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October 21, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats defense by the numbers

    It’s pretty clear the Charlotte Bobcats have played improved defense this preseason.

            It’s certainly quantifiable:

    As of Sunday, the Bobcats were giving up the fewest points per game in the NBA at 82.7. They’re the only one of 30 teams not to allow 90 or more points in any game, one of two teams (with Chicago) not to allow 100 or more.

    Their field-goal percentage defense (39.5 percent) is third-best in the NBA and they have committed the fewest personal fouls (17.3 per game) in the league.    

    Coach Steve Clifford says his players have taken to heart his defensive priorities: Minimize transition baskets, minimize points in the paint and don’t foul needlessly. Yes, this is the preseason, so it’s dangerous to conclude too much, but they’re on the right track.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 21, 2013 at 03:57 PM | Permalink


If I have Dish Network in the Asheville area, any clue how I can watch the games?

Posted by: Jeff Otah | Oct 22, 2013 11:33:19 AM

What's the point of a column like this when things like Philly sitting 60% of the starters are going on? Ridiculous.

Also find it laughable when Air Minimum gives you few throwaway lines and you jump up and down and call it an "Exclusive"! Great.

Do the CO and BOOB's have a salary sharing arrangement for you these days?


Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 22, 2013 2:29:35 PM

i buy some individual numbers from pre season, but team numbers are skewed from irregular rotations by both team and opponents. if our camp invites are locking down their camp invites.......(or are they just airballing on their own?)......does that make our starting 5 better at defense?

just a hypothetical. that all said, our roster is built for defense.....walker is undersized but he's a ball hawk and great rebounder for his position (and size). hendo, taylor, mkg, all great wing defenders. biz is an elite shot blocker, becoming a good all around defender and zeller is an elite athlete who will surely learn how to defend at the nba level with time. so i'll put stock in those guys being good at defense, but not because of the #'s from preseason games.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 22, 2013 10:13:26 PM

Fair enough charlottean...

Last year the BOBcats were looked at as a night to coast, and rest, a night off if you will -- so even though the numbers were really bad, on a normalized basis they would have been even worse.

This year they teams will come in a little bit more prepared and focused, gonna be real interesting to see what happens. However, predicating any defensive expectations on this preseason is foolish.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 22, 2013 10:30:04 PM

The defensive improvement is real.
Of course pre-season is a different animal than the regular season; but, it is so for ALL teams.
The Cats D stats stand out by comparison to the rest of the league.
When you do better overall than the others under the same circumstance, the comparison is meaningful. It shows our new coach's impact on the team and the way the players respond to his demands.

Defense is just as much about team work as it is about individual ability and effort. Help defense, communication between players, buying - as a team, not just as individuals - into the coach's work plan in defense (just as an example, running back for the transition defense) - these are the things that must be working, so that we can see those great D stats comparisons between the Cats and the other teams.
Hey, I didn't say we'll be at the top of the league defense-wise throughout the regular season! Still, what happens now is very encouraging.

Agreed, of course, on our wings being elite defenders. As for Biz, his work plan is to become one. I didn't set it up for him, coach Clifford did.

Biz came into this league as an impressive shot blocker. His rebounding is good too, and keeps getting better. It's not the first time I say it: he has plenty of work to do to become a really good man-to-man defender.
His area of strength is at the defensive end of the floor. His future success in
this league depends on the degree to which he develops into a really good defensive center. His athleticism, strength and length, plus his very high motivation, seem to say "he'll make it".

I'm really glad that coach Clifford stated just this, that he sees as a priority developing Biyombo as a defensive center in the first place.
Evidently, they'll keep working on his offensive skills as well (including free throws), but we're talking about priorities; this is part of Steve Clifford's approach, of getting the best out of each player in his strengths area in the first place.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 22, 2013 11:09:47 PM

^^^ and he'll contribute plenty as a transition finisher if the defense is the priority.

but yeah, i don't put stock into pre season numbers. I will absolutely put stock into the guys we have though. as you start to see 22-23 year old mkg and cody zeller and biyombo? watch out.

i mean if they develop these guys together, people are going to look up in 4 years and be talking about these guys like they're old veterans and they're going to be 24-26ish. that's the scary thought about this group. if kept together, there's a TON of longevity in some of these pieces. and not one of them strikes me as a complacent type. all of them have elite nba strengths and good size and athletic measures and great work ethics. that won't fail.

it all comes down to management's commitment to these guys and their ability to keep a coach around long enough to commit to these guys as well.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 23, 2013 10:58:14 AM

"When you do better overall than the others under the same circumstance, the comparison is meaningful."

