Defense is difficult to quantify.
In the boxscore, we have steals and blocks, which don’t really tell us much. Two of the league’s top five in total steals plus blocks – Josh Smith and Andre Drummond – are Pistons. The Pistons are awful defensively and worse when Smith and Drummond are on the floor together than they are when one or both is off the floor.
NBA.com/stats tells us how many points per 100 possessions a player’s team has allowed when he was on the floor, a category dominated by players on the league’s best defensive teams.

防守是很難量化的。攻守數據中雖然有抄截和阻攻,但是實際上它們不能反映全部,在聯盟中抄截和阻攻總和的前五名,其中有兩位是活塞的球員,Josh Smith以及Andre Drummond。不過活塞的防守糟糕透了,而且當他們同時上場時,狀況還會更差勁。NBA.com/stats提供了所有球員在場上時每100次球權的球隊失分,這個項目的前幾名理所當然地被聯盟中那些身處防守強隊的球員所佔據。

To be considered for the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, you should be on a good defensive team. The last player to win the award that wasn’t on a team that ranked in the top 10 in defensive efficiency was Dikembe Mutombo in 1997-98. And 12 of the 15 winners since then (including each of the last six) played for teams that ranked in the top five.
And you can find plenty of great defensive players in this season’s top five teams in defensive efficiency. Indiana (1) has both Paul George and Roy Hibbert. Chicago (2) has Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Golden State (3) has Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. Oklahoma City (5) has Serge Ibaka.

想要成為年度防守球員的候選人,你勢必要在一支防守優秀的球隊才行。上一位球隊防守效率不到前十名卻拿下這個獎項的人是1997-98年的Dikembe Mutombo,而且過去15年來有12位年度最佳防守球員的球隊防守排名聯盟前5名。你可以從本季防守效率前5名的球隊找到很多防守出色的球員,包括溜馬(第1)的Paul George和Roy Hibbert,公牛(第2)的Joakim Noah和Taj Gibson,勇士(第3)的Andre Iguodala和Andrew Bogut,雷霆(第5)的Serge Ibaka。

It’s hard to pick a Spur for DPOY candidacy when none of them have averaged 30 minutes per game. Beyond the top five defensive teams, Chris Bosh, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan could be candidates. Their teams all rank in the top 12 in defensive efficiency, and Howard’s Rockets have only dropped out of the top 10 since he started missing games.
This season, we have SportVU data to tell us how well opponents shoot near the basket when a player is there defending it. And we can supplement that with data on how often opponents actually shoot near the basket when that player is on the floor. Big guys should get credit for keeping the other team away from the basket, after all.

要從馬刺選一個DPOY的候選人有點困難,尤其是他們沒有任何一個人平均上場時間超過30分鐘。除了防守前5名的球隊外,Chris Bosh、Marc Gasol、Dwight Howard和DeAndre Jordan也可能是候選人,這些人的球隊至少都在防守效率排名前12,其中火箭正是從Howard缺陣之後才跌出前10名的。本季我們可以透過SportVU的資料去判讀一名球員在籃下時對手的進攻表現,而且還要搭配當他防守時對手攻擊籃框的次數來比對才行,畢竟趨使對方遠離籃框出手也應該被考慮做為防守績效的計算才是。

All stats are through April 7, 2014.

Big men DPOY candidates, defending the rim

Player %FGA Rank1 FG% Rank2
Andrew Bogut 27.5% 1 45.5% 7
Chris Bosh 32.1% 34 52.5% 39
Marc Gasol 30.3% 20 50.4% 24
Taj Gibson 31.1% 27 45.0% 6
Roy Hibbert 28.3% 4 41.7% 1
Dwight Howard 30.7% 24 47.8% 13
Serge Ibaka 34.2% 53 44.3% 3
DeAndre Jordan 31.9% 32 49.4% 19
Joakim Noah 29.6% 13 46.1% 8

%FGA = Percentage of opponent shots taken from the restricted area with player on the floor.
Rank1 = Among 72 bigs who have been on the floor for at least 2,000 opponent shots.
FG% = Opponent’s field goal percentage at the rim while player is defending it.
Rank2 = Among 58 players who have defended at least 5.0 shots at the rim per game for at least 50 games.

There’s more to defense than protecting the rim, though. For a big man to be an impact defender, he has to be able to contain ball-handlers on pick-and-rolls. This is where a guy like Bosh can show his value on a team that defends like the Heat. It’s also where a guy like Drummond still has a lot of work to do.
SportVU has numbers on how efficiently opponents have scored when a player is the help defender on pick-and-roll.


