Point Guard Defense: Where Does John Wall Rank Among The NBA’s Best? | Truth About It.net

Point Guard Defense: Where Does John Wall Rank Among The NBA’s Best?

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Updated: September 4, 2013

[Ed. Note: Below is a debut guest post by Cameron Purn, a basketball junkie from Seattle, WA, who attended Western Washington University and who now lives in Japan. You can check out some of Cameron's work on his own website, KeeperOfTheCourt.com, and you can follow him on Twitter here: @KeeperOTCourt. —Kyle W.]

[original image from NBA.com]

[original image from NBA.com]

The point guard position is without a doubt the most intriguing in the league. NBA offenses are geared towards point guard play more than ever before, with an emphasis on the pick-and-roll (P&R) and an outside-in method of attack. Since the 2000s, the list of point guard MVP and Rookie of the Year award-winners has become exceptionally long (Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Allen Iverson, Tyreke Evans, and Brandon Roy). Point guards currently represent a surprisingly youthful, super-talented group of players who embody not only a large number of the league’s speediest, craftiest, and most exciting, but many of the league’s best. Working your way down this list of notable point guards, you’ll soon run into the Wizards’ 22-year-old John Wall—a breathtakingly explosive, talented player whom the Washington Wizards just signed to an $80 million contract extension. But how the heck do all these players stack up against each other, and where does Wall fit in?

The fair way to go about answering this question is to properly address each and every aspect of the game of basketball. Given the focus of media, the nature of statistics, and the tendencies of our own eyes, assessing and comparing players’ offensive output has become a very accurate, if not comfortable process. The problem, of course, comes on the other end: in measuring and assessing defensive output.

Defense is under appreciated, if not overlooked, in most circles. This isn’t all that surprising when you consider the nature of offense; viewers focused on this end are treated to sights of quick dribbles, no-look passes, high-flying dunks, and bursts of electric scoring. That’s entertainment at its best. Focusing on someone’s tendency to bite on pump-fakes or their ability to rotate correctly just doesn’t compare.

Defense isn’t just less exciting and less aesthetically appealing, however. It’s also more difficult to understand its nuances—the active decision-making and micro-movements of players who are parts of unique defensive systems. We also can’t ignore the idea that superstars have stored in our subconscious over the years: we assume that there’s a level of offensive ability that simply cannot be stopped by any defense. You can guard Kobe as tightly as humanly possible, but he’ll still hit the jumper in your face from time to time. Still, these are select instances of heroics—a level of which very few are even capable of producing. None of it makes defense any less important.

Defense is quite literally 50 percent of the game. It matters big time, even for a point guard, a traditionally small guy who acts as the head of the 5-man unit. Nowadays, the P&R is utilized on almost every possession—often multiple times—and how point guards defend this can have serious ramifications on how a given play unfolds. Properly harassing a ball-handler can result in an offensive possession being rushed and improperly executed, or failing outright. Executing good help defense and hawking the passing lanes can force inefficient shots and errant passes.

Studies support the importance of point guard defense. In an analysis reviewing 12 years of NBA player RAPM ratings, (Regularized Adjusted Plus/Minus—see the Glossary at the bottom of this post for details on RAPM) dominant big men appeared to have a greater impact on the defensive end, but point guards had a very similar range in terms of output. There are terrible, poor, good, and great defenders at each position, and all of this affects a game’s outcome. The Celtics’ Avery Bradley may be the best example of this—despite his pedestrian size, he held his opponents to the lowest points per play in the entire league through March last year, providing a big, not-so-coincidental boost in Boston’s defensive rating.

For this study that is focused on point guard defense, I have compiled every potentially insightful defensive statistic (non-box score)—this includes all-encompassing advanced statistics, and certain categorical ones (see Glossary). These metrics will be presented alongside videos and/or screenshots to supplement my own film study in order to paint as clear a picture as possible of a player’s tendencies and abilities. It is necessary to acknowledge that some of these statistics are in the developmental stage and that no one stat accurately describes a player’s complete impact on defense; hence, the provision of a healthy variety.

Hopefully, we can take note of any statistical trends and combine these with our observations to confidently ask questions like, “Where does John Wall compare to other point guards on defense, and how good is he overall?” We’ll take a look at these top eight point guards in the game today, in no order: Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and John Wall. (Sorry, Irving, Lillard, Holiday, Conley, and Rubio fans, due to offensive or defensive shortcomings, they didn’t quite make the cut).

