Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Temple (Blind) Wrap-Up

I won't be able to watch the tape of the game until tonight, but here's what I saw from the stats:

McRoberts was dominant - 21 points, 9 boards, 4 assists, and 4 blocks. I've been told that at least a couple of his passes were highlight reel variety. More importantly, from watching the gametracker, it looked like he was directly involved on both the offensive (basket or assist) and defensive (block or rebound) ends when Duke went on a run to claim the lead toward the end of the first half.

Once again, Duke won with their defense. Temple scored a grand total of 4 points in the last 10+ minutes of the first half. After jumping out to a 16-4 lead, Duke outscored the Owls 69-39 over the rest of the way, those 39 points coming in about 34 minutes. Over a 36 possession stretch covering the last half of the first half and the first half of the second, Temple scored 17 points on 36 possessions, a D Rating of 47.2 for Duke. Duke's defense was the product of two things - (1) very good field goal defense. Having not watched yet, I can't tell how much is the product of actual good defensive play, and how much was Temple missing open shots, but I'm inclined to lean to the former. During that same 36 possession stretch, Temple was 8 for 33. On the game, the Owls posts a .366 EFG% and a .77 PPWS. (2) Dominant rebounding. Once again, I turn to the 36 possession stretch. Duke outrebounded Temple on their own end of the court 23 to 3 - in other words, they grabbed 88.5% of the available defensive rebounds. That, needless to say, is ridiculous. Temple didn't turn the ball over a lot against Duke (just 8 in 67 possessions), but Duke's rebounding held the Owls to just one shot most times down the floor, and their on the ball defense kept those shots from going in.

Finally, some thoughts regarding Brian Zoubek. He turned in his second consecutive solid performance - 8 and 6 in just 13 minutes, following 4 and 6 in 11 minutes on Sunday. But here's what gets me - he's played 230 defensive possessions, during which Duke opponents have scored just 164 points. He's played 225 offensive possessions, during which Duke has scored 240 points. The team's efficiency margin when he's on the court is 36.67, which is both absurd and the best on the team. Against Temple, Duke's margin was 24-8 over the Owls while #55 was in the game (meaning it was just 49-47 for the rest). Now, I watch the same games as the rest of you. I see him get beat by cutters who draw him out of the basket. I see him slow to react on help defense. I see him vulnerable to turnovers (and lots) when he gets the ball in the post. Of course, I also see him shoot over 50% from the field, 74% from the line, and eat up 18.9% and 19.6% of the offensive and defensive rebounds, respectively. And, for whatever reason, the team seems to play better when he's in the game. 11 and 13 minutes in the last two games is an increase over the 4 prior, where he never played more than 8. I'd like to see him continue to get between 10-15 minutes a game, because both he and Duke are very effective when he's on the court.

No comments: