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Who Ruled the Top Defenses in 2010? (Part II)

Posted by Neil Paine on July 28, 2010

If you missed Monday's post, I encourage you to go back and check it out -- I looked at player performance in 2009-10 (regular-season + playoffs) against above-average and below-average defenses to see if certain players thrived vs. weak defenses and/or wilted against strong ones. Today, I'm going to break it down even further by looking at performances against top-/bottom-10 and top-/bottom-5 defensive teams.

Top-10 Defenses

Here are the players who had the top offensive ratings vs. top-10 defenses, broken down by possession%:

>=23% of Possessions 18-23% of Possessions <18% of Possessions
Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg
Corey Maggette 717.9 25.1 123.7 Pau Gasol 1239.5 21.8 116.1 Chris Andersen 586.2 10.3 133.1
Chris Paul 371.9 23.4 120.4 Troy Murphy 964.6 19.0 115.3 Jon Brockman 202.0 10.5 126.1
Chris Bosh 951.7 28.2 120.2 Jarrett Jack 880.9 20.6 115.0 Robin Lopez 310.4 15.5 123.1
Deron Williams 1087.1 26.1 119.1 Carl Landry 752.4 21.5 114.2 Amir Johnson 514.3 14.1 122.7
Manu Ginobili 620.9 29.3 119.1 George Hill 675.1 18.6 113.9 Shane Battier 653.5 11.0 120.8
Brandon Roy 606.6 27.3 117.8 Paul Millsap 826.7 18.5 113.6 Jared Dudley 869.0 12.7 120.4
Chauncey Billups 897.7 25.2 117.4 Drew Gooden 519.5 20.1 113.5 J.J. Redick 761.7 17.4 118.7
LeBron James 1440.2 34.5 117.3 Louis Williams 638.3 21.9 112.5 Brendan Haywood 1088.8 14.0 118.7
Dirk Nowitzki 1226.4 28.8 116.7 Al Horford 1505.6 18.2 111.8 Marcin Gortat 617.1 12.3 117.6
Steve Nash 1100.9 27.4 116.4 Beno Udrih 772.1 19.4 111.5 Joel Anthony 496.8 10.1 116.4
Andray Blatche 855.7 25.0 96.5 Rafer Alston 557.9 19.3 89.7 Trenton Hassell 403.3 14.1 84.4
Al Harrington 747.1 24.3 95.7 Marcus Williams 235.1 21.4 89.6 Eduardo Najera 229.0 12.1 84.2
A.J. Price 330.2 25.3 95.5 Chris Wilcox 186.3 18.0 89.4 Jawad Williams 262.3 13.8 83.3
Michael Redd 245.2 23.1 95.0 Mike Dunleavy 601.6 20.3 86.9 Jason Smith 262.7 15.9 83.3
Michael Beasley 896.1 23.1 94.7 DaJuan Summers 177.0 18.5 85.3 Vladimir Radmanovic 421.4 17.6 82.4
Josh Howard 272.3 23.0 94.5 Andres Nocioni 409.4 20.0 84.3 Sebastian Telfair 187.0 17.7 80.4
Brandon Jennings 971.9 25.3 93.8 Austin Daye 335.4 19.3 82.0 Kwame Brown 321.1 15.8 80.3
Gilbert Arenas 467.0 33.2 92.6 Jannero Pargo 276.9 21.4 79.4 Quinton Ross 190.6 10.1 71.5
Tracy McGrady 226.3 23.5 92.3 Larry Hughes 408.4 20.8 76.6 Mardy Collins 186.9 17.2 71.1
Terrence Williams 684.4 23.2 83.5 Daequan Cook 223.8 18.6 73.0 Brian Scalabrine 181.3 10.8 65.9

Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, two of the three players we originally looked at last March (the other being LeBron James), aren't on the list above, but here are their stats against top-10 Ds last year:

Player MP %Pos ORtg
Dwyane Wade 1223.2 36.2 106.0
Kobe Bryant 1313.2 33.0 102.2

Both players were down from their usual production vs. top-10 defenses, which was a departure from the 2009 study's results.