Russell Westbrook

  • DRAPM: 3 of 8 (-0.17)
  • D-ASPM: 4 of 8 (-0.56)
  • Opponent Production: 4 of 8 (15.19)
  • IPVd Rating: 5 of 8 (0.3)
  • On/Off Rating: 4 of 8 (+1.6)
  • P&R Defense: 4 of 8 (0.80)
  • Team DRTG: 5 of 8 (103.4)

With any bit of knowledge regarding Russell Westbrook’s capabilities and style of play, once you watch him live for ten seconds, you expect his opponent to struggle. He has great speed and athleticism, excellent size, swift lateral movement, and displays proper defensive mechanics. Watch a little bit longer and you’ll also notice he’s a pretty dedicated defender. All of this allows Westbrook to apply excellent pressure; he’s one of the best athletes in league history and when he’s thirsty for the ball, he can be exceptionally tough to break. Click here for Doug Collins’ comment on Westbrook’s ball pressure during the 2012 Olympics.

While Westbrook brings huge pluses on defense—ball pressure, guarding the passing lanes with unparalleled tenacity, and the ability to pull off some great blocks and steals—we are still left with a lot more to consider.

Westbrook’s oft-questioned basketball IQ on the offensive end is unfortunately present on the defensive end as well. He’ll often zone out and grant his man an easy opportunity (remember the 2012 season-opening game winner by Tony Parker?). He’ll sometimes seek a shot block that will pave the way for an easy pass. He’ll give a slashing opponent a clear path to the hoop and wrongly assuming that he’ll be able to poke the ball away or fully recover with his athleticism. To that last point, Westbrook’s gambling is a major problem:

Westbrook’s tools and tendencies are a mixed bag. When he’s locked-in, he can get his team a stop or a steal when needed most. His energy, athleticism, and determination will continue to give his opponents problems for years to come. He’s strong and versatile, and he’s willing to guard up to three positions. He closes out fast and hard, embodies a capable P&R player, and is an active help defender. But until Westbrook limits his gambling and gets a better understanding of angles, timing, and his man’s movements, he’ll remain as a middle-of-the-pack defender amongst these elite point guards—right where the above statistics seem to place him.

Rank: 6 of 8

Stephen Curry

  • DRAPM: 5 of 8 (-0.6)
  • D-ASPM: 6 of 8 (0.01)
  • Opponent Production: 7 of 8 (16.17)
  • IPVd Rating: 4 of 8 (0.5)
  • On/Off Rating: 8 of 8 (+5.6)
  • P&R Defense: 8 of 8 (0.86)
  • Team DRTG: 2 of 8 (107.3)

Stephen Curry is perhaps the least athletic guy out of the bunch, but he still possesses decent lateral movement, good defensive fundamentals, and is adept at keeping his hands up and active. He’s spent a lot of time as an off-ball guard, which helps with his ability to chase guys through a series of screens. Curry is also a pretty good thief; his steals per minute ranks within the top 15 in the league. When chasing a ball handler off of a pick, he’ll deflect a good number of kick-out passes, and he has a unique tendency to swipe down on the ball whilst backpedaling when his man is deep into making his move. Curry also displays good patience when closing out by not biting on pump-fakes.

But Curry has areas where he doesn’t quite shine. His closeouts are slower than anyone else on this list (he’s apparently obsessed with the “swim-while-running” closeout, which appears to have a limited efficiency). His strength is far below average, which not only makes him susceptible to post-ups and getting caught up on screens, but he also isn’t able to offer much resistance while backpedaling into the lane. Though he has decent lateral quickness, he struggles to keep up with the league’s quickest players. He also doesn’t play the P&R well, which is a large chunk of point guard defense. Take note of the amount of contact in this clip:

For perimeter players, getting hit by on-ball screens is part of the job description. But as we can see from the film, Curry is often too welcoming of massive contact and isn’t proactive in positioning himself to his advantage. He’s even developed a tendency to just embrace the contact and try to spin off the screener in the direction of where he thinks the ball-handler might go (good P&R defenders limit this to instances when the screen is already set before they can react). Those who have followed Mark Jackson’s past comments on Curry’s “elite” defense, where he notes Curry’s activity in P&R situations, might be surprised by all this. But what Jackson appreciates is Curry’s ability to play within his system that calls for him to position himself early in a way that cuts off the ball handler. And after this action is complete, Golden State’s big men can better direct the offense into a favorable direction.

