Why Nate is good (long)

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by dawgs2014, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Earlier today @OldSchoolDog1983 noted that I had not actually provided any statements as to Nate does provide value. I’m stunned no one pointed that out sooner, and the reason I didn’t make the points sooner is that the depth I have to go into to make that point.

    I’ll be posting a series of different posts that have photographic evidence of exactly what point I’m trying to make.

    I took all of the screenshots from the first half of the Georgetown game, yet it was enough to give me the evidentiary support that I need to demonstrate.

    I don’t think I can present this case without acknowledging that the people who say that Nate has deficiencies have no shortage of truth to that statement. His hands, rim running, physical strength and power around the basket are not what you would ideally want out of a Big East center.

    When you struggle with all of those areas you have to be truly elite at something to offer value that allows you to overcome those weaknesses. Nate is elite at digesting what is happening on the floor and inherently understanding how to react to it. There is no flash to this skill, but it undoubtedly yields a better chance to win.


    Positioning

    Look at the first picture below. Nate actually gets pushed a little bit too high here. You don’t want to be this far out leaving no one between you and the basket. So how do you respond once you’re in trouble? You do exactly as Nate does, by fronting and sitting on their legs. What this does is that it forces an entry pass to go over the top. This is a very difficult pass to throw with precision while still giving the receiver of the pass a chance to make a move towards the basket. The reason you sit on their legs is that if a pass comes to them, they have to shift their weight and release to catch the ball. Once the weight is released, you now have prevailing leverage and dictate the movement of the offensive player and can force them to a less advantageous spot.

    In pictures 2 and 3 you see Nate maintain contact throughout Govan’s cut while keeping his eye on the ball. This allows him to feel the offensive player, jam the cut, while still maintain awareness of what is happening on the floor so that he can now dictate what can be done with the ball.

    In picture 4 you see Nate denying the ball sitting on Govan’s high side hip. If you look at the green line, there is no place to throw the ball that leads Govan to the hoop. This is the position that Nate realized he could not get in the first picture and forced the possession into a reversal pass and to the other side of the floor.

    While this may seem fundamental, it is much more easily said than done. Nate had to beat Govan to the spot that Govan wanted to get to and get his feet in position to deny. In the last picture you will see Joey Brunk with the ball in the same spot. Brunk is also on the high side hip as was Fowler. Look at the difference in distance from the baseline, however. Brunk is so much higher and actually is similarly distance from the baseline to where Fowler chose to front. Look at the green line on the Brunk comparison, there is a clear entry to Govan’s right hand that takes him to the basket, and with Brunk on the high hip, there is no one that would have been able to stop a dunk had that entry pass been made.
     

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  2. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Lets look at another instance where Fowler positioned himself in a way that prevented points. Let’s look at picture 1 here and see that we have a 3 on 2 developing. Its important to note that Jorgensen is hawking the shooter and following his cut back up to clear the paint and get to the perimeter. This leads fowler to guard the now 2 on 1 by himself.

    Now granted the spacing by 15 could have been better, watch Nate form that triangle between the ball handler, himself and the 15 for Georgetown. You’ll see that the ball handler moves about 6 feet forwards, but ate only takes about a step backwards. He is forcing the ball handler to either take a pull up, shoot over Nate or pass the ball sooner than he wants to. What Nate has done here is force the point guard to make a decision 12 feet from the basket by cutting down the passing angles that could be used if the pg or 15 continued at the basket.

    By forcing the pass that far out, Nate also gave himself time to recover and guard 15 once he received the pass. Nate strips the ball on the shooter’s way up in the last picture, the ball goes out of bounds, and he has guarded 2 guys by himself in transition and spoiled that opportunity while allowing his team to regroup for the inbounds pass.

    View attachment 687 View attachment 688 View attachment 689 View attachment 690
     

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  3. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Diagnosis

    Nate realizes what is happening and what to do extremely quickly. I’ll show examples how he contributed to blowing up a set on one end, and generating a layup opportunity on offense.

    Look at picture 1 below to get the setup. Kamar’s guy is making a cut to nearside corner, and we have a Paul’s guy setting a screen on Nate. Its clear the setup here is that the ball goes to the corner, and is then entered to the post before the post can recover and become a balanced defender.

