All Forums > Hoops Dynasty Basketball > Hoops Dynasty > How much of a disadvantage is zone defense?
5/11/2014 10:29 AM
I tend to agree with the second part of zbrent's post as well, but it depends on what my 3 looks like.  In an ideal world, especially given what we know now about 2-3 combining 1-2, 3-4 and then 5 alone, I would always want two types of SF's - a G type and a post type.

My next few recruiting cycles at my zone teams are going to be different based on what we've learned.
5/11/2014 10:45 AM
Posted by guyo26 on 5/11/2014 10:29:00 AM (view original):
I tend to agree with the second part of zbrent's post as well, but it depends on what my 3 looks like.  In an ideal world, especially given what we know now about 2-3 combining 1-2, 3-4 and then 5 alone, I would always want two types of SF's - a G type and a post type.

My next few recruiting cycles at my zone teams are going to be different based on what we've learned.
This is a very good point, and I've reached a similar conclusion.

The *stud* SF who can really swing between 2-4 is pretty rare, so I think I'm going to move towards 6 starting-quality guys 1-2-small 3-big 3-4-5, letting whoever isn't starting among the 3 act as additional good depth.

In the past, I've used my SF largely as a defensive stud to bring up averages (90+-50+-90+ Ath/Spd/Def), while ignoring rebounding. While it worked well in a 3-2, even given the slightly low speed, it perhaps offers some explanation of my the poor rebounding hurt even more than I expected in a 2-3.
5/11/2014 10:51 AM
Exactly, it seems like the 3 many times winds up being "oh look, he'll average up my defense either way" when in reality it's much more than defense.

This is at D3 for me, and 2 low D1 teams.  The problem I see is that its hard enough to find two good guards that I like, much less a SF that looks like a guard.

For whatever reason posts seem easier to find.  Guard play is put at a premium, at least in this revision of the engine, I didn't play earlier versions.  I've had some really, really solid PF's and C's across the seasons, but I can't think of a single guard that stood out other than one on my FB/FCP team.

I'm curious about the coaches that don't switch up 2-3/3-2 that often.  If you settle into a particular version of the zone do you build it that way because you feel you understand it or have an advantage, or is it because personnel dictate one vs the other?
5/11/2014 10:55 AM
Posted by guyo26 on 5/11/2014 10:51:00 AM (view original):
Exactly, it seems like the 3 many times winds up being "oh look, he'll average up my defense either way" when in reality it's much more than defense.

This is at D3 for me, and 2 low D1 teams.  The problem I see is that its hard enough to find two good guards that I like, much less a SF that looks like a guard.

For whatever reason posts seem easier to find.  Guard play is put at a premium, at least in this revision of the engine, I didn't play earlier versions.  I've had some really, really solid PF's and C's across the seasons, but I can't think of a single guard that stood out other than one on my FB/FCP team.

I'm curious about the coaches that don't switch up 2-3/3-2 that often.  If you settle into a particular version of the zone do you build it that way because you feel you understand it or have an advantage, or is it because personnel dictate one vs the other?
For me, it was largely dictated by personnel... but by opposing personnel.

For the last few seasons, I've been mostly 3-2 (w/ some combo) and only going 2-3 against teams that were heavy post scorers (4-5). Because there aren't many teams that get points primarily from the 4-5, it means I have played very little 2-3.

EDIT - and , as it turns out, this may be very fortunate given my own personnel, because the poor rebounding SF in the 2-3 may have been hurting me far more than I thought.
5/12/2014 5:53 AM
Posted by scaturo on 5/6/2014 9:46:00 AM (view original):
Posted by scaturo on 5/5/2014 9:25:00 AM (view original):
Zone Experiment #1

DEFENSE:
Guard Average:  52/64/61 (ATH/SPD/DEF)
Forward Average: 63/39/62
Center:  42/2/53

REBOUNDING:

Forwards:  11 and 51
Center:  87

BLOCK:

Forwards: 27
Center: 77


My opponents two main scoring options are:

1. A guard  that takes about 60% of his shots as threes.

ATH:41
SPD: 67
PER: 69
BH: 75

This guy has an advantage on my guards.   I will be playing a +2 defense to try to limit him.

2. A guard/forward   that relies on ath/spd to score.

ATH: 67
SPD: 57
LP: 34
PER: 35
BH: 66

Less than 10% of his shots are three pointers and he seems to get fouled alot.   I think this is the type of guy that the high block center will help on it.     We'll see.

Interesting results.

