Notebook: 5-Nov-2017

Daçka length & hands, Beşiktaş post ups, Pierria Henry offensive boards & Youssoupha Fall defense in today’s notebook entry.

Daçka length & hands

It’s been a mixed start for Daçka, who are 2-3 in the BSL and 4-0 in Eurocup. They unleashed hell on Torino last Wednesday in a dominant defensive performance: Long, active, collapsing on the ball from blind angles, exploding towards loose balls. Wilbekin stood out here with his activity and Sant-Roos is an exceptional on-ball perimeter defender with his length and mobility. 7-footer Emircan Koşut also had his moments stepping out and disrupting passes.

There’s an offense for defense trade in the middle when Michael Eric subs out and Jajuan Johnson moves up to center. Johnson is an offensive weapon, drawing switches on ball screens with his ability to roll or pop, and punishing switch defenders in the post. Daçka score 1.12 PPP thus far on finishes that are set up by a Johnson post up (or directly finished by him).

Eric is a simple, straight forward, assisted finisher on offense but does provide interior defense.

Daçka is 2nd in defensive rating in Eurocup but merely middle of the back in the BSL. They had a tough overtime loss yesterday at Beşiktaş who occasionally had issues dealing with Daçka’s perimeter pressure (including a crunch time midcourt turnover by Sipahi), but did execute extremely well against Daçka’s switching:

Beşiktaş posting up the vs. switch defender

This is something I cannot back up by robust numbers, but my eyes tell me teams & players are, in the era of small ball and switching, simply getting more efficient and more sophisticated in post up situations. This includes individual scoring skills and reading double teams for players on position one through five, as well as the X and O framework, using a timely cuts, down- and flare screens to free up passing targets.

Beşiktaş players, primarily Sertaç Şanlı, got every decision right on Saturday, finishing one on one over smaller defenders or kicking the ball out on perfect timing. These are all of their post ups versus Daçka switch defenders.

The post up, including the guard/wing post up is something I plan to address in more detail in a future post.

Euroleague Post UP (incl. passes) Frequency & Efficiency

Season % PPP
EL 2008/09 9.1 0.86
EL 2009/10 11.3 0.90
EL 2010/11 11.8 0.86
EL 2011/12 11.7 0.86
EL 2012/13 12.6 0.87
EL 2013/14 12.1 0.91
EL 2014/15 11.8 0.88
EL 2015/16 11.0 0.91
EL 2016/17 10.7 0.91
EL 2017/18 12.0 0.97

Euroleague numbers aren’t free of random ups and downs, but post efficiency (PPP) has been fairly consistently on a higher level these past five seasons than during the 2008-13 years and are up to 0.97 PPP, 0.1 PPP over the 2008-13 average. Basketball folks familiar with possession-based numbers know that a margin of 10 points per 100 possessions is the difference between a middling offense and an elite offense.

Pierria Henry crashing the offensive glass

Tofaş (5-0 in BSL, 3-1 in Eurocup) currently sit 1st in BSL and 3rd in Eurocup in Offensive Rebound Percentage, and it’s coming from multiple sources: aggressive interior play, an active front line (Morgan, Owens, Kadji), and guards & wings who occasionally crash the glass, partly depending on matchups. This brings us to former Pierria Henry, who was lead guard for VITA, elite defensive stopper in Ulm before carrying Hapoel Eilat to a 23-15 record last season. Henry is crashing the offensive glass aggressively for Tofaş.

He lived on the offensive glass especially versus John Roberson in Wednesday’s win over ASVEL.

Henry was 6th last season amongst point guards & combo guards in putback points per game, according to Synergy Sports (+ my own position data). The leadersboards were dominated by athletic guards, many (but not all) of which are below average shooters:

PG & Combo Guard Putback PPG 2016-17

Player Team PPG
1 DeAndre Kane Nizhny 1.7
2 Zaid Hearst Araberri 1.5
3 Jason Siggers Gilboa Galil 1.1
4 Anthony Ireland Trefl Sopot 0.8
5 Branden Frazier Avtodor 0.7
6 Pierria Henry Eilat 0.7
7 Ramone Moore Melbourne 0.6
8 Perry Petty Körmend 0.6
9 Zack Wright Monaco 0.6
10 Anthony Miles Gdansk 0.6
11 Domen Bratoz Rapla 0.6
12 McKenzie Moore Patras 0.6
13 Luka Doncic Real Madrid 0.6
14 Nathan Sobey Adelaide 0.6
15 Stephen Dennis Herzeliya 0.6
16 Rion Brown Kataja 0.6
17 Gregory Vargas Haifa 0.6
18 Manny Ubilla Zalakeramia 0.6
19 Ronald Ross Keravnos 0.5
20 Chavaughn Lewis Slupsk 0.5

Tofaş has playmakers all over the floor, putting Henry into an on/off ball role where he gets opportunities — as someone who doesn’t draw the same level of attention as high level shooters do — to crash the glass coming from the weak side.

You follows Mou

Pro A Defensive Player of the Year Moustapha Fall (with a little bit of help from fellow DPotY top three candidate Jeremy Nzeulie) was the decisive defensive force last season for champions Chalon-sur-Saone, cleaning up behind an offense-focused John Roberson and helping improve Chalon’s defensive rating by 10 points per 100  possessions compared to the previous season.

Moustapha Fall

Fall has serious presence as a deep-sitting pick and roll defender, showing tremendous instincts in contest vs. box out decision making and altering a ton of shots inside:

Youssoupha Fall

As one 7-footer named Fall left for Turkey (Sakarya BB), another one emerged as starting center of currently league-leading Le Mans (6-1), who also sit atop the Pro A’s defensive rating leaderboards (95.5 points per 100 possessions): 1995-born 221cm giant Youssoupha Fall, a 2016-17 teammate of 16-year-old wing sensation Sekou Doumbouya at Poitiers.

Averaging 9.6 points, 6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 20.1 minutes per game through 7 games for Le Mans.


  • Drop defender in pick and roll. Must develop defensive instincs, which are poor at this point. Often fails to make the right decision between contest/box out. Not a dominating presence at this point. Still has to learn the game.
  • Had just 3 blocks through the first 5 games but blocked 4 a couple of weeks ago versus Antibes and 2 last weekend versus Le Mans (video is from Pro A games prior to the Antibes game).


  • Simple finisher. Involved in ball screens. Finishes lob plays. Does not possess a left hand. To watch: post game.