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IMPORTANCE OF LEBRON’S OUTSIDE SHOOTING.

bronbig23-e1542261905243

Lakers defeat Trail Blazers –  126:117. It was Lebron’s best game of 2018/19 season so far –  44 Pts+10 Reb+9 Ast. As we basketball fans know that Lebron has never been the best three-point shooters in NBA but his unbelievable athleticism allows him to get to the rim despite not being among the best jump shooters in the league. Of course he’s definitely better three-point (34.4% career) shooter than for example Giannis (career 27.6%) but by far worse than Klay Thompson (career 41.9%).

I think I’m one of the league leaders in points in the paint. I drive just as much as anybody. At this point, it’s almost like they’re trying to turn me into a jump shooter. I can’t be a jump shooter.’’ (https://lebronwire.usatoday.com/2017/11/29/lebron-james-believes-officials-are-trying-to-turn-him-into-a-jump-shooter/)

Three-pointers vs. Portland 5 of 6! That’s the fact: simply there’s no one who can stop him 1vs1 if he shoots great from 3-point line that particular night. Lots of good things for Lebron’s team can happen if his defender has to adjust his strategy of defending him = playing closer.

LEB too close

 

Against league’s best players there’s no way to take away all his weapons but most of the teams is willing to give up King’s three-pointer rather than seeing him driving to the basket. Lebron is like a high-speed train (especially during transition).. When he goes full speed at defender, basically there’s nothing can stop him.

LEB train

 

If the player who has tendency to DRIVE TO THE BASKET are able to add great 3-POINT SHOT to his repertoire his defender has to guard him closer (Basic principle for defense: great shooter = closer, bad shooter = further) and that means:

 

  • Better opportunities to drive to the basket and shot fakes are more effective since defender has to ’’respect’’ opponent’s ability to shoot from outside;

 

  • Once Lebron drives past his defender mostly there’s DUNK (or any other type of shot close to the basket)/FREE-THROWS (Draws a foul) or PASS to open teammate and also MID-RANGE SHOT option is possible (if his defender still near).

 

  • He also becomes more effective offensive player without the ball (’’stretch the floor’’) if he is has great shooting night. That means more opportunities for his teammates.

 

THE FACT.

The King scores higher % of his points from three-point line this season (2018/19 sample size is not too big this season but tendency is obvious) than both 2015/16 season when he won his first title with Cleveland and 2011/2012 season when he won his first NBA title with Miami Heat (I’ve chosen these 3 seasons to compare “different Lebron”  with “today’s Lebron” in different stage of his career).

MIAMI HEAT (2011/12)

2011-12

CLEVELAND (2015/16)

shots 2015-16

LA LAKERS (2018/19)

shots 2018-19

% of points scored from 3-POINT LINE: 9.6 (2011/12) → 13.6 (2015/16) → 22.5 (2018/19).

% of points scored from MID-RANGE area: 22.3 (2011/12) ← 12.3 (2015/16) ← 11.4 (2018/19).

% of points that coming from free-throw line and points in the paint hasn’t changed too much through the years.

Reasons for this could be:

  1. NBA is changing, players attempts more 3-point shots than ever before. Individual skill development.
  2. Basketball Analytics tells us long 2’s (mid-range) shots are worst shots in basketball.
  3. Miami Heat/Cleveland Cavaliers/Los Angeles Lakers = 3 different teams /3 different styles/ 3 different coaches/3 different roles.
  4. Tendency to attempt more shots from outside is often seen in basketball once players getting older. I am not sure if this is the case for Lebron but maybe it could be because of him being more pragmatic?

 

LEBRON JAMES SHOOTING 51%+ THREE-POINTERS =  HIS TEAM WINS 80%+ GAMES…

Again 3 different seasons – with MIAMI 2011/12 (winning NBA title for the first time)/ CLEVELAND 2017/18 (last season with Cleveland)/ LA LAKERS 2018/19.

Of course, it’s very usual if team’s best player shoots well from 3-point line, he will score more points and his team has a bigger chance to win but as we basketball fans by following NBA for years… for Lebron that means he’s basically unstoppable and his teammates get tons of good shots created by King.

LEB w5 or wo5

5 of 6 losses when Lebron shot 3-pointers with accuracy 51% or better was away games.

All 31 games of 2011/12, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons (including play-offs) when Lebron shot 3-pointers with very high accuracy (51+%).

seasons1

seasons2

seasons3

5 OF 6 BEHIND THE ARC vs. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (Nov. 15th)

  • all of King’s three-pointers were pull-up 3’s (off the dribble);
  • Of 4 of his 5 three-point attempts made pick-and-roll/pop situations was involved.

3 of 4 PNR was defended using “SHOW&RECOVER” coverage. Most of the time it was PG or SG position player who set the screen for Lebron because in case of SWITCH James can use his strength and drive to the basket. For example I don’t see too many options without rotation (even rotation is not enough if high-speed train is arriving) in situation when Lebron attacks McCollum (great offensive player). Because of Lakers lack of outside shooters pick-and-pop (PG and SG usually not rollers) situations is not a threat for Portland – SHOW&RECOVER usually is suitable strategy to cover this type of pick-and-roll/pop.

It was similar strategy what Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to happen against Golden State Warriors attacking Curry when player who guarded Curry was the screener.

The reason why SHOW&RECOVER strategy wasn’t that successful most of the time was miscommunication between players & initial defender wasn’t able to re-establish good defensive position on Lebron after going under the teammate who was SHOWING. But of course there’s no strategy in the world who can stop probably the best player in the world now who has almost perfect game!!!

 

Having less than 7 seconds left on the shot-clock in this situation was SWITCH. SHOW&RECOVER lead to miscommunication and Lebron punished defenders for it = 3 points!

LEB 4

Examples of initial Lebron’s defender unable to successfully re-establish defensive position on Lebron James or even if he did it wasn’t enough to stop Lebron from scoring behind the arc in this particular game. It created opportunities for quality 3-point shot attempts for King.

LEB 5

LEB 1

感谢关注我文章的篮球迷们!

Kristians@abouthegame.com

CoachKris@HUPU

DWANE CASEY’S GAME WINNING BASELINE OUT OF BOUNDS PLAY vs. TORONTO. DETAILS EXPLAINED.