The guard I was worried about went 4-12 (2-7 for 3FGA).

The guard/ forward actually played the 2,3,4 and 5 during the game.   I don't have the time to isolate his shots per position but he went  9-19 (1-1 for 3FA) and  took 11 FTs (although 4 were when we were intentionally fouling).

As a team, my opponents shot a little over 42% for 2 point shots and a little under that for 3 point shots.

We had been playing a 3-2 previously.   As expected, the 2fg% was lower in the 2-3 and the 3fg% was higher.  Although,the computer "adjusted"  my defense at 1/2 time from a +2 to a +0.      Against the +2 my opponent was 2-7 (pretty much our season average) against the +0 they were 3-5.
After touching base with scaturo, we thought it might be constructive to add the opposing coach’s viewpoint on this game, particularly since I run a lot of zone. I'll give both my thoughts going into the match-up from an offensive standpoint attacking the zone and running the zone against scaturo's offense. I check out the forums all the time but never post, so forgive me if I ramble on trying to get all my points out.

First, his team had run 3-2 at -5 the 2 or 3 games before mine, so I was thinking there was an above average chance this would be what I faced. It ended up that he went 2-3 at +2. Because of my lack of perimeter shooters and offensive options in general, I would probably choose a 2-3 if I were coaching against myself, or at least a 3-2 with a negative 3 or greater. I have only shot about 20% of shots from 3, and that is just to try to keep some balance, as the % is low at 31.6. To combat this, I start the guard/forward (the 2nd threat mentioned) at guard and drive inside mostly to pick up fouls. I have alternated starting him at PF and C and 1st back-up at post positions when starting at guard because of lack of rebounding and quality depth at guard. Since I like to run mostly a 3-2 and only occasionally flip to 2-3, post rebounding is pretty critical. I only have a couple of decent rebounders and one is a freshman, so I have to rotated my G/F into post positions since he has a least mediocre RB with ath and spd that might help to some extent. (I messed up recruiting for a couple of seasons and I don't have good guard or post depth but have 6-7 guys who would be decent SF.)

When looking at a 3-2 at -5, scaturo has two really good defensive players at the 2 and 3, but both are young with B and C IQ's. When I thought I would be facing both in the backcourt 3-2 (-5), I bumped up guard #1 (listed as scoring option 1 by scutaro) to I think +1 where I normally might have him at -1 or 0 depending on the opponent. I also increased his distribution. As you see from the results above, that didn't work out so well (4-12). Scoring option 2 also had increased distribution at -2 since he had good but young defenders, while this option was an A+ IQ senior. Running a triangle offense for this team, I also had two players in the lineup at the 3 and 4 that were more for defensive and rebounding purposes that did not factor into the offense. My center (ath 72) I did give the ball to some since I thought I would be facing a 3-2, and if nothing else wanted his center (the best rebounder on either team) to draw some fouls, but this guy isn't a great offensive option.

When I look at scaturo's offense, he has three players that drew my attention. Two were guards that have come off the bench, sometimes starting and shoot a fair amount of 3's, where no one else shoots from the perimeter with much frequency. I think his team had been shooting 3's about a third of the time or slightly less and I had two primary players where almost all of this came from. I know I doubled the main 3 point shooter, and I think I doubled the other since they weren't on the floor much at the same time. The reason was so that I could go go negative (-1 in this case) with my 3-2 since I was highly concerned about getting beaten on the boards. Again, his center had 14 points of rebounding on my best rebounder. I thought I could survive since without losing too badly on the boards since his other rebounders were not as good, but I did want to play negative. To note this, I didn't want to play a 2-3 since my SF is good defensively (73) but a poor rebounder (33), and I thought their primary offensive threats were guards shooting 3's, where the 3 player perimeter defense can be very effective. Their other threat was their center, who ended up scoring 19 points. Since I regarded him as the third priority to stop, there wasn't any adjustment here, except that I wanted to try to get him in foul trouble. He did end up with 4 fouls with about 12 minutes left in the game, but I don't know if the game plan had any influence on that. Also, I should mention I wanted to play uptempo due to the fact he has a walk-on and redshirt, while only having three upperclassmen. In this case the decision to run uptempo had more to do with depth than thinking I had a better squad. Plus, I thought I could get some of his good younger defenders in foul trouble with enough possessions.

