A majority of the information in this article is based on the new defensive metric analysis presented at the Sloan conference this year:
So after reading this entire paper I was initially shocked to see that Andy is one of the worst interior defensive players in the NBA. Not far behind him for this title is his frontcourt mate, Tristan Thompson.
The first metric I will address is: B) Proximal FG%: The results summarize the FG% of opponents when each defender was within 5 feet. This study shows the field goal % of opponents when attempting a shot within 5 feet of said player.
In this study, Andy ranked DEAD LAST, and Tristan ranked 45th. Players shooting within 5 feet of Andy made 54.2% of their attempts. Players shooting within 5 feet of Tristan Thompson shot 50.6%. To create a basis for comparison
This goes against conventional wisdom of Andy and TT being great post defenders. What is becoming clear is that they are in fact great rebounders, but cannot alter shots of the players they defend, or any other player driving the lane. For a basis of comparison, Tyler Zeller allows only 46.9%.
Also, if I am reading this study correctly, Andy and Tristan are not particularly adept at rotating to defend shots, as both score very low in being within 3 feet of a shot. One interpretation of his is that they deny their opponent’s shots at all, but I think this is more due to missed rotations and an inability to close distance quickly to alter a shot.
Basically, I’m sorry Otto Porter fans, our front court is a dumpster fire on defense, and we need improvement there more than anywhere. TT is not nearly as valuable as we think he is defensively, he rebounds well, but cannot defend the paint.
Ultimately, this means we MUST move either Andy or TT. We cannot have two frontcourt players who rebound well but cannot defend. Anyone out there skeptical of giving TT up in a Kevin Love or DeMarcus Cousins trade, consider that Kevin Love is better than Andy, and only slightly worse than TT at altering opponents shots. DeMarcus Cousins is miles ahead of both of them.