Jackson wasn’t lying. Curry does do well with this and remains a dedicated system player, but that doesn’t stop him from doing poorly as the rest of the P&R develops. Given that Curry is an intelligent player by almost every measure, this tendency of his is a bit surprising. He spends a lot of his time trying to battle through picks by basically running into them, which only makes you wonder if that’s why Curry has been documented talking about the ultra-physical nature of P&R defense and the mammoth big men one is forced to face. He would likely improve by observing how someone like Chris Paul always has his head on a swivel and is ready to position himself favorably.

Stephen Curry’s dedication, activity, fundamentals, and off-ball defense are very decent for a point guard, but he lacks athleticism, strength, and ability in important areas such as P&R defense, contesting shots, and help defense. He remains at the lower spectrum defensively amongst top point guards, which the statistics seem to support.

Rank: 8 of 8

Tony Parker

  • DRAPM: 6 of 8 (-1.09)
  • D-ASPM: 7 of 8 (0.83)
  • Opponent Production: 3 of 8 (13.93)
  • IPVd Rating: 1 of 8 (1.4)
  • On/Off Rating: 1 of 8 (-3.1)
  • P&R Defense: 6 of 8 (0.83)
  • Team DRTG: 6 of 8 (102.6)

Tony Parker has never been known for his defense. However, playing in San Antonio is the best recipe for being underrated, and Tony’s production here is no exception. Many would be surprised to find out that in the games Parker missed last season, the Spurs missed him more on defense than on offense.

Parker has always been an intelligent defender, and his on-ball defense has gotten continuously better. He’s one of the few guards that are capable of playing full-court defense (albeit not an often sighting with Tony), where you never have to worry about him getting beat off of the dribble. He slithers around screens and closes out hard. He makes the right rotations on a consistent basis. His motor allows for him to track any player off the ball, his P&R defense is practiced and smart, and he’s an active helper.

Though his aforementioned ball-hawking ability is above average, it’s worth noting that he doesn’t disrupt the ball-handler’s dribble or shot much; Parker’s defense is played mostly with his feet. Because of this and his limited length, he doesn’t nab many steals, deflections, or blocks, and this is a factor in his ability as a help defender. Parker also doesn’t have the explosiveness or size to do much damage against non-point guards; stopping a shooting guard or small forward on a fast break is pretty much out of the question with him. But Parker is a good example of how smart, quick, energetic play on defense allows one to be a key piece of a dominant team defense. He isn’t at the top of the list of these great talents—size likely being his biggest inhibitor—but we can still safely call him underrated.

Rank: 5 of 8

Derrick Rose

  • DRAPM: 7 of 8 (-1.29)
  • 2012* D-ASPM:  5 of 8 (-0.09)
  • Opponent Production: 1 of 8 (12.19)
  • IPVd Rating: 7 of 8 (-0.7)
  • On/Off Rating: 5 of 8 (+3.1)
  • P&R Defense: 2 of 8 (0.74)
  • Team DRTG: 8 of 8 (99.8)

During this study, Derrick Rose easily provided the nicest surprise. By the end of the 2011-12 season, he had done quite well to improve the things that had been previously holding him back defensively. In one analysis of “big scoring games,” Derrick Rose came out well ahead of all other big-name point guards as a stopper—only eleven 20-plus point games were scored against him, with zero games where the opposition went for 30 or more. Chicago was, and is, an amazing defensive team, but during Joakim Noah’s absence that season, Rose and the rest of the crew held things down and the Bulls defensive rating remained stable.

Up until his fourth year, Rose’s main problem on defense was that he seemed to interpret it as a merely reactionary art. He would be content with shadowing his man and providing minimal pressure. He would do things like bite on unconvincing pump-fakes. He’d give up on the play if his man got far enough away from him or if he got hung up on screens. Guarding screens were, in fact, a weak point for Rose overall. His way of maneuvering on defense wasn’t (and still isn’t) the smoothest, and he would often be greatly slowed or stopped in his tracks by any obstacle.

Most of this has improved to a degree, if not significantly. Rose has learned to stay put when his opponents shot fake, and he’s much more in-tune overall. He has started to impact the ball-handler in the P&R, which is evidenced by his elite rating on Synergy. His block numbers have creeped up every year—largely a result of him hounding the ball-handler off of picks where he uses his athleticism to surprise with chase-down blocks.