Casey win

Dwane Casey is back in Toronto –  this time as Detroit Pistons head coach! Raptors fans gave former coach standing ovation in return but this time it wasn’t only fans appreciation and respect that was given to Casey that made him happy… It was victory over his former club and his Baseline Out Of Bounds Play that let his team Detroit Pistons to win the game against his former team Toronto Raptors!

Being named as NBA Coach of the Year and fired at the same year and… next season returning to Toronto and draw Baseline Out Of Bounds Play that brought the victory for his new team when score was 104:104 and only 1.2 seconds left on the shot clock… Definitely one of the best feelings that you can experience working as a basketball coach!

On May 11, 2018, Casey was fired as the Raptors’ head coach, shortly after being named  NBCA Coach of the Year. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year at the 2018 NBA Awards.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwane_Casey).

vlcsnap-2018-11-15-14h48m43s127

 

DETROIT PISTONS  GAME WINNING BASELINE OUT OF BOUNDS PLAY. DETAILS EXPLAINED.

In situation when score is tied (104:104) and only 1.2 seconds left on the shot clock and Detroit has to inbound the ball under the basket they have to shoot there’s only 1 pass and catch-and-shoot option left without any dribbles before shooting.

Last shot guidelines (www.hooptactics.com)

Last shot guidlines

Last shot guildines Number of dribbles

 

2mlu4u

 

 

Baseline out-of-bounds play started with Griffin and Jackson simultaneously setting screens for their teammates (Bullock and Drummond). Only if defense makes terrible mistake team who has ball can get shot after these 2 screens. So basically Detroit is not focusing to score at this moment but keep defenders busy at this moment.

DET 1

THE KEY of this play being effective was both:

  • The way how play was designed by Detroit coaching stuff;
  • And the way how Toronto defended it.

DETROIT:

  • Griffin sets the screen for Bullock;
  • After screen was set Griffin turned around and unexpectedly for Toronto received screen from Bullock.
  • At the same time… after receiving the screen from Jackson, Drummond joined to Bullock so they can set double screen for Griffin. Griffin continued his way to ball side wing where he,  if left unguarded was ready to shoot 3-pointer. THE FIRST OPTION WAS 3-POINT SHOT FOR GRIFFIN.
  • After Bullock’s (B) screen for Griffin (4), Jackson (2) was about to set the back-screen to Bullock (B) but because of Griffin’s (4) cut to the wing after receiving 2 screens in a row was successful enough to draw 2 defenders attention at the same time (Siakam and Anunoby) his teammates only had to read the defense and take advantage of this situation and Jackson’s screen wasn’t even necessary.

DET 2

TORONTO:

  • It was great play and it was very hard to guard it. All the ”problems” started from the way how Toronto defended Griffin’s screen for Bullock.

In diagram below we can see that X4 (Anunoby #3. He was initial Griffin’s defender) and XB (Siakam #43) chose the option “THROUGH” instead of “SWITCH”. Basically it means Anunoby (X4) gave space (one step back) to Siakam (XB) to get through the gap between him (X4) and Griffin (4) and follow Bullock (B).

DET 4

At this moment Anunoby is too far away from Griffin (red arrow = where Anunoby expected Griffin will go; green arrow = where Griffin decided to go, completely opposite way) because Griffin changed his direction. Bullock instead of screening Anunoby who was too far and it wasn’t necessary to be screened  blocked his defender’s (Siakam) path towards the Griffin.

GRIFIN change direction

 

When they (X4 and XB; Anunoby and Siakam) realised that Griffin is about receive the pass from Calderon and attempt open 3-point shot.. Anunoby had one more screen ahead of him (Drummond) so he has to go around it (it takes time) and Siakam only after physically pushing Bullock away finally was close enough to prevent him from shooting open 3-pointer (losing contact with Bullock for a short moment).DET 5

Because of Siakam trying to help to Anunoby who had to go around Drummond’s screen to prevent 3-point shot by Griffin had to leave Bullock open for a split second (Blue arrows = movement towards the Griffin; yellow arrows = movement towards the basket). It was enough time for Bullock to cut towards the basket while being unguarded (Jackson’s backscreen wasn’t even necessary). Valanciunas (X5) realised that Bullock is left unguarded and cutting to the basket so he had to leave Drummond (who also was cutting towards the basket) open as well so veteran point guard Calderon who played only 5 minutes and 36 seconds had 2 options to pass – Drummond and Bullock! Great decision by coach Casey to let the veteran point guard inbound the ball!

directions

 

As we can see in diagram below XB (Siakam) by trying to help X4 (Anunoby) was left behind Bullock so he can’t prevent his cut to the basket. Lowry’s active hands and Valanciunas height and shot blocking skills wasn’t enough to prevent one of  two cutters from receiving pass near the basket. Leonard (X2) all this time defended Jackson (2).

DET 6

After it wasn’t possible to pass to 4 (Griffin) Calderon still had more than one option – pass to to 5 (Drummond) or B (Bullock).

DET 3

Thank you basketball fans for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

HOUSTON’S PROBLEMS…

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs

After having the best regular season record last season (65-17) in NBA and being very close to eliminate Golden State Warriors in Western Conference Finals basketball fans expected Rockets to play much better as we see it now.

Same coach = same style.  The last season Houston played probably the most effective offense in NBA history (high percentage shots % = catch-and-shoot 3’s or lay-ups) having the highest offensive rating – 114.7 (2017/18 NBA) + scoring 112.4 points per game (2nd of 30).  This season (2018/19) = Off Rtg 106.1 (24th of 30) and almost the last place in points per game 102.7 (29th of 30)…

Simply not making shots can’t be a only reason after 12 games played in season having one of the worst offenses in the league for the team which months ago used to have probably the best offense in basketball history.

From strategy standpoint it’s still high percentage offense, even players movement there are more often seen than last season, but it’s definitely not the Rockets we know. Let’s try to dig deeper and analyse team’s problems from different aspects.

 

TEAM CHEMISTRY

  1. Addition of CARMELO ANTHONY and loss of ARIZA/MBAH a MOUTE/ANDERSON.

What Houston need is spot-up three-point shooters who can play solid defense. They have lost great defenders Ariza and Mbah a Moute who can shoot and Anderson (38.6% 3P% 2017/18) who was team’s best 3-point shooter during regular season despite not being the best defender and losing his spot in Rockets player rotation in play-offs. And what’s important they all can accept their role in team.