The results: in terms of rebounding, it ended up being very even. Both teams got just over 38% of offensive rebound opportunities, which seems kind of high on both ends. His 3pt guys shot 4-10 and 2-9, so mixed results there, but the overall shooting % due to the large number of 3's ended up .382 (21 of 68 shots were from 3). Fouls played a big factor, especially toward the end with international fouls, where I went 22-29 and scaturo's guys went 10-13.

As for the general conversation on zone, I'll say I'm a lot more comfortable running a 3-2 than 2-3. If I can get 2 good post players, that are decent athletes, can rebound and block shots, I can out-rebound opponents, and I've had a large margin in my favor for blocked shots. When in the 3-2 also, I seem to be able to have a long-term competitive advantage of lower 3pt% from opponents. Even my weaker teams can end up on the D3 leader boards in this category. From my way of thinking, double-teams are easier from the zone than man. In M2M, you are leaving someone open, not in zone (I don't know to what extent the engine recognizes this, but I have had many good results from double-teams). On 2-3, I don't know if I have figured it out well enough to consistently run it. I elect to run it time to time when the majority of the opposing scoring comes from the post (and usually I try to have a very good defensive player is at SF). Averaging in poorer rebounding forward when I have two good post players is usually what stops me from running that. Plus, when I go 3-2 at -2 I can usually not have rebounding problems when I have the right guys in the post, while being more effective against guards than anything 2-3. I have fun with zone since it seems to have more layers of strategy where I can control the game than the other defenses. Now if M2M let you decide who to guard with what player, it might be a different story, but for now I can mix up what player I play where to some extent to combat M2M without hurting my defense.

Anyway, I hope this was useful to someone. 
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5/12/2014 1:08 PM
Posted by guyo26 on 5/11/2014 10:51:00 AM (view original):
Exactly, it seems like the 3 many times winds up being "oh look, he'll average up my defense either way" when in reality it's much more than defense.

This is at D3 for me, and 2 low D1 teams.  The problem I see is that its hard enough to find two good guards that I like, much less a SF that looks like a guard.

For whatever reason posts seem easier to find.  Guard play is put at a premium, at least in this revision of the engine, I didn't play earlier versions.  I've had some really, really solid PF's and C's across the seasons, but I can't think of a single guard that stood out other than one on my FB/FCP team.

I'm curious about the coaches that don't switch up 2-3/3-2 that often.  If you settle into a particular version of the zone do you build it that way because you feel you understand it or have an advantage, or is it because personnel dictate one vs the other?
The answer to both is yes.

Personnel dictate it as well as the opposing team. Generally I only like running the 2-3 if I have two extra special defensive guards.
5/12/2014 1:22 PM
Posted by long_ge on 5/12/2014 5:53:00 AM (view original):
Posted by scaturo on 5/6/2014 9:46:00 AM (view original):
Posted by scaturo on 5/5/2014 9:25:00 AM (view original):
Zone Experiment #1

DEFENSE:
Guard Average:  52/64/61 (ATH/SPD/DEF)
Forward Average: 63/39/62
Center:  42/2/53

REBOUNDING:

Forwards:  11 and 51
Center:  87

BLOCK:

Forwards: 27
Center: 77


My opponents two main scoring options are:

1. A guard  that takes about 60% of his shots as threes.

ATH:41
SPD: 67
PER: 69
BH: 75

This guy has an advantage on my guards.   I will be playing a +2 defense to try to limit him.

2. A guard/forward   that relies on ath/spd to score.

ATH: 67
SPD: 57
LP: 34
PER: 35
BH: 66

Less than 10% of his shots are three pointers and he seems to get fouled alot.   I think this is the type of guy that the high block center will help on it.     We'll see.

Interesting results.

The guard I was worried about went 4-12 (2-7 for 3FGA).

The guard/ forward actually played the 2,3,4 and 5 during the game.   I don't have the time to isolate his shots per position but he went  9-19 (1-1 for 3FA) and  took 11 FTs (although 4 were when we were intentionally fouling).

As a team, my opponents shot a little over 42% for 2 point shots and a little under that for 3 point shots.

We had been playing a 3-2 previously.   As expected, the 2fg% was lower in the 2-3 and the 3fg% was higher.  Although,the computer "adjusted"  my defense at 1/2 time from a +2 to a +0.      Against the +2 my opponent was 2-7 (pretty much our season average) against the +0 they were 3-5.
After touching base with scaturo, we thought it might be constructive to add the opposing coach’s viewpoint on this game, particularly since I run a lot of zone. I'll give both my thoughts going into the match-up from an offensive standpoint attacking the zone and running the zone against scaturo's offense. I check out the forums all the time but never post, so forgive me if I ramble on trying to get all my points out.

