Nellie Pointing to Better Defense

Janny Hu recently wrote an article about how Nelson is making players accountable for their defense.

Beyond drilling defense in practice, Nelson says his coaching staff will tabulate defensive efforts -- mistake by mistake -- to make sure players are held accountable for their errors. "See those two white pieces of tape?" assistant coach Larry Riley said, pointing to a spot just outside the 3-point line. "If the guy takes the ball and goes around you, that's penetration. If that happens, then you get a mark... More than one negative can be had on a single possession, so if two players are out of place, that's two mistakes. If a possession lasts long enough for a player to get beat twice, that's another two mistakes. All those negatives are then added together and weighted against the number of possessions in a game to determine a final ratio of correct coverage. The higher the percentage, the more the Warriors have followed their defensive game plan.

What I like about this system is that it makes the players more aware their defense. When coaches start counting up how many times you screwed up, you definitely try harder not to be the guy with the most tallies. I bet Nellie will have a bulletin board ranking each player. That's really embarassing if you're always at the bottom. Accountability is the key here.

I'm sure the coaches also break it down versus team and versus a specific opponent player. Furthermore, I can see them looking at the marks by quarter. So if you play better D in the 4th quarter, you'll probably get serious crunch time minutes.

Of those players getting major minutes, who's going to get the most negative marks? And the least negative marks?

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