How much of a disadvantage is zone defense? Topic

I think of it as a +/- setting.

Would in a 3-2 (0) your 70/70 guys are effectively playing a +1 (compared to man).
In a 2-3 (0) you know have a 67/67 playing a -1.

The latter gives you better post defense in my opinion.

5/2/2014 9:57 AM
Which is to say, in your opinion, a 3-2 (-2) would give you better post defense than a 2-3 (0), given the player ratings being discussed. 
5/2/2014 10:06 AM
Yeah, I think so.

I generally play a 3-2 and only go into the + defenses if a team take more than 38% (or so, I usually eyeball it) of their FGA from behind the arc.

I usually only switch out of the 3-2 into the 2-3 if a team takes less than 5% of their shots from 3 point land and then I just go 2-3 (-5) which is like a 3-2 (-7)..
5/2/2014 10:32 AM
So the two players averaging 70/70 would be better than the three players averaging 67/67 if I play a 3-2 @-2? I don't have any tangible evidence, but this has not been my experience. I would still expect to have better defense down low with the three players down low playing 2-3 @ 0
5/2/2014 12:56 PM
I don't either but that is my working theory.   My perception may be distorted by who I play at SF.  They are generally more guard like with lower BLOCK scores.   That may be why I have been more successful running a 3-2  -  than a 2-3.
5/2/2014 1:11 PM
So maybe people win less with zone just because way less people know everything about it, or have it figured out. Man and Press are very straightforward by comparison. I need to decide whether to continue to make things harder for myself at S. Ark (which might not be a bad move, as it is a challenge) or to move to press and have a much greater chance at a title. 
5/2/2014 2:22 PM
TJ, I think part of the fun of zone is the versatility. We both have had some success with zone and have done it very differently. We are both trying to answer the question based on our own team composition. I have had more success with 2-3 because my roster has been better suited to play that way. With that said, last season in knight I played a 2-3 almost exclusively in the regular season, but then in the NT 4 of the six games I played a 3-2. I generally don't have the rebounding to be competitive in a 3-2. That may be the most important part of playing 3-2 IMHO.

Looking at zone post defenders in a vacuum, which would be able to better defend inside, the 70/70 @-2 combo or the 70/70/60 @0? Looking at it from the perspective that the 70/70 has a total of 140 defensive points defending the basket while the 70/70/60 has 200 defensive points defending that same basket.

BBunch, I wish more people would play the zone. Specifically people that were a lot smarter than me and were better at keeping notes and statistics.
5/2/2014 2:55 PM
wow, i ticketed seble about the mechanics of the 3-2 vs the 2-3, and am really intrigued by his answer. i sent a follow up clarification to make sure i understand what he meant before sharing the ticket with how i interpret that information, and its impact on how to play zone. we have had too many bad experiences with contextual differences on these things, so i really want to wait to make sure i understood correctly... anyway will follow up soon. very interesting stuff though... one thing in particular, i've never even heard of before, although it makes sense - so i am pretty excited to process this and work it into how i play zone. too bad its the CT finals on the zone team i coach with jjwarden, i am like, dying to take this into account, but terrified of breaking everything and somehow getting another early exit. its crazy to me to have a zone concept this important never come to light before, at least, not where i saw it, which makes me think it may be news to everyone. 

5/2/2014 3:04 PM
I have a pretty good zone team that's still in midseason, so if you can get something useful that would be worth testing out, I'd be glad to hear it!
5/2/2014 3:30 PM
I (apparently) have a very different rule of thumb than most people with respect to how I play zone (generally, I tend to switch it up for particular matchups). I had good success with it at D3 and some moderate success so far at D2 in a brutal conference (but no NT title wins yet).

I generally use the +/- to account for 3-point shots, which is (I think) pretty standard in press and man as well.

I generally use the 3-2/2-3 option (I try to keep roster flexibility and may change starter based on the D I run) to account for *where* the scoring comes from. If it is a heavy-scoring backcourt I am facing, I go 3-2 - *even* if they don't shoot 3-pointers. I have, in the past, gone 3-2 (-5) against guard-heavy slashing teams, with some success. If a team gets most of its points from the post, I'll lean towards a 2-3. This seems to happen less often, as more teams seem to get scoring from their guards.
5/2/2014 5:45 PM
5/2/2014 1:09 PM gillispie1
There have been a lot of questions about the mechanical differences of a 3-2 and 2-3 zone, particularly in the last couple months. Is there any information you can share to enlighten the community? For starters, a lot of people characterize the 3-2 and 2-3 as "averaging in the sf", on equal footing with the others, from a defensive standpoint. Is this really what happens? If so, is the SF averaged in with special SF ratings, or is he just looked at like a big or guard? If they are special SF ratings, are they the same in the 3-2 and 2-3? 