First, his team had run 3-2 at -5 the 2 or 3 games before mine, so I was thinking there was an above average chance this would be what I faced. It ended up that he went 2-3 at +2. Because of my lack of perimeter shooters and offensive options in general, I would probably choose a 2-3 if I were coaching against myself, or at least a 3-2 with a negative 3 or greater. I have only shot about 20% of shots from 3, and that is just to try to keep some balance, as the % is low at 31.6. To combat this, I start the guard/forward (the 2nd threat mentioned) at guard and drive inside mostly to pick up fouls. I have alternated starting him at PF and C and 1st back-up at post positions when starting at guard because of lack of rebounding and quality depth at guard. Since I like to run mostly a 3-2 and only occasionally flip to 2-3, post rebounding is pretty critical. I only have a couple of decent rebounders and one is a freshman, so I have to rotated my G/F into post positions since he has a least mediocre RB with ath and spd that might help to some extent. (I messed up recruiting for a couple of seasons and I don't have good guard or post depth but have 6-7 guys who would be decent SF.)

When looking at a 3-2 at -5, scaturo has two really good defensive players at the 2 and 3, but both are young with B and C IQ's. When I thought I would be facing both in the backcourt 3-2 (-5), I bumped up guard #1 (listed as scoring option 1 by scutaro) to I think +1 where I normally might have him at -1 or 0 depending on the opponent. I also increased his distribution. As you see from the results above, that didn't work out so well (4-12). Scoring option 2 also had increased distribution at -2 since he had good but young defenders, while this option was an A+ IQ senior. Running a triangle offense for this team, I also had two players in the lineup at the 3 and 4 that were more for defensive and rebounding purposes that did not factor into the offense. My center (ath 72) I did give the ball to some since I thought I would be facing a 3-2, and if nothing else wanted his center (the best rebounder on either team) to draw some fouls, but this guy isn't a great offensive option.

When I look at scaturo's offense, he has three players that drew my attention. Two were guards that have come off the bench, sometimes starting and shoot a fair amount of 3's, where no one else shoots from the perimeter with much frequency. I think his team had been shooting 3's about a third of the time or slightly less and I had two primary players where almost all of this came from. I know I doubled the main 3 point shooter, and I think I doubled the other since they weren't on the floor much at the same time. The reason was so that I could go go negative (-1 in this case) with my 3-2 since I was highly concerned about getting beaten on the boards. Again, his center had 14 points of rebounding on my best rebounder. I thought I could survive since without losing too badly on the boards since his other rebounders were not as good, but I did want to play negative. To note this, I didn't want to play a 2-3 since my SF is good defensively (73) but a poor rebounder (33), and I thought their primary offensive threats were guards shooting 3's, where the 3 player perimeter defense can be very effective. Their other threat was their center, who ended up scoring 19 points. Since I regarded him as the third priority to stop, there wasn't any adjustment here, except that I wanted to try to get him in foul trouble. He did end up with 4 fouls with about 12 minutes left in the game, but I don't know if the game plan had any influence on that. Also, I should mention I wanted to play uptempo due to the fact he has a walk-on and redshirt, while only having three upperclassmen. In this case the decision to run uptempo had more to do with depth than thinking I had a better squad. Plus, I thought I could get some of his good younger defenders in foul trouble with enough possessions.

The results: in terms of rebounding, it ended up being very even. Both teams got just over 38% of offensive rebound opportunities, which seems kind of high on both ends. His 3pt guys shot 4-10 and 2-9, so mixed results there, but the overall shooting % due to the large number of 3's ended up .382 (21 of 68 shots were from 3). Fouls played a big factor, especially toward the end with international fouls, where I went 22-29 and scaturo's guys went 10-13.

As for the general conversation on zone, I'll say I'm a lot more comfortable running a 3-2 than 2-3. If I can get 2 good post players, that are decent athletes, can rebound and block shots, I can out-rebound opponents, and I've had a large margin in my favor for blocked shots. When in the 3-2 also, I seem to be able to have a long-term competitive advantage of lower 3pt% from opponents. Even my weaker teams can end up on the D3 leader boards in this category. From my way of thinking, double-teams are easier from the zone than man. In M2M, you are leaving someone open, not in zone (I don't know to what extent the engine recognizes this, but I have had many good results from double-teams). On 2-3, I don't know if I have figured it out well enough to consistently run it. I elect to run it time to time when the majority of the opposing scoring comes from the post (and usually I try to have a very good defensive player is at SF). Averaging in poorer rebounding forward when I have two good post players is usually what stops me from running that. Plus, when I go 3-2 at -2 I can usually not have rebounding problems when I have the right guys in the post, while being more effective against guards than anything 2-3. I have fun with zone since it seems to have more layers of strategy where I can control the game than the other defenses. Now if M2M let you decide who to guard with what player, it might be a different story, but for now I can mix up what player I play where to some extent to combat M2M without hurting my defense.

