The Mikan Drill

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FIBA Americas: Brazil ices game with proper rotations leading to a transition basket

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With actual basketball games to watch over the next few weeks, occasional posts will touch on the FIBA Americas and EuroBasket tournaments. We will still have posts looking at the upcoming college season during this time as well. For more on FIBA Americas and EuroBasket, follow NBA Playbook. Today’s post looks at a strong defensive possession by Brazil in their game against Canada, leading to a transition basket which effectively sealed their win.

The first screen we are going to focus on is the one set by Joel Anthony for Carl English. Since the defender gets caught in the screen, Anthony’s defender, Tiago Splitter, steps out to the dangerous shooter. This prevents English from getting an open three that could have cut the score to a manageable five points. The defense behind Splitter has to be aware that he is stepping out to the shooter, as the screener will be wide open if there is no rotation.

With Anthony open, the help side defender has to rotate over. Garcia is recovering to close on English, so Anthony would be left open for an easy dump off pass if there was no rotation. The help defense steps over which takes away a pass to Anthony, so English has to swing the ball back to the top of the key.

Brazil defends this screening action well, as Splitter steps to the shooter and gets bumped back to Anthony once Garcia closes out. Splitter then bumps the help defender back to his original defender and all available passing lanes are covered.

Brazil reorganizes quickly, as Splitter rotates back to Anthony, with Guilherme Giovannoni rotating back to Kelly Olynyk, his original man. Canada reverses the ball to the wing to Jevohn Shepherd, who tries to drive baseline. His defender forces him all the way to the baseline, taking away his chance at the rim. This also forces Shepherd right into the help defense, as Splitter has rotated over to give help.

Splitter does a good job of rotating a second time as he moves over to provide further help on Shepherd. Shepherd is forced to rocket a pass to Anthony, who can’t control the ball, leading to a turnover. Shepherd might have been able to make a better pass to Anthony but the strong help defense put him in this position. Brazil deserves all the credit for forcing this bad pass.

This turnover leads to a transition break layup for Brazil which increases their lead to double digits. The turnover was forced by organized defense by Brazil as they were able to rotate over to the open man and then back to their original defender. Tiago Splitter did an excellent job on this possession, as he stepped out to English to prevent an open three and then over to help cut off the penetrating player.


Written by Joshua Riddell

September 1, 2011 at 3:10 am

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