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Old 05-11-12, 12:30 PM
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Offensive Geometry of Spurs, Lakers, OKC, and Bobcks

Interesting Article

Offensive Geometry | Hardwood Paroxysm



Quote:
On many things, reasonable people may disagree. I believe whole-heartedly in this principle, and the consistent frequency with which is manifests itself. When it comes to basketball there may be no subject which inspires more disagreement, reasonable and otherwise, than Kobe Bryant and the Lakers’ offense. I’ll save you the time of reading an awkward summary/re-hashing of the isolationist debate that’s taken place this season and last; I’m sure you’re all familiar with the talking points of both Kobe defenders and detractors. However, I would like to present a slightly new way of looking at these issues. I’d also like to state formally that in knowingly delving into this complicated subject, I intend to proceed without the intentional use of snark or hyperbole of any kind.

Before embarking on a discussion of the relative merits of the Lakers’ offensive approach, the nature of that approach must first be established. To that end, I tried to create a more visual representation of those offensive options, the relative values and how they’re balanced. I began by combing mySynergySports and identifying every offensive outcome for the Lakers that had occurred at least 100 times this season. By offensive outcome I mean both possession type and the specific player who ultimately used that possession. I was focused on deliberate offensive choices so I left out transition possessions and offensive rebounds, who’s frequency may have more to do with opportunity than deliberate design. The radar graph below shows two different pieces of information for each outcome – the points per possession that outcome netted the Lakers on average, and the total number of times it occurred this season. The yellow line represents the points per possession, the purple represents the number of occurrences. (Each vertical segment of the graph represents 100 occurrences. Try as I might I couldn’t get Excel to display the scales for both data sets without having them overlap.)
Quote:
For an offense with a completely different shape we have to turn to the San Antonio Spurs, the most effective offense in the league this season at 110.9 points per 100 possessions.

The shape of the Spurs’ offense contains a decided absence of peaks and valleys when compared to the Thunder and the Lakers. Their offensive shape also looks quite a bit smaller, and that’s because it is. The Spurs’ graph only shows 3,558 offensive possessions compared to 3,972 for the Lakers. The reason for that is the Spurs’ had quite a few offensive outcomes that occurred less than 100 times this season. Their offense was much more balanced and varied.

The Spurs graph also fits our trend of individual inefficiency, with the four least efficient outcomes being post-ups and isolations. We can attribute at least a measure of the Spurs offensive performance to the fact that these possessions types are used very infrequently as an outcome, just 21.0% of the possessions here; and are used more often to setup spot-up shots, which carry a much greater share of the efficiency load.
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