Clippers Team Defense Analysis Via Synergy Sports

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Posts: 8825
votes: 77

Repped High Quality Post

Synergy Sports is a good resource for scouting players, especially because they have video (more if you are actually signed up) so you are able to see exactly how they plays are happening, and the context of the plays.

One thing that people don't look at which is actually very useful is the team numbers, which you don't have to adjust for things like, for example, a spot up shot is counted as being made against you, but you were just hustling and actually helping on a teammates man but couldn't get there quickly enough. You didn't play bad defense there, you actually played good defense, but the shot is charted as being made against you. Now, large sample sizes do correct a big for things like that, but for some players or in certain team settings, it doesn't fully account for that, so that has to be taken into consideration.

PPP = Points per play

Rank = league rank, so top 7 would be good, of course top 3 would be great

Defensive Strengths

Spot-Up Shooting:

11.8% of plays / 0.86 PPP / 34.1% FG / 32.9% 3PT / Rank 1st

Pick and Roll Ball Handler:

19.3% of plays / 0.73 PPP / 39.2% FG / 33.1% 3PT / Rank 2nd

Hand Off:

2.5% of plays / 0.77 PPP / 37.6% FG / 27.4% 3PT / Rank 3rd


9.7% of plays / 0.82 PPP / 41.6% FG / Rank 6th

Offensive rebound:

6.4% of plays / 1.03 PPP / 50.3% FG / 41.7% 3PT / Rank 8th


11.8% of plays / 1.1 PPP / 53.8% FG / 37.4% 3PT / Rank 8th

There's the obvious things. Even if you can defend the play following an offensive rebound or defend well in transition, those are some of the most efficient plays in the league, so you want to limit those opportunities as much as possible.

The areas that jump out would be:

1) Defending the spot-up shooting, Doc really did his work in regards to this one, and that is just excellent

2) Defending the ball handler on the pick and roll, props to the perimeter guys and the big men assisting them on that one

Defensive Weaknesses

Pick and Roll, Roll Man (this includes pick and pop):

5.9% of plays / 1.14 PPP / 58.5% FG / 47.1% 3PT / Rank 29th

Off Screen:

4.1% of plays / 0.98 PPP / 44.1% FG / 40.1% 3PT / Rank 25th


9.7% of plays / 1.23 PPP / 63.8% 3PT / Rank 18th


9% of plays / 0.84 PPP / 36.3% FG / 32.7% 3PT / Rank 16th

Cut's like offensive rebounds and transition are areas you don't want to give up scoring in. Clippers gave up 16.1% of scoring plays on cuts and offensive rebounds combined. Isolation is not really a weakness, that's just mediocre which is perfectly fine. SA for example was 24th in PPP given up in isolation, but they defend well as a team. Isolation in general is inherently an inefficient play in comparison to other plays, so if you can defend everything else well except for isolation, then you are fine.

The areas that jump out at us obviously would be:

1) Pick and Roll / Pop where the team is 2nd worst and gives up a miserable 47% 3PT

2) Defending players who are making cuts

Why is the defense against the roll man so poor? We all have our theories. If you have a membership and have time, there's 649 plays of defending the roll/pop man on the pick and roll that you can watch. Cut's are actually also a big deal, 9% of opposing offenses is a lot, so again, why so poor at defending cuts? Again, we have our theories, but there are 1007 plays of cutting to watch if you would like. Defensive awareness / getting lost could be a factor, not enough length when the team is helping against a cutter (ever see the comedy when J.J. comes and helps against an interior play and it's like he isn't even there?), but some of the plays that count as "cuts" are essentially drive and dump offs to a big man near the baseline, so here the ability to contain penetration or how to not over-help vs penetration comes into play.

Now the defense off screens also isn't good, but probably a bit less crucial than the other two areas based on what teams run most frequently.

Posts: 7540
votes: 14

I see our main problems being our piss poor defense on the wings. Crawford is a huge defensive liability, Redick tries but he lacks the athleticism to really play good defense, Dudley was sub-par last season, Barnes was decent, Granger and Bullock didn't show us much.

Good analysis.

Clipper All-Star
Posts: 1653

votes: 13

This explains this chart:

DJ is near the top at opponent's FGA at the rim. When he has to work that hard every game to protect the game, the opponent's FG% may be directly tied to that. Having an elite wing defender or two would change things drastically.

Posts: 10900

votes: 152

^ I'm OK with DJ being high on the "Y" axis (attempts), but he's way to far to the left on that "X" axis (FG%) compared to his peers like Hibbert and Ibaka who face a similar amount of attempts.

There's no point in funneling opponents' offense to our "rim protector" if they're going to make more than half their shots when they get there. Might as well just sag off and take our chances that they'll miss a relatively uncontested jumper.

Clipper Rookie
Posts: 88
votes: 1

Can you please put the chart above in the "should we resign Dj thread" so some of these delusional folks can see why DJ's is not a max salary guy.

Clipper Starter
Posts: 682
Location: Los Angeles
votes: 15

It is noteworthy to mention Redick is literally the only NBA player right now with a wingspan shorter than his own height. He has short arms - like objectively short arms based on just societal averages, not just NBA averages.

Posts: 8825
votes: 77

Yup, lol, he has the length of a PG, which is really what has held him back on both ends of the floor in the NBA. If he had regular length he would actually be a much better NBA player on both ends, sort of like a Rip Hamilton with much superior 3PT shooting. Offensively it means being able to get more shots off and finish inside better and defensively contesting shots, getting hands in passing lanes.

It's sad, but it is what it is...

Posts: 5408

votes: 61

He'd also be worth a lot more than $6mil and we wouldn't be able to afford him.

Thankfully for us he's a little midget.

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