Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Few Other Things to Consider

(Boulder-CO) I still haven’t stopped looking at tonight’s box score, (thanks, thaanswer), and I have stumbled upon a couple of other things to take into consideration when comprehensively evaluating game two. First off, the Nuggets only shot 17 free-throws with Allen Iverson not taking a single attempt from the charity stripe and Nene only getting to the freebie line twice. The Spurs didn’t do much better, however they did get to the line 23 time in comparison, but what strikes me weird about this statistic is how many times the Nuggets missed lay-up opportunities where marginal contact was evident in addition to the amount of slashing to the basket Denver attempted.

The next area of concern for the Denver Nuggets is how the Spurs dictated the tempo of the game with transition defense. San Antonio beat the Nuggets at their own game by doubling Denver’s fast break point total, 14-7. I’m not sure if this is a direct result of the Spurs getting back and setting up that zone defense that stifled the Nuggets in the first half, but I think we would all agree that the Nuggets are at their best when fast breaking as much as possible.

And lastly, and directly related to fast break points, is how the San Antonio Spurs distributed the ball better than the Nuggets with 20 assists to Denver’s 17. Aside from Steve Blake’s seven assists and Allen Iverson’s five, the Nuggets didn’t have another player with more than two dimes. This indicates to me that we need more quick passing around the perimeter to open up the lane for cutters and post-and-relocate with our three-point shooters and post players.

This could all be useless statistical analysis in the end of the day, but I just thought I would bring these numbers to everyone’s attention over the next two days as we discuss different ideas that can be of use in the upcoming games.

Feel free to chime in if you have differing thoughts or ideas.

6 comments:

nuggsfan15 said...

Im curious as to your thoughts on the first 3 fouls called on Nene. If you ask me, they were weak as hell calls. And may have only been called because of who his counterpart is...

I think the fouls kept Nene a bit off his game early in the game, in combination with the Nugs waiting so long to feed him the ball more and plain attack the rim..

Nugg Doctor said...

nuggsfan15,

When evaluating Tim Duncan's offensive style you have to keep in mind that great basketball players have moves that are designed to get them to the line. One of Nene's quick fouls was on one of these stock offensive moves in which Duncan uses his off arm to draw contact. Ticky-tack, maybe, but it is what great players do.

The one foul that I did disagree with strongly was where Nene was doing nothing short of playing playoff-intense defense and the call came with Duncan's back still facing the basket. I thought at first it was going to be a defensive three-seconds call, but instead the whistle went against Nene.

However, I do not feel that the foul situation with Nene played enough of a role to keep him from getting the shots he wanted or playing tough D on Duncan.

Sometimes a great player just gets off and that is exactly what Tim Duncan did and is.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

btalk said...

Regarding the fast break issue...as you well know Nugg Doc, the break starts with the defensive rebound and outlet. I think the shortage of Nugg breaks was due to two things. Firstly, and this is actually good news, the Nuggs were playing defense into and past the first shot. Consequently, no one was "leaking out" as has been the case previously. The other factor was the Spurs working to deny an easy outlet pass by getting in the lanes. This forced the Nuggs into slower, over the top type outlets that allowed the Spurs to sprint back on D. Just one man's opinion!

Gargantuan Vermillion said...

What had me going absolutely insane was the call in the first quarter (IIRC)when TD absolutely put his shoulder down and barreled right into the chest of the Captain. Mike Fratello was going on and on about how great defensive players like Marcus Camby are able to draw the charge, great position, yadda, yadda ... oh, wait, you mean they called that on Camby?

the butler said...

I think Denver should be confident at this point. Definitely some questionable calls last night on Nene. Melo was robbed out of a couple of trips to the line as well.

However, Denver missed some great chances late in the game. Can't blame that on the refs.

The Spurs defense is great, but Denver also missed more than a couple of open looks all game long that are normally put down.

I think Denver could win in 6.

ThaAnswer said...

Not to run the Iverson FT thing into the ground, but think about this (and I did the research). I personally think AI has not been getting the calls he always got in Phila. Maybe it's because Melo gets so many free throws also, but look at this stat.
Besides the Spurs game, AI also took 0 FTA in 40 minutes @ Memphis on 4/14/07. The last time Iverson took 0 free throws, playing ANY numbers of minutes was January 10th, 2004 vs. Washington.
Does it strike anyone as odd that after 3 1/2 years, he takes no FT's in 2 games only 11 days apart?
Anyway, I'm worried about Nene down low. I think if they went to Duncan in the post with even the slightest bit of regularity, they can get the calls on Nene. Granted we can switch off and put Camby on him, but that's getting away from what we want to do. I hate to see Nene playing limited minutes when we needed him as much as possible.
Anyway, I'm not trying to bitch here. It was just one game, but I don't want to see this kind of trend continue. Generally, going to the basket will get you the calls. And what NBA team misses over 14 layups with no fouls?