WARRIORS vs ROCKETS. KD vs THE BEARD. 2:2. INTERESTING FACTS & NUMBERS.

GOLDEN STATE vs. HOUSTON 2:2.

NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals. 2:2. Actually it should be Western Conference Final but it is how it is. No game between these teams won by more than 6 points.

This is the 5th time under Steve Kerr that the Warriors are tied or trailing after 4 games of a playoff series.

GSW HOU

 

I guess most of NBA basketball fans remember last season’s Play-Off series between Warriors and Rockets. 27 missed 3-pointers in a row and CP3’s injury and other factors didn’t let Rockets to win West and go to NBA Finals.

Two different teams with few similarities – ball-movement vs. ISO team. Medium-fast teams vs. medium slow team. Both teams like to shoot from outside. Both teams had best offenses in NBA during regular season  – Warriors #1 (OffRTG 115.9) vs. Rockets #2 (OffRTG 115.5)…

Coach Kerr: “They’re linebackers, we’re volleyball players.”

2-2 ROCKEts

Maybe that’s me but it looks that Rockets are more hungry and it makes sense.

Teams to go up 2-0 in best-of-7 series WON 93.5% OF SERIES (286-20 record).

1031287958

At this point of series I feel that Coach D’Antoni team has much much more than 6.5% chance to win :))

 

KD vs HARDEN = SCORING MACHINES.

This is the 1st time in NBA history that opposing players have averaged 35+ PPG in the first four games of a playoff series.

Harden and KD

 

KD vs HARDEN performance comparison.

KD vs Harden...

Rockets and Warriors have scored almost the same amount of points and their best players in this series also – Durant 36.0 points per game, Harden 35.8. The main difference is that Harden shoots 2 times more 3-pointers and overall FG% is lower than KD. Durant shoots 3-pointers with much higher accuracy. Other stats overall are not that different between these players.

TOO MANY 3-POINTERS?

“The Rockets and Warriors shot a combined 25-for-83 in threes last night. Is this the kind of game we want? Really?”

I agree with author of this quote but on the other hand ugly victory is better than loss in beautiful game. Houston Rockets last season had the best offense in basketball history.

3-point shooting.. GSWHOU

Houston Rockets offense = shots from 3-point line and restricted area, NO MID-RANGE shots.

Rockets offense

Both teams led NBA in regular season in average distance of field goal attempts. Both Rockets and Warriors field goal was attempted furthest from basket compared to other NBA teams.

Distance NBA

In 3 of 4 games in Western Conference Finals between these teams 3-point attempt rate was 45%+ (3Ar shows how many shots of all field goal attempts were 3-pointers).

3AR

4TH quarter 3-point shooting – 3/23 (!)… 😦

COACH STEVE KERR’S SIDE-LINE OUT OF BOUNDS PLAY FOR DURANT.

Despite Rockets leading almost whole game Warriors somehow find a way to almost tie the game in last seconds of Game 4. Great play designed by Coach Kerr freed KD for 3-point shot, unfortunately for Warriors both Durant and Curry missed their 3-pointers and it’s very likely that we will see Game 7!

30g4au

Play2

play2

Play4

Thanks for reading! CoachKris@HUPU. Kristians@abouthegame.com

For those who are interested in quality and well organised basketball practices in Beijing both individual and group training contact me privately PM.

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EMBIID LEADS PHANTASTIC 5 OVER RAPTORS. WHERE IS TORONTO DEPTH?

PHI TOR

GAME 3. 2:1.  76ers & Phantasic 5 won Toronto Raptors by +21 (116:95)  – team with one of the best defenses in NBA. 6 straight games before G3 Raptors allowed less than 100 points what is excellent result in today’s NBA.

TORONTO Raps

If defense in G1 & G2 was great as usual then it wasn’t at it’s best in G3.

As we know defense wins championships/defense is constant/defense has no bad days… It will be alright with Raps defense but the main problem is OFFENSE. 76ers never been among the best defensive teams in NBA 2018-19 regular season and Play-Offs as well, it’s just OK – not good, not bad.

Only 9 of 82 regular season games Toronto team scored less than 100 points + only 3rd time this season they have scored less that 100 points 2 games in a row.

Every game another HERO.

HEALTY EMBIID + BUTLER’S OFFENSE.

But Emd

Embiid’s health problems + great Raptors defense on him was the reason why Embiid didn’t play the best basketball in G1 & G2.

Embiid 1st 2 games

Embiid performance G3

”Multiple high-energy moments from Joel Embiid sparked a big Game 3 win for the Sixers against the Raptors.”

Embiid scored various ways:

  • Post-up;
  • Free-throws;
  • Pick-and-roll (roller);
  • 1vs1 (shot fake + drive to the basket);
  • ISO + mid-range shot.