Addition of Carmelo before the season was the reason to believe that Rockets will be at least the same level team as last year. Anthony is getting older..he used to be superstar in NBA and he has superstar’s EGO that comes with it and not the best defender in the league. He has to accept his bench player role for the first time in his career…

Even the best years of Carmelo probably are gone I still believe that once he will truly accept his role in the team he can bring lot of good things for the team, is especially in offense. He’s not 40.5 FG% and 32.8 3P% shooter. In 2013-14 season he shot 40.2%(!) behind the arc. He definitely can be excellent spot-up 3-point shooter coming off the bench… sounds weird if we talk about player like Anthony but it’s reality at the moment. Or.. maybe it’s just not working…

It’s all in Carmelo’s head. He can be great spot-up shooter and that’s what Rockets need.

carmelo333

 

LONG 2’s = shots what Rockets offense DON’T NEED from Carmelo (especially at this stage of his career).

HOU Carmelo mid-range

 

2. INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS

It’s hard for everyone to find their role in the team and play their best basketball if TOP 6 6 players minutes per game played haven’t played together in the beginning of the season…

Red square = player didn’t played.

HOU lineups

 

3. PASSION/ENERGY/POSITIVE EMOTIONS

It’s not the easiest start of the season for Houston Rockets but simply they don’t play with that passion and energy as they we see them playing last year. Of course, losing Warriors was last season was very painful for Harden and CP3 who haven’t been NBA champions yet but this is new season and new hope. Harden is doing what he has to do as long he is healthy, Tucker is showing great example for team and… despite not playing a lot and not being a factor this season only player who has positive in team +/- is rookie Hartenstein. Even he is far from being the best player in the team, he is fighter!

Hartenstein

CP3 always been competitive and fighter but this season so far he hasn’t been that Chris Paul as we basketball fans used to see him playing. It’s just matter of the time when we will see him playing his best basketball.

Somehow after seeing 3 of their 12 games this season I can observe that they lack of positive emotions.

 

THREE-POINT SHOOTING

It’s not secret for basketball fans that 3-point shooting plays big role in coach Mike D’Antoni team’s success. Houston isn’t the best 3-point shooting team this season (25th 32.7%) and wasn’t last season as well (13th/14th 36.2%). They simply shoots a lot of 3-point shots and they are able to do it slightly above league’s average it’s working fine!  But is it only about not being able to make 3-pointers this season? YES and NO.

2017/18 season 3P FGM% was only 1.2% higher than this season after 12 games played but Rockets were 9-3. 2018/19 5-7. 

3P% comparison

NO. It’s not only about not making 3-pointers. It’s also about taking less 3-pointers (they need higher volume of 3’s). Pace = 98.25 (28th) = one of the slowest teams in the league this season. Problem is not getting 3-pointers during transition from defense to offense. Defense creates offense…

3P 12 games

YES. Of 7 players of Rockets roster who attempts more 3’s than 2’s this season only Harden,  P.J. Tucker and James Ennis are shooting very good this season behind the arc. Others: Clark (12/40), Gordon (18/78), Carmelo (21/64) and Green (15/58) = 66/240 (27.2% = very low).

HOU players ATMP rate

 

DEFENSE: SWITCH ALL

Losing 2 of team’s best defenders hurts any team. DEFRTG 109.1 (20th of 30 in NBA) definitely not something that one of the title contenders will be happy with.

Hopefully for Rockets they have found a solution: Former associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik is returning to the Houston Rocketsand will rejoin the team full time after Thanksgiving, a league source told ESPN. (http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25186125/jeff-bzdelik-returning-houston-rockets-defensive-coordinator).

Rockets are known for SWITCH ALL defense. They switching all the screens. By switching all the screens it gives opposite team players size or speed advantage over defender. It could work great with the same size and speed defensive players (like Ariza and Mbah a Moute was excellent players for this defensive strategy). This type of defense can work against few opponents better than others as well.

The question is if they still good enough to play this type of defense after losing their 2 of the best defenders?

EXAMPLES (POST DEFENSE)

Most of the time after having bigger opponent playing with back to the basket in the low post area against CP3/Harden or Carmelo they tried offensive player to force to baseline side where teammate who’s nearest baseline double-teams offensive player after he turned towards the basket.

vlcsnap-2018-11-13-13h19m59s432 - Copy - Copy

 

For some teams/players this strategy works quite well but not for all… As it’s well known defense is not only about being physical but about effort. Houston Rockets coaches are one of the smartest in the basketball world and I don’t have data of their success while playing this type of defense but at this moment they 5-7 and don’t look like title contenders, but I trust that we will see better and different Rockets team very soon !

Example of great defense.HOU post great

Not always this strategy is effective. Against certain type of opponents it doesn’t work that well. Three examples of Oklahoma City big man Adams offensive solutions against being sent do baseline and double-teamed in low-post.

Adams plays 1vs1 and scores. Late help from baseline side.

HOU Adams fake

Adams passes ball to his teammate who cuts towards the basket.

HOU Adams post pass

Adams fouled.

HOU Adams foul

 

Houston Rockets will be back.. they should be back! Probably the most effective offensive team in history during the last season simply can’t become one of the worst offenses in NBA at the moment still having CP3, Harden, Capela, Gordon, Tucker left from last year.. Question is how long time it will take and if they will be able to challenge Warriors again?

Thanks for reading. Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

DENVER NUGGETS (9-2) – GREAT DEFENSE & TEAMWORK & SUCCESS WITHOUT GREAT 3-POINT SHOOTING.

DENVER 1

 

DENVER NUGGETS – GREAT DEFENSE & TEAMWORK & SUCCESS WITHOUT GREAT 3-POINT SHOOTING.

Only 4 teams in NBA left with less than 3 losses left (the article has been prepared before Warriors-Bucks game) this season and I guess surprisingly for most of NBA fans one of them is Denver Nuggets (9-2) alongside Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.

Despite being the YOUNGEST team in NBA: 24.72 (average age)…(https://herosports.com/nba/oldest-youngest-teams-start-2018-19-season-byby)

Denver is only team who has won both main title contenders from both Western and Eastern conference – Golden State and Boston (according to the most of experts BEFORE THE SEASON predictions! These are not mine predictions. Of course during the season we will see real situation).

