Man, that zone

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:24 am
What do you all think about the Ws zone defense?

My take is that it is hurting them when they stay in it too long.

The Ws give up a lot of offensive rebounds. It is hard to block out from a zone. The Ws are too small to neglect blocking out.

It is getting tiresome watching the Ws fly out at multi-millionaire three-point shooters about two seconds after the shot is launched. Man d would allow the two supposed lock-down players, Ajax and MP, to really use their skills.

Hopefully, Ajax and MP would be more reliably valuable to the team if they could be in a position to shut a couple of players down every night. Their offensive contributions are not so predictable, for sure.

Man d gives each player a sense of responsibility and urgency because everyone can see who is using who and it can be embarrassing (I have heard this happens). Man d might help with the energy level at times.

The Ws just don't seem to be good in the zone. Every team, good or bad,
seems to be able to find the creases, drive, rebound and shoot high percentages against that defense.

Most teams do not use the zone much. Is there something special about the Ws that you think makes the zone more useful for them?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:32 am
carlgo wrote:What do you all think about the Ws zone defense?

My take is that it is hurting them when they stay in it too long.

The Ws give up a lot of offensive rebounds. It is hard to block out from a zone. The Ws are too small to neglect blocking out.

It is getting tiresome watching the Ws fly out at multi-millionaire three-point shooters about two seconds after the shot is launched. Man d would allow the two supposed lock-down players, Ajax and MP, to really use their skills.

Hopefully, Ajax and MP would be more reliably valuable to the team if they could be in a position to shut a couple of players down every night. Their offensive contributions are not so predictable, for sure.

Man d gives each player a sense of responsibility and urgency because everyone can see who is using who and it can be embarrassing (I have heard this happens). Man d might help with the energy level at times.

The Ws just don't seem to be good in the zone. Every team, good or bad,
seems to be able to find the creases, drive, rebound and shoot high percentages against that defense.

Most teams do not use the zone much. Is there something special about the Ws that you think makes the zone more useful for them?


Nelson advocates the zone for three reasons:
1. It is a gimmick (Nelson loves gimmicks)
2. Nelson has not had success in coaching lock-down man defense (In Dallas, Avery Johnson pushed the team over the hump by employing the defensive strategies that he had learned from Greg Popovich (who, in turn, had learned them from Larry Brown).
3. Man-to-man team defense is difficult to get players to buy into. Nelson has already experienced two melt downs (Golden State I and New York), and I highly doubt that he would want to go thru another one at this stage of his career. Why push guys to do things that are hard to do (play tough defense), when he can push guys to do things that they like to do (shoot the ball)?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:51 am
uptempo wrote:Why push guys to do things that are hard to do (play tough defense), when he can push guys to do things that they like to do (shoot the ball)?

You are right about this uptempo. I just do not agree with Nellie's philosophy on this. If you want to be successful, you have to make players work hard on both sides of the ball. As we have all witnessed this season if the Warriors are not shooting well, they lose most every game.

The equalizer in this sport is defense and rebounding. Unfortunately, because the coach puts little to no emphasis on these two facets of the game, the team cannot usually overcome a poor shooting night and win.

Back to the topic, the zone has had its moments this season when it was effective, but right now, it is not working. To be successful with a zone, all five players on the court must communicate and be in unison with one another on shifts and knowing who covers what area of the floor. With the new guys and the road trip, I am guessing little to no practice time has been spent working on the proper shifts of this zone defense.

When the players are shifting well and communicating, the zone has been effective. It worked wonders in the back-to-back home wins over Utah and San Antonio in late November. The potential is there for the zone to be good and effective, but Nelson needs to devote more time to practicing it rather than just throwing the team in a bad spot in the middle of a game. It once again falls on the coaches shoulders to prioritize what is and is not important to him in practicing. Unfortunately, playing defense is not one of Nellie's strong points and he does not seem to even remotely care. As a supporter of this team, that bothers me.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:59 am
The zone is effective to hide a player's weakness, protect a player who is in foul trouble, force the opposition to have to make their outside shot, as a change of pace to break up the rhythm of a hot shooting team, and to slow the pace of a game down.