76ers often run this play where Redick sets cross-screen to free up Embiid so he can receive the ball near basket or in low post area. xE (Embiid’s defender) play close to Embiid not allowing use screen effectively and this case he forces Embiid to the middle. xR (Redick’s defender) should “bump” Embiid but at the same time be ready to follow Redick since he is elite 3-point shooter which quick release.

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Embiid redick cross-screen

Embiid redick cross-screen2

Embiid is much more valuable to his 76ers team when he’s not only HEALTHY but also had a REST between games. In back-to-back games in regular season (0 days rest) his +/- is much lower than games when he had 1-2 days to rest.

Embiid rest22

In my opinion Coach Nick Nurse’s team’s decisions to overreact to Cameroonian shot fake wasn’t the best decision. Yes, Embiid (30% career 3-point shooter) shot 3-pointers well – 3/4, but as we can see in diagram below it’s not the factor who decide winner of the game. Rather it’s windmill dunk what makes 76ers fans and players get pumped up.

NBA 2018-19 regular season. 76ers were only 6-4 in games when Embiid made 3+ 3-pointers. 

Embiid 3-pointers

Embiid’s 3 point shot attempt (30% shooter) or windmill dunk? 

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304zar

Philadelphia is known as ball-movement team and sometimes not all the players who joined during the season can adapt. Jimmy Butler feels much better when ball is in his hands. He is great pick-and-roll player and he proved it in G3. Philly needs his points in offense if they want to win Raptors!

Ok, let’s say Simmons didn’t play the best game of the season but overall none of Philadelphia 76ers players had a bad G3. It’s hard to stop PHANTASTIC 5 if they all play their game.

PHI TOR12

1ST HALF. RAPTORS TRANSITION DEFENSE & PHILLY’S OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING.

Raptors as usual did great job in their half-court defense. Transition defense was the problem.

TRANSITION DEFENSE. Sprint back/see the ball all the time/stop the ball/find nearest player (switching is less worse than losing 2 points while finding your own offensive player).

3050n2

“No one box out in NBA anymore…” (Jeff Van Gundy). 76ers is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in NBA and Raptors should be aware of it.

START OF 4TH QUARTER

TOR PHi 4th QT

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TORONTO OFFENSE?

Kawhi and Siakam need more help! Kawhi plays MJ & Kobe level offense but I can’t say the same about most of Raptors players.

vlcsnap-2019-05-04-16h39m01s811

Fade away Jordan

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304zhm

Where is Ibaka/Lowry/VanVleet? Marc Gasol also should be more like offensive threat not 7 feet tall pass first player.

Lowry said :”I’m not putting it on nobody else but me.”

Lowry1

Lowry TOR

 

Raptors players Regular season vs Play-Off Series (3 games against 76ers).

(POINTS/FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS/FIELD GOAL %)

Roster Raprs

Green = increase, yellow = not meaningful changes, light red = slight decrease, dark red = decrease.

PHANTASTIC 5 vs RAPTORS DEPTH? IS RAPTORS DEPTH OVERRATED?

One of the main concerns of Philly’s Play-Off success was their lack of depth and vice-versa Toronto Raptors was considered as the team with depth. Great defender OG is out, Jeremy Lin injured (?) but it doesn’t change the fact that most of Raptors players play like below average NBA players. VanVleet better than McConnell? Ibaka better than Marjanovic? Powell better than Ennis/Scott?

Bench players FG% in Game 3.

Bench players shooting G3

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Thanks for reading NBA basketball fans! Kristians@abouthegame.com

CELTICS’ GREAT WALL STOPS GREEK FREAK!

HOW TO STOP GREEK FREAK? ANSWER = YOU CAN’T BUT…

It’s impossible to stop and take away all the options of probably #1 MVP candidate of NBA 2018-19 regular season. Greek Freak somehow will score his 20 points. Anyway, every player has weaknesses and strengths so Giannis does. He’s unique athlete which scores most of the points from restricted area but not too often relies on jump shots (definitely below average 3-point shooter). Deadly for opponents in transition offense.

Giannis %

HOW DID BOSTON CELTICS STOP GREEK FREAK?

Brad Stevens

#1. DISTANCE. Simply if your opponent isn’t great outside shooter (despite 3/5 from 3-point line in G1), don’t guard him too close. Also distance should be that great since Giannis needs 1-2 dribbles to get to the rim and simply dunk over defender.

Distance

2zs236

#2. TRANSITION DEFENSE. Great transition offense starts with good shot selection in offense. Bucks was the 2nd fastest team in NBA Regular season and Giannis can be deadly if ball in his hands during offensive transition.

Everyone back, below ball line, wide stance, no paint!

2zs2c4

No paint for Giannis! Everyone behind the ball level (blue line).

