Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HEAT Check: Where's the Value of Shane Battier's Defense?

If Shane Battier's defense will be such a great benefit to a Miami Heat team that already has a great defense in the NBA, then why don't the numbers say the same?

The HEAT ranked fifth in defensive efficiency last season. They allowed 3.2 more points per 100 possessions than the Bulls and Celtics (the two best defensive teams from last season). How much can Battier improve that defense if he's given the minutes that James Jones and Mike Miller got last season?

According to http://www.mysynergysports.com, opponents scored on Battier 39.8% of the plays he defended as a Rocket last season. Jones was scored on 40.2% of the time and Miller was scored on 39.1% of the time. Does that look like such a big difference?

This spreadsheet compares the defensive stats of Battier and Miller.

This spreadsheet compares the defensive stats of Battier and Jones.

Jones defended 562 plays last season and gave up 506 points. Battier would have only allowed 483 points. That's a 23-point advantage for Battier.

Jones averaged 1.18 points per play on offense last season. Battier averaged 1.00 point per play on offense. Based on those averages, Jones would  outscore Battier by 80 points over the 446 touches he got last season. That's a 57-point advantage for Jones.

How long will it take this season before the same HEAT fans that wanted to see Jones' shooting over Miller's rebounding will turn on Coach Erik Spoelstra for choosing Battier's defense over the reigning three-point champion?

How long will they be satisfied with Battier's isolation defense that results in him getting a hand in players' faces and STILL getting roasted?

How long will they be satisfied with Battier positioning himself to take a charge but he just gets dunked on instead?

No-Stats All-Star my ass...

See the articles Why I Hate Shane Battier and Miami Heat Have a King, They Don't Need a Prince for more discussion of why the HEAT didn't need a small forward.

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