    I would speculate this is an example of good communication as Paul probably called this out. Nate however, has to immediately realize what is going on and know where he is on the floor. If Nate tries to go high around the screen, he leaves a passing lane and no one between the offensive player and the basket and they get a layup. Knowing where he is on the floor we see Nate spin low and come underneath the offensive player who the screen is trying to free up. (pic 2)

    By picture 3 we see that Nate has recovered and reestablished correct guarding position to deny the pass before an entry pass could be made. That entry pass that Nate blew up was plan A for that set ran by Georgetown. Also, in picture 3, note the ball pressure by Kamar. If your teammate is beat this is an integral part of allowing them to recover as it makes a pass more difficult.
     

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  4. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Now lets shift to offense. As we have done prior, take a look at the picture below to set our situation. Thompson has the ball and is driving having gained a step on the defender. Note that there are 3 guys currently in the paint with an additional guy in helpside. One thing to note in this picture is the game clock.

    Now lets take a look at picture 2-The scenario has changed. AT has beaten the primary defender, another defender hasn’t yet realized what is going on, and Nate has taken his man out of the play and given AT a clean drive to the net. Its important to note where Fowler seals his defender as GT would like to funnel AT towards that helpside guy, but AT is too quick, Nate’s guy is out of the play, and the man in help can’t leave his position because of the threat of McDermott on the perimeter. We all know Nate can seal defenders, but look at the clock in this picture. Not a single second has ticked off the clock. In about half of a second Nate has identified the situation, understood how he could help, located his defender, moved to his defender and walled him off.
     

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  5. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Pick and Roll

    I want to start by introducing the perils of pick and roll defense. Its probably the hardest play to guard in basketball. Picture 1 shows us a ball screen at the free throw line. That gets us into trouble immediately because if Joey doesn’t show, the guard can turn the corner and get an uncontested layup before anyone can recover. (Ideally Joey wouldn’t be this high but he was) If we look at picture 2 we can see that Joey did show and cuts off the drive. However, we also see that he Kamar has recovered and caught up to his guy, but Joey has hung on too long; He’s taken too long to recover and now his man is rolling down the lane wide open.

    Look at Aaron Thompson, look who he’s guarding, its one of their shooters. Aaron is probably too low there he should be more in the elbow area. Because Joey has lost his man on the roll, Aaron makes the decision to wait in help to try to take away the roll option. Joey is caught in no man’s land with no potential to help defend anyone at all anymore, while there is a shooter wide open on the wing. The point guard finds the shooter, and Aaron isn’t even close to recovering in time to contest the shot and they get an open 3.

    There were actually 3 problems on this play, Kamar had a terrible close out putting him in an unathletic position that lead him to not be able to get over that screen quickly enough, Joey did not recover in time, and Aaron was too low to recover after he had to hang in there to cover for Joey’s error. I actually put a bit more blame on Thompson here because he gave himself no chance to do his job, even if he weren’t covering for another mistake. (I suspect AT’s positioning might have been part of the game plan-which I think is dumb but it’s the only explicable rationale) We can see from this that even though Joey physically responded well, the lack of mental perfection caused an overall systemic failure in the defense. I hope this demonstrates the importance of attention to detail, awareness and communication on the pick and roll.
     

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  6. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Iceing a pick and roll

    Ok, lets look at the two pictures below. What we have is Kamar being screened by Joey’s guy. It looks like this ball screen defense is whats called “Iceing” the pick and roll. The guard who is being screened forces the defender to the sideline where the man guarding the screener tries to basically corral the ball handler in that area between the sideline and the paint. You’re willing to give up long twos to cut off a drives and ideally 3’s. Once the guy being screened recovers the man guarding the screener is supposed to get back (or stay with the guard if the guy being screened cant recover). Meanwhile, helpside plays at the elbow if the ball handler is a bad shooter or whats called “nail” (middle of the free throw line) if the ball handler is a good shooter.

    We can see that Kamar effectively forces the ball to go where we want it to. Joey kind of stops the ball, but in picture 2 we can see that he again waits too long to recover. This leaves Govan unguarded and if Tucker steps out, they have a high low look into an uncontested shot at the basket. Again, good but not great gets us killed.
     

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  7. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Now lets look at our last two pictures. We have an extremely similar scenario (there was a ball screen on the perimeter prior to the frame in picture 1) except they have dropped the big after screening instead of keeping him on the perimeter. But the guard (tucker) has forced the ball to the sideline. Look at the difference in effectiveness of the guarding position that Nate is in in picture 1 relative to what Joey was in. Nate is square to the defender, between the ball and the basket. This forces the ball handler back to the center (picture 2) and blows up the play.
     

