Archive for the ‘Late game situation’ Category
Michigan had only an average defensive game against Michigan State, as they allowed 1.03 points per possession, but they came up big in crunch time on the last possession. They played excellent team defense, blocking one shot and forcing a tough leaner by Draymond Green to end to the game. Let’s look at the final possession and what went well for the defense.
Based on points per possession, Michigan had an average defensive game but they had several possessions where they were superb on defense. One of those was the opening possessions, as seen below. Watch how the on ball defenders move their feet to stay in front of their man, while the rest of the defense rotates relentlessly off the ball. John Beilein has historically had strong defenses and you can see why below.
Now let’s move on to the final possession. We will see some of the same characteristics of the above play, allowing the defense to be successful. The play gets going with the post entry to Green. Michigan uses Zack Novak to double on Green, allowing Austin Thornton to roam free on the perimeter. Michigan choose to take the ball out of the dangerous Green’s hands, neglecting Thornton.
Green makes a nice skip pass to the opposite wing, but Stu Douglass closes out nicely and doesn’t allow a jump shot. The ball then gets entered back into the post, this time on the opposite side to Derrick Nix.
Coming into the season, few would have believed that Pittsburgh would start the Big East season 0-5, but that is where they stand today. They looked like they would get their first Big East win today against Marquette but were outscored by ten in the second half by Marquette to lose yet again. The game came down to a Marquette sideline out of bounds play with 23 seconds left and five seconds left on the shot clock. After a missed shot by Jae Crowder, Davonte Gardner came up with a huge offensive rebound to seal the game for the Golden Eagles.
Coming out of a timeout, Marquette runs a set to get Jae Crowder a three point shot in the corner. Even though there are five seconds left on the shot clock, Crowder puts up a tough shot as he catches and shoots as he is turning after making the catch and he misses the shot.
Nasir Robinson has defensive responsibilities for Gardner but he is shaded toward Crowder as Crowder comes off the screen to the corner. Initially, it looks like Gardner is going to have a free run to the rim to grab any offensive rebound. Gardner is the 15th best offensive rebounder in the nation, as his offensive rebound rate is 16.1%.
I have harped on the poor defense by Jared Sullinger several times and it showed again down the stretch last night, as he made two mistakes that led to point by Brandon Paul to either give Illinois the lead or help them extend it late in the game. While one of the mistakes was not entirely his fault, the second one definitely was and it hurt Ohio State in their ability to close out a win.
The first play to illustrate is a Brandon Paul three point shot that came with 2:02 left and give Illinois the lead for good. Brandon Paul receives a backscreen at the elbow then runs baseline for a second screen from Meyers Leonard. Sam Thompson got caught in the backscreen, so he is several steps behind as Paul runs baseline.
Baylor picked up a solid nonconference win with their two point victory over Mississippi State on a neutral court, thanks to a late layup by Pierre Jackson to break the deadlock. MSU had an awful possession after Baylor took the lead, failing to get a shot off and preserving the Baylor win. Baylor did not do anything complicated to get the game winner but Mississippi State failed to rotate to cut off Jackson. Let’s see why.
Quincy Acy sets a ball screen for Jackson but Jackson rejects the screen and drives to the right, as Acy’s defender is shaded toward the center of the court to hedge on the ball screen. Jackson sees a lane to the basket if he goes the opposite way of the ball screen and he is able to burst through the lane before the defense can rotate to cut him off.
The first lack of rotation came from the corner defender, who is guarding Brady Heslip. MSU was focused on preventing Heslip from getting open looks all game, giving up several baskets to other Baylor players as the defense keyed in on Heslip working for the ball. This is shown here, as the defender is focused on not allowing Heslip to get an open shot off penetration, playing right in Heslip’s chest. This is a bad defensive decision at this point in the game, as he leaves a lane open for Jackson to get to the rim. While Heslip is the best shooter on Baylor, the defense should be content to give up a three point shot rather than a layup in this situation. The defender should have been in help position to be able to rotate over to Jackson.
Down by 1 with Kentucky on the line for a second free throw, Tom Crean took a timeout to set up the play for his team after the second free throw. This allowed Indiana to play against a defense that was not completely set, even though Doron Lamb made the second free throw. This led to a discombobulated defense, which Indiana took advantage of to hit a buzzer beating three point shot.
The first key to the play is the screen set by Cody Zeller on Marquis Teague. This allows Verdell Jones to freely bring the ball up the court as quickly as he can. By not having a defender in front of him, Jones has time to take the ball under the three point line, instead of wasting precious time trying to get past a defender.
VCU will have some trouble replacing their lost pieces, mainly Joey Rodriguez and Jamie Skeen. This showed in their opening game struggle, a narrow 63-57 win over St. Francis (PA). After the Red Flash hit a 3 point shot to pull within 3, they elected to play defense with under a minute left on the game clock. VCU ran the shot clock down and a poor defensive rotation gave them an open three point shot to seal the game.
With the shot clock down to 6, VCU ran a pick and roll with the remaining three players on the baseline. The ideal situation for St. Francis was a turnover, so they doubled the ball handler off the ball screen. However, none of the help defenders rotated over to the screener, which ultimately killed their chances of a win.
Coming off the ball screen, Darius Theus finds himself doubled and nearly turns the ball. He manages to scrape a pass to Bradford Burgess, who is left open. One of the help defenders should have been rotating toward Burgess when he saw the trap on Theus. My pick would be for the corner defender to start rotating toward the middle. This will help the team better defend the play if Burgess receives the pass.
This pick and roll set is something VCU ran numerous times in their run to the Final Four last season. I wanted to briefly touch on it again now as it has proved to be very tough to defend on several levels of competition. In a FIBA Americas contest today, Brazil utilized this action to get a late three point shot which sealed their win over Argentina.
We pick up the play with a ball screen set by Tiago Splitter. His defender chooses to hedge on the ball screen and Splitter quickly leaves his screen to roll to the basket. This forces the help defender to rotate over and take away Splitter.
The Mikan Drill can be found on Twitter @TheMikanDrill
With just under one second left, Robert Morris needed a 3 to tie the game and send it into a second overtime. With the officials at the monitor to determine the amount of time left on the clock, coach Andrew Toole quickly drew up a play that got them an open look, yet fell short.
With this much time on the clock, fouling is a dicey strategy because the offense is going to catch and shoot and a foul could result in 3 free throws. However, the offense has to be cognizant of the fact that the defense might foul and design a play to work around this.
Many plays in this situation are designed to get the shooter coming toward the ball but these plays are often the easiest to defend. The defense is designed to stop the action coming toward the ball but are susceptible to being beaten on the weak side of the court (illustrated by Depaul here). It’s why this play was so successful and nearly gave us a second overtime.
The play is designed for Russell Johnson (green square). Robert Morris starts with some dummy action toward the ball to get the defense shading that way, before setting a fade screen for Johnson to the far side of the court. The offensive player coming up from the block is designed to get several of the defenders focused on him, taking their eyes off of Johnson.
Here’s an almost identical play on back-to-back nights in the Big East Tournament. The set-up: a high pick-and-roll near the top of the key. The defender anticipates the pick, tries to go overtop of it… and watches as his man blows right past him to the rim.
The MikanDrill can be found on Twitter @TheMikanDrill
In today’s conference tournament games, we saw two well executed dribble handoff plays late in the game. They shared similar traits that made them successful and I wanted to take a brief look at the both of them.
This shot by Jeremy Hazell sent the game into overtime for the Pirates. You could debate about the decision not to foul by Rutgers but let’s move past that for the moment. The play starts with Hazell having the option to use a screen set by a teammate.
The screen is set up for Hazell to fade to the wing but with the defender shading that way, Hazell instead curls to the middle of the court. This puts the defender a half step behind him as he expected Hazell to use the fade screen, which helps gives Hazell the space needed to get the shot off.