The flaw in this thesis is the level of effort team-to-team is uneven in preseason and especially so vs. the BOOB's who continue to be viewed as "a night off".

The 76'ers sitting 60% of their starting lineup is an apt example...more teams sit key players when facing the BOOB's than any other opponent. As such, BoobStats are always overstated, and that's pretty scary when you sit back and think about it!

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 23, 2013 11:36:36 PM

The comparative stats mentioned by Rick refer to all teams over six games. For ANY team there are, in the pre-season, some easier and some harder games. The Bobcats' line-up was NOT constantly at full strength either.

So yes , those statistical comparisons are fully meaningful. The meaning is, as explained above, coach Clifford's success, so far, in getting the team to play superior defense.

You're talking about "flaw"?!
Your pathological hatred of our team's owner is the most glaring flaw here - as in any other discussion thread you graced with your contributions.
I have no idea what caused it. Is it racism? I don't know, just maybe...
I'm saying this because, in past years, we have been repeatedly "treated' to some dirty, overtly racist, comments against the former and the current team owner.

Maybe you wanna say you're not one of those racists.
Fine, but HATEFUL at a pathological level, you are.

Your relentless hatred disqualifies you and your comments in the eyes of all those who read here.

Really, how can you be so unaware that you can't be taken seriously, when each and every one of your comments is pure negativity, pure venom (not to mention the endless insults by which you antagonize the team's fans) ?
How can you get a kick out of going against the team, the Charlotte Observer, the fans, and in the process, drawing all this negativity thrown right back at you?
It's puzzling, how you seem to thrive on pure venom...

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 24, 2013 9:17:02 AM

the sixers? dude the sixers are tanking this year against everybody. their entire mission this year is to finish with top 2 lottery odds and develop evan turner into a leader or trade bait. that's it.

the stats are only meaningless because they aren't an accurate depiction of our regular season team and rotation. as well as that of our opponents. pre season is experimentation where regular season is execution.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 24, 2013 10:41:30 AM

Pre-season games are the best way of preparing (including experimenting) towards the next season.
I said it from the beginning: this is quite different from the regular season, and it's still meaningful.

Our preparation /experimenting process goes very well, at the defensive end; this is meaningful, and it's reflecting positively on Steve Clifford's work with the team.

charlottean, you stated your point view, and I stated mine previously. That was enough. Not only this last exchange is unnecessary - as so many previous repetitive arguments - but worse,
it fed into Nastar's continuous trolling around.
You know he's typing only to vent out his hatred, you sure don't like that either, and, when I finally call him out on this (after I let it slide countless time), what do you do? Start an unnecessary argument (where, even if your reasoning differs from his, it still leads to a similar conclusion to his) and thus, hand him another lifeline. He'll be back, cheering for you!


For anyone who wants to keep treading water in this discussion thread (which starts smelling again as another tedious arguing thread) suit yourselves. I'm through with it.

Posted by: Sandy | Oct 24, 2013 11:40:09 AM

Sandy, I do not hate anyone, and especially not Michael Jordan. In fact, when MJ was racking up the last 3 of his 6 championships nobody was pulling for him harder than me. Now that he is an owner I am perfectly willing to hold him accountable and I do enjoy poking fun at him and his competing bands of management hanger on'ers as well as The Slurpers! If anything you're the one harboring the venom and ill will, just look at your post....rife with anger.

Yes, the Sixers. As you point out the Sixers are tanking and they double tanked against the Boob's by sitting 3 of their starting -- as such, Boob's stats are padded. Pretty simple stuff.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 24, 2013 11:42:33 AM

sandy i don't even know what world you live in sometimes. you want to blame someone for nastar being nastar?

blame the internets. blame god. blame his mom.

preseason games MATTER. absolutely. the TEAM stats? misleading unless you're looking at the games where your starters went against their starters for 30+ minutes of action.

I might repeat that five more times because i can do that.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 25, 2013 3:40:11 PM

Sandy, you need to get out of the blame game son and get to work on this anger management problem of yours. I wish you luck, pulling for you.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Oct 25, 2013 8:05:06 PM

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