Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Elegant Way of Saying What I Always Say

So, ESPN Writer John Hollinger wrote an article about something I've been on record about for 3 years now (and that I've been writing about and communicating to folks since the blog started)...
Basically, he's saying - our offense while effective against regular season play & defenses is not the kind that can stand up against good playoff defenses (or so the evidence would suggest). You can read his elegant view if you have ESPN's the take from True Hoop (and a shout out to Hoopinion who also linked to this earlier today)
  • John Hollinger (Insider) has just written one of the most insightful basketball things I've read in a long time. He notes that two offenses -- the Hawks' and Blazers' -- are among the most efficient in the NBA with a similar style. They slow the pace, isolate their perimeter star (Brandon Roy or Joe Johnson), get a lot of offensive rebounds, and end up getting more field goal attempts and fewer turnovers than teams with less discipline. But what you won't see is a lot of ball movement. And guess what? Both the Hawks and the Blazers have seen their offenses basically go to hell in the playoffs. Hollinger writes: "Perhaps the Hawks and Blazers have just had some bad games against some pretty good defenses. But between the two, we've built up a 31-game sample showing that something more nefarious might be at work. Obviously, this has important implications for Atlanta's Game 2 in Orlando on Thursday. Iso-Joe has had its moments; Game 4 of the 2008 Boston series, for instance, when Johnson single-handedly tore apart one of the best defensive teams in history. But in the aggregate, its failures have been far greater than its successes, and it's notable that the most similar offensive team has faced similar troubles. Is there something about iso-heavy offenses that makes them vulnerable in the playoffs? We can't say it with certainty yet, but the case is building rapidly. The Hawks have three games left to show that Iso-Joe can be as effective in May as it is between November and April."

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