At any rate, here were the best producers vs. top-10 Ds according to Offensive SPM:

Rank Player MP OSPM Rank Player MP OSPM
1 LeBron James 1440.2 9.47 11 Marcus Thornton 553.0 4.48
2 Manu Ginobili 620.9 8.55 12 Chauncey Billups 897.7 4.42
3 Dwyane Wade 1223.2 6.45 13 Carmelo Anthony 814.0 4.04
4 Brandon Roy 606.6 6.40 14 Kobe Bryant 1313.2 3.91
5 Chris Bosh 951.7 6.09 15 Corey Maggette 717.9 3.87
6 Deron Williams 1087.1 5.93 16 Russell Westbrook 981.8 3.52
7 Dirk Nowitzki 1226.4 5.47 17 Joe Johnson 1660.1 3.22
8 Steve Nash 1100.9 5.18 18 Nate Robinson 526.2 3.15
9 Chris Paul 371.9 4.95 19 Mo Williams 1230.9 2.98
10 Kevin Durant 1096.8 4.78 20 Amare Stoudemire 1218.5 2.79

For all of the criticism LeBron James' teammates received for the part they played in Cleveland's consecutive playoff disappointments, check out Mo Williams as one of the 20 most effective offensive players against top-10 defenses last season... Also, Marcus Thornton's ongoing presence on these lists is very impressive -- despite being a 2nd-round pick, Thornton played 73 games with his home-state Hornets and had a strong offensive performance against the NBA's toughest Ds as a rookie.

Bottom-10 Defenses

On the other hand, here are the players who dominated weak defensive teams:

>=23% of Possessions 18-23% of Possessions <18% of Possessions
Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg
Steve Nash 807.6 26.3 129.5 Reggie Williams 326.1 18.7 132.8 Shaun Livingston 201.2 16.6 137.1
Kevin Durant 1069.0 29.4 126.1 Jose Calderon 540.7 19.6 129.6 Jared Dudley 619.7 13.5 136.4
LeBron James 1087.8 32.3 125.9 Robin Lopez 300.5 18.8 129.1 Nicolas Batum 448.8 14.5 134.8
Chris Paul 641.9 24.7 125.5 Al Horford 985.0 19.7 128.6 Nene Hilario 985.5 16.5 129.8
Luke Ridnour 615.5 23.4 123.4 Marc Gasol 941.5 19.1 128.5 Channing Frye 680.6 15.4 129.6
Amare Stoudemire 839.6 24.7 122.4 Greg Oden 174.2 20.0 128.4 Daniel Gibson 428.1 13.6 129.2
Chauncey Billups 892.1 24.1 122.3 Jason Richardson 736.0 19.7 127.6 Devean George 185.8 13.3 126.8
Dwight Howard 974.4 24.6 121.1 Rashard Lewis 692.4 18.0 127.5 Bill Walker 281.8 16.1 126.6
Jameer Nelson 579.6 24.2 121.1 Pau Gasol 1060.8 21.8 125.4 Chris Andersen 561.4 12.3 126.3
David Lee 961.4 23.9 121.0 Rudy Gay 1177.0 20.6 122.8 Anderson Varejao 786.5 14.1 125.7
Josh Howard 351.1 23.9 102.0 T.J. Ford 347.4 20.7 94.9 Jodie Meeks 167.6 15.9 94.0
Stephen Jackson 1095.3 27.6 101.1 Jamaal Tinsley 207.9 18.5 93.2 Anthony Carter 249.8 17.0 90.7
Monta Ellis 639.3 26.6 99.1 Ronnie Price 281.4 18.2 93.0 James Singleton 264.9 14.6 87.8
Jonny Flynn 692.6 25.5 98.8 Terrence Williams 562.2 21.0 92.9 Brian Scalabrine 199.1 9.2 86.6
Tyler Hansbrough 172.6 25.5 94.8 Darko Milicic 193.1 18.3 91.8 Ime Udoka 329.9 14.1 86.0
Elton Brand 704.0 23.4 94.3 Marcus Williams 330.4 19.8 91.7 James Johnson 241.7 16.5 84.6
J.R. Smith 720.9 24.5 94.0 Luther Head 326.0 20.9 90.4 Vladimir Radmanovic 179.3 16.5 83.0
Richard Hamilton 460.4 27.5 94.0 Ronald Murray 527.0 21.5 90.3 Rafer Alston 413.4 17.9 78.4
Bobby Brown 185.1 26.0 91.1 Joe Smith 182.9 19.4 88.7 Sasha Pavlovic 253.4 17.1 77.7
Jannero Pargo 303.7 23.5 90.5 Josh Powell 226.6 18.0 80.6 DeShawn Stevenson 267.4 12.3 70.1