No PAINTreal

Great Wall

#3. NO 1vs1. Positional play. Everyone in wide two hands stance. Hands make defender look “bigger”. Off-ball defenders ready to help. Giannis 1vs1 in painted area = 2 points. It was very rare that he got into the painted area without 3-4 defenders around him.2zs29m

Great example

No straight-line drives, hands up = no fouls!

#4. POST. Celtics sent him baseline and once Antetokounmpo tried to turn to the basket there were help defender right in front of him. Again, no 1vs1.

Post defense

 

#5. PICK-AND-ROLL (Giannis as screener). Since Giannis is not considered as outside threat (despite his 3/5 3-point shooting in G1) Coach Stevens’ strategy was AWAY (force ball-handler away from screen) and for side-line pick-and-roll it was ICE defense. Every time Giannis rolled to the basket one or more defenders already was waiting him there ready to guard him if he receives the pass from ball-handler.

2zs2mr

2zs2ek

#6. FULL ROTATION. Every time Greek Freak drove to the basket + drew defenders and passed the ball to team-mates Boston team was ready rotate. Height and athleticism allows Celtics players to guard multiple positions so they don’t worry about SWITCHING that might occur during full-rotation. Boston is one of the best teams in NBA covering 3-point line (interesting that Milwaukee is the #1 in NBA).

2zs27a

#6. BIG BODIES. Horford/Baynes/Morris. Despite Giannis athleticism he had a hard time to effectively play against these players 1vs1. Greek Freak is quicker but not always he was able to get good looks once he had to play through the contact.

2zs28f

GIANNIS 4 years transformation

#7. GIANNIS CREATES OPPORTUNITIES TO OTHERS. Others should do better job of taking advantage of Giannis ability to draw defenders. They had a plenty good opportunities to score. If Giannis/Mirotic/Middleton shot 3-pointers with high accuracy then other team-mates were only 4/27 from 3-point line and bunch of them were open.

Also absence of Brogdon who is 42.6% 3-point shooter don’t help to Bucks..

Anyway, once Bucks find their rhythm they will be very hard to stop by any team in NBA. This will be very interesting series!

Interesting fact that Boston Celtics set their franchise record for 3-pointers made per game (24) against Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season.

MIL vs BOS

My prediction: we will see GAME 7!

Kristians@abouthegame.com

是什么让第一轮的火箭打得如此轻松?

 

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Why Rockets won both Play-Off 1st Round games so easily?

是什么让第一轮的火箭打得如此轻松?

#1. Rockets are in their “best shape” in whole 2018-19 NBA season, how about Jazz? Jazz and Rockets started season slow. Both teams play their best basketball after after All-Star break. Both teams are in “great shape” so this shouldn’t be a reason why Jazz were heavily defeated in both games.

1,火箭连胜的状态很好,爵士不是吗?

爵士也开始慢热的赛季,在常规赛结束时表现出色。两支球队在全明星赛结束后都打出了他们最好的篮球。两支球队的状态都很好,所以这不应该成为爵士队在两场比赛中都惨败的原因。

HOU UTA W%

Game 1: Rockets – Jazz 122:90 (+32); Game 2: Rockets – Jazz 118:98 (+20). With all the respect to Houston team +52 in 2 games don’t show us real strength comparison between these two teams. Utah Jazz will play much better at home, especially defensively.

第一场:火箭爵士122:90+32);第二场:火箭爵士118:98+20)。在2场比赛中对休斯顿+52分差并没有显示出这两支球队的真实实力对比,犹他爵士在主场会打得更好,尤其是防守方面。

#2. Good match-up for Rockets/Bad match-up for Jazz? Not sure, maybe.

2临场发挥也许吧。

In the 1st Round of Western Conference Play-Offs we have a match-up between:

2nd best offense Houston 115.5 OffRTG (regular season 2018-19);

2nd best defense 105.7 DefRTG (regular season 2018-19).

Houston = ISO to max offense + lot of 3s vs. Utah = one of the NBA leading team in pick-and-rolls and hand-off screens.

As all we know Houston attempts a lot of 3’s. High volume and high % (3-pointers) = almost impossible to stop Rockets for any team in NBA.

Regular season series 2-2.

在西部联盟季后赛的第一轮中,有一场比赛:

进攻第二的休斯顿:115.5分(常规赛2018-19);

防守第二的爵士:105.7分(常规赛2018-19)。

休斯顿进攻在联盟是挡拆和传球方面领先的。

正如我们所知道的,休斯顿尝试了很多三分球,高出手数和高命中率(三分球),几乎不可能阻止火箭在NBA的任何球队的面前得高分。

 

常规赛系列赛2-2

Rockets JAZZ

#3. Defensive strategy of forcing Harden to right helps Rockets?

3怎么防哈登

NBA is the League where you can’t hide anything and teams has tendencies to copy the style of best offenses and defenses.

