Oh, how I wish this was around back when I started my Iso-Joe count.
As I stated at the time my goal was to try to create some good data to better illuminate the debate on isos so arguments could be based on statistics rather than perceptions. Not to say stats can tell the whole story of Isos or anything else–I’ve already said I initially underestimated the impact the isos can have on the Hawks’ psychology and chemistry–but the numbers obviously would be a tremendous analytical tool.
You might have noticed that I never did offer my final Iso-Joe count. That’s because there were three games or so where I wasn’t confident about my count and I couldn’t go back and check it due to problems with my garbage Comcast DVR. I heard Synergy Sports was going to offer a public version of the software it provides for teams soon. So I decided to wait until it was online so I could get an accurate count of J.J. isos, and not just for the games I counted but the entire season. Plus I also wanted to see data on the Hawks’ other play types so comparisons can be made, which makes the exercise infinitely more useful. Well, Synergy is up now and I signed up for it the other day but (of course) the computer problems I mentioned yesterday so far have prevented me from getting it up and running. But, once I do, I plan to examine Iso-Joes and more.
I see that super commenter Najeh and crew already have cited a Raptors blog that used some of the Synergy stuff. Just like that they have managed to to impeach the persistent complaints from Truth and others that Al is a weak post defender. According to Synergy’s numbers, he is one of the best despite being posted up more than almost any other center. That’s the beauty of this Synergy program–statements like “Al is a poor post defender” can be evaluated statistically instead of argued endlessly using isolated examples, hunches and perceptions.
Anyway, Synergy has some sample reports available for the first-round playoff series. The first thing that jumped out at me from the Eastern Conference playoffs summary is that the Hawks rank last among East teams in defensive points per play. They’ve been the worst East playoff team against pick-and-rolls (and ranked just 25th during the season) and third-best against isolations. On offense the Hawks not surprisingly have run the most isolation plays among East playoff teams but ranked just 12th during the regular season (”all they run are isos”). The Hawks have run the third-most post-ups after ranking 19th during the regular season (”Woody never adjusts”).
Those numbers have to be placed in context since, unlike with regular season stats, teams haven’t played common opponents. But they are cool to look at for some insight. Here are Synergy’s Hawks-Bucks series numbers and definitions for the stats. I’m looking forward to digging in once I figure out my technical issues.
– hawksdawgs at Peachtree Hoops breaks down tonight’s “ball game ball game”. I think he hit on something here about what has become known as the Skiles Dilemma in this series:
One bright spot for the Hawks is our role players have sucked something awful this series. Maybe the road will provide just the reverse psychology they need to get things going. If Mo Evans, Jamal Crawford, and Zaza Pachulia can give average minutes, the front court dominance should continue in some form or fashion for the Hawks to win their third in a row. I have no doubt Skiles will throw something new at the Josh and Al, but I can’t help but think it will be at the expense of guarding Joe Johnson or Jamal Crawford. So that is fine by me.
– Have fun, Hawks fans.