This week, I'd like to focus on one of the oddest teams in the D-League, at least according to the advanced statistics: the Texas Legends. The Legends boast the most efficient offense in American professional basketball, scoring 115.2 points per 100 possessions, better than 2nd place D-League team Utah (110.1) and the San Antonio Spurs (112.1), who lead the NBA.
Given the Legends' roster, this isn't surprising. They have Joe Alexander, Sean Williams, and Justin Dentmon all scoring at least 15 points per game and had Antonio Daniels and Dominique Jones for more than half of the season as well. Daniels, Williams, and Dentmon all sport True Shooting percentages above 60%. The team ranks above average in every offensive factor - they shoot the ball well, they hit the offensive glass hard, they get to the line (and shoot very well there), and they don't turn the ball over.
However, for all their offensive wizardry, they have been completely incompetent on the defensive end. The only pro team with a worse defensive rating than the legends is the Idaho Stampede at 114.2. The Legends check in just slightly ahead at 114.0, worse than the worst NBA team, the Phoenix Suns. Unfortunately, it's difficult to prescribe just why the Legends are having this problem. Sean Williams has a decent defensive reputation - as far as I can tell - so the middle shouldn't be the main problem. However, the Legends get killed on the defensive glass, allowing 30% of opponents missed shots to be rebounded, which is even more confounding considering the size of Joe Alexander and newly starting forward Keith Clark. The fact that the Legends are giving up an effective field goal percentage of 53% also suggests that teams are having no trouble getting easy shots. Just to compound all of this, teams don't have issues getting shots up against the Legends, as opponents only turn the ball over 15% of the time.
I haven't seen nearly enough of the Legends to explain why the defense has been so incredibly awful, but that's why they have only managed an 8-7 record despite a hyperefficient offense. If you have any explanations, I'd love to hear them in the comments section.