Having 2nd best defense in 2018-19 regular season and playing 2-2 during regular season vs Jazz.. Why change defensive strategy? Of course , the key to be successful against Rockets = STOP HARDEN! So obviously Jazz tried the same defensive strategy what Coach Budenholzer (Milwaukee) used to apply vs. Harden = force to right hand and “send” him towards big man. Bucks have Giannis/Lopez, Jazz – Gobert. Milwaukee Bucks is best defensive team this season.

NBA是一个你不能隐藏任何东西的联盟,球队有模仿最佳进攻和防守风格的倾向。

2018-19常规赛中获得第二名防守,在常规赛的比赛中以2-2的比分结束。为什么要改变防守策略?当然,成功对付火箭的关键就是要站稳脚跟,所以很明显,爵士也尝试了同样的防守策略,就像教练布登霍泽(密尔沃基)对哈登的防守策略一样,把他到大个子面前。雄鹿有字母哥/洛佩兹,而爵士有戈伯特。所以密尔沃基雄鹿是本赛季最好的防守球队。

Harden right hand

Force to right

Milwaukee vs Rockets

As coach Quin Snyder said in interview during game – probably Gobert/Favors helps too early and it gives Harden more time for the best decision.

正如教练奎因·斯奈德在比赛中接受采访时所说的那样,戈伯特/费沃斯协防可能太早了,这给了哈登更多的时间来做出最好的决定。

#4. OPTIONS FOR JAMES HARDEN.

哈登的进攻选择

Option #1. Drive towards the basket and finish with lay-up/floater/dunk.

1,直接突破攻击篮筐,上篮得分

Floater

Lay-up

Option #2. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps – pass or alley-oop to Big man (usually Capela).

2,突破内线,打个球员顺下(通常是卡佩拉)接短传或空中接力的助攻得分

Alley Oop

drive + pass to big

Option #3. Step-back 3. Usually dribbling with non-shooting hand (in Harden’s case – right hand) allows to do step-back move more effective as it is if player dribbles with shooting hand.

3,后撤步投篮:用弱侧手运球能让防守队员不知所措。

2yz1re

Option #4. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps + rotation = drive-kick to shooters.

4,突破后队友在外线轮转跑位,接突分后投篮

Pass to corner

Option #5. Pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop. If teammate decides to set a screen for Harden then all the offensive basket skills vs WEAK (Force ball-handler to weak hand)/ICE defense applies. In this example pass to screener who pops behind three-point line.

5,打挡拆。如果队友在强侧作掩护,哈登直接突破;如果在弱侧作掩护,哈德也可以完成投篮

pick-and-roll pickpop

ADVICE

建议

Why not start rotation right after second dribble of Harden? In picture below we can see that XH (Ingles) already is too far behind Beard and he can’t guard him anymore. Why not to go directly to guard 2 (House) since his defender X2 (Rubio) is trying prevent Capela to receive alley-oop pass from Harden.

为什么不在哈登第二次运球后开始旋转?在下面的图片中,我们可以看到英戈尔斯已经离大胡子太远了,他再也不能覆盖到他了。为什么不直接去2位(豪斯),因为防他的后卫(鲁比奥)正试图阻止卡佩拉从哈登接到空接传球

Advice PDFAdvice.png

Best strategy for 2nd best defense in Regular season? I don’t think so. They don’t stop neither Harden nor whole Rockets squad. Of course bad offense affects defensive effectiveness.

常规赛第二防守的策略我不这么认为。他们既不阻止火箭队也不阻止整个火箭队。当然糟糕的进攻也会影响防守效果。

#5. Rockets = more than only Harden!

Rockets Field goal %

There are 2 type of wins of Rockets. Harden 40-50 points + teammates scores less.. Harden 20-30 points and teammates scores more…

Rockets proved that they can win Jazz various ways.

火箭有两种获胜方式。哈登40-50+队友得分更少;哈登20-30分,队友得分更高

火箭队证明了他们能以各种方式赢得爵士队。

Tucker the most corner 3

Tucker leads the League for 3-pointers scored from corner.

Capela plays his best basketball despite he wasn’t 100% ready for G2.

CP3, Gordon and others = all play great basketball.

Excellent job by Rockets adding these players to roster in the middle of the season.

塔克在底角三分球领先联盟。

卡佩拉打了他最好的篮球,尽管他没有100%准备好参加G2

CP3、戈登和其他人都打得都很好。

火箭在赛季中期将这些球员加入球队阵容,这是一个很好的工作:法里埃德,丹尼尔豪斯,小里佛斯,香波特。

Houston Notable playetrs

Unfortunately for Rockets but FG% for whole team in play-offs is so high that decrease in accuracy will be seen very soon . Regular season #1 – Golden State Warriors – 49.1% (FG%) (Rockets shoots more 3-pointers).