Though he still moves in a jagged fashion on defense, Rose better uses his quickness to dart around screens on the P&R, and he will pressure the ball-handler more consistently when chasing over the screen. Let’s watch:

It still holds true that Rose’s overall defensive pressure isn’t consistently top-notch, though, and instances where Rose is seen shadowing his man will outnumber those where he plays hard-nosed, aggressive defense like in the above video. Rose doesn’t feel quite comfortable enough in his abilities to leave his man and wreak havoc elsewhere, or at least he isn’t asked to do so, and thus his impact as a help defender still remains limited. He also still has his moments of indecision and spacing out. To the video (enable captions):

But these aren’t gaping holes in Rose’s game, nor are they frequent occurrences at this point. From his early days in the NBA, Rose has had an excellent combination of size and athleticism, and now he’s starting to utilize it better (oh, and he might be the best shot-contester in this group). Rose embodies a point guard who will play solid system defense, put forth consistent effort, and is capable of making huge game-changing plays (i.e., his block on Rajon Rondo in the 2009 Playoffs). He’s not a destructive force on the defensive end quite yet, and his ranking will assume he’s picked up on things while watching 90-plus games on the bench, but the improved Rose embodies a solid defensive player.

Rank: 3 of 8

Deron Williams

  • DRAPM: 8 of 8 (-2.04)
  • D-ASPM: 8 of 8 (1.39)
  • Opponent Production: 6 of 8 (15.68)
  • IPVd Rating: 8 of 8 (-1.4)
  • On/Off Rating: 6 of 8 (+4.2)
  • P&R Defense: 5 of 8 (0.80)
  • Team DRTG: 1 of 8 (107.7)

Before reviewing his defense extensively, I thought Deron might be underrated. We all know of his massive strength for a point guard, which does help him quite a lot—it allows him to ably defend three different positions and even body-up big men on switches. But these thoughts stemmed from a different appreciation: his P&R defense and ability to track players. Deron displays a strong understanding of angles, player tendencies, and is not intimidated by small gaps—he will push the limit by squeezing through small spaces in an effort to go over the screens and stay with the ball-handler. He’s great at tracking players off the ball and puts in good effort to stay with his man. Synergy speaks to these qualities: despite his team’s clear lack of defensive execution, Deron ranked 66th amongst all players in points allowed on the P&R, 33rd off of screens, and 22nd off of hand-offs this past year.

Of course, defense doesn’t start and stop with how well one tracks players. It soon became evident that, although Deron has good qualities for guarding the P&R, he is lacking in several respects. His quickness in recovering after getting around/through obstacles is not elite, and he will fall behind the ball-handler at times. He also does a poor job of contesting in these situations, with a bad habit of giving up on the play and attempting a half-assed swat at the ball from behind. Which brings us to another issue: spotty effort. Deron isn’t a lazy defender, but his effort does fluctuate. At times you can catch him ball-watching, opting to make the easy switch, or plainly not feeling like closing out.

Williams also a very naughty predisposition to helping when one pass away. His activity while pestering ball-handlers is average, at best. He closes out with nice speed, but can be seen overextending. Though he has decent lateral quickness and a fast top speed, he displays below average nimbleness in his ability to backpedal on defense, and this often results in him gifting his man much room to shoot. He is a poor contester all-around. Here, we can see his more frustrating tendencies (enable captions on video):

But Deron has his high points. His size and player tracking, as stated, are elite. He is a pretty cerebral player who other players trust to direct the defense. He won’t make the same mistake more than once or twice on a given night, and he will give players space if they deserve it and take it away if they don’t. When Williams is giving 100 percent on defense, he’s quite capable of stopping players in isolation. He also doesn’t gamble a ton, which can be considered a nice luxury when you look at the cheating tendencies of other players on this list.

All in all, Deron Williams embodies a slightly below average defensive player with the ability to turn things up a bit. He’s not exactly someone you rely on for great defense, but you can get by with him.