Also Nuggets are PLAYING EXCELLENT AT HOME : 6-0 this season (2018/19);

2017/18 NBA season: Had the league’s second biggest home-road win differential (31 wins at home, 15 on the road) and its third biggest home-road NetRtg differential… (http://www.nba.com/article/2018/10/05/one-team-one-stat-denver-nuggets-3-point-defense).

IS PLAYING AT HIGH ALTITUDE HELPING THEM THAT MUCH?

aYVFJi5

(https://imgur.com/r/nba/aYVFJi5)

Team roster hasn’t change too much, main forces – Jokič, Murray, Harris, Millsap, Barton, Plumlee, Lyles and others still with the team + addition of Isaiah Thomas (Malone had been Thomas’ coach during the 2013-14 season in Sacramento). Staying healthy (Millsap) is the key and Nuggets already has lost their locker-room leader and important player for team – Barton (Barton out at least 6 weeks after having hip, core surgery. nba.com)

Enough skill & depth. Time to get back to play-offs. Staying healthy and being consistent will be very important to Nuggets success this season!

Coach Mike Malone has gained trust from Denver Nuggets organisation that means less pressure to him that could positively influence team’s results:

The Denver Nuggets agreed a contract extension with coach Michael Malone, who was in the final season of a four-year deal. (http://www.nba.com/article/2018/10/18/nuggets-extend-contract-coach-michael-malone).

Denver Scored 0.98 points per possession out of timeouts, the league’s best mark, according to Synergy tracking. (http://www.nba.com/article/2018/10/05/one-team-one-stat-denver-nuggets-3-point-defense). As we as basketball fans know that big role of having league’s leading position in scoring out of timeouts coaching stuff plays huge role to make it happen.

 

TEAMWORK & BALANCE

 

YES –  Murray has excellent game scoring 48 Points and taking 30 shots,  YES –  we experienced “one of the early season’s most bizarre stat lines” star player Jokič attempted only 1 shot per game against Grizzlies (+4/4 FT)… But it doesn’t change the fact that Denver rely on team-work and balance that makes them successful so far in this 2018/19 NBA season.

EXCEPT FIRST 2 GAMES OF THE SEASON THERE’S ANOTHER SINGLE BEST SCORER IN EVERY OF NEXT 9 GAMES OF THE SEASON.

DEN leading scorer

THE BEST PLAYER OF EVERY TEAM IN NBA FOR 3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME AMONG PLAYERS WHO HAVE PLAYED 3+ GAMES THIS SEASON is Murray with 1.6 3-pointers made per game (we don’t include Barton with 2.5 3-pointers made per game since his impact to team’s success this season is not big enough and sample size of his statistics is small despite having 2 great games in the beginning of the season) what makes him THE LAST ONE AMONG NBA TEAM’s MOST FREQUENT 3-POINT SHOT MAKERS.

This means team rely on more players taking less portion of team’s shots rather than one player making most of team’s shots. Also it shows us that Denver is not the best 3-point shooting team this season.

DEN MURRAY 3p

 

 

STATS. OFFENSE.

If the last season (2017/18) team was TOP 10 both 3-point shots attempted and 3-point shooting accuracy (%) then this season it’s quite opposite: 3pts – 3PM 28th, 3p% 26th…

  • +/- : +8.4 (5th)
  • One of the best offensive teams in the league: OFFRTG 114.1  (4th/5th)
  • Rebounding : 47.9 per game (7th) .
  • 1st (!) OREB% 33.2. Leading NBA in offensive rebounding percentage collected of all available offensive rebounds during the game.
  • Assists : 24.7 (11th).
  • SLOW: Pace – 28th. One of the “slowest” teams in the NBA despite having NBA leading player Fast Break Points Per Game – Barton 8.5 (small sample).
  • Not the best team in accuracy this season: TS% 54.7(20th) especially for winning 9 of 11 games this season… Especially three-point shooting..
  • % PITP 50.5 (3rd)! Most of points comes from painted area.
  • NO Nuggets player in  TOP 50 OFF RTG except Barton who played only 2 games this season.
  • Plumlee: FG% 63.8  (7th; players 15+ minutes average per game)

Despite not being great 3-point shooting team this season so far, Denver Nuggets is one of the best teams in scoring in the paint + offensive rebounds. It’s hard to predict which of very talented players will have great game and it makes them unpredictable and dangerous to opponents. Young and hungry + looks like they have found great balance in offense.

DENVER SCORING

 

STATS DEFENSE.

Huge improvement from last season. Denver Nuggets great defense this season is one of the main reasons to their success so far!

DEF RTG : 101.6 (2nd). Second best defensive team this season!

OPP FGA 2nd/OPP FGM 3rd. Not letting opponents to take a lot shots/not letting opponents to make a lot of shots = success!

OPP PTS 101.2 (2nd)

OPP 3p% : 7th/8th (33.0%) (The Nuggets ranked last in opponent 3-point percentage, allowing their opponents to shoot 37.8 percent from behind the arc. (2017/18)) HUGE IMPROVEMENT!

3 Nuggets players are among TOP 40 (DEF RTG) defenders in the NBA.

DEF WS: 6 players TOP 40.

DEF RTG: Mason Plumlee is the third best defender among all NBA players who has played 3 or more games and more than 15+ minutes average per game – 92.5.

For Denver defense to be among the best in the league consistently is Paul Millsap being healthy..

ROSTER

JOKIČ: MAX DEAL (148 millions USD 5 years). Center with PG mind. Versatility. Basketball IQ. Lot of Denver’s plays involves Jokič hand-off screen.  Not the best and fastest defender in NBA (Opponents shot 67.9 percent at the rim when Jokic was there to protect it. That was the worst rim protection mark among 41 players who defended at least four shots at the rim per game in 40 games).

Team’s leading player for free-throw attempts per game (5.1). Know how to show referees he’s fouled.

PIE (Player Impact Estimate): 3rd best in the league behind Antetokounmpo and Embiid.

AST: 12th. In my opinion the best passing big man in the NBA at the moment.

In my opinion the best passing Center position player in the world.

DEN Jokič pass

MURRAY. 48 points game. Young and hungry guard with excellent skill set. Three-pointer, mid-range, pick-and-roll (great at using speed advantage after defensive switch). FLOATER.  Confidence/Consistence?.  If it’s “his day” he can play not worst than best PG/SG in the league.