Anyway, I hope this was useful to someone. 
This is a very interesting "deep dive" on both the game in particular and zone in general. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.
5/12/2014 1:41 PM
i have some follow ups in, but seble said the divisions of the 2/3 and 3/2 as discussed earlier, are not used for rebounding purposes. ill include the full text later.
5/12/2014 1:45 PM
Posted by gillispie1 on 5/12/2014 1:41:00 PM (view original):
i have some follow ups in, but seble said the divisions of the 2/3 and 3/2 as discussed earlier, are not used for rebounding purposes. ill include the full text later.
Definitely matches my eyeball experience on rebounding.  It now brings up some other ideas on zone though.  I know you said you'll post, but I wonder if anything is averaged other than DEF.
5/12/2014 2:09 PM
BLK is definitely averaged.   I asked about that.
5/12/2014 2:25 PM
Yall are all making great arguments, and I'm learning a lot. 

I did just notice that bow2dacowz's Pfieffer Iba team lost in a very stunning fashion in the 2nd round of the NT....of course, they have a zone team. In fact, this team's example was used in the argument regarding the validity of the zone. Anyway,  his squad was 29-1, like my Allen team, and consistently dominant throughout the season (even more so than my Allen team). And despite having a significant rebounding advantage over his opponent talent-wise, and his opponent playing a +3, his squad was solidly outrebounded - something I can only attest to zone (or the RNG going a little crazy - especially with the nutty 36% free throw shooting)

http://www.whatifsports.com/hd/GameResults/BoxScore.aspx?gid=10680939  for the box score


I'm tempted to think that zone is fairly significantly weaker than man or press unless in very specific situations. I'll try to manage my zone team in a better way going forward, but I just thought that was interesting, and consistent with my frustration. 





5/12/2014 2:39 PM (edited)
My inital thought was IQ, but that doesn't look like a factor.  I wonder how much playing Harrison at the 3 came into play, but really I can't look at that box score in isolation and explain why.  I'm not great at pbp and gameplanning though, I'm sure there are plenty of other guys that would be able to explain better.

I've played all three, but M2M is easily my most success followed by FB.  I really want to like the zone, but it's frustrating.

ETA:  tempo/Stamina after second look.  that's my guess.  which is supposed to be a strength of zone, but hard for me to explain other than RNG otherwise.  20 three pointers taken against a 2-3, but I think tempo must have played into it.


5/12/2014 6:20 PM (edited)
Posted by guyo26 on 5/12/2014 1:45:00 PM (view original):
Posted by gillispie1 on 5/12/2014 1:41:00 PM (view original):
i have some follow ups in, but seble said the divisions of the 2/3 and 3/2 as discussed earlier, are not used for rebounding purposes. ill include the full text later.
Definitely matches my eyeball experience on rebounding.  It now brings up some other ideas on zone though.  I know you said you'll post, but I wonder if anything is averaged other than DEF.
defensive abilities are averaged, not just the rating, but what all that includes, i never asked. i think its the whole shebang though - ath, spd, def, blk, sta (fatigue really, but maybe not), iq. its probably pretty rare the sim engine uses individual ratings anywhere, its really more about abilities, which is why i recommend evaluating players by abilities, not ratings.
5/13/2014 8:22 AM
Sorry, should have been more clear about DEF.  I like your camp of certain roles for a player, and to me defense is much more than the DEF rating.  I can see all of that being averaged as you say, but other than something like ATH being a rating that affects more than one role, really affects everything, rebounding is a different role than defense.

Although I never considered IQ being averaged out, which I suppose is silly.  If there's any defense where averages apply, it's zone.  Hmmm.

My one problem with what we've learned about the zone in the last few weeks is shotblocking.  Looking across my teams, I just don't see a big difference in that result as opposed to man or FB.  Of course that could very easily just be my players/teams, but I don't see a surge in it at the 5.  I do see better rebounding, in general, but not more blocked shots.
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