Step Off, Youngin
Yesterday, I looked in depth at some of the cleverness that makes San Antonio so deadly in their half court execution. Today, I want to give the same treatment to the Wizards. It seems slightly churlish to be critical - they did just have an enormous Game 1 victory over Chicago. But, I don't think it was their offensive execution which paved the way: Nene made a lot of midrange shots - 7/12 from areas where he shot 43.4 % during the regular season, and the Chicago offense (like the Chicago offense does) sputtered.
Great Work You All Did
Changing Gears In The Spurs Pick-and-Roll
I've talked before about the difference between physical tools and the ability to "make a play," and have done so specifically in the context of reading the pick-and-roll. The Spurs, despite having a somewhat clunky offensive game by their standards, still put on a master class in pick-and-roll execution. By comparison, despite their victory, the Wizards young guards clearly have things still to learn. In this post, I'll look at what the Spurs guards do well, and in the next, I'll tackle where the young Wizards guards sometimes fail (though not the Professor Andre Miller as if there's one guy who knows how to win without speed...)
Be Subtle With It
Little Things Make a Big Difference
Since I stopped following college ball much (the one-and-done rule and the overly high ratio of physicality to skill has robbed that version of the game of much of it's aesthetic appeal), I don't have a ton to say about this year's crop of prospects, other than I LOVE Joel Embiid. However, as a sort of meta-commentary on the prospecting and projecting, I do want to say that I think people are focusing far too much on "measurables."
Big Paws On a Puppy
Keeper Watch (Intro and Miles Plumlee)
The great thing about writing about the NBA is that there are 30 teams and ten times that many things to write about. The terrible thing about writing about the NBA is that there are 30 teams...So, obviously the only way I'm going to complete the series on the Suns lackluster pick-and-roll coverage is to roll it into what I had planned anyway: a series of posts about young players who might or might not be long term keepers in NBA rotations.
But It's the Other Way
Phoenix's Pick and Roll D (part 2)
In the last post on Phoenix's pick and roll D, I noted some of the common mistakes the roll defender was making. Now, I'm going to look at some of the mistakes being made by other defenders. All of these examples come with the caveat that for the most part, I have no way of knowing what scheme Phoenix was attempting to run, so it's entirely possible I'm placing blame on someone for not making a rotation they weren't supposed to make. But aside from egregious errors
where the players were clearly expecting different schemes or have no idea what a scheme is let alone which one they are attempting, I'm going to assume that everyone is at least attempting to do the right thing.
You Want It To Be One Way
Suns Pick and Roll Defense (Part One)
One of the more interesting development of this early season has been the competitiveness of "tanking" teams like Boston, Philadelphia and especially Phoenix. It's another discussion, perhaps for another day with the guys from PPP, but these teams are building correctly - they aren't trying to lose (more or less intentionally) by playing known crappy veterans (looking
at you, Utah Jazz, playing Richard Jefferson 40 minutes a night), but are willing to take some lumps with their young guys which does three things.
Musings of a basketball4lifer, rabid NBAer, amateur and armchair analyst. I just may have watched "The Wire" a few too many times.
Analytics in Context
Blake vs. DMC
Power Forward Defense
Phoenix PnR D
Point Guard O
Read Me Here
Zach Lowe Longform
Chicken Noodle Hoop
Dean on the Draft
Ball Don't Lie
Points Per Possession