Despite not being the best so far with pull-up 3’s : Murray has shot just 31 percent on pull-up 3-pointers in his two seasons in the league. That’s the second-worst mark among 22 players with at least 250 pull-up 3-point attempts over those two years. (http://www.nba.com/article/2018/10/05/one-team-one-stat-denver-nuggets-3-point-defense), his free-throw made % is very high (Murray ranked fifth in the league in free throw percentage at 90.5 percent last season.). I think his pull-up 3% will be better in every next season.

Murray. Floater.

DEN Murray Floater

Murray takes advantage of his speed. Punish “defensive switch”.

DEN Murray PNR attack big

 

HARRIS. Unselfish. Quick first step. Back door cuts + Jokič pass. Not the best 3-point shooter this season so far (29.4%) but definitely overall above average three-point shooter in NBA (Career 36.7 3P%).

Gary Harris shot 69 percent in the restricted area, the best mark among 32 players 6-foot-5 or shorter with 200 or more restricted-area attempts. (2017/18) (http://www.nba.com/article/2018/10/05/one-team-one-stat-denver-nuggets-3-point-defense).

Harris drives to the basket after pick set by Jokič.

DEN Harris Drive

 

MILLSAP. Energy and athleticism. Great defender. Rebounding. Injuries… 4 times All-Star. Can play outside/inside. Still not playing his best basketball this season. Potential. Despite not being the tallest player often we can see him playing with back to basket using his strength and athleticism over same position players. Career stats shows that he is getting 7.4 rebounds per game and taking 10.9 shots per game.

PLUMLEE. Defense. Rebounding. Often scores as roller in pick-and-roll situations.

FG%: 63.8. 10th in the NBA (players 10+ minutes per game)

PITP%: 81.9 5th in the NBA (players 15+ minutes per game). Most of his points he is scoring near the basket.

DEF RTG. 3rd best defender among all NBA players who has played 3 or more games and more than 15+ minutes average per game – 92.5.

Bad free-throw shooter overall and especially this season – 32.0%..

Plumlee rolls to the basket and finish play with dunk.

DEN Plumlee roll

Offensive rebounding. Great effort.

DEN Plumlee off effort

 

BARTON has played very well 2 games of the season (injury) and is among the leaders in NBA in various rating (small sample).

HERNANOGOMEZ. His role mostly is spot up 3-point shooting that he does great this season (43.3% 3PM%). All of his 13 made 3-pointers were assisted (catch-and-shoot)

Great passing out of double team by Jokič and Hernanogomez do what he is best at – catch-and-shoot 3.

DEN hernanogomess

+ MORRIS/LYLES and others can play solid minutes. We still haven’t seen their this year 1st round draft pick PORTER (14th) and THOMAS.

 

Often we can see set plays from Mike Malone where there is Jokič with his dribble hand-off screen involved. This only one of lot of examples.

DEN1

DEN2

DEN3

DEN4

DEN Set Play

 

Title contenders : NO, but can surprise, if things goes perfect for Denver maybe can reach conference semi-finals but I don’t think they will be consistent all season long… Definitely play-off level team this season. Hungry/young/play with hear and passion. It will be interesting to follow them this season!

Thanks for reading! Paldies, ka lasījāt! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 ! – CELTICS SETS FRANCHISE RECORD FOR MOST MADE 3s AGAINST ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE TEAMS THIS SEASON.

NOS

Boston Celtics sets franchise record for 3-point makes = 24 3-pointers made vs. Milwaukee Bucks. (Tied former record for 3-pointers made in 3 quarters (19)!)

Celtics was very close to tie all-time NBA 3-pointers scored per game record set by Cleveland Cavaliers last season: 25 vs Atlanta Hawks 2017/18 NBA season (135:130).

The Cavs connected on 25 triples, the most ever in a regular-season game since the 3-point line was introduced in the 1979-80 season. (http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18819129/cleveland-cavaliers-make-25-3-pointers-set-nba-regular-season-game-record).

Brad Stevens’ team set their franchise record against team who has one of the best defenses in the league overall and defending 3-point line:

OPP FG%: 39.4 (1st)

OPP 3P%: 28.8 (2nd) (Milwaukee was the second best team defending 3-point line before game vs. Boston).

(Data before the game vs. Boston)

That’s no secret that Boston Celtics team shoots lot of 3-pointers under Brad Stevens:

3PA: 36.3 (4th in NBA after game vs. Bucks)

but not shooting too good in 2018/19 season

3P% 34.8 (21th in NBA after game vs. Bucks).

Boston play team basketball and most of their 3-point shots are assisted and it was the case in this historic game as well:

UASTAST 3

Most of their 3-pointers are catch-and-shoot rather than created pull-up 3’s.

 

BOSTON NOT ONLY MADE A LOT OF 3’S BUT ALSO ATTEMPTED A LOT OF 3’s vs. MILWAUKEE BUCKS.

Both made and attempted amount of three-point shots was the highest in this 2018/19 NBA season so far.

3PA

3PM

DIFFERENT TYPES OF THREE-POINTERS

 

  • 12 of 24 three-point shots made directly or indirectly came from PICK-AND-ROLL/POP situations. 9 (!) of 24 three-pointers was made after PICK-AND-POP situation.
  • 3 of 24 Directly from set-play designed for “shooter”.
  • It’s not about complicated set-plays all the time. Excellent BALL-MOVEMENT and DRIVE-KICK created few of 3-point shot opportunities in game vs. Bucks.
  • Only 3 of 24 three-point shots made was directly during transition from defense to offense. The most of the time if there is such a record set for 3-pointers made per game, there are lot of makes in transition.

 

PICK-AND-POP. MILWAUKEE DEFENSIVE STRATEGY NOT EFFECTIVE vs. CELTICS VERSATILE BIG MEN.

 

Milwaukee Bucks is having one of the best defenses in the NBA 2018/19 season. In short, they are not attempting a lot of mid-range shots offensively and makes sense that defensively they want opponents to attempt mid-range shots (long 2-pointer is the worst shot in basketball). Of course all the teams in NBA wants opponents to take bad shots but Milwaukee is doing the best job in the League this season.

