West's touchdown pass to Green didn't shock me . It was just...
Pacers vs. Bulls Spiderwebs – Game 3
As a supplement to the playoff game recaps, we’re going to post Synergy “spiderwebs.” This will show the offensive distribution in plays and points for each team. The data is provided by the fantastic site mySynergySports. Hopefully, it will help us understand each team’s approach, as well as what worked and what didn’t.
First, you see that the Bulls had a lot of success in Spot Ups andOff Screen plays, where they scored 36 of their 88 points. This is where you see the damage done by Luol Deng, Kyle Korver, and Keith Bogans. The three combined for 42 points on .672 eFG%, and the vast majority came out of these sets.
Second, through the first two games, the Bulls had gotten about 12% of their offensive plays out of Offensive Rebounds, but that dropped to only 6% Thursday night. Defensive rebounding was a focus for the Pacers, and they were able to hold Chicago to 27% ORB after allowing almost 46% in the first two games. Rookie Paul George’s 12 boards led the way here.
Finally, it is impossible to look at this spiderweb and not comment on how breathtakingly effective Indiana was at defending the ball handler in the PnR. They had been solid in the first two games, allowing only 0.80 PPP on 36 plays, but last night — wow. The Bulls scored 2 points in 11 plays, going 0-for-6 from the floor and turning the ball over four times. Derrick Rose had five of the six misses and three of the four turnovers.
Much of the credit in these sets goes to the overall approach designed by Pacer interim coach Frank Vogel. The Pacer bigs showed aggressively on all screens, while Paul George went under screens and used his length and athleticism to recover effectively. The most impressive play came in the first half when Rose seemingly broke free and attacked the rim, only to have George slide through the middle of the defense and emerge at the rim to reject Rose’s shot. It was eerily reminiscent of watching a German U-Boat stalk – and sink – a transport ship.
In Game 1, the Pacers scored about as well as they can. In Game 3, the Pacers defended about as well as they’re capable, and probably better than you could expect from anyone not hailing from Boston or Chicago. It’s depressing that both came up losses.
For reference, here is the series-to-date spiderweb for the Chicago Offense.
As I said above, the spiderwebs for both teams are funky. In Indiana’s case, it underscores both how valuable transition opportunities are to them, and just how inept their half court game is.
The Pacers scored 20 of their 84 points on 14 plays in transition, or 1.43 PPP. In their other 92 offensive plays, they average 0.70 PPP (64 points), posted an eFG% of .313, and coughed up the ball 11 times. Take out the success in Off Screens and Cuts, and it just plain ugly.
Over the course of my many previews and other posts for this series, I have continually come back to the need for some kind of post game. After Game 2, I wrote the following:
However, the post is still a big problem. Again, the Pacers were able to only get seven (7) of their 105 plays out of the post, and those were largely a disaster. They generated only four points and two turnovers. In Roy Hibbert’s five post plays, he was 1-for-4 with a turnover. That’s simply not enough.
Well, after getting only 14 plays finishing in the post in the first two games, the Pacers got 12 in Game 3. Regrettably, they were mostly disasters. They scored 8 points on 4 of 11 shooting with a turnover. In the series so far, the Pacers post play has generated only 21 of Indiana’s 273 points on 9 of 21 shooting with three turnovers.
The Pacers’ main post option — Roy Hibbert — has scored 14 of those points. He’s hit only five of his 13 post shots, while turning it over twice. He played all 12 first quarter minutes in Game 1, scoring eight points and pulling down five rebounds. In the next 11 quarters of the series, he’s scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Pacers have been outscored by 25 points in the 65 minutes he’s been on the floor. (Conversely, the Pacers have outscored the Bulls by 6 points in the 67 minutes he’s been on the bench over the same 11 quarters.)
So, I was somewhat taken aback when I read Mike Well’s Insider piece this morning:
“I’m not getting (the ball) where I want it,” he said. “I don’t want to shoot jump shots. I want to get it in the paint, get it on the block. We’re running other stuff.”
There were a couple times Thursday where you could tell he was frustrated because he wasn’t getting touches.
Amazing. Here’s Hibbert’s shot chart from last night’s game.
Look, Hibbert did not get frozen out by his teammates, and the game plan didn’t go away from him. His usage rate was just under 30%, which is extremely high. He had opportunities, and he failed to convert them. Alex Yovanovich highlighted the concerns that Roy’s play has raised more completely than I can here, but at this point, Hibbert does not appear to be built for the playoffs.
In a series full of Pacer surprises — mostly pleasant — Roy’s play has probably been the only thing besides Derrick Rose’s ability to get to the line that has gone according to what I expected. Physically, he is just not strong enough to get and hold position. As a result, he does a very poor job of “presenting himself” for the entry pass.
Mentally…well, I have opinions that I’m grossly unqualified to state, but we’ll leave those out. One thing that I think most will agree from watching him is that he’s incredibly indecisive. Almost every time he gets the ball in the post, it’s as if he’s funneling requests for decisions through a bloated and overworked bureaucracy. On more than one occasion last night, he received the ball on the block —unguarded — after getting a baseline screen, then waited for the defense to come to him before he made any kind of move.
If you cannot make a decision, one will be made for you — and you will rarely like it.
Youth is an easy excuse here, but it’s one I reject out of hand. I have a hard time giving Hibbert a pass on his performance when three players – Paul George, Darren Collison, and Tyler Hansbrough — who combined entered this season with fewer minutes played than Roy had by himself are finding ways to overcome their personal struggles and still contribute meaningfully to the Pacers’ Playoff effort. He needs to tell this story walkin’.
However, the Pacers have one more guaranteed crack at knocking off the Bulls on Saturday afternoon at Conseco. Go back and look through these spiderwebs, and you’ll find that Frank Vogel and his squad have practically thrown the kitchen sink at Chicago, and still can’t get a win. Maybe in Game 4, we’ll see if there’s anything left to hurl.
In any case, I’ll once again leave you with the series-to-date spiderwebs for the Pacer Offense.