Sunday, December 8, 2019

Adjusting Dunk Ranges - Classic Majerus Defensive Battle Between Utah and Marquette Creates Defensive Variation

Rick Majerus coached two of the great defensive teams in the game - he was an assistant for the 1977 Marquette champions whose dunk range is a mediocre 51-50 (meaning no automatic dunks vs the average 51-53) and was head coach for 1998 Utah which had the same 51-50 dunk range. However, on defense Marquette had perhaps the greatest on-ball defense (everything except blocked shots, steals, and defensive rebounds) in the entire game with a -11 adjustment on opponent's dunks, and Utah was also excellent a -5.

The first step you always take in a game is to adjust the Offenses dunk range by the defenses adjustment, so this would give Marquette a 51-45 and Utah a 51-39. In the past I had always simply upped the lower team to 51-50 (no dunks) meaning Utah had no dunk range but adjusting Marquette by the same margin gave them a 51-56 - and that is how I played the game. Then it occurred to me - while exactly accurate in the correct gap between the two teams - what I had done is made Utah's offense almost average and Marquette's good (relative to all-time great teams) whereas really this match-up should have resulted in Marquette's defense being stifling against Utah's mediocre offense and Marquette also having some trouble against Utah's defense.

This led me to realize the the truly accurate way to make this adjustment (and these ranges are both already precisely calibrated to measure how many "other" things each offense and defense should do based on their overall strength of adjusted scoring, era, offense and defense) is to leave the ranges how they fall but have a reverse dunk range for defensive struggles that actually lets the defense stifle the offense.

I developed the table below, and if I played this game in the future Marquette would not have received a 51-56 dunk range, but actually their 51-45 calculation below would mean that they would instead have a range of 51-55 where they did NOT score. Utah's 51-39 range would result in them not only have a range of 51-61 where they did NOT score, but also the turnover range of each of their players would increase by 2 (e.g. 41-42 becomes a turnover on 41-44) and each of Marquette player's steal ranges would also increase by 2 (e.g. steal range of 11-14 becomes 11-16).  The following is the new table in the instructions:

When you first set up your two teams, look at the dunk range of the players on one team (e.g. 51 to 53 = Off Dunk) and then add or subtract the opposing team's "adj. opponent's dunk by __. If the second number does not have a "minus" (-) sign by it then that number is added to the range, but if a minus sign is designed then subtract. Find the resultant range down the left hand column of this chart - this is a very important number that adjusts each team for level of competition and offensive and defensive overall performance to make the team as good as it should be overall after accounting for all of the other ranges on their team's cards.

Dunk Range + - Def Adjust50s and 60s ResultChanges to Team's or Opponents Stl/TO
51 - 6651 - 66 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6551 - 65 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6451 - 64 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6351 - 63 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6251 - 62 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6151 - 61 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 6051 - 56 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 5951 - 56 dunk-2 Opp Steals, -1 Team's Turnovers
51 - 5851 - 56 dunk-1 Opp Steals, -1 Team's Turnovers
51 - 5751 - 56 dunk-1 Opp Steals
51 - 5651 - 56 dunkNo other changes
51 - 5551 - 55 dunkNo other changes
51 - 5451 - 54 dunkNo other changes
51 - 5351 - 53 dunkNo other changes
51 - 5251 - 52 dunkNo other changes
51 - 5151 - 51 dunkNo other changes
51 - 50No Dunk or MissNo other changes
51 - 4951 - 51 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4851 - 52 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4751 - 53 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4651 - 54 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4551 - 55 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4451 - 56 miss, def rebNo other changes
51 - 4351 - 56 miss, def reb-1 Opp Steals
51 - 4251 - 56 miss, def reb+1 Opp Steals, +1 Team's Turnovers
51 - 4151 - 56 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +1 Team's Turnovers
51 - 4051 - 56 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3951 - 61 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3851 - 62 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3751 - 63 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3651 - 64 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3551 - 65 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers
51 - 3451 - 66 miss, def reb+2 Opp Steals, +2 Team's Turnovers

51-51 or higher. In most cases a team will have a dunk range of 51-51 or higher. In those cases, every time a range ends up in the range then the player who gets the ball on the roll of 1-8 gets to the basket and scores 2 points. However, if the 20-sided die would have resulted in a 3-point goal made, or in a foul drawn that would foul out an opposing player, the team with the ball can choose the result of the 20-sided die instead.  (e.g. Team A has a 51-55 dunk range, and the opponents have a -2 adjust - on all rolls of 51-53 Team A scores two points).

51-50. Nothing happens on rolls of 51-66 - just play the other three dice.

51-49 or lower. A weak offense against a strong defense could result in a range below 51. In that case, use the middle column to determine a range of times in which the team would NOT score. For example, if the same Team A with a 51-55 range played the 1977 Marquette team, which has a great defense and adj dunk range of -11, then subtracting 11 from that 11-55 range would leave the team with a 11-44 range in the left column, which translates in the middle column to NOT SCORING on rolls of 51-56. In those cases, record zero points for the trip, the player who received the ball due to the 8-sided die misses a shot with the player guarding him getting the rebound on a 1-5, or turns the ball over on a 6,7 or 8.

Optional: If both teams have positive dunk ranges, you can decrease the worse team's DUNK range to 51-50 so roll of 51-66 are ignored for them and you just refer to the other three dice. In that case you also lower the other team's range by the same number. If both teams have negative dunk ranges resulting in NO SCORE, then you can increase the better team to 51-50 so they have no range, and increase the lower teams by the same number so that they have a smaller NO SCORE range. You must decide on this adjustment before the game starts.

Note that if the calculated range is 51-57 or higher, then the offensive team's turnover range and/or their opponent's steal range are both lowered. If a team's calculated 51-43 or lower then the team's turnover range and opponent's steal range are both higher as well.

If you ever had an extreme case when a team's resulted range went higher than 51-66 (e.g. a 51-63 and defensive +8 would be 51-71) then count how many you need to subtract to get down to 51-66 for that team (-5 in that case) and lower the opposing range by that many (e.g. if the better team was 51-71 and the lesser team was 51-52, then subtract five from both to get 51-66 and 51-47.

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