Photo by Pete Krautscheid – UltiPhotos.com
Playing time… Competency… Give-go-gave-went?… .500… Alarcon… Fully Functional Deathcaps… Completions in D.C…
Short Sips of Hot Bitter Blackness. A hint of far-off stone-fruit sweetness. A smoky thickness lingers from the roast.
All playing time is not created equal. It isn’t distributed equally, and it isn’t all meaningful, but that’s not what we’ll be looking at today. The standard metric for comparing playing time is “Points Played”, which is quite useful. It gives a easy-to-tabulate set of information which can be broken down by offense or defense or number of turns. And that last one begins to get at the qualitative element in play when comparing points. Enter time.
For example, let’s look at the top 10 players on each team in terms of points played form this past weekend’s D.C. loss to NY:
Off. = 8.5
Def. = 1.5
7/10 = O
3/10 = D
With 32 points overall played in the game, anyone who played 16 or more points played during over half of the game. This would just be Doi and Kolick. However, if we look at the top 10 on each team with respect to actual game time elapsed:
7.5/10 = O
2.5/10 = D
4/10 = O
6/10 = D
By this measure, Kolick, Prial, Doi and Oung all played over half of the 40 minute game. More than that, the balance of the time played shifted for New York from their offensive rotation to their defensive rotation. While this sort of backwards-facing analysis benefits from a fuller picture than each team is provided in situ, there is no reason not to look back at the data and draw conclusions about potential changes going forward.
This is not a critique of the current D.C. substitution patterns, but rather a look at what, beyond points played goes into making decisions about playing time distribution.
Tastes good so far. Future health consequences are sticky.
These numbers speak for themselves:
|G / PP||83/160||51.875||First|
|DG / DPP||36/91||36.36||First|
The 2015 season is officially yours for the taking, Portland. We’ll all be watching quite closely for the rest of the season.
Ah, the core of the non-veganoid breakfast. Boiled. Scrambled. Poached. Fried. Loco Moco’d.
Earlier this week, we shared a clip of the NY Rumble using a switch to deal with an upline cut. This seems an appropriate time to mention that many teams runt his action against active handlers. All it relies on is an aware defense which can communicate either verbally or visually. However, this tactic is not without dangers. When executed from too far away from the thrower, it leaves the thrower unmarked for a couple of counts. In any situation where the defense can be anticipated, the defense can be manipulated.
In this case, the defense is often conceding a quick pass through the center, but that must be perfectly timed. Another option is a look to the breakside or deep. If there is no mark, there is a good chance that the thrower can put it to a space which the defense is not wholly prepared for. As defensive sides make specific subroutines their go-to antidotes for particular attacks, a robust offense will use that predictability against them. The next step in the refinement of the give-go dance is on the way.
Stake with your eggs?
First Place in the East, Last Place in the East, Last Place in the West.
Oh, and the Stags could be the first team to guarantee a .500 finish.
Waffles or Pancakes?
Choose… but choose wisely.
Nighthawks 19 at Stags 22
While the ‘hawks are not to be trifled with, the Stags are no mere custard, fruit and booze-soaked spongecake delight… they’re a team looking to maintain their lead over the rest of the conference by winning their fifth game this weekend while the rest of the conference would then combine for four total wins. The names to mention are Dan Suppnick, Peter Woodside, Cody Bjorklund, Timmy Perston and Tyler Cable. The rest of their team is strong too, but a list of their whole roster is less than helpful. The crux of it is that the Stags have shown more patience than any other team this season. There is little wasted motion and little wasted energy. They are not at all like the Current in 2014 who were based on aggression and the ability to come back in any game through their defense. Rather, they are kin to the 2013 Whitecaps who took the notion of never giving the disc away to extremes on both offense and defense. The Nighthawks rely on prying the disc away or flustering their opponent into difficult decisions. The Stags are just too confident and competent to fall prey to that.
Spinners 17 at Whitecaps 21
The Spinners are coming off of a bye week in which they managed to move to first place. Now the team which helped drop the Current to a tie for third place are welcoming the Spinners to Medford. The Spinners have not only never won when traveling to Boston, but in their three visits, they have lost by seven, six and six points. In a sense, Philadelphia is best left with Dante’s advice: “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.” There is no exit for the Spinners.
Rumble 16 at Current 25
Retribution. If there is a game this season which the Current are likely to win going away, it is their rematch against the Rumble this weekend. The Rumble are traveling, and the Current have been wounded not just in the standings, but the all-important pride department. Now the Current are cornered, carefully considering the predicament they find themselves in: Facing the prospect of a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2013. There will be no travel and no excuses this weekend. There will be nothing to hide behind if the Rumble reassert their ability to win against D.C. Which is exactly how the Current found themselves after the first season: Ready to prove it to all-comers.
Rainmakers 17 at Dogfish 18
Seattle looks to be coalescing into a stronger team than the Dogfish. The ability of the Rainmakers to manufacture turnovers is likely to have increased rather than decreased over the bye week, and the Dogfish played the part of patsies against Portland last weekend. The Dogfish have some pieces here and there, but are currently lagging in the West with respect to getting the best of their roster. That said, this is a home game for the Dogfish and as such it should be a narrow host victory.
Beverage of Choice
Players or matchups to watch.
Alarcon vs. Kolick
Lefty on lefty. Speed, agility and elevation vs. same. Alarcon seems more powerful, Kolick seems quicker. The two were matched up intermittently over the course of their first meeting last weekend. While New york is wise to use a rotation of defenders on Kolick, Alarcon seemed to put the most pressure on Kolick to execute basic offense. Not that this resulted in an abundance of errors, but that the pressure was more persistent. It is a new matchup for Kolick, who, much like a strong acid, dissolves defenders over time. This weekend should provide a better picture of what Alarcon is is made of.
Philly D vs. Tyler Chan + Josh Markette
The last time that these teams met, Markette and Chan were not present and the Spinners played a near-perfect offensive game. This weekend, the Spinners will be facing a different Boston squad and their matchups will be shifted accordingly. A top downfield defender will now need to matchup with the speed of Chan. Nick Purifico and Matt Esser seem the likeliest choices. A strong mark with either quickness or length will need to match up on Markette. So then, which defender is left to cover Jeff Graham? Which mark with match up against Teddy Browar-Jarus? There is only one Leon Chou. While Gabe Colton can provide a positive influence on offense, he will be overmatched on defense in way he wasn’t previously. This week Boston reintroduces themselves to the Spinners.
D.C. and New York vs. Throwing Completions
These are, simply put, the worst two teams in the league at completing passes: D.C. 86.07 percent, NY 87.13 percent. They are the only two below 89 percent and one of three teams to be below 90 percent. My understanding of ultimate leads me to believe that, on the whole, completing passes is good and not completing them is bad. Which is why, when we add in that D.C. leads the league in blocks per game (15.5) by nearly four over Boston (11.75) and Philly (11.67), the situation is ripe for a dizzying display of defensive dominance this weekend. Or a blowout in favor of whichever team stops presenting the other with nicely wrapped gifts.
The Place to Be
Rematch town, the District of Columbia. One of the best parts of the schedule is the quick rematch weekends. Specifically just after a surprising result. It isn’t just that each team gets a chance to go back at their opponent, but the adjustments that each team makes in order to correct course. An then the counter-adjustments that each team makes in anticipation of the changes that the opponent may make. The compounding complexity is comforting.