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On Tuesday Kentucky put together one of their best defensive performances of the season, holding the Georgia Bulldogs to 44 points in a 56 possession game - a defensive efficiency of 78.5 points per 100 possessions. While it is certainly true that Georgia is not a very good offensive team, that mark represents the Dawgs' 2nd worst offensive performance of the season, behind only a 71.4 mark against Cal on a neutral floor back in November (courtesy KenPom (subscr.)). It really was a pretty nice performance by the Cats.
In particular, UK held the Bulldogs to only 3 Free Throw Attempts (a minuscule 5.5 FTAs per 100 FGAs) and 6 offensive rebounds out of 38 possible chances (an almost as minuscule 15.8 Offensive RB%). That helped offset only forcing 6 turnovers.
|Kentucky||Defense Box Score: Kentucky vs Georgia|
Prompted by a conversation with EagleTDL in the Postmortem as well as Glenn's comments in the same, I paid particular attention to where Darius Miller was on the floor when shots were missed to see if there was anything to be learned regarding his lack of rebounds.
On defense I really think this was a case of Miller's defensive assignments taking him away from prime rebounding position. Miller spent the majority of his time defending Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Gerald Robinson and those two players took a number of perimeter shots that were rebounded short (there were not a lot of long rebounds in the game).
On the few occasions when they did take the ball in to the basket, Miller usually stayed right with them and very often the help defense came over and blocked the shot to elsewhere on the floor.
- Marquis Teague has quietly been putting together some really good defensive numbers in conference play. Good shot defense and terrific rebounding in this game.
- Earlier in the year it looked to me like Teague got hung up on screens and often would lose his man when he ran through the paint. I think he has improved considerably in those areas. I have seen him stick with his man much more effectively. I don't think it's perfect yet, but it is improving and that's all you want to see at this point.
- In fact, I think the team as a whole is getting better at fighting through screens. Or maybe their opponents are just really bad at setting them. Anyone else notice this?
- Wild Weasel noted in his own review that he like Kyle Wiltjer's improved defense and I agree. While he didn't accrue a lot of numbers, I thought Kyle showed good movement in staying with his man and made good decisions about giving help.
- Speaking of giving help, it seemed like the inside players, particularly Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis were more active than usual in this area. On occasion it took them out of position allowing for easy offensive rebounds, but very often it resulted in a stop.
- Anthony Davis is just special.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is too.
- Another good defensive game for Terrence Jones I think. Those 2 early threes by Djuriciajrhehsic were more strongly contested than I remembered originally. Not that it was perfect defense, but they weren't exactly wide open looks.
|Name||Opp eFG%||Opp TO%||FTRate||Stops||Scores||Plays||Stop%||DPoss%||Def Rtg||Opp Eff|
- Miller's Defensive Rating does not look good - that's what happens when you don't force any turnovers or get any defensive rebounds. But he did a good job defending shots.
- Despite the DRtg, Miller really did do a good job defending his man. I don't remember him ever losing a step when guarding a drive or getting hung up on a screen that left him unable to challenge a shot.
- MKG spent most of his time defending Gerald Robinson (when Miller was in the game) and Caldwell-Pope (when Miller was out). So I am a little surprised that he was only directly involved 14% of the time.
- Anthony Davis' DRtg might surprise you, it did me. But it's mainly because his Stop % was "only" 69% against a Team Stop% of 66%. Remember that the DRtg is strongly tied to Team Defensive Efficiency and a relatively small improvement in Stop % (in this case 3 points) will result in a relatively small improvement in DRtg.
- DRtg is a measure of defensive contributions within the context of the overall team defense. Opponent Efficiency is more of an individual mark and Davis is very good there at the 3rd best on the team for the game.