Kobe and D-Wade were just outside the top 10 in efficiency, ranking 12th and 13th, respectively:

Player MP %Pos ORtg
Kobe Bryant 1187.0 31.4 119.4
Dwyane Wade 910.0 33.7 118.9

Reggie Williams, an undrafted former D-Leaguer playing for Golden State, had some nice opportunities vs. bottom-10 Ds last season and he absolutely owned them, to the tune of 18.2 Pts/36 minutes on a 66.9 TS%.

Here are the offensive SPM leaders:

Rank Player MP OSPM Rank Player MP OSPM
1 LeBron James 1087.8 11.31 11 Jose Calderon 540.7 5.70
2 Dwyane Wade 910.0 9.10 12 Jason Richardson 736.0 5.47
3 Kobe Bryant 1187.0 8.95 13 Deron Williams 1016.8 5.44
4 Steve Nash 807.6 8.61 14 Jameer Nelson 579.6 5.26
5 Kevin Durant 1069.0 8.47 15 Luke Ridnour 615.5 5.11
6 Chris Paul 641.9 7.44 16 Joe Johnson 883.5 5.08
7 Gilbert Arenas 470.3 7.17 17 Rodrigue Beaubois 349.3 5.02
8 Ryan Anderson 364.2 6.01 18 Danny Granger 871.4 4.98
9 Chauncey Billups 892.1 5.81 19 Carmelo Anthony 1004.9 4.86
10 Manu Ginobili 847.9 5.71 20 Vince Carter 769.1 4.75

Top-5 Defenses

Same as above, these were the most efficient players against the league's 5 best defenses:

>=23% of Possessions 18-23% of Possessions <18% of Possessions
Player MP ORtg %Pos Player MP ORtg %Pos Player MP ORtg %Pos
Manu Ginobili 316.6 125.6 29.6 Chris Paul 106.1 139.9 21.7 Robin Lopez 226.9 132.0 15.9
Chris Bosh 563.2 122.4 26.9 Carl Landry 340.5 124.3 20.0 Brandon Bass 120.9 130.4 15.8
Corey Maggette 339.6 121.8 24.3 Pau Gasol 573.7 118.5 21.3 Marcin Gortat 325.3 129.5 11.1
Chauncey Billups 417.5 120.1 25.4 Drew Gooden 281.3 117.9 20.7 Jared Dudley 475.7 127.7 13.6
Brandon Roy 242.2 119.6 26.7 Jordan Hill 141.6 115.8 19.3 Arron Afflalo 322.8 126.9 12.1
Steve Nash 570.0 117.9 26.9 Jarrett Jack 480.5 115.1 21.3 Chris Andersen 286.6 125.7 10.0
Dirk Nowitzki 482.1 115.4 28.8 Ersan Ilyasova 322.7 114.8 20.8 Jon Brockman 115.8 125.7 11.3
Deron Williams 619.4 113.6 26.3 Troy Murphy 462.5 114.7 18.1 Brendan Haywood 442.8 123.3 13.0
Zach Randolph 436.2 112.8 24.2 Danilo Gallinari 511.6 114.4 18.4 Joel Anthony 316.4 122.7 10.8
LeBron James 887.1 112.5 34.4 Louis Williams 344.8 114.4 21.9 Shane Battier 290.1 122.4 12.5
Randy Foye 379.0 98.0 23.4 Jeff Teague 216.4 87.2 19.4 Donte Greene 311.0 81.2 16.4
Earl Clark 107.7 96.0 23.1 Carlos Delfino 349.1 84.6 19.8 Marcus Camby 207.3 80.8 16.5
Andray Blatche 489.8 95.7 26.9 Jannero Pargo 141.3 82.7 22.3 Julian Wright 104.9 77.6 17.2
Al Harrington 368.4 95.4 23.1 James Johnson 134.5 81.4 19.2 Charlie Bell 249.1 75.0 13.4
Ronald Murray 255.1 95.3 25.1 Andres Nocioni 166.7 81.3 22.1 Jawad Williams 115.8 72.9 13.1
Chris Kaman 379.7 94.1 25.4 Corey Brewer 338.1 81.1 20.4 Trenton Hassell 231.4 67.6 13.9
Ramon Sessions 212.9 94.1 23.9 Rafer Alston 366.2 80.9 19.6 Daequan Cook 154.5 65.9 17.6
A.J. Price 161.6 91.4 27.1 Austin Daye 188.6 78.3 21.1 Sasha Pavlovic 105.6 65.4 17.3
Tracy McGrady 114.8 87.8 25.1 Terrence Williams 368.5 76.2 22.4 Eduardo Najera 107.0 63.9 10.7
Gilbert Arenas 144.3 87.7 33.0 Larry Hughes 267.8 73.3 19.9 Quinton Ross 126.3 53.6 11.0

