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THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DEFENSIVE TACTICS ON OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY IN BASKETBALL

Evangelos Tsamourtzis1, Anastassia Filaktakidou2, Georgios Zaggelidis3, Alexandros Malkogeorgos3

1 Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece

2 University Sports Department, University of Ioannina, Greece

3 Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Correspondence:

Tsamourtzis Evangelos,

Democritus University of Thrace,

Dept. of Physical Education & Sport Science,

University Campus,

69100 Komotini. Hellas (Greece)

E-mail etsamour@phyed.duth.gr


Summary

The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the effectiveness of defensive tactics on offensive efficiency in Basketball. For the realization of this objective a video analysis was done, on ninety (n=90) basketball matches during the competitive period of 2005 to 2010 of the National Men’s Teams and basketball teams, attending the events of FIBA. The program “Sportscout” was used for the analysis of the games. Crosstabs command and the non-parametric x2 (Chi-square) distribution were used for the statistical analysis of the data. The results showed that in all cases against zone defense proportionately more three-point shots were made and fewer fouls. The winners shot more successful two-point shots, fewer missed three-point shots and won more fouls against defensive transitions.

Key words: Basketball, video analysis, offensive effectiveness, defensive tactic


INTRODUCTION

Basketball is a team sport with the most statistics. For the coach to successfully lead the team, he should be aware of the rates of technical-tactical elements of the game. The coach that knows these percentages has the potential to reduce the possibility of error for the team, and will be in an advantageous position against its opponents. The aim of any coach is to be able to find the way in which the team will score at least one point more than the opponent. He needs to know if the team is favored by playing with fast breaks or set plays, if they have to perform two or three points shot against man to man or zone defenses, etc. Without any concrete statistics it is bound to be based on personal impressions, intuitions and beliefs (Mikes, 1987).

Choosing the right shot at the right time is a rule in basketball. According to Zeravitsa and Pavlovits (1990), the shot is always executed when there is a prospect to score and when the teammate is in the best position. There is an unwritten rule, which should be respected, easier and more certainly to achieve points when we are under the basket. The effort for the player is to be under the basket and score from an ideal position, is a wise idea for basketball. When this is not possible, due to press defense, then the players decide to shoot from middle distance or from a three-point area.

The efficiency of a shot is determined by the pressure of the defense, the distance and the individual characteristics of the player. Much depends on the ability of the player to shoot. Each player must know the percentages of his effort from any position in the court. For some players a open-shot from the 6 meters with a little pressure from an opponent is much better than a shot close to the basket with many opponents. The offence is designed as to give opportunities for shots to all players (Smith & Spear, 1981).

Accordance to Mikes (1988), the three-point shooting will result in higher scoring, helping the team who is back in score to return in the game, and enhance the psychology of the players. Nevertheless, in accordance with Trupin and Couzens (1989), it is more preferable for the game to be based on shots in the “paint” zone rather than the outside three-point shooting, because the long distant shots show lower percentages and can easily leave the team at a disadvantage.

The option of attack must be combined with defense weaknesses of the opponent. It is a tragic mistake for the attack to be carried out in the area where the best defender of the opposing team controls, except if there is a special reason, which is for example to gain a foul (Kioumourtzoglou,, 1994).

Particularly prevalent, due to the significant results obtained from them, are the programs for the PC, which with the help of video, given the ability to analyze any game and any conclusions on both the performance of the team and players as well as for scouting the opponents. There are many studies which show the distinct role played by statistical analysis or performance analysis in the game of basketball (Trninić, Dizdar, & Lukcić, 2002; Gomez, Tsamourtzis & Lorenzo, 2006; Ibanez, Sampaio,  Feu, Lorenzo, Gmez, & Ortega, 2008; Mavridis,  Tsamourtzis, Karipidis, & Laios, 2009; Polykratis, Tsamourtzis, Mavridis, & Zaggelidis, 2010).

The purpose of this study was to record and analyze the effectiveness of defensive tactic on the offensive efficiency in basketball. The separation of the teams into winners and losers was designed to compare the way of the offensive implementation of the teams and their relationship to the defensive tactic in order to define the training process that "leads" to victory.


METHODOLOGY

Sample: The sample made possible for the research, constituted of ninety (n=90) basketball games of the National teams of men and basketball team-clubs attending the events of the FIBA, where done during game seasons 2005-2010.

