This game aside, his defense isnít very good. Heís allowing a 47.7% FG%, worst among rotation players on our team. Heís the only rotation guy on our team who allows opponents to shoot better than their normal percentage. He ranks in roughly the bottom 20% of starters in terms of FG% differential (what opponents normally shoot vs. what they shoot when covered by Kyrie).
Since Christmas, heís allowed 50.9% shooting.
Looking at those post-Christmas stats, it seems like everybody is doing his job well except for Kyrie (and Monroe, which is understandable). Horford and Smart in particular have been defensive beasts.
Good stats, but we need a bit more context.
For instance, other guards in the league that allow a bigger differential than Irving are Murray, Rubio, Hield, Hood, Burks, Schroeder, Russell, Fournier, KCP, Oubre, Stephenson, Jackson, Teague, Rondo, Smith, Booker, Parker, Barton, and STEPHEN CURRY.
Clarkson, Payton, Brogdon, Bradley, Delly, Paul, Rivers, and Hill all allow a positive point differential also.
You can't only look at the percentage of makes. You also need to look at the number of shots allowed by Irving. Irving is allowing the 38th most field goal attempts per game among guards who have played at least 30 games. There could be many reasons for that, but one possibility is that Irving is forcing the ball out of the his man's hands.
Players that allow more field goal attempts per game and a higher percentage than Irving include Payton, Smith, Schroeder, Dunn, Booker, Murray, Fournier, Teague, and Barton.
This is not adjusted on a per36 minute basis, because I don't feel like doing that right now. It does, however, give more context to the numbers you presented.
Is there a context that shows him not in the bottom third defensively among starters?
Itís not a coincidence that the one guy on our team with a poor defensive reputation happens to be the worst defensive player on our team statistically.
And itís not just FG% differential. Heís last among our regulars in DRtg and Defensive Boxscore Plus Minus, too, and the team gives up 5.4 points more per 100 possessions with Kyrie on the court versus the bench.
Still plays better D than IT...
For those expecting to get a defensive gorce with Kyrie sorry...
For those of us expecting a Defensive improvement from IT, we are happy!
Who cares about IT at this stage? Kyrie needs to step up his defense, regardless of who may or may not be worse.
I had no punchline. I had no main point. I was supplying more context to the stats. The forceful response back after I supplied more context is kinda' silly. I wasn't trying to say he is a good defender.
Just putting percentage differentials out there without any real context is unhelpful.
Other guys who are well-known as defensive players were on those lists also - Bradley, Paul, Brogdon, KCP, and Rubio. Stephen Curry was even on that list.
Knowing who else is on those lists and other important lists gives you a backdrop to understand Kyrie's defense. If you don't think that the backdrop I provided colors him in a negative enough light, don't get upset. Let's have a discussion on it.
Defensive stats are mostly wanting. They do an inefficient job at portraying good defense. Sometimes they get it right, but sometimes they get it wrong.
For instance, the fact that the team gives up 5.4 more points per 100 possessions when Kyrie is on the court might tell us that he is not a good team defender, but it also might tell us that the league as a whole doesn't have deep teams (because those teams struggle to score against our bench unit). It also could mean both at the same time. This is an example of how a defensive stat is inefficient at showing us good defenders.
Did you know that Curry's defensive rating and dbpm was worse than Irving? Did you know that Bradley's defensive rating is worse and dbpm is almost identical?
Again, not necessarily saying that Irving is a better defender than Bradley or Curry -- he might or might not be, but that's not the point. The point is that every defensive stat that is out there is fundamentally flawed in some way and needs context.