Some NBA teams like to push the ball and get out on the break. Others prefer to slow it down and run their offense in the half court. Transition offense is one of the things that establishes the identity of an NBA team, and most fans know which teams are deadly in an up-tempo game and which ones prefer a more methodical pace.
However, almost nobody knows which teams are effective at stopping their opponents from scoring the ball on the break. On the APBRmetrics message board, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann took a stab at finding a formula to measure transition defense on a team level. Here’s what he did and found:
I came up with a little calculation to measure transition defense…
Opponents fast break points (per 100 poss.) – Own turnovers (per 100 poss.)
Not exactly the most precise way to look at it, but it provides some interesting results…
Best Teams (through Tuesday’s games)
It’s a rough metric, but there are definitely some interesting findings there, especially at the very top and bottom. You wouldn’t think that Boston, with all of its aging veterans, would be great chasing fast teams up and down the court, but they’re easily the best team in the NBA at it — I expect that Rajon Rondo’s ability to to run down players and passes in the open court has a lot to do with why Boston is so successful at defending the break. Meanwhile, Atlanta has some great athletes on their frontline, but they get absolutely torched by smaller teams. If Atlanta and Boston meet in the playoffs, Boston may be the team trying to push the pace against the Atlanta.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.
This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.
According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Wade tweeted this.
Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.
Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.
Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.