Chris Paul actually dropped from a high-usage to a mid-usage player vs. top-5 defenses, which might explain why his efficiency was so absurdly high. And at the top of the high-usage list, all hail Manu Ginobili, one of the most effective -- and underrated -- players in the NBA over the past 8 seasons. At age 32, he still brought monster performances against the league's best defenses.

As always, here are Wade and Bryant's numbers against top-5 Ds:

Player MP ORtg %Pos
Dwyane Wade 820.9 110.5 35.9
Kobe Bryant 575.2 99.8 32.1

Bizarrely, Wade was actually better against top-5 defenses than he was against defenses ranked #6-15. And the pattern we saw from Bryant against above-average defenses on Monday continues here -- against top-5 Ds in 2009, Kobe was more efficient than James or Wade, but this year his offensive performance totally hit a wall against good defensive teams.

Here are the OSPM leaders vs. top-5 defenses:

Rank Player MP OSPM Rank Player MP OSPM
1 Manu Ginobili 316.6 10.62 11 Nate Robinson 344.3 4.61
2 Dwyane Wade 820.9 7.97 12 Kevin Durant 685.9 4.45
3 Chris Paul 106.1 7.89 13 Carmelo Anthony 396.4 4.21
4 LeBron James 887.1 7.89 14 Russell Westbrook 624.3 4.18
5 Chris Bosh 563.2 5.75 15 Baron Davis 323.7 4.11
6 Steve Nash 570.0 5.73 16 J.R. Smith 329.1 3.97
7 Brandon Roy 242.2 5.44 17 Kobe Bryant 575.2 3.22
8 Chauncey Billups 417.5 5.23 18 Devin Harris 460.6 3.20
9 Dirk Nowitzki 482.1 5.11 19 Corey Maggette 339.6 3.06
10 Deron Williams 619.4 4.64 20 Ersan Ilyasova 322.7 3.05

Terrifying trivia: Miami now has 3 of the league's 5 best offensive players vs. elite defensive teams (according to OSPM, at least).

Bottom-5 Defenses

Last but not least, here are the players who carved up bad defenses the most:

Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg Player MP %Pos ORtg
Manu Ginobili 314.9 24.8 128.7 J.J. Redick 360.8 18.0 133.3 Channing Frye 378.7 12.8 150.6
Corey Maggette 220.3 26.2 127.8 Robin Lopez 123.7 18.9 131.9 Nicolas Batum 160.7 17.1 149.0
Luke Ridnour 277.9 24.0 127.4 Rashard Lewis 374.6 18.2 131.7 Shaun Livingston 121.1 14.0 148.6
Chauncey Billups 444.8 26.3 127.2 Al Horford 581.3 20.4 130.8 Jon Brockman 113.2 10.0 143.3
Kevin Durant 550.4 28.9 126.8 Jose Calderon 229.2 21.4 130.3 Bill Walker 128.9 16.3 142.8
LeBron James 570.2 32.7 126.1 Marc Gasol 437.2 19.0 130.1 Dorell Wright 282.2 15.3 140.0
Steve Nash 440.2 27.2 123.9 Rudy Gay 538.7 19.9 129.2 Matt Bonner 120.3 15.6 137.3
Brandon Roy 414.0 24.8 123.6 Jason Richardson 405.9 19.3 127.4 Greg Oden 120.6 17.9 135.8
Dwight Howard 519.0 24.6 123.5 Hedo Turkoglu 347.6 19.5 126.9 Chris Andersen 305.6 12.8 135.1
Amare Stoudemire 437.7 23.8 123.5 Ben Gordon 225.5 19.3 125.8 Reggie Williams 141.4 14.3 131.9
Rodney Stuckey 366.9 25.1 101.2 Serge Ibaka 238.9 18.9 96.5 James Posey 293.0 9.3 95.2
Glen Davis 178.8 23.0 98.9 Yi Jianlian 338.7 18.9 95.3 Devin Brown 200.3 17.2 94.3
Elton Brand 411.4 23.9 98.6 Nick Young 310.8 19.3 95.1 Josh Boone 132.7 12.1 93.7
Charlie Villanueva 269.1 24.5 98.3 Sam Young 220.2 22.0 94.0 Trenton Hassell 143.4 13.5 93.6
Shaquille O'Neal 150.0 26.5 96.9 Trevor Ariza 304.7 21.6 91.9 Ryan Hollins 110.4 16.4 93.5
Bobby Brown 105.3 25.3 91.6 Jerry Stackhouse 137.8 21.4 90.7 Marcin Gortat 169.5 12.6 93.1
Richard Hamilton 231.7 26.0 89.7 Terrence Williams 311.0 19.3 90.1 Ronny Turiaf 111.9 12.7 91.8
Jannero Pargo 163.4 25.7 85.8 Marcus Williams 152.5 19.3 86.4 Juwan Howard 243.7 15.9 90.4
Jonny Flynn 230.7 26.9 85.3 Luther Head 212.5 20.6 85.6 Jason Kapono 172.6 15.4 86.9
Sergio Rodriguez 158.2 24.7 85.3 Rafer Alston 226.8 19.5 72.7 Rodney Carney 115.1 17.3 85.2

Manu Ginobili pulled off a rare double last season -- he was the league's most efficient high-usage guy vs. the top 5 defenses and the bottom 5 defenses! How amazing is that?

Here are the Kobe and D-Wade numbers:

Player MP %Pos ORtg
Dwyane Wade 469.2 33.9 120.8
Kobe Bryant 421.3 31.9 116.4

Finally, here were the OSPM leaders vs. bottom-5 Ds:

Rank Player MP OSPM Rank Player MP OSPM
1 LeBron James 570.2 11.35 11 Jose Calderon 229.2 6.73
2 Dwyane Wade 469.2 9.68 12 Carmelo Anthony 492.9 6.58
3 Nicolas Batum 160.7 9.52 13 Luke Ridnour 277.9 6.23
4 Kevin Durant 550.4 8.31 14 Ryan Anderson 237.8 6.00
5 Manu Ginobili 314.9 8.17 15 Brandon Roy 414.0 5.98
6 Gilbert Arenas 235.1 8.13 16 Danny Granger 514.4 5.80
7 Chauncey Billups 444.8 7.81 17 Tim Duncan 306.1 5.79
8 Steve Nash 440.2 7.74 18 Dorell Wright 282.2 5.53
9 Kobe Bryant 421.3 7.71 19 Corey Maggette 220.3 5.43
10 Chris Paul 430.3 7.09 20 Aaron Brooks 467.1 5.29

Nicolas Batum was a study in contrasts last season -- he was terrible vs. top 5 defenses (94.3 ORtg, -2.24 OSPM), but he flat-out dominated bottom-5 Ds (23.1 pts/36 min, 75.4 TS%!!!). The opposite of Batum? Jonny Flynn, who was horrible against weak defensive teams (14.4 P/36, 44.4 TS%, 27.0 TO%) but weirdly good against elite defenses (18.9 P/36, 59.6 TS%). Also along those lines, Chris Bosh was actually worse vs. bottom-5 defenses than he was vs. top-5 ones (maybe this is a good problem to have, though).

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34 Responses to “Who Ruled the Top Defenses in 2010? (Part II)”

  1. huevonkiller Says:

    Another fascinating analysis. James with some pretty compelling evidence.

    Durant seems to have a slight problem against good defenses. Just a great study in general, thanks Neil.