In pick-and-roll situations their defensive strategy is for screener’s defender (big man most of the time)  almost never play above the level of the screen.  Most of time their defensive pick-and-roll/pop  coverage was “LOW FLAT” for middle pick-and-roll/pop (Flat or Drop coverage but defending big man stays closer to the basket as usual.) and “ICE” (the same idea defensively but for side-line pick-and-roll) for side pick-and-roll.

There was little bit of “switch” and few occasions “trap” (Rozier) as well but overall it was just a small portion of all pick-and-roll/pop situations defended.

As we see in the picture Lopez play far below the level of ball-screen encouraging ball-handler to dribble penetrate below three-point line and in the best case scenario shoot mid-range shot over big man hands and the same time ball-handler’s defender is trying to do his best fighting over the ball-screen and trailing ball-handler as close as he can.

vlcsnap-2018-11-03-19h48m22s778

 

THE PROBLEM is that C’s have one the league’s most versatile big men who can effectively can POP instead of ROLL.

Horford/Morris/Baynes together attempted  24 of 55  3-pointers and scored 10 of 24 3-pointers of Celtics total attempted/made!

So basically problem was… If Lopez (in picture) staying that far from the screen, is he able to recover and contest 3-point shot or play good close-out defense on his original defender? As we saw 117 points allowed and first loss of the season & C’s new franchise record for 3-pointers made … I think this type of pick-and-roll defense is not effective against team like Celtics.

PICK-AND-POP. SCENARIOS.

 

  1. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER ATTEMPTS 3-POINT SHOT (Irving).

PP BH shot

2. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER PASS THE BALL TO THE SCREENER = 3-POINT SHOT.

PP great example

 

3. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER PASS THE BALL TO THE SCREENER (close out) + SHOT FAKE = 3-POINT SHOT.

PP shot fake shot

 

4. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER PASS THE BALL TO THE SCREENER (close out) + DRIVE-KICK = 3-POINT SHOT.

PP + Drive+kick

 

5. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER PASS THE BALL TO THE SCREENER (defensive rotation) + EXTRA PASS = 3-POINT SHOT.

PP Extra

6. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER PASS THE BALL TO THE SCREENER + next perimiter player CUTS to the basket (draws attention of defenders) + PASS TO THE CORNER = 3-POINT SHOT.

PICK-and-POP + cut+pass

7. PICK-AND-POP. BALL-HANDLER DRIVES TO THE BASKET + 1st LINE OF DEFENSE “stunts” + DRIVE-KICK = 3-POINT SHOT.

PP first line helps drive-kick

 

SET PLAY FOR KYRIE IRVING

As it’s well known for NBA basketball fans Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens is probably the best X’s and O’s coach in the world who often draws excellent plays for the team during time-outs as well. Here is one of his play for Kyrie (probably for any other player in their roster if he is shooting well in particular game) which resulted in 1 of 24 3-pointers made in the game vs Bucks.

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUCKS & GREEK FREAK. IS GIANNIS MVP OF 2018/19 NBA SEASON SO FAR?

20171021_GIANNIS

Is Greek Freak MVP of 2018/19 NBA season so far? How about MVP of whole 2018/19 season?

GIANNIS MVP

In order to have and answer to these questions, the first I will analyse his game, his tendencies and reasons why we are already talking about this very talented 23 years old 2.11 tall player from Greece as the possible best player in the NBA at the moment.

 

FACTS

  • In the second week of this season GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO is named as ”EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK” (2nd week; Oct. 29th).

 

  • The Greek Freak is the best player of the best team in NBA in this season so far: MILWAUKEE BUCKS is only team which haven’t lost a game (7-0).

 

 

  • The Greek Freak is the first player since Wilt Chamberlain (in 1965-66) to have 25+ points and 15+ rebounds in his first four games of the season.

 

GIANNIS IS GETTING BETTER/STRONGER EVERY NEXT SEASON

 

GIANNIS PROGRESS

GIANNIS 4 years transformation

IMPRESSIVE MILWAUKEE BUCKS: 7-0

New Arena (Fiserv Forum)/New coach Mike Budenholzer/ Bucks match franchise’s best start (7-0).

STATISTICS: OFFENSE

+/-: +15.9!! (1st) (2nd Warriors +13.5, 3rd Raptors +8.4…)

OFFRTG: 113.1 (6th)

PACE: 106.07 (6th) (One of the fastest teams in NBA this season)

PPG: 120.0 (4th)

3PA: 40.6 (2nd) (next to Houston Rockets)

3PM: 15.6 (1st) (without the doubts Bucks so far have been best 3-point shooting team)

TS%: 59.6 (2nd)

FTA: 21.1 (26th) (because of huge amoung of 3-pointers and their offensive philosophy (roster) they not shooting that many free-throws)

AST: 26.9 (4th/5th).

BLK: 7.1 (2nd). (The second best shot blocking team in the NBA.)

%FGA 3PT: 44.4 (2nd) (Only behind Houston Rockets…)

GREAT SHOT SELECTION. As we can see in diagram Milwaukee is taking good high quality shots.

BUCKS SHOOTING

 

STATISTICS: DEFENSE

DEF RTG: 98.2 (2nd). (Only Boston Celtics who are known as the great defensive team are better defensively than Bucks this year).

OPP PPG: 104.1 (4th).

DREB: 45.1 (1st). (It doesn’t matter how hard you play on defensive end of the floor, your team has to get the ball! The best defensive rebounding team in the league.)

OPP FG%: 39.4 (1st). (Teams shoot with lowest % against Bucks this season!)

OPP 3P%: 28.8 (2nd).

 

Under new coach Buldenholzer Milwaukee Bucks looks excellent so far. One of the best offenses in the league combined with one of the best defenses = 7-0.

Buldeholzer’s philosophy has obvious of similarities with Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni basketball philosophy but both teams has very different roster and Bucks using their strengths different way.

  • TOUGH and SMART DEFENSE. Defense creates offense : Chase opponent off the 3-point line – get player on the move (dribble drive) – force him to shoot mid-range shot (tough floater is one of the best options). After missed shot – DEFENSIVE REBOUND!
  • FORCE OPPONENTS TO SHOOT LOW % SHOTS. LESS MID-RANGE SHOTS FOR BUCKS, MORE FOR OPPONENTS.
  • FREEDOM/SIMPLE PLAYS IN OFFENSE. (Pick-and-roll)
  • MAXIMIZE GREEK FREAK TALENTS TO THE FULLEST (USG %).
  • PLAY FAST & SHOOT LOT OF THREE’s
  • 5-OUT OFFENSE.