Rank: 7 of 8

Chris Paul

  • DRAPM: 1 of 8 (0.43)
  • D-ASPM: 1 of 8 (-1.59)
  • Opponent Production: 4 of 8 (15.19)
  • IPVd Rating: 2 of 8 (1.0)
  • On/Off Rating: 7 of 8 (+5.4)
  • P&R Defense: 3 of 8 (0.76)
  • Team DRTG: 4 of 8 (104.4)

For a point guard, many mistake Paul for being the most capable one-on-one defender. His size, length and athleticism, though elite, are not on par with some other point guards—his one-time backup, Eric Bledsoe, is capable of outshining Paul in man-to-man defense. However, there’s a lot to get excited about with Paul. He bests 99 percent of the league in his activity by being an absolute pest. He’s always in his opponent’s grill, swiping at the ball, and lurking near passing lanes. He’s a very aware defensive player, is quite nimble in his ability to get around screens, and possesses exceptional lateral movement, making him very hard to shake. He’s a very determined and scrappy player who seemingly wins every 50/50 ball, much like Rajon Rondo. Paul has a great understanding of tricks and shortcuts—as his man tries to use screens and make off-ball cuts, Paul will often subtly grab their arm or hold them their side to impede movement. All of this combined with his knack for positioning and his ability to lead his team’s defenses is what validates his borderline-candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.

Paul’s shortcomings are in his below-average ability to challenge shots and guard bigger players—his struggles against a bigger point guards in Deron Williams, for instance, have been well-documented. He also can be caught out of position if his off-ball pestering doesn’t pay off and the ball-handler passes directly to his man. But these are not big flaws, and Paul combats them well with his consistent hard work, quickness, and savvy. Let’s watch:

Paul’s a smart enough player. He won’t gamble to his team’s detriment, and he certainly isn’t lazy. He’ll push back against bigger players and he’ll almost always close out hard. Altogether, Chris Paul embodies an imperfect but outstanding defensive player, earning him the No. 1 ranking on the list. His statistical output, basic and advanced, supports the idea of his prowess. His intelligence, quickness, and activity are outstanding, and while it’s entirely underrated, his defensive quarterbacking might be his best trait.

Rank: 1 of 8

Rajon Rondo

  • DRAPM: 2 of 8  (0.11)
  • D-ASPM: 2 of 8 (-1.22)
  • Opponent Production: 2 of 8 (13.64)
  • IPVd Rating: 3 of 8 (0.8)
  • On/Off Rating: 2 of 8 (0.0)
  • P&R Defense: 1 of 8 (0.71)
  • Team DRTG: 7 of 8 (101.4)

Rondo is my pick for Mr. Overrated. This is not to say that Rondo isn’t elite at defense, because he’s in the upper echelon, but many consider him to be the best point guard on defense, which isn’t the case (especially if hybrid guards like Iman Shumpert and Avery Bradley are eligible). At this point, Rondo’s problem is effort. It’s a huge detractor. He plays far too many minutes a game in a standing position, an indicator of his failure to be proactive in disrupting the offense. He also has a terrible tendency to gamble where he essentially allows his man to dribble past him as he lunges with his Dhalsim-like arms from behind … which actually doesn’t end up being so terrible when you realize Boston is accustomed to it. Other than that, Rondo’s only other identifiable fault his lightweight frame, which can make him susceptible to being posted up.

Rondo does a ton of things right. He’s a fantastic P&R defender with a great ability to slither around screens and bother the ball-handler. He has terrific lateral movement, length, and dedication when fully committed. He’s also very versatile despite his frame, and will take on intimidating defensive assignments such as a bullish Carmelo Anthony:

201308-Rondo-Fiesty-Defense

He’s great at closing out and gets nice lift and extension while doing so. He remains one of the most active on-ball defenders, always thirsty for the ball. He’s a solid help defender—he will gamble to a fault at times, but possesses expert ability in closing passing lanes. Rondo has garnered enough respect and experience to the degree that we can expect him to anchor Boston’s defense next season.

All in all, there isn’t a whole lot that the long, athletic, determined, and savvy Rajon Rondo doesn’t do great at on defense…when he’s putting forth a concerted effort.

Rank: 2 of 8

John Wall

  • DRAPM: 4 of 8 (-0.44)
  • D-ASPM: 3 of 8  (-0.79)
  • Opponent Production: 8 of 8 (17.49)
  • IPVd Rating: 6 of 8 (-0.1)
  • On/Off Rating: 3 of 8 (+0.5)
  • P&R Defense: 7 of 8 (0.84)
  • Team DRTG: 3 of 8 (104.9)

With John Wall having a solid reputation for defense in the basketball community, people may be surprised by his very unimpressive defensive numbers. Especially with him being part of a fairly respectable defense last year. So, how might this have happened?