Also, we all presume if you play a 3-2 with 3 equally good defenders, its going to give better per defense than a 2-3 (and this very much appears true). However, many worry that including a slightly worse defender, thus bringing down the average, could actually hamper perimeter defense. In reality, that extra 3rd man helps unless hes substantially worse than the defenders he is supporting, but nobody has any idea if thats how it works in HD. Any comments on how this works? We aren't looking for quantifications of the effects that would give away some engine secrets, but some qualifications of how the fundamental mechanics work, between a 2-3 and a 3-2, would be great. I think this would be a benefit to the community as zone is easily the least well understood of all defenses, and also, many people think it is not competitive at the high level. I think understanding how the fundamental mechanic works would open the door for coaches to try zone out, and to try to study it, try to make it work. It really seems getting people to try something fresh and new increases their happiness and longevity with the game!

Take care,
5/2/2014 1:39 PM Customer Support
The main differences between a 2-3 and 3-2 in the engine are the way that players are evaluated for defensive ability and the impact on perimeter vs. paint. 

In a 2-3, positions are lumped as PG/SG, SF/PF, and C by itself. In a 3-2, PG/SG/SF are lumped together, and PF/C are together. Each group of positions is evaluated based on different rating weights.
5/2/2014 2:59 PM gillispie1
That is extremely helpful! Thanks very much. Just to clarify - when you say, for example, in the 3-2, the PG/SG/SF are lumped together - does that mean their ratings are all considered by the same metrics, and each player is equally valuable in the 3-2, defensively? Meaning they are not only evaluated on equal ground, but weigh in equally in the contemplation of how good the perimeter defense it? As opposed to say, the pg/sg being worth 40% each and the sf, 20%?
Thanks again,
5/2/2014 8:25 PM Customer Support
Yes, that's correct.
5/2/2014 8:49 PM
In a 2-3, positions are lumped as PG/SG, SF/PF, and C by itself. In a 3-2, PG/SG/SF are lumped together, and PF/C are together.

OK, WTF does that mean?
5/2/2014 8:58 PM (edited)
really seble's reply in the middle is what is really valuable. i just left in the rest for context, or to possibly clarify any questions. so what im hearing is, in 3-2, the sf is calculated by a "guard like" set of ratings, which means sfs with guard quality defense skills should definitely go further than sfs with big type skills. also, interesting that when playing the 3-2, the sf, pg, and sg are all equally valuable. i kind of assumed the last part, and had heard old old comments from old admin about the averaging - but i never heard a confirmation that a specific formula is used that is the same for all the players on the perimeter. this is true for the 2-3, too.

what i thought was really new/interesting is in the 2-3, the sf and pf are calculated and averaged together - not the sf/pf/c! this means some set of skills is used in calculating the quality of the sf/pf team, probably something with more weight on speed than a center, and less weight on shot blocking. very interesting the center is alone, i assume that is probably then the one position where you really, really should care about shot blocking. i've noticed shot blocking was important in the zone in general, but it would be interesting to try to study if its mainly focused on the center, or if the sf/pf are pretty important as well.

this information definitely changes how i will approach my zone teams. i often would not pay much attention to pf/c, just putting whomever had more bh/pass at pf, or something else not that meaningful. now, i will definitely focus more on getting center skills for that center spot, for when i play 2-3. also, i tend to switch between the 2-3 and 3-2 often, and often wondered if it was worth changing my lineup to get a guardy sf in for the 3-2 and a forwardy sf in for the 2-3. it seems to me there is potentially a lot of value in that. also, with certain teams, switching between the 2-3 and 3-2 may not make any sense. if you have a true guard at the 3, it sounds like its going to be a lot worse to play 2-3 than i would have guessed, considering the formula to evaluate that sf is the same one used at pf. i had always assumed guys were averaged, but before they were averaged, every position was calculated with its own metrics. apparently, that is not the case.
5/2/2014 8:59 PM
Posted by Trentonjoe on 5/2/2014 8:58:00 PM (view original):
In a 2-3, positions are lumped as PG/SG, SF/PF, and C by itself. In a 3-2, PG/SG/SF are lumped together, and PF/C are together.

OK, WTF does that mean?
yeah... thats why i followed up before i was willing to publicly share his comments, because i was pretty sure coaches could interpret that differently. look at my interpretation in the post above this and see if you agree that is what he is saying. im pretty confident it is, because i specifically asked to clarify the potentially confusing middle part, and all he said back was "yes". but still, there may be more ambiguities or questions that i have not thought of myself.
5/2/2014 9:02 PM
My question is how does the forwards value effect game play in the 2-3? Why are they not lumped in with the Center?

This certainly does explain why my 2-3 teams suck though.
5/2/2014 9:40 PM
◂ Prev 1|2|3|4|5...14 Next ▸
How much of a disadvantage is zone defense? Topic

Search Criteria

Terms of Use Customer Support Privacy Statement

© 1999-2018, Inc. All rights reserved. WhatIfSports is a trademark of, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.