 

3APR%

 

GREEK FREAK’S GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO OFFENSIVE TENDENCIES.

 

Milwaukee Bucks are using his talents to maximum. And it makes sense if you have a luxury to have real freak from nature in team’s roster.

USG% (an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by player while he was on the floor) is highest in the NBA 2018/19 season so far.

G USAGE

PAINT, PAINT, PAINT…

Most of his points this season comes from painted area (74.7%). It’s well known for NBA basketball fans that never been great outside shooter so far in his career (3-point shots 1/16 2018/19)… but probably it’s only thing that he is missing in his game, overall he is FREAK!

3P% – 0.2/2.7 (6.3%) this season is the lowest among all 305 players who has made three-point shot…

NO MID-RANGE, NO 3-POINTERS. Giannis shot selection is opposite of his team’s shot selection. He is also taking his high% shots.

GIANNIS SHOOTING

COURT VISION & UNSELFISHNESS. Once Antetokounmpo has gotten in the painted-area he has option. His ability to draw defenders + find open team-mates makes him extremely valuable for team.

PAINT traffic

SLAM DUNK

Giannis is second of dunk attempts and dunks made this season only after Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz). However, there are huge difference between the style they play and dunks they made.

GIANIS DUNKS

  1. GOBERT  – 24 of 28 dunks assisted.
  2. ANTETOKOUNMPO -17 of 25 dunks assisted…

GREEK FREAK is #1 PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE IN DUNKS CREATED BY HIMSELF!

Since he is one of best in REBOUNDS PER GAME: 14.2 (4TH) + ability to play point guard position after getting defensive rebound puts lot of pressure to defense (he has great court vision that is not usual for players which height is 2.11 m..) by attacking the painted area.

His ability to play multiple positions while being in the game makes him unique.

 

VERSATILITY. ABILITY TO SCORE VARIOUS WAYS.

If Giannis will improve his 3-point shooting I truly believe that he can be one of the greatest players who played the game…

TRANSITIONDefensive rebound – coast-to-coast – dunk! This is the situation where he’s the best…

G coast to coast Example

If more defenders involved to stop his dribble penetration – leagues best 3-point shooters so far is ready catch-and-shoot. Giannis makes Bucks basketball simple and effective because of his incredible talent.

DRIVE (Lay-up/Dunk or drive-kick). Doesn’t matter if it’s during transition from defense to offense or positional basketball – he is driver, he wants to get close to the basket.

PICK-AND-ROLL. He is able to use his speed advantage over same height C position players and very effectively attack smaller guards as well. Defensive SWITCH has been “punished” various ways.

PNR ATTACK SWITCH

 

POST-UP. Another way he is able to score is when he receives with the back to he basket in the low post area or high-post area. As always he draws lot of defenders around him – passing out of the post area always an option.

POST PASS OUT DOUBLE

If there is defensive help… Pass to team-mate who is able to shoot 3-point shot with high %. Also unselfishness is the one big reason why Bucks play so well this year and why we are talking about Giannis as possible MVP candidate.

PLAYING CENTER POSITION. Bledsoe is another great team-mate of him who can create shots for his star player.

C position

 

SET PLAY

As I mentioned earlier Milwaukee team under Coach Mike Budenholzer plays pragmatic and simple basketball maximizing his star player’s talent/playing fast/shooting lot of threes.

This is simple play how Milwaukee starts most of their offense. Of course this is just a basic scheme, they have lot options for different defensive answers.

OFFENSE START

 

SET 3

 

SET 2

 

SET 1

 

If Milwaukee will continue to play their pragmatic high% shot basketball and Giannis will stay healthy for whole season I think this year will be excellent for BUCKS and GREEK FREAK ! It’s too early to say … If he improves his 3-point shooting… GIANNIS MVP? Why not!?

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAPTORS 6-0: KAWHI HAPPY & OFFENSE LOOKS GREAT!

TOR

 

RAPTORS 6-0: KAWHI HAPPY & OFFENSE LOOKS GREAT!

Toronto Raptors season has started perfect: 6-0! . Only 2 teams in whole league is still undefeated and ironically they play against each another tomorrow – Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors.

YES, except Boston Celtics they haven’t played against teams who most likely will be title contenders this season + 5 of 6 games was home games but it doesn’t make less impressive their perfect record so far for a team with new head coach Nick Nurse and new star player Leonard.

It was different summer for team who won a franchise-record 59 games last season. Coach of the Year Dwane Casey was fired and All-Star DeMar DeRozan was traded for Kawhi Leonard. It was time for changes.

TORONTO OFFENSE – TEAMWORK /BALANCE + GOOD SHOT SELECTION + PATIENCE.

BALANCE/TEAMWORK.

Coach Nick Nurse has found good balance between:

  • Kawhi (freedom offensively) + team basketball.

ISO (Kawhi) + TRANSITION (Lowry finding teammates + Kawhi) + POST UP (Kawhi/Valanciunas/Ibaka) + PLAYS FOR SHOOTER (Green/Miles) + PICK-AND-ROLL (Lowry /VanVleet/Kawhi as ball-handlers and Valanciunas/Ibaka/Siakam as screeners).

As we can see in this diagram that Leonard is one of the least used superstar players in his team’s offense among leagues leading scorers. 

USG%

  • Between fast-paced and pragmatic and patient basketball.

PACE: Toronto Raptors 100.75 (23rd).

Despite being one of the slowest teams they rank 7th PPG : 116.8 (Raps haven’t scored less than 112 points per game this season).

Despite being only 1 of 2 teams still undefeated in the league this season not often we can see Raps in most of the best/worst Top 5 (even Top 10) of any of offensive or defensive statistics. Of course there are few very impressive exceptions but overall it’s all about BALANCE and TEAMWORK since they have luxury of having their depth :

The Raptors had the league’s best bench in the regular season, with a five-man unit that outscored its opponents by 17 points per 100 possessions. (www.nba.com).