Some may be aware of Wall’s tendency to over-help on defense, such as off Kirk Hinrich in this screenshot:

201308-Wall-overhelp-Hinrich

Some might also be aware of his affinity for going under screens:

201308-wall-under-screen

I have identified three key areas where other point guards have John Wall beat on defense:

  • Accurately gauging distance and proper timing to engage in help defense.
  • Paying attention to incoming on-ball screens, play accordingly (P&R).
  • Paying attention to surroundings when not a part of the action (cutters, screens).

Some examples (enable captions on video):

The first two bullet points address Wall’s biggest issues right now. Despite the Wizards’ system, which calls for frequent hedges against the P&R, Wall is often seeing going under the screen regardless of situation (he gets burned by shooters on a frequent basis, here). Second is his tendency to over-help in excess, or at the wrong moments. As he develops, Wall needs to realize that helping on one short pass away from, say, a players like Deron Williams who has sunk his last four 3s, is not a practical strategy. He needs to be consistent in recognizing that giving shooters like Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, and Jose Calderon plenty of room to operate is not going to help in the long run. Sometimes, Wall plainly wanders too far.

This sounds harsh, but Wall has a ton going for him defensively. In the picture above, where he appears to be clearly over-helping, he winds up within inches of swatting away Hinrich’s shot attempt. This is due to his incredible recovery speed and length to contest shots.

And despite any flaws, Wall’s dedication on the defensive end is apparent. He will give up deep into plays once in awhile when he finds effort futile (curiously, at times), but this should not take away from the fact that he buckles down on most possessions. He shows great desire to help his teammates, literally, as he engages in loads of help defense. Despite his youth, he has taken it upon himself to direct traffic for his teammates, and his quarterbacking is respected. These are important qualities.

When an opportunity presents itself, Wall is one of the better guards in the league at zoning in and pressuring the ball-handler with a great combination of athleticism, speed, and size. He has solid grasp of defensive mechanics. He has great lateral quickness and a smooth ability to change pace and angle to slide around screens, and with his attentiveness to incoming on-ball screens, his P&R defense is respectable. He has nice size and tenacity, allowing him to guard multiple positions when called upon, and he has a nice propensity to put 100 percent effort into fronting a mismatch until he receives ample help. See below:

Wall also exhibits very solid tendencies when closing out, not jumping on cue or overextending. He’s also one of the more active point guards with his hands, poking at the ball while in front or behind, occupying the passing lanes. And who can forget his elite ability to perform chase-down blocks?

At this point, John Wall has a lot he can improve on, but for Wizards fans, the good thing is that none of it is related to physicality, and he’s a clearly dedicated defender. He trained with Gary “The Glove” Payton this offseason—one of the best defensive players in history—which will only help. With proper coaching and the correct application, there’s a distinct possibility that John Wall ends up being the top defensive point guard in the NBA.

Rank: 4 of 8

—Cameron Purn (@KeeperOTCourt)


Glossary:

DRAPM: The defensive half of Regularized Adjusted Plus Minus. To put it simply, RAPM looks to reduce error in Adjusted Plus Minus calculations, which offer more in-depth and accurate look at Plus/Minus—how much a player is helping his team while he’s on the court. It acts as one of the most reliable all-encompassing defensive stats and has received the biggest amount of attention and praise from analysts and statisticians. For the rating itself, the higher, the better. For this study, the players’ last three years considered for three year considerations, recent years weighed heavier).

D-ASPM: An all-encompassing defensive statistic entirely based on a player’s output in other statistical categories. The lower, the better. One year considered.  For more information: http://godismyjudgeok.com/DStats/aspm-and-vorp/

Opponent Production: Refers to 82games.com’s Opponent Counterpart 48-Minute Production. A rating used to identify how much a player is letting his man produce. Measured in terms of Player Efficiency Rating (Hollinger). The lower, the better. Three years considered.

IPVd Rating: Talking Practice Blog’s all-encompassing statistic with many similarities to RAPM, possessing a low reliance on boxscore statistics. The higher, the better. One year considered.

On/Off Rating: 82games.com’s estimation for point differential (defense) when a player leaves the court. The lower, the better. One year considered.

P&R Defense: One of the many categories Synergy Sports’ looks at with each player. Based on a PPP (points allowed per possession) calculation.  The lower, the better. One year considered.

Team DRTG: Dean Oliver’s calculation of a team’s points allowed per 100 possessions. The higher, the more difficult for a player to rank high in other defensive statistics. Three years considered.


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