OK…We Get It…Now…What Can Be Done?

January 22, 2008 at 10:01 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel, Lates Links | Leave a comment

It was much more interesting when I felt like I was the only one concerned about our D. Now, it is a national story and THE focal point of all Tar Heel basketball coverage. Seeing as this is a blog, I must take on the (MS)Media’s all too easy answers and opinions. Here is a half-hearted attempt:

1. Enough with the scoring defense numbers please. Anyone using tempo-free stats to disparage our D will get JMP snark (truly terrifying). We play fast. We score more. They score more.

2. Teams that play worse D than we do: Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Xavier, Texas, California, and Florida.

3. Occasionally…very occasionally…teams can drastically improve their defense. It is only January 22.

That is all I have. The truth is we have to make some big changes. Nobody has won a title with a defense ranked in the 30s or 40s. Some are comparing this team to the 2005 team which also took a lot of heat for poor defensive play. However that team was good on the defensive end. Very good. A couple of things we could consider that might make our D a bit better:

1. Occasional zone. I know. I know. If we play zone, it WILL hurt our offense. Still, that might be a trade we need to make. I e-mailed Mr. Pomeroy last week, asking if our offense might be even better than last season and he was not buying. In transition, we are a tad better, but our half court O is not quite as good. If we play a lot of zone, we would surely find out how good our offense is without the easy baskets. I favor playing it at least a little bit though.

2. More aggressive trapping and man to man. Hey…if you are going to give up easy baskets anyways, at least get the steals to go with it. Play even faster and get out in the passing lanes. Overplay and make things difficult for guys on the perimeter.

3. Hard work. Roy is telling his guys to work harder right now….I’m sure of it. I’m not sure how much better we can get, but you could see an improvement in focus, I suppose. Teams are destroying us with one screen and so maybe some work on helping and switching might see us improve. Boxing out also is basketball 101. We don’t do it very well and perhaps someone can go back to junior high and learn how to do that. This kind of stuff does not usually improve during the season. Either you have quick feet and good defensive awareness or you don’t. No need for Roy to tell them there is nothing they can do though, right?

Adam Lucas looks at something besides the D in the mailbag. More touches for Tyler seems reasonable.

Canes win two in a row! What a dreadful Super Bowl. Well done. Can Sp*rs finally beat Arsenal?


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