Last finals discussion question

Technically, my finals are done, but I'm still recovering, so here's one more question to ponder.

There was a lot of talk about our improved defense this year.  Every time I ever tuned into Comcast (which admittedly wasn't much since I'm out of market), Phil Chenier (bless his soul) was talking about it, citing our opponents points per game average and our defensive field goal percentage. 

Now, to be fair, we did get a little bit better defensively, but most of our improvement had to do with our slower pace this season.  We played an average of over four fewer possessions per game this season than we did last season.  This year, we surrendered about 1.12 points per possession, and based on our pace, we allowed teams to score an average of 98.8 points per game, down from 104.9 last season.  Now, if we added four possessions to our average pace, we'd surrender another 4.48 points per game if we defended at the same rate.  That would mean we'd surrender about 103.3 points per game, which is better than in 2006/07, but not by much.

Similarly, the field goal percentage is misleading because we are awful at defending the three.  By looking at effective field goal percentage, which gives threes added weight, we went from 51.7 in 06/07 to 51.4 this season.   Big difference, huh?  Most of our improvement came from rebounding better and not fouling as much, if you look at the two links. 

So here's the multi-part question.  First, did this season do enough to convince you that our defense is heading in the right direction?  Second, what do you think is the bigger problem?  Do we not have the players to play good defense, or is it a matter of scheming?  Which factor do you think is more responsible for our crappy defense?

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