How NBA Teams Recreate The Post-Watch



The NBA is in the midst of an offensive explosion, with 14 of the top 15 offensive teams in history Coming in the past four seasons. The Boston Celtics currently boast the third-best offensive ranking in NBA history, and like many teams in the new high-scoring NBA, they do so in part by overburdening the floor with shooting. Although they’ve cooled a bit from the depths since the start of the season, they’re just one of them 13 teams in history to try at least 40 triples per game, and they’re tied at 37.1 percent Four players take turns more than 40 percent.

Why, then, in their difficult time Nov. 14 matches Against the Oklahoma City Thunder – to give just one example – did the Celtics choose to use MVP candidate Jayson Tatum in the post-follow, inside the 3-point arc, and execute what many consider Kind of outdated and outdated gameplay?


For one thing, it was because Tatum is one of the best scorers in the game and was guarded in one-on-one coverage by the opponent’s base. (It worked, too: Tatum used his body to create space, took one pass and pivoted around the rim in order to throw the ball on the inside, eventually helping the Celtics grab W.) But there’s another good reason: Because post-snap runs are actually the most play. Proficiency in basketball.

When used, subsequent deployments were surprisingly effective

Points per opportunity by type of play during the 2022-23 NBA season

play type Frequency per 100 drugs points for each opportunity
Send 5.9 1,035
Isolate 17.8 0.992
Delivery 21.3 0.980
pluck or pluck 68.9 0.979

Through the January 22nd Games.

Source: Spectrum II

How did the posting go from “harder than death” to the best play in the NBA? And does that mean big men really are after they are revived After long waiting? (While centers may have been the ones delivering post-follow buckets in decades past, forwards have in fact overtaken them in the post-follow period – perhaps giving credence to Dr. James Naismith Visualize the original site From the “front” is the main attack site.)

However, we must pump the brakes a a little Any idea that days Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon On us again. Perhaps the most rudimentary explanation for the renewed success of post-follow-up is some form of selection bias: the play is now mostly reserved for those who do it best. Afterwards occur only 5,887 times per 100 possessions, and the 20 players with the highest number of afterfalls in a season combine for nearly half (43.6 percent) of the league’s total postgames. Nikola Jokic accounts for 4.7 percent of the league postings alone. Only four teams, with the exception of the Denver Nuggets themselves, have posted more posts than Jokic alone this season, scoring 1,263 points per chance on such plays. (The league’s best offense scores 1,065 points per opportunity.)

As a point of comparison, the 20 players with the most picks in the league accounting for just over a quarter (26.9 percent) of the league’s total picks and picks, combine into the second spectrum. If the NBA’s pick and roll leaders – Luka Donjic, for example, scoring 1.124 points per opportunity in picks and rosters – contributed more to the overall share of such plays, the type of play would be more successful than the current 0.979 points per opportunity ( But of course, it will also be used at a much lower frequency per 100 properties).

However, thinking of follow-ups in a vacuum misses what makes them so valuable in the current NBA. The league is shifting away from set plays of any kind, toward a streamlined state of multiple actions layered on top of each other. The post-follow-up phase ends as an initial play call, with the ball handler dribbling into the bottomcourt and throwing the ball up the post, with the position immediately fighting another position before shooting; This exact sequence has only happened twice this season.

Subsequent deployments are now dynamic. The percentage of subsequent positions marked by a positional mismatch – with a position defended by a goalkeeper or forward (or a striker defended by a goalkeeper) – has risen from about a quarter in 2013-14 to just over half this season, in Spectrum II. These mismatches have to come from somewhere, and such advantages can be created by other events on the field – such as a pick and roll or a handoff – before being converted into points across the post.

The decrease in the subsequent transmission rate coincided with the increase in the delivery rate. Similar to snaps, about a quarter of all deliveries result in a shuffle this season, resulting in a useful mismatch. (Less than 10 percent of deliveries were switched by the defense in 2013-14.) As the league-wide frequency of post-submissions decreased by approximately 6 plays per 100 possessions from 2013-14 to today, delivery frequency increased by Approximately 8 plays per 100 possessions. But the post-follow-on handoff can get messy, especially after the defense is forced to switch, rotate, or open up some other weakness.

At a minimum, using the catch and/or hand delivery to flow into the post-follow can ensure that the assisting defenders are as far away from the attacking player as possible, giving him plenty of time to work alone in the position.

There are correlations between which players are best at serving, who are best at hand and the offensive efficiency of their teams. Jokić and Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis are two of the league’s most efficient and repeat players, as well as the most popular shortstop providers. Both teams currently rank in the top 5 offensive ratings in history.

One common thread is that Jokic and Sabonis are great goalscorers And passing by. Using them in either of the two capacities outside of the job is a good tactic. This isn’t unusual: throughout the league, possessions with passes coming out of the post carry practically the same efficiency as possessions seeing shots off post-takes. For today’s multi-talented seniors, the post can be used as a means between each type of event on the field, rather than as an end in itself.

However, in the entirety of the Second Spectrum database (from 2013-14), the 2022-23 deployments are the most efficient type of play ever. And least frequent. In fact, post runs were the most efficient and least frequent type of play each season in the database other than 2013-14 (when they were the most efficient and second least frequent type of play).

Subsequent deployments produce more, but use less

Post-NBA Frequency and Efficiency by Season, 2014-23

season Subsequent operations per 100 holdings Points for each opportunity
2013-14 12.4


2014-15 11.9


2015-16 10.4


2016-17 9.4


2017-18 8.7


2018-19 8.6


2019-20 7.0


2020-21 7.0


2021-22 6.4


2022-23 5.9


Through the games of January 22, 2023.

Source: Spectrum II

There is an inherent tension in a play that is slowly growing in efficiency but shrinking in use. Do teams now use posts very rarely? Will there be diminishing returns if used again? With (bone) Teams in the League That Increase Efficiency And applying the principles of Moneyball to the NBA, there must exist to some degree a relative “objective” balance between the frequency and efficiency of individual types of play.

Other factors that affect where that balance might rest haven’t changed dramatically over the past few seasons. While 3-point attempts have generally been on the rise over the past few decades in the NBA, they have been Stable for the past four seasons. As well as 3-point accuracy and speed.

But unless the rules change, or post artists like Joki and Sabonis They lose their skills to alien invaders In the real-life case of Space Jam, it’s hard to see plays in post become less efficient. Most likely, its frequency may increase at some point. And wingers like Tatum may be the next frontier in a post-season resurgence of attacking interest. Toronto Raptors went last season All in on not-so-large deployments. Wings like DeMar DeRozan have always been post-follow magicians. But as later posts become tools to punish mismatches created elsewhere, or a way to string together events like deliveries and rolls, the wing ability in the post will be an important tool in any play revivals. .

Possibly one day after receiving the first invoice; No realistic amount of balance shifting can undo many years of tactical development. Teams can certainly turn to the post for simple, steady buckets sometimes – like the Celtics did with Tatum against the Thunder. And it’s important to remember that modern NBA offensive lineups are often in a state of flux, with multiple pieces flowing together like an intricate ballet. How later shots can fit into the stage around them, such as final moments to exploit a mismatch or as ongoing events to move players or the ball on the ground, changes. There are now many useful uses for the post-follow in the NBA. And as their efficiency continues to rise, teams prepare to recommit more and more of them.

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