We've already discussed some of our initial impressions of Steve Kerr's summer league offense, but Coach Nick of Bball Breakdown has elaborated on how he thinks the Golden State Warriors' personnel will fit into the new system in a new video published yesterday (above).
Coach Nick does an excellent job of highlighting where Warriors players might find opportunities to score within Kerr's offense that appears to be a mix of the best of the Triangle and Motion Weak that the Spurs run. If you're unfamiliar with the type of scoring opportunities the Triangle yields - or, more specifically, where a scoring guard like Stephen Curry might find opportunities to score - Nick has also already taken a close look at how the Triangle offense worked under Phil Jackson in the past with a comparative look at Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls and Kobe Bryant's L.A. Lakers.
Most of what he says in his latest video are points he's made previously on Twitter and I've summarized some key points below, which are especially interesting in light of the Warriors turnover struggles at times last season:
- He believes that there's no way the Warriors will be ranked 13th in offensive efficiency this year running this type of offense.
- One thing that really haunted the Warriors last year was poor responses to doubles and traps - not just for Curry, but really anywhere on the court. Nick notes early in his analysis how Kerr's offense includes secondary options to combat that, which will be a huge help for this team.
- One point Coach Nick made about the Warriors' fit with this offense is the effectiveness of Andrew Bogut and David Lee hitting mid-range shots. Beginning at 1:55, he describes how one option out of doubles is that "...the center can simply find the open space on the wing and both Bogut and Lee can hit this shot at above average percentages." We've had at least two extended arguments about this, but the 10-16 foot shot has not exactly been a "strength" for Bogut over the course of his career.
According to Basketball-Reference, Bogut did shoot 58% from that distance on 12 attempts last season, but he has only shot 34% on the 317 attempts from that distance over the course of his career. Perhaps more important for offensive spacing is that most defenses simply didn't respect him as a threat from that distance (whether he's on the wing or acting as a facilitator at the top of the key). It's probably fair to say that he can hit that shot, but the numbers certainly don't support a claim that he's proficient at it.
Coach Nick's point about this being a "multi-positional offense" with the corner ball screen being for one of multiple perimeter players is also worth noting - this is a flexible offense with a number of options out of it that can maximize the various talents of the Warriors' roster.
- He points out a couple of times that Lee would be good in the pinch post with Curry because he has excellent ball handling skills, but that might be a point worthy of closer examination. According to Synergy Sports, the Warriors were 27th in the league when giving the ball to the roll man out of the pick and roll (0.92 points per possession). Bogut and Lee ranked 45th (1.08 PPP) and 76th (1.01 PPP), respectively, in those situations. But when you look over those scoring opportunities, particularly in the context of Warriors turnovers, one thing that really stands out is that Lee is somewhat turnover prone when handling the ball in space and driving into traffic and Bogut is very turnover prone when he gets the ball and has to make any sort of move to get to the rim or pass (which could be why he wasn't very involved in the offense last season). Lee fumbled balls on occasion while trying to catch it on the move.
Could the new offense change some of that? Possibly, and that's a subject worthy of an additional more detailed post (which, as I've mentioned previously, is something I've been working on this offseason). But the general sentiment that Lee and Bogut are great ball handlers might be one worthy of closer examination before we accept it as fact.
- One of the things he alludes to on multiple occasions is how much Kerr's summer league offense limited the need to do a whole lot of dribbling and that's a really big deal for improving the Warriors' offensive efficiency. Again, a subject for a longer post, but if we accept the data that suggests the Warriors moved the ball at the lowest rate in the league, then it's at least worth considering how that influences offensive efficiency. If nothing else, this offense simply gives players more open, simple passing options which limits the burden of the ball handler to force plays.
Again, it's hard to read too much into exactly what the Warriors' summer league squad did with this offense - they're obviously lesser players than what's on the regular season roster and only had a few days to pick it up under a coach who was implementing it for the first time. But Nick does a very good job of highlighting specific areas where the Warriors' personnel might benefit from running an offense like this.