3% defense and the Plodding Bigman

Mitchell Maurer deep dive into 3pt shooting ( inspired me to look deeper.

After this past game the Bucks now have a positive 3% differential for the maybe the first time in the Bud era. This is important because 23 of 24 of the last finalist have had positive 3% differential. Last year in the playoffs Toronto won the 3% diff 37.1 to 31.0.

As a coach, three point defense has always been a concern of mine. What can I do to give my team the best chance to win? Maybe the easiest solution is to play with a smaller but quicker line-up. The 3 point line has been slowly taking the importance away of the plodding big man.

This season the Bucks as a team are allowing 36.1 3pt% (20th in the NBA). But line-ups without the Lopii are only allowing 33.1 3pt%. This stat got me thinking, does removing the plodding big improve 3pt% defense across the NBA? Lets take a look. Remember, the the NBA average is 35.5 3pt%.

No Lopii 33.1

No Aldridge and Pöltl 28.3

No Jokic 33.0

No KAT 32.8

No Embiid 34.4

NO Gasol 33.6

No Zubac 32.5

No Adams 34.8

No Whiteside 33.8

No Vucevic 34.5

No Holmes 34.0

No Gobert 33.8

No Drummond 36.0 (the the allow 36.9 3pt% for the season, so they are better at defending the 3 without Drummond on the court)

Across the board we see a consistent improvement in 3pt% defense when the plodding big is not on the court. However, this does not mean giants have no place in the NBA as Coach Bud makes use of his Lopii to greatly enhance 2pt% defense. But as a coach you have a choice of which shot you want to defend better by putting more emphasis on it by deciding if you want to go big or small.

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