All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Hoops Dynasty > is triangle/zone the worst off/def combo or is it?
6/9/2013 9:17 PM

Can't figure out my team.  Lost to the #1 team in country by 5, then lose to 2 SIMS who weren't as good.  Started 5-1 and know am 5-4.  Getting frustrated with this team.  Just wondering if I should change off/def.  My team is not great I know, so please no "your team sucks" comments

6/9/2013 9:17 PM
6/9/2013 9:32 PM
I think triangle/zone is one of the best combos. I'm not going to say your team sucks- but you have no legitimate LP threat which you need running a triangle and your defensive ratings are pretty low. The PER players you have are pretty average as well. I noticed you are committing too many fouls for a zone, then I saw you are running a half court press. I think the HCP is causing you to foul more on top of the fact your defensive ratings aren't high enough to make your opponents shoot lower or around 40% FG. You shouldn't consistently have 17 or 18 fouls running zone you want to keep it around 10-12. 

Two of those 4 losses could have went either way so I don't think you should be waving any white flags just yet. I'd say recruit some better D and get one or two LP players and an elite PER player if you can find one. 
6/9/2013 10:09 PM
TY red, it's been really hard recruiting in the NE the last couple of seasons.  If you look at my previous stint at Rivier I did OK(sweet 16 and elite 8)   I just can't grasp this team this go around.  I know what to recruit, just can't seem to get them.  If I could get more players like Carl I would be fine.  Thanks again
6/10/2013 8:59 AM
It's a pretty solid combo in my opinion. I've had a good amount of success with it at S. Arkansas (DII Allen). 

A lot of coaches think that they can get by with lower DEF ratings in the zone. While that's definitely the case for one individual player, your DEF average among your players must be high for zone to be successful. 

The ability to jump between 3-2 and 2-3 depending on the other team adds some strategy to the game. 


6/10/2013 9:05 AM
TY bbunch, is it true that 2-3 at -1 really plays like a -3 and a 3-2 at -1 plays like a +1?  I heard somewhere you give -2 for a 2-3 and a +2 for a 3-2.  I do switch between 2-3 and 3-2 depending on the opp 3pt game and/or reb/LP game.
6/10/2013 9:25 AM
Terps....regarding positioning, that's kind of a common way to look at it. I've heard that too, terps. The things I'm writing below more importantly factor into my defensive positioning decisions.  

You must know that the small forward is a super-important position (probably the most important defensive position) in the zone. It's important to have a SF that can defend, and that is versatile - which allows you to switch freely between the 3-2 and the 2-3. My SF at South Arkansas is not a great player (solid, but not great), but is still improving a lot. Hopefully by the end of the season he's a huge asset.

Remember that the DEF ratings are "averaged", so in a 3-2, the PG, SG, and SF's DEF ratings are averaged together, and the PF and C are averaged together.
 In a 2-3, the PG and SG's DEF ratings are averaged together, and the SF, PF, and C are "averaged" together. 

Just another hint - what I've learned is to self-scout. Many coaches scout the other team, but ignore the strengths/weaknesses of their own team.
So switching based on your opponents 3pt game and reb/lp game, definitely......that's smart. However, also take into account where the strength of your own defense lies.

For instance, at S. Arkansas, my PF and my C are definitely my best players, offensively and defensively. Because of this, I'm more likely to play a 3-2 defense - my SF is more of a perimeter guy, and my PF and C can handle defending the post very well, even in a 3-2. A 2-3 will leave me burned on the perimeter against 90% of teams - my PG is a freshman and my SG is not a good defender. I use the 3-2 positioning to help them out, knowing that the PF and the C will handle the job down low. 

http://www.whatifsports.com/hd/TeamProfile/Ratings.aspx?tid=7256    is a link to my S. Arkansas team if you want to check it out. 




6/10/2013 9:37 AM
bunch, I've started running the zone at Greensboro (in Wooden) and, like terps, I've struggled a little bit in figuring it out. 

There's one question that's been bothering me, and perhaps you can help here. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that your PG and SG have average defensive ratings of 55 and that your PF and C have average defensive ratings of 55 (this is better than I've managed so far, but go with it). But suppose your SF only has a DEF of 40. 

If it's really averaged, a 3-2 zone would have 50 outside defense (55 + 55 + 40)/3 and 55 inside defense. Conversely, a 2-3 zone would have 55 outside defense and 50 inside defense. 

So it seems like, if your SF is a weak defender (I know you said this is bad, but I inherited a small forward and haven't replaced him with someone great yet), then wherever you've concentrated the most defenders actually gets worse. So if you're afraid of getting burned on the perimeter, you're better off playing 2-3 (+4) than a 3-2 (+0). Is this right, or is there an element I'm missing? It has a certain ring of not-truth to me, but I don't have a better idea of how it all works. 
6/10/2013 11:31 AM (edited)
That's a really good question tarvolon, and it stumps me sometimes as well.  On one hand, a 2-3 +2 is supposed to equal a 3-2 -2, all things equal. 
However, a 2-3 only provides 2 players on the perimeter, whereas a 3-2 provides three on the perimeter (though they are sagging off a bit). 

