Home Gameday Preview Scouting the Los Angeles D-Fenders

Scouting the Los Angeles D-Fenders

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Tip: 7:30 p.m., Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, Texas
Streaming: YouTube

Background

Record:
Off. efficiency: 109.5 points per 100 possessions, 2nd
Def. efficiency: 105.6, 10th
Net rating: +3.9, 1st
Pace: 109.5 possessions per game, 1st

Four factors

Effective FG pct: 52.5, 3rd
Turnover pct: 12.9, 1st
Off. rebound pct: 23.5, 17th*
FTA rate: .275, 16th
Opp. effective FG pct: 52.0, 12th
Opp. turnover pct: 17.8, 4th
Def. rebound rate 69.1, 16th
Opp. FTA rate: .277, 3rd

The leaders

Points: Terrence Williams, 21.3
Rebounds: Travis Hyman/James Southerland, 6.8
Assists: Josh Magette, 7.1
Blocks: Hyman, 2.1
Steals: Magette, 1.8

Summary

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have the league’s highest net rating, and they are three games behind the first-seeded Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The D-Fenders have few flaws — even their defense, ranked 10th, which allows way too many shots in the restricted area (38.9 per game), does enough to complement the offense through turnovers and avoiding foul trouble. The offense, second to only Rio Grande, shoots a high percentage from the field, and those shots are generally high-percentage looks (restricted area, corner 3-pointers). They rarely turn the ball over, too; their 12.9 percent turnover rate is the lowest in the D-League.

Where they excel

Controlling the pace. Los Angeles averages 109.5 possessions per 48 minutes, the highest-mark in the D-League. They utilize about seven extra possessions relative to league-average. Their frenetic pace — even in losses, they average 108 possessions — fuels their second-ranked offense and allows them to pressure their opponents into an uncomfortable position.

Where they struggle

Protecting the rim. In an average game against the D-Fenders, the opposition takes about 40 percent of their shots in the restricted area. It’s damn near impossible to build a good defense that way, since protecting the rim is the area on the floor defenses prioritize to take away. The D-Fenders also allow nearly seven corner 3-pointers a game, which is excessive even at their dramatic pace.

Player to watch

Terrence Williams. He’s a massive part of the offense — he leads the team in field goal attempts (18.0), 3-pointers (6.9) and free throws (5.9).

Stats: NBA D-League/Stats

* There are only 17 teams in the D-League.

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