不幸的是,火箭队在季后赛中的总命中率很高,但很快又会降低。常规赛1-金州勇士队-49.1%fg%)(火箭队投三分球太多)。

#6. Rockets defense.

6火箭的防守

Defense creates offense.  I really like Rockets players on-ball defense especially in Pick-and-Roll situations.

HOU great PNR defense

Great on-ball defense on pick-and-roll ball-handler, not always covering roll man the best way but Mitchell/Rubio/Ingles don’t shoot well in PNR situations.

Since Rockets SWITCH very often, Gobert and Favors very often even didn’t set the screen but slip the screen anticipating SWITCH. It also helps on-ball defender to do his job better if screen is not set as it should be.

防守创造进攻。我真的很喜欢火箭球员的防守,特别是在对方挡拆的情况下。

在控球方面的防守很好,不总是以最好的方式掩护控球人,但是米切尔/鲁比奥/因格尔斯在PNR战术的情况下投篮不好。

由于火箭经常换位,戈伯特和费沃斯经常甚至没有设置挡拆,而是按照事先预料的换位。这也有助于球后卫更好地完成他的工作,如果挡拆没有设置也是应该的。

Jazz Type of shots

Ball-handler FG% in pick-and-roll situations in 2 play-off games so far has been 12.6% lower than regular season average…  Similar situation with hand-off – 28.7% lower accuracy.

Rockets as usual switch a lot, not always all screens but very often.

Anyway, it isn’t always Rockets defense. Jazz has high number of unforced turnovers that leads to fast break opportunities and wide open 3-pointers in transition.

到目前为止,在2场季后赛中,爵士控球手在接球和轮转球的情况下比常规赛平均水平低了12.6%…类似的情况下,接球的准确度都降低了28.7%

火箭像往常一样经常轮转,经常轮转。

不管怎样,火箭的防守并不总是如此。爵士有大量的非受迫失误,导致快速突破的机会和广泛开放的三分球给到火箭。

Example of defending drive to the basket of Rockets player.

Great drive defemse

#7 Jazz simply can’t score… Even wide open shots.

7,爵士得分太难了

Utah Jazz has the most wide open shots (29.7% of all shots) among all NBA Play-Off teams but has only 14th best FG% and together with Oklahoma City they have worst 3-point FG% (20.0%).

犹他爵士队在所有的NBA季后赛球队中拥有最多的空位投篮(占所有投篮的29.7%),但只有第14名的投篮命中率,与俄克拉荷马城队相似,他们拥有最差的3分球命中率(20.0%)。

Jazz Wide Open shots                                                                                      In NBA 2018-19 regular season both teams shot 35.6% from 3-point line (10th/11th in NBA). In Play-Offs situation is completely different.

2018-19赛季的NBA常规赛中,两支球队都在从3分线外获得了35.6%的命中率,但在季后赛中情况完全不同

Houston Jazz shots

Interesting that in this NBA Play-Off First Round match-up between Jazz and Rockets we probably have a chance to see the most alley-oop dunks compared to any other match-up.

有趣的是,在这场由爵士队和火箭队组成的NBA首轮比赛中,我们可能有机会看到最棒的空中接力扣篮:哈登给卡佩拉传了83个空中接力,卢比奥给戈贝尔传了33个空接。

Alley-OOp leaders

No doubts, Rockets looks like NBA Title contender! Anyway,  I don’t think Rockets will have any 20+ win vs Jazz this series, Utah team has too much potential and it’s hard to imagine other Rockets players except Harden to continue to shoot 50%+. Simply it’s too good to be truth 🙂 Series not over yet. 4-1 or 4-2 Rockets.

毫无疑问,火箭应该是NBA冠军的有力争夺者!无论如何,我不认为火箭会在这个系列赛中再次赢得20分以上的胜利了,犹他人有太多的潜力,很难想象除了哈登以外的其他火箭球员会继续50%以上的命中率。简单地说,这太理想了,不太可能是事实:)系列还没有结束。我想最后的结果会是4-14-2火箭晋级。

Which picture you like better?

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For anyone who’s is interested in quality and well organized basketball practice in great venue @ Beijing – please contact me personally. 

如果有人在北京想要高质量的篮球训练,请私信联系我。

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Thanks for reading! CoachKris@HUPU

感谢阅读!

 

ROCKETS vs. JAZZ. WHY ROCKETS WON BOTH PLAY-OFF 1st ROUND GAMES SO EASILY!?

 

Title2

Why Rockets won both Play-Off 1st Round games so easily?

#1. Rockets are in their “best shape” in whole 2018-19 NBA season, how about Jazz? Jazz and Rockets started season slow. Both teams play their best basketball after after All-Star break. Both teams are in “great shape” so this shouldn’t be a reason why Jazz were heavily defeated in both games.