  2. JTaylor21 Says:

    @1. I think that the reason for durant struggling against top defenses is because anyone who watched the lakers series knows that he struggles when guarded by a physical player who goes for steals a lot. For all the BS hype about durant being just as good if not better than bron/wade/kobe, he struggles with his handles alot against good/great defenders. For someone who's supposed to be the best thing since silced bread, he has a few weakness to work on before he can reach those guys level. People act like what he did last year at this phase of his career was unprecedented forgetting that bron put up 31/7/7 his third year in the league. His everyone's new favorite star now but wait five years down the road when he hasn't won a chip , people will turn on him just like they did on bron.

  3. JTaylor21 Says:

    @2, Maybe not with the same verocity they came at bron with but people will start calling his career a failure. It beats me that people don't understand just how hard it's to make it to the finals let alone win a chip. If guys like malone, stockon, wilkins and barkley couldn't win one with all the talents they possesed what makes people think that guys today will just waltz right up and win one so early in their careers. Speaking on bron, it was amazing to see all the anger and backlash when he choose to play for miami. People talk about a 25 yr old player giving up being the so called "man" so early in his career but forget that he's already played in 500+ gms with 60+ playoffs gms on top of that while guys like MJ only played in 350+ gms in his first 7 seasons. He has done it by himself for 600 gms which is more than enough games for people to see him "being the man". He doesn't have to do it for another 7 yrs just to satisfy people's need and wants while wasting his career carrying a medicore supporting cast. It all goes back to what neil said about people false perception of MJ doing it all by himself, which they expect players of today to do the same. MJ has become a gift and curse.

  4. huevonkiller Says:

    Oh I'm with you JT on a lot of that. Fair points.

  5. Charrua Says:

    Interesting. Lebron's pattern of not doing that well against top 5 defenses continues (his ORTG is 9 points lower than his season average) while Wade production takes much less of a hit (only 3 points lower). Kobe really did hit a wall last season but he's 32 so it isn't much of a surprise. His performance in the playoffs is, though. ¿Maybe rest, focus and the drained knee helped?

  6. AHL Says:

    2. - Nah, as long as KD has that twitter, everyone will still love him as the good kid next door.

  7. AYC Says:

    KD was a young guy playing his first playoff series, against the eventual champs and an elite defender at his position. Playoff basketball is a different animal. You have to learn to walk before you run... he'll be fine

  8. DSMok1 Says:

    Well done, Neil.

  9. Blackmamba24 Says:

    LOl yeah lets remeber Kobe Had two injured finger an injured back and injured ankle and needed that knee worked. and LeBron? Didn't i here something about an elbow.....THERE GOES LEBRON WITH THE ALLEY OOP...oh never mind it was fine lol. Kobe did fine agaisn't the good defenses he is the number one target and even as injured as he was he still out performed the rest when it comes down to it. And if you think not then go break your index finger and maim your pinky and try to shoot a basketball oh wait there aint a stat for that is there???? Kevin Durant he's everything he's hyped to be. See the problem is your comparin lebrons 30/7/7 to his and the way they get them is so different. See Durant gets his in the flow of the offense and he's a more skilled scorer than james. runners,pick and pops,3pointers, up and unders, backboard abuse(lol my personal fav move of my own) drives,cuts, fadeaways etc. He does in more ways the LBJ and the only thing missin from his game so far is a post game once he can put his back to the basket he will be damn near unguardable. He is thee true heir to kobe's throne. LBj is too raw and overly reliant on his physical tools aka faster bigger stronger with ridiculous hops(I will say that Lebron is a very skilled ball handler and passer but those are his only truly elite skills unless you count athleticism) Wade is too old as he's like only 3-4 years younger and still not as skilled even tho he's a monster in his own right, Carmelo is so disrespected to me cuz he is a monster can you imagine LBJ's body with Carmelo's moves omg that would be something to watch(not that Carmelo isn't a physical monster himself just not the hops and speed althought i believe he's stronger and plays like it)

  10. P Middy Says:

    deep breath, Blackmamba 24. Deep breath.

    RE: Manu. What do the top and the worst defenses have in common that might explain this? Without going to the stats right now, my guesses are fouls per possession and three point percentage, due to constant rotation and terribleness respectively. We know Manu can get to the lane and flop (and1). We know he can bomb from deep.