Unfortunately, the zone defense is easy to break down by most NBA teams.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:12 pm
A good point guard can easily penetrate a zone and get into no man's land. Once in the middle of the zone, the center has to step and that leaves other players free to cut to the basket. If the wing players of a zone colapse, it is an easy get kick out by the pentrating point guard to his wing players for easy jump shots. The key to a good zone defense is to have good, quick wing defenders to stop penetration.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:45 pm
ReginaldLewis wrote:A good point guard can easily penetrate a zone and get into no man's land. Once in the middle of the zone, the center has to step and that leaves other players free to cut to the basket. If the wing players of a zone colapse, it is an easy get kick out by the pentrating point guard to his wing players for easy jump shots. The key to a good zone defense is to have good, quick wing defenders to stop penetration.


Agreed. Great insight and analysis.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:27 pm
let's face it, when dungmurphy and ike were on the team, the d of each was truly awful, and it was a smart move for Nelson to move to a zone. Now Jackson (esp.) and Harrington are upgrades at D, so I like Carlgo advocating more man to man, since you are right that Pietrus and Jackson are lockdown defenders...
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:46 pm
Maybe man to man is the way to go but EVERYBODY has to play there man with no slackoffs! It just won't work any other way, otherwise the zone is the best way to go
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:49 pm
Nelson's been playing man-to-man a lot more lately... problem is, Monta Ellis is one of his best players and the other team ALWAYS posts him up. Also; other than Biedrins, our inside man is usually much smaller than the other team's (Powell, Harrington... at times, Barnes).

Therefore, when Monta is in or Biedrins is out, zone is the most full-proof option for Nelson. He obviously doesn't like it, but that's the hand that's been dealt to him.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Also Bedrins foul struggle :!:
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:10 am
No way we coulda played man 2 man with Dung n Murph. Now i think our roster is better suited to play man, with the only weakness being monta maybe Al against the Moster PF's in the West.

Either that or new guys need more time to learn the zone, since it was working earlier this year. And Learning a zone defense takes a ton of practice something they do in preseason/training camp.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:53 am
montastic wrote:No way we coulda played man 2 man with Dung n Murph. Now i think our roster is better suited to play man, with the only weakness being monta maybe Al against the Moster PF's in the West.

Exactly right; and don't forget, Biedrins is our only guy who can plug up the middle consistently... and he's foul-prone.

Dunleavy and Murphy were too slow for man-to-man... but Al and SJax are definately good for it. Nelly's been increasing the amount of man-to-man he's been playing... but, like I said, Monta's the weakness in that scheme.

When Tony Parker can post you up, you can't play in a man-to-man setting. It just don't work.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:56 am
I don't think Monta is the problem in the man-to man. He makes up the difference with speed and hops. Plus he plays the passing lane very well. Monta is one of the true nightmares in the league for other guards to defend. With he and Pietrus out there the Warriors defensive speed pick-up immediately. The big weakness in the Warrors zone is that they are too small at forward. Harrington is no help in blocking shots. Barnes and Pietrus are just to small to help pick up big guys that roll to the hoop (Josh Smith, WoW!). the return of J-Rich won't help. The solution is to play Powell with Biedrins and Foyle sometimes. Nelly has yet to try that. He always bring Powell in at the center position.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:24 am
ReginaldLewis wrote:... The big weakness in the Warrors zone is that they are too small at forward. The solution is to play Powell with Biedrins and Foyle sometimes. Nelly has yet to try that. He always bring Powell in at the center position.


It helps to be big, of course, but the Ws still have been pretty successful at this when they drop down to help the centers and also when they go out to double star-type players around the arc.

They seem to be doing more of this lately and that is good.

I could be wrong, but wasn't Powell out there with Biedrins for a short time against Atlanta? Like you say, that is something that might work.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:22 am
32 wrote:
montastic wrote:No way we coulda played man 2 man with Dung n Murph. Now i think our roster is better suited to play man, with the only weakness being monta maybe Al against the Moster PF's in the West.

Exactly right; and don't forget, Biedrins is our only guy who can plug up the middle consistently... and he's foul-prone.

Dunleavy and Murphy were too slow for man-to-man... but Al and SJax are definately good for it. Nelly's been increasing the amount of man-to-man he's been playing... but, like I said, Monta's the weakness in that scheme.

When Tony Parker can post you up, you can't play in a man-to-man setting. It just don't work.


I have to respectfully disagree with you on your Monta analysis. He, Monta, is one of the team's best perimeter defenders. He pressures the ball, has great recovery skills, and jams the passing lanes. Yes, he can be posted up on; however, so can everyone else on this team.

The team has the athletes to play man defense. A gimmicky zone can always be broken down by NBA teams. It is Nelson's stubborness that keeps the team in the zone.
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