bobcats, the Bobcats’ opponents have attempted three pointers on just 21.4% of their overall attempts. With Larry Brown that number was 27.2%. In terms of actual shots, opponents are shooting over 4 fewer threes per game under the Silas’ helmed Cats. As the three is one of the most efficient means of scoring in basketball, there has been an improvement on defense – but it was far more noticeable before the Bobcats lost Tyrus Thomas.

Coach Defensive
Threes as %
of attempts
Threes per 48 minutes
Larry Brown 105.2 27.2 23.3
Paul Silas 105.1 21.4 17.1
Paul Silas –
But before TT
got hurt
101.2 20.7 16.1

What’s it mean? Well, part of the defensive improvement seen when Silas took over was likely effort – NBA team’s don’t often lose multiple games by 30+ points in rapid succession like the Bobcats did, and it certainly appeared like they had quit on Brown. But Larry Brown has dismissed the importance of the three pointer, in his speech and in his approach to defense, and the Bobcats were giving up way too many looks from deep. Under Silas, the same group made a few defensive philosophy changes, with one being to surrender fewer open threes and it paid off. Losing Tyrus Thomas, a defensive disruption (and occasionally offensive one when he shot too frequently), slowed down the progress the Bobcats were making on the defensive end. That they lost such a valuable player and are still slightly bettering their defensive output from under LB is impressive.

Not much more to add than that – but I did want to take an opportunity to point out the dramatic change in long range looks by Bobcats’ foes.