Big men DPOY candidates, defending pick-and-rolls

Help Defender Screens Poss. Team PTS PTS/Poss
Andrew Bogut 725 688 624 0.91
Chris Bosh 1,120 1,063 1,051 0.99
Marc Gasol 765 726 759 1.05
Taj Gibson 715 695 699 1.01
Roy Hibbert 1,159 1,111 1,026 0.92
Dwight Howard 1,343 1,271 1,293 1.02
Serge Ibaka 961 924 925 1.00
DeAndre Jordan 1,494 1,441 1,500 1.04
Joakim Noah 974 939 879 0.94

There’s a lot that goes into these numbers. They’re from all possessions in which that player defended a ball-screen and the results (a score or no score) could be several passes away. So they do depend on his teammates quite a bit. Still, we can see that Bogut, Hibbert and Noah have distinguished themselves as both rim protectors and pick-and-roll defenders.
The other thing we can look at his how much of an impact these guys make on their team defensive numbers.


DPOY candidates, on and off the court

  On floor Off floor Difference
Player MIN DefRtg MIN DefRtg DefRtg Rank
Andre Iguodala 1,976 96.6 1,745 103.1 -6.5 9
Chris Bosh 2,395 100.8 1,293 105.7 -4.9 20
Paul George 2,823 95.9 941 97.8 -1.9 74
Roy Hibbert 2,331 95.6 1,433 97.5 -1.9 76
Dwight Howard 2,310 102.1 1,368 103.5 -1.3 90
Andrew Bogut 1,688 99.1 2,033 100.2 -1.1 98
Taj Gibson 2,216 97.2 1,525 98.2 -0.9 105
Joakim Noah 2,619 97.5 1,122 97.9 -0.4 114
DeAndre Jordan 2,766 102.0 993 101.4 +0.6 139
Marc Gasol 1,775 102.8 1,941 101.5 +1.3 150
Serge Ibaka 2,475 101.3 1,198 99.8 +1.4 154

Rank = Among 239 players who have logged at least 1,000 minutes for a single team

If a team has better defensive numbers when a player is off the floor, it doesn’t mean that he’s a bad defender. The Thunder are typically defending the opponents’ best players when Ibaka is on the floor and their subs when he’s off.
Who these guys are being replaced with also plays a role. Hibbert’s the best rim protector in the league, but Ian Mahinmi is also a very good defender.
But the on-off court numbers make a strong case for Iguodala. The Warriors have been a much better defensive team with Iguodala on the floor and Bogut off than vice versa. Opponent shooting numbers, when you compare Iguodala to some of the league’s other good defenders at the small forward position, also make a case.

如果球隊在他休息時防守效率比較好,並不意味著這名球員的防守不好,像雷霆的Ibaka在場上時通常守的是對方最好的陣容,相對地他休息時隊友守的是替補。還有當球員休息時替代他上場的球員也很關鍵,像Hibbert是聯盟中最好的禁區守護神,但是Ian Mahinmi也很不錯,因而影響到Hibbert的數據。不過on-off的數據對Iguodala非常有利,勇士在場上有他卻沒有Bogut時,防守的表現比反過來還要好,當你拿Iguodala和聯盟其他小前鋒中的頂級大鎖來做比較,數據還是對他有利。

Top five small forward scorers* with defender on the floor

On floor FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3PT% FTA PTS eFG% TS%
Luol Deng 68 180 37.8% 21 57 36.8% 61 208 43.6% 50.3%
Paul George 82 170 48.2% 11 30 36.7% 62 232 51.5% 58.8%
Andre Iguodala 65 156 41.7% 17 43 39.5% 48 185 47.1% 52.2%
LeBron James 97 210 46.2% 24 67 35.8% 73 272 51.9% 56.2%
Kawhi Leonard 64 139 46.0% 8 26 30.8% 51 179 48.9% 55.4%

* Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Paul George and Rudy Gay
EFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
TS% = PTS / (2 * (FGA + (0.44 * FTA)))

Ron Artest (2003-04) and Gary Payton (1995-96) are the only perimeter players to win Defensive Player of the Year in the last 25 years. And it’s hard to argue against a pick of either Hibbert or Noah as the anchors of the two best defensive teams in the league.
But Iguodala should definitely be in the conversation. He’s the biggest reason why the Warriors have jumped from 13th in defensive efficiency last season to third this year, and why the Denver Nuggets have gone in the opposite direction (from 11th to 21st).

Ron Artest(2003-04)和Gary Payton(1995-96)是過去25年來唯二贏下年度防守球員的外線球員,你也很難去質疑選擇Hibbert或Noah的人,因為他們是聯盟中兩支最佳防守球隊的支柱。不過Iguodala還是值得被討論,他是勇士能將防守效率從上季第13名提升到本季第3名的最大因素,同時也是丹佛金塊退步的原因(從第11名掉到第21名)。

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