 

TEAM STATISTICS OFFENSE

  • OFFRTG: 115.7 (4th) (Toronto offense is very effective)
  • FGM: 44.5 (5th) (Rank high in shots made but only 20th in shot attempts – good shot selection and accuracy)
  • FG%: 49.5 (5th)
  • 3P%: 37.9 (8th) (Even it’s only 6 games played this season compared to 2017/18 season’s average… it’s huge improvement – 35.8% (18th)).
  • TS% : 59.2 (4th)
  • % PTS FBPS: 15.8 (6th) (Despite being one of the ‘’slowest’’ teams in league, Toronto is one of the top teams % of all points scored in fast break.)
  • %PTS FT: 13.3 (29th) (Despite having one of the best offenses in NBA so far this season only small portion of their points comes from free-throw line).

 

Toronto Raptors not the fastest team in the NBA so far but they are making shots (good shot selection) and scoring points in different ways. Not being able to get as many points from free-throw line as they wish doesn’t affect their 6-0 record.

 

TEAM STATISTICS DEFENSE

  • DEFRTG: 105.5 (10th).
  • OPP PTS: 106.0 (7th).
  • OPP PTS PAINT: 40.3 (1st) (Best paint defense in the league).
  • OPP FBPTS: 17.0 (25th) (Raptors is among the worst teams allowing opponents to score in fast break).
  • OPP FG%: 41.2 (4th).
  • OPP 3P% 38.5 (25th). (Despite defending painted area well and keeping opponents shooting % way below league average.. teams who they defeated so far has shot very well behind the arc.)
  • OPP OREB: 13.2 (28th/29th) and OPP DREB 30.8 (3rd)… (One of league’s worst teams in offensive rebounds allowed per game – 13.2 but at the same time one of the best teams not letting opponents to get defensive rebounds. The better is you shooting %, the less rebounds left to collect).

TOP 10 defensive team in the league. The best paint defense in the league and defending very well overall (teams not shooting well against Raptors) but one of the worst in defending three-point shots and letting opponents’ to score a lot of points in fast break.

 

STARTING 5 MORE EFFECTIVE THAN BENCH PLAYERS.

Despite having the best bench in the league last (2017/18) season, this season Raptors has 6-0 record mainly thanks to their starters and star players. Toronto bench players should be able to play at the same level sooner or later because it’s hard for Kawhi/Lowry/Green/Valanciunas/Ibaka and others to play that well whole season long. That means… Raps has great potential in their bench players that we haven’t seen so far this season but I think we will!

Untitled

Best bench in the NBA. The Raptors had the league’s best bench in the regular season, with a five-man unit that outscored its opponents by 17 points per 100 possessions. (www.nba.com/preview/2018/TOR)

 

ROSTER. GREAT COMBINATION OF PLAYERS.

OFFRTG (among players who played at least 3 games and average more than 15 minutes per game):

Danny Green 126.1 (1st)

Kyle Lowry 125.7 (2nd)

Kawhi Leonard (7th)

Pascal Siakam (13th) 

Without questions – Toronto Raptors starting 5 plays the most effective offensive basketball so far this season!

KAWHI LEONARD.  ISO/TRANSITION/POST-UP/THREE-POINT SHOOTING/PNR/DEFENSE.

The best Toronto player: POINTS/FGA/FGM/FTA/FT/STL

Kahwi is versatile player. As long as he find and accepts his role in the team he can be good almost at everything in this game. Despite not shooting too many 3-pointers, he also can be threat from three-point line (45.5% 2018/19).

Kawhi ISO.

Kawhi ISO 1

Kawhi pick-and-roll.

KAWHI pnr

Kawhi post-up (transition).

Kawhi Post up transition

 

KYLE LOWRY. PASSING/THREE-POINT SHOOTING/PICK-AND-ROLL.

52.8% from 3-point line (15th in NBA 2018/19).

Kyle Lowry has shot 41 percent on pull-up 3-pointers over the last two seasons, the best mark among 22 players who have attempted at least 300 over that time. (www.nba.com/preview/2018/TOR). (2017/18)

Defender goes under the screen = 3 points.

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

THE BEST PASSER in NBA in 2018/19 season: 10.3 ASSISTS PER GAME. Great court vision and high basketball IQ + teammates making shots.

Lowry’s passing.

LOWRY PASS

DANNY GREEN. 3-POINT SHOOTER.

Danny Green is one of six players who have made at least 100 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in each of the last five seasons. (www.nba.com/preview/2018/TOR). (2017/18)

Green. Catch-and-shoot.

green 3

%PTS 3P: Green 80.6 (1st over 30 min of playing time). Green is the 1st in NBA of percent of his points coming from 3-point line.

The best offensive rating among all NBA players this season (3+ games/15.0+ min avg.): 126.1 (1st). 

Only 0.5 turnovers playing 30.7 minutes per game!

 

JONAS VALANCIUNAS. PICK-AND-ROLL PLAYER/REBOUNDING/POST-UP

OREB%: 6th in the NBA (2018/19) of percentage of getting potential offensive rebounds.

Valanciunas as roller/cutter (pick-and-roll).

VALANCIUNAS ROLL

 

PASCAL SIAKAM. ENERGY PLAYER/SMALL-BALL CENTER WITH GREAT SKILL SET.

13th best offensive player in the league so far!

Young energetic player who gets better every next season, knows his role in the team, pretty quick and skilled for his length. If he will improve 3-point shooting % this season, he can be play very important role in Raptors success this year.

Pascal Siakam shot 22 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, the worst mark among 203 players who attempted at least 100. (www.nba.com/preview/2018/TOR). (2017/18)

Very quick first step for his height.

SIAKAM DRIVE

 

SERGE IBAKA. SHOT BLOCKER/DEFENSE/AGRESSIVENESS NEAR THE BASKET

Serge Ibaka shot just under 50 percent from mid-range, the best mark among players with at least 200 mid-range attempts. (www.nba.com/preview/2018/TOR). (2017/18).

Ibaka mid-range shot after short roll.

IBAKA midrange

 

In the first 6 games of the season he has scored 18.8 points per game and 58.9% of this 2-point shots. Both the average best compared to his other seasons in the league.

Taking advantage of his size vs. much shorter guards near basket.

IBAKA near basket

And it’s not enough – VANVLEET, MILES, ANUNOBY , POWELL and others will play important roll in team success this year, team’s depth is their strength.

 

SET PLAY

One of the most often used set-play by Coach Nick Nurse.

TOR PNR3

TOR PNR2

TOR PNR1

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com