Defense has a team aspect and an individual aspect. At least that’s my belief. But how do you separate the two? How do you assess a player’s defense apart from the defense played by the team he is on?
I’ve given it a shot below. I took all of next season’s returning veterans for the Milwaukee Bucks and graded their defense last season compared to the defense played at their anticipated position by the rest of their teammates. The measuring sticks I have used to make my assessment are Counterpart Opponent Win Score, and for those unreconstructed, Counterpart Opponent PER. All kidding aside, I was surprised how often the two metrics agreed.
What they appear to tell me is that the Bucks new additions, with the exception of Keyon Dooling and Jon Brockman, were not defensive standouts. Chris Douglas-Roberts was particularly awful.
The first parenthetical number is the amount by which the player’s CO had a Win Score “below team”, the second number is the CO’s PER “below team”. A positive number indicates the player’s defense was better than the rest of his teammates, negative, obviously, means the opposite.