Another entertaining NBA basketball game where winner has been decided in last seconds of the game – Trail Blazers vs 76ers. It’s very hard to beat Portland at their home court especially without your leader Embiid. Portland was leading almost whole game and it’s biggest lead was +21…
“The 76ers are the last undefeated team in the league with their first 5-0 start since the 2000-01 season.”
76ers remained only unbeaten NBA team until today’s game vs. one of the biggest surprises this season – Phoenix Suns.
76ERS GAME WINNING SIDELINE OUT OF BOUNDS PLAY.
Korkmaz called his 3 to win it a “dream come true.
The score is 128:126 (+2 Portland). They have timeout left, no fouls to give. If Philadelphia scores 2 – it’s overtime, if 3 – they +1. The best case scenario for 76ers is to attempt open catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
GAME WINNING SIDELINE OUT OF BOUNDS PLAY BY COACH BRETT BROWN.
Play starts with Harris’ (4) cut towards the basket where he was about to set the screen to Richardson (false action?) and at the same time Korkmaz (K) who was at the top of the key area moving towards the wing area where he received screen from Horford in order to free himself open for corner 3.
It worked well for a Philadelphia and they remain only unbeaten team in NBA this season. (for 2 more days).
You simply can’t allow to let offensive player to catch + square to the basket and shoot relatively open 3 at the same side corner after guarding only one screen when only 2.2 seconds were left on shot clock.
Lillard’s & Tolliver cooperation defensively was far from great.
HOW TO DEFEND THIS TYPE OF SCREEN?
First of all it’s important to put pressure on inbounder. Often teams assign tallest player of its roster to defend player who inbounds the ball.
Also we have to take in account that veteran Horford set a solid screen and probably used his experience to slow down Lillard a bit 🙂
#1. SWITCH. No doubts, there should be a switch. Even initial decision was not to switch, in emergency situation like this when Lillard stuck in a screen it was the right strategy for defense. Screen defender’s X5 (Tolliver) defense was questionable. Even he didn’t switch or help Lillard to cover Korkmaz, he also didn’t follow Horford (5) behind 3-point line… and wasn’t ready to help in case if Horford was about to set downscreen for Richardson (3). He was protecting paint…
Lillard stuck in a screen + Horford set a good screen.
Tolliver (X5) was protecting the paint and didn’t help or guard his initial defender (5).
My theory. We all know that NBA is big business and more last second game-winning shots, OT and more close games makes this product attractive to spectators. So probably League encourages coaches to do less SWITCHING in these situations.
#2. FOLLOW. Of course it’s possible to defend the screen the same way as Portland did but do it more effective. Lillard should go over the screen and FOLLOW Korkmaz. Because he stuck in the screen it gave enough time for Korkmaz to catch the ball and attempt probably the best 3-point shot that Philly can get within 2.2 seconds.
#3. THROUGH. 2 options = through/over. Since Tolliver was 2 steps below the level of the screen, it was enough space for Lillard to get THROUGH and still be near Korkmaz.
MORE “INTERESTING GAMES”?
YES! New season has started with game-winning buzzers and lot of games where winner is decided in last few minutes of the game. Maybe it’s just the start of the season but it’s harder to predict the outcome of most of games.
Even there’s still huge gap between LA Clippers, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, LA Lakers and other top teams vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and other underdogs there are at least 7-8 teams who realistically can win NBA Title and few teams can surprise by making play-offs (Phoenix?).
NBA games which ended with 0 to 4 points difference between teams in NBA after first 13 days increased by 12.4% compared to last season (63.5% 2019-20 vs 52.1% 2018-19).
PHILADELPHIA 5-0 – LAST UNBEATEN TEAM IN NBA!
Another sign that this season should be very interesting is that after 5 games played only Coach Brown’s team is only unbeaten team left in NBA (Philadelphia lost their next game against Phoenix Suns (5-1).). This summer’s free agency was probably the most surprising and most unpredictable ever.
Teams with perfect start of the season in last 6 seasons after 6+ games played.
Thanks for reading! CoachKris@abouthegame.com