HOU UTA W%

Game 1: Rockets – Jazz 122:90 (+32); Game 2: Rockets – Jazz 118:98 (+20). With all the respect to Houston team +52 in 2 games don’t show us real strength comparison between these two teams. Utah Jazz will play much better at home, especially defensively.

#2. Good match-up for Rockets/Bad match-up for Jazz? Not sure, maybe.

In the 1st Round of Western Conference Play-Offs we have a match-up between:

2nd best offense Houston 115.5 OffRTG (regular season 2018-19);

2nd best defense 105.7 DefRTG (regular season 2018-19).

Houston = ISO to max offense + lot of 3s vs. Utah = one of the NBA leading team in pick-and-rolls and hand-off screens.

As all we know Houston attempts a lot of 3’s. High volume and high % (3-pointers) = almost impossible to stop Rockets for any team in NBA.

Regular season series 2-2.

Rockets JAZZ

#3. Defensive strategy of forcing Harden to right helps Rockets?

NBA is the League where you can’t hide anything and teams has tendencies to copy the style of best offenses and defenses.

Having 2nd best defense in 2018-19 regular season and playing 2-2 during regular season vs Jazz.. Why change defensive strategy? Of course , the key to be successful against Rockets = STOP HARDEN! So obviously Jazz tried the same defensive strategy what Coach Budenholzer (Milwaukee) used to apply vs. Harden = force to right hand and “send” him towards big man. Bucks have Giannis/Lopez, Jazz – Gobert. Milwaukee Bucks is best defensive team this season.

Harden right hand

Force to right

Milwaukee vs Rockets

As coach Quin Snyder said in interview during game – probably Gobert/Favors helps too early and it gives Harden more time for the best decision.

OPTIONS FOR JAMES HARDEN.

Option #1. Drive towards the basket and finish with lay-up/floater/dunk.

Floater

Lay-up

Option #2. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps – pass or alley-oop to Big man (usually Capela).

Alley Oop

drive + pass to big

Option #3. Step-back 3. Usually dribbling with non-shooting hand (in Harden’s case – right hand) allows to do step-back move more effective as it is if player dribbles with shooting hand.

2yz1re

Option #4. Drive towards the basket – X5 helps + rotation = drive-kick to shooters.

Pass to corner

Option #5. Pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop. If teammate decides to set a screen for Harden then all the offensive basket skills vs WEAK (Force ball-handler to weak hand)/ICE defense applies. In this example pass to screener who pops behind three-point line.

pick-and-roll pickpop

ADVICE

Why not start rotation right after second dribble of Harden? In picture below we can see that XH (Ingles) already is too far behind Beard and he can’t guard him anymore. Why not to go directly to guard 2 (House) since his defender X2 (Rubio) is trying prevent Capela to receive alley-oop pass from Harden.

Advice PDFAdvice.png

Best strategy for 2nd best defense in Regular season? I don’t think so. They don’t stop neither Harden nor whole Rockets squad. Of course bad offense affects defensive effectiveness.

#4. Rockets = more than only Harden!

Rockets Field goal %

There are 2 type of wins of Rockets. Harden 40-50 points + teammates scores less.. Harden 20-30 points and teammates scores more…

Rockets proved that they can win Jazz various ways.

Tucker the most corner 3

Tucker leads the League for 3-pointers scored from corner.

Capela plays his best basketball despite he wasn’t 100% ready for G2.

CP3, Gordon and others = all play great basketball.

Excellent job by Rockets adding these players to roster in the middle of the season.

Houston Notable playetrs

Unfortunately for Rockets but FG% for whole team in play-offs is so high that decrease in accuracy will be seen very soon . Regular season #1 – Golden State Warriors – 49.1% (FG%) (Rockets shoots more 3-pointers).

#5. Rockets defense.

Defense creates offense.  I really like Rockets players on-ball defense especially in Pick-and-Roll situations.

HOU great PNR defense

Great on-ball defense on pick-and-roll ball-handler, not always covering roll man the best way but Mitchell/Rubio/Ingles don’t shoot well in PNR situations.

Since Rockets SWITCH very often, Gobert and Favors very often even didn’t set the screen but slip the screen anticipating SWITCH. It also helps on-ball defender to do his job better if screen is not set as it should be.

Jazz Type of shots

Ball-handler FG% in pick-and-roll situations in 2 play-off games so far has been 12.6% lower than regular season average…  Similar situation with hand-off – 28.7% lower accuracy.

Rockets as usual switch a lot, not always all screens but very often.

Anyway, it isn’t always Rockets defense. Jazz has high number of unforced turnovers that leads to fast break opportunities and wide open 3-pointers in transition.

Example of defending drive to the basket of Rockets player.

Great drive defemse

#6. Jazz simply can’t score… Even wide open shots.

