|Defensively, it was a very rough day for U-M's Caris LeVert (AP).|
Looking back, this seems like a typical Duke home game this season. The Blue Devils make enough threes and play good enough defense to get the win against a good-but-not-great opponent. It also helped that Michigan didn't play nearly to its capabilities.
The game had a moderate pace (67 possessions) but that shows you exactly where Michigan failed. Duke was able to get way too many good looks, especially from three-point range. The positive: Michigan played like a team for 40 minutes; The negative: every person on the team was responsible for a plethora of defensive lapses.
Caris LeVert, who some call "Baby Durant" or variations of it, didn't have a Durantian game on either side of the ball. His 15 points on 15 shots is hardly impressive and defensively he was terrible. He allowed a game-high 8.5 made baskets and was beaten off the dribble repeatedly. He looked especially bad when Jordan Morgan (worst DRtg for the game at 135.5) was in the post instead of Jon Horford or Mitch McGary (Michigan's best two defenders).
Here is the defensive score sheet for Duke's 79-69 win vs. Michigan:
- This team will really, really miss Mitch McGary as the season progresses. Against a team with a lot of size, a big body like McGary is extremely valuable, especially defensively. The numbers not only show McGary was tough to score against but it appears Duke stayed away from him on offense as McGary only forced 2.5 misses and allowed 1.3 makes out of 56 potential occurrences.
- As mentioned above, Caris LeVert had a bad game. I think LeVert has the length and athleticism to be one of the best defensive guards in the country. The problem is he gets himself out of position too often. In games where Michigan excels I guarantee LeVert will be a reason on the defensive side of the ball. When Michigan struggles chances are LeVert is having an off game.
- Another Plumlee? Yes, Duke's third of the three Plumlee brothers, Marshall Plumlee, had a pretty great game against Michigan. He's touted as having the most talent of the trio but he also might have the most needed growth to reach that potential. That being said, for playing six minutes it seemed like Plumlee played the game of his life. In those half dozen minutes Plumlee forced four misses - one being a monster block - and grabbed a defensive board. This doesn't include his two offensive rebounds. He gave Duke something it was lacking and it fueled the rest of the team.
- You will always remember the name Jabari Parker. He's not just an offensive sensation, people, the guy is a tremendous athlete who actually takes pride on his defense. He was everywhere against Michigan, harassing Glenn Robinson III and other Wolverines all night. He forced 8.5 misses, by far the most in the game and had a team-high six defensive boards. While Parker's offensive exploits will get much of the attention for Duke going forward it will always be worth noting that Parker's 1B contribution of defense isn't that far behind his offense (1A).
In-depth explanations are in this post, but here is a cliff notes version:
- Min - Minutes played
- DREB - Defensive Rebounds
- FM - Forced field goal miss (includes blocks)
- FTO - Forced Turnover (steals, charges taken)
- FFTA - Forced missed Free Throw Attempt
- DFGM - Allowed Defensive Field Goal Made
- DFTM - Allowed Free Throw Made
- DRtg - Defensive Rating (Gives players credit for stops and scoring possessions)
*The DRtg is most important part of a defensive score sheet as it is the analog of an offensive rating. If a player was on the floor for 100 of his team's defensive possessions, the DRtg calculates the number of points the opposition would score.