Today’s game between Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets probably was the best game of 2018-19 NBA season. Although there have been a lot of games decided in last seconds of the game and OT = this game was special!
The Beard is the best 1-on-1 player in NBA at the moment. In this article I won’t discuss too much about Harden’s excellence and his unbelievable offensive potential but Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni play that was drawn for Harden to receive the ball.
D’ANTONI SIDELINE OUT-OF-BOUNDS PLAY FOR HARDEN TO RECEIVE THE BALL.
- 5.5 seconds left. OT. 132:134 Rockets -2.
- Time-out. Rockets ball. Sideline. Front court.
- KD active hands, not letting Green (Houston) inbound the ball easily.
Why this play was so special? Of course, it was game winning play because of incredible 3-point shot by Harden.
BUT before 3-point shot attempt Harden has to RECEIVE THE BALL against one of the best defensive team’s in NBA and they know that Rockets wants to deliver the ball in their best player’s hands in best possible situation…
With any of these types of cuts towards the ball it should be very hard for The Beard to receive the in good position for attacking his defender within 5.5 seconds left on game-clock.
#1. Harden behind half-court line. Back-court.
#2. SCREEN-THE-SCREENER. Great idea against possible SWITCH (Teams often SWITCH ALL if only 5.5 seconds left on game-clock). SEPARATION. The idea for Rivers screen to Tucker before he will set the screen for Harden is to separate Tucker’s defender (xT) from him so Harden has more space and better opportunity to receive the ball.
House and Rivers fill the empty corners to keep good spacing.
The first screen for Tucker separated him of his defender xT (Green).
5.2 seconds left. HARDEN RECEIVES THE BALL. Tucker after back-screen was set for Harden cuts towards the ball in case the ball is not delivered to James.
Rockets leader decides to use ball-screen instead to drive to the left side where was more space.
3.2 seconds left. Tucker sets the ball-screen for Harden, almost at the same time The Beard attempts 3-pointer.
1.0 second left = 3 points!!! Warriors defenders did their best but it wasn’t enough to stop Harden! 135:134 Rockets won!
Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com