Utah Jazz has the most wide open shots (29.7% of all shots) among all NBA Play-Off teams but has only 14th best FG% and together with Oklahoma City they have worst 3-point FG% (20.0%).

Jazz Wide Open shotsIn NBA 2018-19 regular season both teams shot 35.6% from 3-point line (10th/11th in NBA). In Play-Offs situation is completely different.

Houston Jazz shots

Interesting that in this NBA Play-Off First Round match-up between Jazz and Rockets we probably have a chance to see the most alley-oop dunks compared to any other match-up.

Alley-OOp leaders

No doubts, Rockets looks like NBA Title contender! Anyway,  I don’t think Rockets will have any 20+ win vs Jazz this series, Utah team has too much potential and it’s hard to imagine other Rockets players except Harden to continue to shoot 50%+. Simply it’s too good to be truth 🙂 Series not over yet. 4-1 or 4-2 Rockets.

Which picture you like better?

Watch Game Cellphone

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE 1ST ROUND PLAY-OFF SERIES PREVIEW.

EAST NBA

 

MIL DET

NBA play-off

MIL

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

The best team in NBA after regular season = 60W-22L.

TOP teams in NBA standings

New arena, new coach, new offensive/defensive system.

#1 defense, opponent’s shoots with lowest field goal % against Bucks, least amount of free-throws allowed , the best team defensive rebounding team.

Top 5 offense, Top 3 field goal %. . Shoots high volume of three-pointers and makes them with high accuracy.

No mid-range shots ( only 5.5% of all shot attempt).

Milwaukee play fast-paced basketball.

Injuries.. Brogdon/Mirotic/Gasol. DiVicenzo.

Buckss

Lack of play-off experience?

BUCKS playoff experience

Giannis Regular season MVP?

Bucks only once in whole 2018-19 regular season lost 2 games in a row.

DET

Finished 8th in Eastern Conference. Secured play-off spot only in the least few days in NBA regular season. Detroit played their best basketball in second part of the season.

2nd worst FG% (44.0) in NBA. Lack of fast break points.

Shoots lot of 3’s but accuracy overall is not that high.

Top 5 rebounding team. Drummond is the best NBA rebounder.

Rebound leaders

One of the best three-point shooters Bullock traded to Lakers.

Worst away team of all 16 teams who qualified for play-offs (15-26).

2017-18 Coach of the Year Casey hasn’t been very successful in play-offs so far (Toronto expectations was higher).

Detroit team plays slow basketball.

MILDET2

PREDICTION. Milwaukee team has been playing stable and very successful whole regular season. Only once they have lost 2 games in a row this NBA season. Even without Brogdon, Mirotic and Gasol they are huge favourites in this First Round match-up. Despite having superstar Griffin and league’s best rebounder Drummond their chances to win the series are slim. In my opinion Detroit team is not the team which can surprise.

MILWAUKEE – DETROIT 4:0.

TOR ORL

NBA PO1 - Copy

TOR

#2 Team in NBA. Team basketball & balance.

We the norht

Stable and consistent whole season long. Started season 12-1.This is not the first time when Raptors play great during regular season in recent years.. How about Play-Offs? It’s right time and right situation! Lebron is in Western Conference or more precise in vacation 🙂

Both Top 5 offense and defense in NBA.

Balance. Despite being #2 in League Toronto leads NBA only FT% of all main statistical categories.

After acquiring Marc Gasol during the season they really can call themselves serious NBA Title contender.

Their strength is DEPTH and Kawhi also seems happy.

One of the worst teams in NBA dunks per game.

Raptors dancing

ORL

One of the biggest season surprises! Secured their play-off spot in last days of NBA regular season. Finished season 5-1.

Defense. Defensive specialist Coach Clifford improved Magic defense from 18th last season to 8th this season.

Orlando is slow defensive team who is one of the best rebounding teams in NBA and draws a lot of fouls.

Lack of free-throw attemps but shoots lot of mid-range shots.

Team basketball.

Top 3 leading scorers (Vučevič/Fournier/Gordon) total have 56 minutes of play-off experience.

TORORL2

PREDICTION. Orlando Magic is one of biggest surprises this season and all respect to All-Star Vučevič but #2 in NBA regular season has too much talent in their roster. Both good defensive teams, both teams have great big men (Gasol, Ibaka,Vučevič). I just don’t see too many options which could help Orlando to surprise again…

TORONTO – ORLANDO 4:1

PHI BKN

NBA PO1 - Copy - Copy (2)

PHI

 PHANTASTIC 5 = EMBIID, HARRIS, BUTLER, REDICK, SIMMONS.

76ers

Embiid’s health is very important for 76ers, two different teams with and without Embiid.

Ball-movement team – leads NBA in 3PT% AST and 3rd in FG% AST. Team basketball.