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  8. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    What I think is interesting about these plays is that not a single one of them will show up on a stat sheet, not a single one of them was mentioned by the announcers, but they were ALL winning plays. How many of them did you notice in real time? They all made a meaningful difference in either scoring or preventing points. Its easy to say that I cherry picked, but I only had one half of plays to work with and I got examples of everything I needed to. Nate is consistent, engaged and lighting quick at realizing what play he needs to make given the situation. His shortcomings still exist, I think we all would like him to do better than he has scoring the ball this year, but he has still provided enough value to make him a very valuable player for us.
     
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  9. Dawg Guy

    Dawg Guy Active Member

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    One of the most insane posts I’ve ever seen, even for an internet sports message board where people post crazy ****.

    Thanks for pointing out that Fowler is good at getting in position. Now if only he could make a lay up, I’d want him to play more than 5 minutes a game. Seems like this skill might be more beneficial on the practice squad getting Brunk and golden ready for more PT IMO.
     
  10. bumba

    bumba Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Money:
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    The most over analyzed 5 points & 4 rebounds a night player in the history of BU. Play Brunk & Golden already.
     
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  11. EagleIan

    EagleIan Member

    Money:
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    Earl Weaver here from the afterlife. Can somebody just hit a three run homer?


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  12. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    Great analysis of Fowler. You spent a lot of time educating us. Thanks!
     
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  13. UDDawg

    UDDawg Well-Known Member

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    I for one love this type of analysis. I've always enjoyed trying to watch the game from a coach's perspective.
     
  14. OldSchoolDawg1983

    OldSchoolDawg1983 Active Member VIP Member

    Money:
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    Thanks for your diligent response. Was more than I expected, but I appreciate the effort. Obviously, you are knowledgeable about the game (I assume you have played a lot of competitive basketball). For myself, who maxed out as a high school basketball player in the mid-to-late 1970s, this was informative.

    You persuasively make the case that NF has value as situational player. JB and perhaps BG are the future at the 5, and LVJ should coach with that objective. You are correct that the invective hurled at NF is way out of line......but can only be expected. This is a forum with ostensibly anonymous posters.
     
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  15. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    I want to to note that the pictures on the example of where Nate blows up the fast break were edited since I realized I added the wrong ones. Also- if anyone has any questions please fire away.

    Thanks! I’m glad you could take something away from this and I appreciate your feedback. As a member of the pro-analytics and situational stats crowd I think it’s important to embrace that good old fashioned game tape is still the North Star of scouting and evaluation. Looking at very “in the weeds” stats is what keyed me in on areas of strength and what to watch for on tape, so there is a harmony where they offer synergies when used in conjunction with one another.



    Thanks for the feedback. Also-thank you for finally simply asking why I had the conclusions that I do. I appreciate your willingness/eagerness to listen to why someone might have a contrary opinion.

    No question that Joey is the future at the 5, but I think we can see from this analysis some of the reasons it’s so hard to pick up our defense. You don’t have time to think about what you’re doing before you get beat.





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  16. ButlerGoalie

    ButlerGoalie Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    All valid points and I think my viewpoint aligns more with yours. I just wish he'd hit a few more layups and maybe he'd command more double teams and be able to pass out which is one of his strengths. Which team was it that only doubled Brunk and left Nate on single coverage? That's the right to play it. Fowler is worth about 10 minutes off the bench. He's good for spelling Brunk and bringing in a different dynamic. He should be working on his 3 because if he starts hitting those, it opens up so much more.

    Oh well, he is what he is at this point. I'm just glad that Brunk has outperformed my expectations this year.
     
  17. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
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    I think this is the right approach. It’s not a competition between the two, they both play for the same team. I tend to think Nate should get about 15 minutes, Brunk 18-20 and Golden the rest.

    If Nate had last year’s efficiency (id expect he will get closer as time goes on) then I think we tilt things back towards the 20 min marker.


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  18. SpartanDawgs

    SpartanDawgs Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $15
    He doesn't even have to make shots. Just don't be clumsy and be an athlete. Grab the ball. Seen it too many times.
     
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  19. Insane Dawg

    Insane Dawg Well-Known Member

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    I was the most vocally negative about Fowler because of my expectations of what a 6'11" high DI player five should be able to do. It was on me not Nate. As they say you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear anymore than a plow horse out of a race horse. Thus it's on me.

    Similarly I scratch my head trying to understand how AT got to this point with little shooting or scoring ability. Thus this is on me. I should just accept it that he doesn't have those skills nor may never will.

    I need to sit back and enjoy the team for what it is. Hopefully we will one day get kids that are stronger, bigger, more skilled and more athletic.
     
  20. dawgs2014

    dawgs2014 Well-Known Member

    Money:
    $1,439
    May I ask what motivated your change of perception?


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