I could definitely be wrong here, but I think you do need to somewhat factor in the concentration of defenders, that there are more guys on the perimeter in a 3-2 than a 2-3. Therefore, I would probably still run the 3-2 at "0" over the 2-3 at "+4".  I would play a 2-3 at +4 if I wanted to cover a team with a lot of penetrating guards that took mid-range jumpers instead of 3's (I've had a lot of success using + defense and 2-3 zone on these sort of teams). However, this question is somewhat mysterious, and I'm just going by experience.....I don't have any hard data to back up my opinion.  

If we go by your hypothetical (PG/SG = 55 DEF) (PF / C = 55 DEF) (SF = 40 DEF) - I just would defend based on the other team's strengths, and I wouldn't worry about the SF hurting the average. If you're only worried about their perimeter scoring- you still have another defender out there, albeit a weak one, and there seems to be some sort of build in benefit to having a higher concentration of defenders in an area.

The moral of the story is.....You REALLY don't want your worst defender to be the SF in a zone..............and for this reason. Gameplanning becomes confusing when your worst defender is in the worst possible position to hide him.  The zone is great for hiding one weak defender (if he is not a small forward). However, the zone can definitely be the weakest defense out there if you have players with average DEF ratings on the team. As you hold on to your team for a while and recruit SF's that can play D, you will have a lot more success experimenting with the zone. 











6/10/2013 11:30 AM
Posted by terps21234 on 6/9/2013 10:09:00 PM (view original):
TY red, it's been really hard recruiting in the NE the last couple of seasons.  If you look at my previous stint at Rivier I did OK(sweet 16 and elite 8)   I just can't grasp this team this go around.  I know what to recruit, just can't seem to get them.  If I could get more players like Carl I would be fine.  Thanks again
Well I hope you have more recruiting luck I'm the future. I've won two titles running zone/triangle and just recently switched up my other teams to these sets as well. I like a lot of what bbunch has said here so you can use that. I'd just like to tell you not to be afraid of walkons. More than any other set you can get by with running an 8 man rotation great with the zone and win if you have the right personnel. You may know this already too but thought I'd share. Gl terms!
6/10/2013 11:32 AM
Posted by reddyred on 6/10/2013 11:30:00 AM (view original):
Posted by terps21234 on 6/9/2013 10:09:00 PM (view original):
TY red, it's been really hard recruiting in the NE the last couple of seasons.  If you look at my previous stint at Rivier I did OK(sweet 16 and elite 8)   I just can't grasp this team this go around.  I know what to recruit, just can't seem to get them.  If I could get more players like Carl I would be fine.  Thanks again
Well I hope you have more recruiting luck I'm the future. I've won two titles running zone/triangle and just recently switched up my other teams to these sets as well. I like a lot of what bbunch has said here so you can use that. I'd just like to tell you not to be afraid of walkons. More than any other set you can get by with running an 8 man rotation great with the zone and win if you have the right personnel. You may know this already too but thought I'd share. Gl terms!
I second this - you don't need a deep rotation with a zone. Going 8 or 9 players deep is just fine, because of less fatigue and less fouls commited. Good point, red
6/10/2013 11:45 AM
Cool.  Starting to understand.  My best player is Carl(SG) at ATH 62, SP 62, DEF 79, I use him at my SF.  My PF & C avg 33 DEF rating and my PG & SG avg 47 DEF.  My PF & C avg 79 in BLK.  My PG & SG are OK in speed, right now I run 3-2 because of my BLK ratings.  Should I be running a 2-3 with like a +2 or +3 setting?
6/10/2013 11:58 AM (edited)
Your team will struggle defensively as long as your positional DEF ratings are so low. You do have Carl in the right spot....he is a solid player and a good SF. 

Maybe some lineup ideas could help...I would really think of starting Wayne Evans at PF, and slide Clark to C. Bench Hayes - his ATH/DEF combo is very poor. You'll then have 2 good defenders in the starting lineup and more versatility. It might hurt your REB ratings a bit - but I've always found that crappy defense hurts more than crappy rebounding. If you make this change, and keep playing a lot of 3-2, your D will be stronger.

Also, I think that Moody in your starting lineup is somewhat of a problem. He shoots well, but is a major liability on defense, being that he is slow and a poor defender. He also won't improve much due to that 15 WE. If you are developing one of your backup guards, you might replace moody with him in the starting lineup and have Moody be a 3-point specialist off the bench. 
6/10/2013 2:33 PM
TY bbunch and red.  This was the only off/def combo I was having trouble with.  A lot of good advice.  Thanks Again!!
6/10/2013 6:05 PM
If I understand the SF argument correctly, you want your SF to be a great defender so that wherever you choose to concentrate your defense (outside for the 3-2 or inside for the 2-3), you are likely to have a good average rating at that location.  In other words, it makes your 3-2 more outside strong, and your 2-3 more inside strong, than the alternative scenario where, say, your PG or your C was the one who was a great defender, in which case you could only make one of those defensive sets really strong.  However, having a great PG or C defender could also make your weak area less weak, e.g. a great PG defender could make a 2-3 less weak on the outside than it otherwise would be.  So I think what you are getting out of a good SF defender is the ability to play more extreme, concentrated variations of the zone, not better defense average defense.  Which means that the value of the good SF defender (compared to good defenders at other positions) is related to the degree of inside/outside imbalance in your opponent's offense.  For a particularly balanced opponent I think it would be not be an advantage, and possibly a disadvantage, for your SF to be the strongest defender.  
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