  11. John Cena Says:

    This comment has been removed by an administrator

  12. P Middy Says:

    That's just rude.

  13. koberulz Says:

    Blackmamba24 makes me embarrassed to be a Bryant fan.

  14. Anon x 2 Says:

    Kobe's injuries are well known, especially after their schedule got tougher. Let's move on from that.

    I didn't see Durant vs the top 10/5 defenses in there. Can we get those?

    Also, is it possible that high minutes played is bringing down guys like Kobe, Wade, and even lebron (and Durant) in ORat against top 10 and top 5 defenses. MP vs those teams seem to be an obvious chasm for these guys versus guys who rank ahead of them.

    One other note, holy crap does this make Elton Brand the most overpaid player? He can't do anything versus garbage defenses!

  15. Greyberger Says:

    Regarding Manu, I don't think there's any reason why he was especially good against the best and worst defenses beyond his fit and simple variance. Manu's a screen and roll guy on an excellent S&R team; since he can get to the line and shoot 3s while handling this responsibility long twos end up being a small part of his possession total. He had a 28% assist rate this year to help keep him in the high Pos% group in part due to Tony Parker injuries.

    But he doesn't need an up-year (or an up-year in team offense) to show up all over these lists. His career TS is 59%. Always has great steal and TO numbers. Advanced stats love this guy. He's a [insert lame kobe quote here].

  16. Greyberger Says:

    BTW, just because it's not explicit and I'm dumb - the top 5 defenses means vs. CHA ORL BOS MIA and MIL, right?

    Western conference guys might have stranger numbers in the 5 section thanks to this. The ten list (I think) has LAL SAS OKC CLE and CHI (with Utah as alternate) which should provide more balanced weight.

  17. jsteez Says:

    I noticed that Corey Maggette fared quite well on this analysis. What this doesn't seem to account for is how the team performs w/ and w/o the player on the court, nor does it capture their net offense/defense contribution. Maggette is fantastic at getting to the line and can score decently, but as a Warriors fan, it was painful to watch how his style of play negatively impacted the rest of the team's performance. Further, he was going at 4s half the time, meaning he had an offensive advantage, but was a defensive liability due to Don Nelson's played-out small-ball strategy.

  18. Anon x 2 Says:

    #16 - and I believe L.A. was actually #1 until the Bynum injury, followed by Kobe missing time, too. They went from 1st to 6th in about 6 weeks.

    Maybe against the top 5 starting or top played units in the league?

  19. Ripp Says:

    Shout out to Chris Bosh....I think he is going to surprise a lot of people this year.

  20. huevonkiller Says:

    #5 Charrua, you're whining now about LeBron playing slightly better than Prime Wade against top 5 defenses? Including last year's Magic series I'm pretty sure LeBron was at Jordan Level. Which is a pretty decent sample size.

    Do you know what qualified as the best against top 5 defenses in 2009?

    108.7 on 38.5 % possessions. For supposedly an extremely clutch player in a 30+ PER season. So put it into context. Don't whine about it, this isn't even including his complete domination of the Magic.

    I guess leading the league this year, and that 120+ O-rating he dropped on Orlando doesn't do it for you? He was #1 in basketball on paper stats, and #1 in OSPM times minutes played.

  21. huevonkiller Says:

    Obviously Manu was the best, per minute at least. Bosh was pretty good too per minute with O-rating/%pos.

  22. jonty Says:

    folks! beware of Huevonkiller...he is actually Maverick Carter..ha ha...

  23. huevonkiller Says:

    Nah, I just hate the Dan Gilberts of the world. And those whiny Cleveland fans.

    LeBron against top 5 defenses, last 28 games (09 playoffs- 2010 playoffs):

    1153 minutes
    30.5 PPG
    12.25 fta
    58.25 TS%
    7.6 rpg
    7.8 apg
    4.1 tpg

    Against the Magic James had a ~123 offensive rating in 44 mpg, adjusted for 33% usage rate (~34% possessions with Dean Oliver's stats). He has approximately a 115 O-rating over this span of games. A pretty huge number against that type of D.

    2009 series:

    42.2 usg 143 -> 152.2 rating
    38.5 usg 113 -> 118.2 rating
    42.8 usg 117 -> 126.8 rating
    42.0 usg 106 -> 115 rating
    37.3 usg 124 -> 128.3 rating
    30.2 usg 104 -> 101.2 rating

  24. huevonkiller Says:

    Sorry if there are some minor errors, but that is a rough draft.