Equipment: The method of indirect observation was employed and the following equipment was used:

Process: A video analysis took place for the completion of the work’s purpose. The comparisons occurred between winners and losers and there were studies showing the frequencies of the following parameters:

  1. The team who demonstrated offense: the winner, the loser (the outcome of the game was known).

  2. The way offense was demonstrated: shots (2+, 2-, 3+, 3- ), fouls, turnovers.

  3. Defense tactics: man to man, trapping man to man, zone, trapping zone, combination defense, and defensive transition.

After the completion of the above mentioned protocol, an observation of the game followed, through a PC and the simultaneous recording of observed cases (Encoding), on a table of observation protocol. This table constituted the final data table, which in continuation was processed statistically. The registration of the data was carried out by the researcher herself, in a University, Video-analysis Department. For the reliability of the measurements, the first ten matches were analyzed twice. Spearman’s Correlation Test and Wilcoxon’s Nonparametric Test were performed. Spearman’s Correlation Test revealed that all variables had a statistically important, positive correlation. Wilcoxon’s Nonparametric Test, 2 Related Samples, did not reveal any statistically important differences for the same variables, either.


Statistical Analysis

The statistic analysis package SPSS and Crosstabs command and the non-parametric x2 (Chi-square) distribution was used for the statistic analysis of the data. The discriminate level was set as p<0.05.


RESULTS

Originally it was observed that in the number of possessions there was no statistically significant difference between winners and losers (x = 0.25, p>0.05).


Table 1. Offensive effectiveness (Winners) in relation with defensive tactic (Losers)

Relative values (percentage %)

Man to man

Trapping Man to man

Zone

Trapping Zone

Combination defense

Defensive transition

Distribution of the effectiveness

2+

67.7

1.5

8.0

0.5*

0.5*

21.9*

20.4*

2-

76.8*

1.5

11.5

0.4

0.5*

9.4

19.0

3+

76.9

0.6

10.9

0.3

0.3

10.9

7.4

3-

70.5

1.3

17.1*

0.8

0.5

9.8*

14.7

Fouls

64.8

3.3*

6.2

0.5

0.2

25.0*

24.4*

Turnovers

71.6*

3.5*

9.8

0.5

0.7*

13.9

14.1*

Distribution of defensive tactic


70.3*


2.1*


10.0*


0.5*


0.4*


16.5


100

* p < .05 2+ = Successful two point shot, 2- = Missed two point shot,

3+ = Successful three point shot, 3- = Missed three point shot


Table 2. Offensive effectiveness (Losers) in relation with defensive tactic (Winners)

Relative values (percentage %)

Man to man

Trapping Man to man

Zone

Trapping Zone

Combination defense

Defensive transition

Distribution of the effectiveness

2+

72.5

0.3

6.6

*

*

20.6*

17.7*

2-

82.3*

0.4

9.1


*

8.2

20.5

3+

75.9

0.7

11.0



12.4

7.0

3-

72.9

0.3

11.6*

0.3

0.1

14.8*

16.2

Fouls

69.1

0.9*

7.4

0.1


22.4*

22.5*

Turnovers

78.3*

1.2*

7.5

0.1

*

12.9

16.4*

Distribution of defensive tactic


75.0*


0.6*


8.6*


0.1*


0,0*


15.7


100


* p < .05 2+ = Successful two point shot, 2- = Missed two point shot,

3+ = Successful three point shot, 3- = Missed three point shot


Observations from tables 1 and 2 show that the winners shot more successful two-point shots (x = 9.47, p<0.05), won more fouls (x = 5.21, p<0.05) and made fewer turnovers (x = 6.35, p<0.05) than the losers. For missed two-point shots (x = 1.76, p>0.05) and successful (x = 0.73, p>0.05) and missed three-point shots (x = 2.33, p>0.05) there were no statistically significant differences.

The winners played more man to man defenses (x = 4.31, p<0.05) and fewer trapping man to man defenses (x = 36.7, p<0.05), zone defenses with (x = 11.56, p<0.05) or without traps (x = 5.58, p<0.05) and combination defenses (x = 15.2, p<0.05) than the losers. In defensive transition (x = 1.36, p>0.05) there was no statistically significant difference.

More specifically it was observed that in all cases against zone, proportionately more three-point shots and fewer fouls were made. The winners shot fewer missed two-point shots (x = 6.01, p<0.05) and made fewer turnovers (x = 12.6 , p<0.05) against man to man defense, won more fouls (x = 16.09, p<0.05) and made fewer turnovers (x = 5.82, p<0.05) against trapping man to man defense, shot more missed three-point shots (x = 4.26, p<0.05) against zone defense, more successful two-point shots (x = 4, p<0.05) against trapping zone defense, more successful two-point shots (x = 4, p<0.05), missed two-point shots (x = 4, p<0.05) and made more turnovers (x = 4, p<0.05) against combination defense. Finally they shot more successful two-point shots (x = 4.27, p<0.05), less missed three-point shots (x = 9.44, p<0.05) and won more fouls (x = 5.16, p<0.05) against defensive transition.


