The Cleveland Cavaliers are putting on one of the worst defensive displays in the history of the NBA. It is quite the show when you watch this team. Thankfully, they play at a really slow pace so the really obvious statistics don’t stand out (such as opponents’ PPG). But that’s ok, because we now live in the age of advanced statistics so you can see just how terrible this team is on defense. I warn you that if you have any children, you might not want to let them continue reading because it will get very, very ugly.
The Statistics (brought to you by hoopdata and espn.com)
- Defensive Eff.- 109.5. Good for 30th in the league, only ahead of Phoenix.
- Opponent eFG%- 53.81%. Dead last in the league.
- Opponent FG% on shots at rim- 65%. 26th in the league.
- Opponent TS%- 57.2%- Dead last in the league.
And now, for the ultimate statistics of fail I give you this…
- Opponent’s 3-point FG%- 43.3%. LOL.
- Opponent’s 3-point eFG%- 64.9%. ROFLOLMAO.
The Analysis of the Awful
The first four stats I provided simply show what you already knew. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a bad defensive team. When it comes to your normal measures, they are right there fighting it out with PHX for crappiest defensive team in the league. But let us skip right to the meat and potatoes shall we?
The 3 point numbers are astronomically awful. If spaceships were fueled by 3-point defensive suckage, the Cavaliers would be well on their way out of the solar system. The Cavaliers opponents shoot 43.3% from 3!!!!!!!! Folks, do you understand how terrible that number is? According to ESPN, this is easily the worst number over the past decade, and I’m guessing it’s the worst number since the 3-point line was incorporated into the NBA. Do you know what the second worst team is over the past decade at defending the 3-point line is? The 2008-2009 Sacramento Kings who put up a number of 40.6%. A nearly 3% difference between the two teams. It’s a statistical chasm.
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Well, could this number be so high because team’s take so few 3s against the Cavs?” Good question. If this were the case, then one could argue the Cavaliers actually do a very good job at guarding the 3-point line because teams simply can’t get enough shots off against them, and the percentage is skewed because of such a low shot total. Sadly, it isn’t the case. The Cavaliers opponents shoot 21.4 three-pointers a game against Cleveland. TWENTY ONE POINT FOUR!! You guessed it, that’s the most in the league.
Just think about that for a bit. Not only do the Cavs have the worst opponent 3-point% in the league by over 4% (the next closest is San Antonio at 39.2%) but they give up the most 3-pointers a game.
What does this mean? Well, it means two things. The Cavaliers’ opponents recognize how bad the Cavs suck at defending the 3-point line and go into the game planning to shoot them at will. The other thing is that we have something to cheer for. We can be the worst team in the history of the NBA at defending the 3-point line if we play our cards rights. So, there is that.
Basically, the Cavaliers might as well just stand at the offensive end of the court and not even get back on defense. That way, the opposing team can just make lay-ups all night instead of getting wide-open 3s which results in more points. Yes, that is an exaggeration but only a very miniscule, slight exaggeration.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers!!