  25. JTaylor21 Says:

    Excellent job, huevonkiller. Just goes to show that bron really does step his game up when the stakes are higher. He's second alltime in Playoffs PPG right behind guess who MJ.

  26. Anon Says:

    When he is healthy, CP3 is one of the 3 players (along with Bron and Wade) that own the league offensively. Ditto with Manu.

    Bosh is a surprise, but his game has always been underrated on that end. If he could just bring anything on defense he would be a top 5 overall player easily.

    Gasol simply continues to make a name for himself as well. He - not Kobe, as poster #9 went off on a hilarious rant about - was the man against the league's better defenses in 2010 for LA and is perhaps the best offensive big in the game.

    I think that later down the road, Dirk will get the props he deserves as an ALL-TIME great. Year after year, he performs against everybody, regular season and playoffs. And I don't wanna hear it from the "rings people" - can't fault him for the '06 Finals where Wade played well, the Heat defense played JUST as well and the Mavs arguably got shafted by the refs. And this season he owned the Spurs in the playoffs, except he had no help elsewhere.

    Maybe Dirk and CP3 need to get together on the same team.

  27. Austin Scott Says:

    How about Maggette and Brockman. Milwaukee really geared up this offseason, and Illyasova made his list a few times too. I think that the Bucks are getting ready to play some of the toughest EC defenses, and i think that they have a legit chance to make some noise next season and potentially upset one of the three favorite east teams.

  28. Adarsh Says:

    Bryant's play isn't surprising at all... at least not in the regular season. In the playoffs, he was his usual self... definitely wouldn't look too much into a stat that ranks Westbrook or Baron over him.

    Neil, how do the Boston Celtics perform vs Top 5 defenses? Curious to know why Rondo isn't on any of these lists.

  29. Neil Paine Says:

    Re #28 - Here are Kobe's numbers for the playoffs alone:

    Vs. Type of D MP ORtg %Pos OSPM
    Top 10 508.9 103.9 33.8 4.72
    Above-Avg 673.2 108.0 33.4 5.40
    Below-Avg/Bottom 10 249.5 135.4 31.0 14.40

    (Note: I combined below-avg and bottom 10 in 1 row because L.A. only played one below-avg defense, Phoenix, and they happened to be in the bottom 10 as well)

    So Kobe's performance vs. good defenses was better (really, the overall performance was better, lending credence to the injury theory), though he still did the overwhelming majority of his damage against the Suns, the 8th-worst defensive team in the league.

  30. BSK Says:

    It would be helpful to know how much year-to-year variation is typical. Should we assume that there is something appreciably different about Kobe this year than last because of the change or is such a change "normal"?

  31. Matt Says:

    Still wondering why Miami only won one game.

  32. rav Says:

    @ Matt (31.)

    Because, apart from Wade, the team was horrible?

    And the Celts turned it on in the playoffs.

  33. Matt Says:

    Should that not reflect negatively on Wade, though? The Heat won 47 games. The Celtics won 50 games. And it was a 4-5 seed matchup. I do not buy into the "team was horrible" non-sense at all. This is the same team that came close to nearly sweeping the Lakers, save a Kobe game-winner. Did Wade's injury and Pierce's game-winner, have that much of an impact on the Heat player's psyche? Does that not fall on Wade? I just find it very tough to buy into the notion that Wade "Ruled" the Top D when his team only won 1 game. Also, if the Celtics "turned it on", should that reflect positively on Rondo, instead? Just not following the logic.

  34. Anon Says:

    "The Heat won 47 games. The Celtics won 50 games. And it was a 4-5 seed matchup. I do not buy into the "team was horrible" non-sense at all."

    Doesn't matter if your team is 82-0. If your team doesn't play well in a particular series, you don't win.

    "Did Wade's injury and Pierce's game-winner, have that much of an impact on the Heat player's psyche? Does that not fall on Wade?"

    No, because Wade is Wade. He came to play...his teammates did not. And that's not HIS fault.

    I see that the casual fan still loves to put an individual's OWN flaws on someone else -- preferably the visible face on the team.