Rob and I missed connections this weekend, so we decided to bang out a quick podcast this evening, listen or download after the break. Topics include us discussing Draymond Green (and the possible overrating of "underrated" 3&D assets), a little about Kobe's return, and a fair amount about the value of post possessions. The conversations about using the pass to "penetrate" the defense are here (PJax) and here (Brad Stevens)
I also wanted to take a quick look at a play that sort of epitomizes the lack of imagination that I characterizes the horrorshow that is the Cavs offensive scheme.
Interestingly, for the third time in a row, we've talked about something that has become mildly outdated by the time the podcast actually posts (we talked about LRMaM just before he got traded, the Kings horrid reliance on John Salmons just before the Rudy Gay trade, and today we spoke about the Warriors' extreme lack of Iggy when he was just announced to be returning and starting tonight. Clearly, we need to have a monster 4 hour pod just before the trade deadline to ensure maximal drama around the league.
When I talked in depth about the Cavs offensive struggles, I noted they certainly seem to be very fond of contested midrange pullups early in the shot clock. Coming down the stretch against the Blazers tonight, there was one possession that seemed to epitomize this failure to understand where offensive value comes from. Zach Lowe wrote today about the value of maximizing good looks from 3, and given their personnel, Cleveland should be able to follow this advice. However, they are 21st in the league in the rate in which they attempt threes, attempt the 6th fewest shots at the rim, and take BY FAR the most 10-19 footers.
This appears to be intentional:
Now this shot went in to tie the game, and it looks like great, heroic play by Waiters. But why is the play designed for a low percentage shot to tie the game instead of a similar percentage shot to take the lead? (Oddly, Waiters is shooting 35.2% on pull up jumpers this year. On right wing 3 pointers, he's shooting...35.2%) Or if Matthews runs Waiters off of the wing three, then he's in the paint and can get fouled, shoot an easier shot himself, or force the defense to collapse for an open, easier shot for a teammate. The math is not difficult here, but Mike Brown clearly has an old-fashioned notion of what constitutes a "good shot".