DISCUSSION

From the analysis of the results it was found that in the number of possessions there was no statistically significant difference between winners and losers. Kioumourtzoglou (1994) agreed by saying that the outcome of the game is not related to how many numeric attacks are carried out by the team. Instead it is the absolute accuracy of the shot-percentage of the team which is associated with the outcome of the game. The results of this work agree with the above as it was also found that there was percentage difference of successful two-point shots (51.8 % winners versus 46.3 % losers) and successful three-point shots (33.5 % winners versus 30.1 % losers). The winners shot numerically more successful two-point shots, won more fouls and made fewer turnovers than the losers, this conclusion agrees with the Tsamourtzis, Salonikidis, Taxildaris, and Mawromatis (2002).

Man to man defense is the proportionally dominant defense by both winners and defeated. Following next are defensive transition and zone defense, while the defenses trapping man to man, trapping zone defenses and combination defences are played very little. The winners played more man to man defenses and fewer trapping man to man defenses, zone defenses with or without traps and combination defenses than the losers. The results showed that in all cases against zone were proportionately more three-point shots and proportionately fewer fouls. In the defense transition the winners shot proportionally fewer three-point shots. Numerically in the defense transition winners shot more successful two-point shots, fewer missed three-point shots and won more fouls. The results verify the prevailing view of the coaches, that against zone shoot more three-point shots, won fewer fouls and also that the winners tend to avoid three-point shots in fast break in relation with the losers, but if they decide to so it is more accurate. Mikes (1987) in his research for the percentages of shots depending on the defensive tactic found that the percentages in two-point shots from 69.3 % without a defender drop to a lower rate of 48.5 % with a defender and a much lower percentage of 37.8 % after trap. The percentages of the three-point shots respectively were 34.4 %, 36.5 % and 14.2 %.

From the above results it is clear the concept of the coaches that against teams with poor 3-point shooters, should the opponents have in their defensive plans and some kind of zone.

Practical task significance could be determined according to possible contribution to various parts of sport practice. The survey results could be applied in schooling area (its direct impact on curriculum and syllabus of basketball players education, the process of coach education, curriculum and syllabus for basketball experts training), training area (basis for creating modern tools which would enable the extension of learning possibilities and improving basketball knowledge in training process, analysis of precisely described game tasks and its inside grouping structure as methodological hypothesis for professional orientation and selection as well as the starting point in planning the everyday training and practice contents), basketball matches (planning of creating the new means for matches monitoring, analysis of flow of the game, evaluation of players stats and game strategy and tactics selection), (Trninić, Karalejić, Jakovljević, & Jelaska, 2010).


References

Gomez, M. A., Tsamourtzis, E., & Lorenzo, A. (2006). Defensive systems in basketball ball possession. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 6, 98–107.

Kioumourtzoglou, E.. (1994). Team offense. Thessaloniki: Salto Publications.

Mavridis G., Tsamourtzis E., Karipidis A., Laios A. (2009). The inside game in World Basketball. Comparison between European and NBA teams. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport. 9(2)157-164.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/uwic/ujpa/2009/00000009/00000002;jsessionid=5esnbl168978b.alice

Mikes, J. (1987). Computer breakdown of percentage basketball. Scholastic Coach 11, 52-55.

Mikes, J. (1988). Percentage Basketball: Scholastic Coach 57(6), 82-84.

Polykratis, M., Tsamourtzis, E., Mavridis, G., & Zaggelidis, G. (2010). Relation of effectiveness in Pick n’ Roll application between the Νational GreekΤeam of and its opponents during the Men’s World Basketball Championship of 2006. ,,Citius Altius Fortius ” Journal of Physical Education and Sport (JPES). 29(4), 57 – 67.

Ibanez, S.J., Sampaio, J., Feu, S., Lorenzo, A., Gmez, M.A., & Ortega, E. (2008). Basketball game-related statistics that discriminate between teams' season-long success. European Journal of Sport Science, 8(6), 369 – 372.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t714592354~db=all~tab=issueslist~branches=8 - v8

Smith, D. & Spear B., (1981). Basketball Multiple Offense and Defense. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Trninić S., Dizdar D., & Lukcić E. (2002). Differences between winning and defeated top quality Basketball teams in final tournaments of European club championship. Coll. Antropol. 26(2) 521–531.

Trninić S., Karalejić M., Jakovljević S., & Jelaska I. (2010). Structural analysis of knowledge based on principal attributes of the game of basketball. Physical Culture 64(1), 5-25.

Trupin, J. & Couzens G. (1989). Hoopstats: The Basketball Abstract. New York: Bantam Books.

Tsamourtzis, E., Salonikidis, K., Taxildaris, K., & Mavromatis, G. (2002). Technical and tactical characteristics of winners and losers in basketball. Leistungssport, 1, 54 – 58.

Tsimpiris A., Tsamourtzis Ε., Sfingos N., Zaggelidis G, & Zaggelidis S. (2006). A multimedia application for tactic analysis of basketball games. Stiinta sportlui, 52, 17-39.

Zeravitca, P. & Pavlovic, L. (1990). Shooting in Basketball. Thessaloniki: Salto Publications.



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