Enough aggressiveness. Among leaders both per FT attempts and makes.

Top 5 team both per rebounds and assists per game.

Team with huge potential,  team’s chemistry is very important.

Lack of depth?

People love basketball in Philadelphia – NBA attendance leaders.

One of the best clutch time teams in NBA . For example, Charlotte Hornets lost season series 0-4 woth total point difference -10 (2 OT).

BKN

Brooklyn Nets similar to Orlando Magic is one of biggest surprises of the season.

Ups and downs . Started season 8-18 and continued season with 19 wins of next 24 games.

Heartbreak Hotel

Drive and kick offense.

Shoots lot of 3-pointers and free-throws, don’t shoot lot of mid-range shots.

Top 5 team % of 3-pointers of total points.

Interesting that opposite teams attempts the most shots against Nets team.

One of the best benches in NBA (Dinwiddie).

Lack of points from C position players. Only ahead of Golden State Warriors.

The best season for D’Angelo Russell (All-Star) and J.Harris won All-Star 3-point contest.

Russell

(picture from mid-season)

Joe Harris

Despite playing entertaining basketball Brooklyn Nets have lowest attendance in whole NBA…

The worst team at home of all 16 play-off teams.

PHIBKN2

PREDICTION. This match-up between Philadelphia and Brooklyn will guarantee basketball fans entertaining basketball. It’s very important for Philly if Embiid will be healthy. Without Embiid there’s chance for Brooklyn to get to game 7 at least. Otherwise 76ers should win series without unnecessary stress.

Fans. Philadephia with highest attendance in League play against Brooklyn with lowest attendance…

PHILADELPHIA – BROOKLYN 4:2

BOS IND

NBA PO1 - Copy - Copy (3)

BOS

Preseason prediction – the best team in Eastern Conference…

Ups and downs. Problems with team’s chemistry.

Offensively Celtics mostly rely on 3-point/mid-range shooting.

3rd/4th average shooting distance from basket in NBA.

Lack of paint points and points from free-throw line.

Great defensive team.

Too many great players ? Too many players who play for same position?

It’s very likely that Boston Celtics during Play-offs will play their best basketball. Most of team’s young players have confidence because of great last season + Irving’s play-off experience and ability to play great in clutch moments.

IND

TOP3 defensive team in NBA.

DPOY candidate Turner. Most shots blocked per game in NBA!

Blocks leaders

Don’t shoot lot of 3’s but accuracy is pretty good. (similar to San Antonio Spurs).

Team basketball.

Only team without any player scoring more 20.0 points average per game.

76.8% FGA 2-pointers. Attempts a lot of mid-range shots.

Oladipo’s injury… After injury 16W-19L.

One of the worst NBA teams dunks per game.

BOSIND2

PREDICTION. Match-up between two great defensive teams but at the same time two completely different type offensive teams. Yes, Boston is favourite especially after Oladipo injury but Indiana is very tough defensive team. I think Kyrie’s play-off experience and leadership + home court advantage will be two main factors which will decide which team will be the winner of this Eastern Conference #4 and #5 series. +

BOSTON – INDIANA 4:3

Thanks for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA REGULAR SEASON vs. PLAYOFFS. DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN MILWAUKEE NBA TITLE CHANCES?

How important is to win NBA regular season? 

If you are simply the best you win – no questions. Home court advantage through whole Playoff time + psychological advantage (?) over opponents.

On the other hand… It’s doesn’t help much to dominate NBA from middle of October until April if team doesn’t win NBA Title in June.

The first thing that should come in NBA basketball fan’s mind is Golden State Warriors historic 73-9 regular season or last year’s Houston Rockets’ regular season success… As we all know both these teams didn’t win the NBA Title.

REG WINNER

THE FACT. NBA regular season winner won NBA Title only 4 times in last 9 seasons.

 

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE.

Reg win

It’s not secret – teams usually play better at home. In diagram shown #1 regular season’s team record at home/away. Even playoff home games winning % is high, it’s much lower than same teams total winning record @ home in regular season = 87.8% (180-25).

Home court advantage is very important but it doesn’t guarantee NBA Title! In Playoffs teams face better opponents and preparation against one single opponent is much different than during regular season when team sometimes play against 4 different opponents in 6 days.

Very important is how teams match-up to each other. For example 2017/18 NBA season – Portland #3 vs. New Orleans #6. Portland = pick-and-roll team vs. New Orleans = fastest team (2017/18). There’s no need for home court advantage if team (Portland in this case) is swept – 0:4..

 

PLAY-OFF EXPERIENCE AND PLANNING.

Being the best shape in right time!  Is San Antonio Spurs 9 game winning-streak just lucky run or well planned strategy from probably the greatest NBA and European coach?

Win Lose SAS

ettore POP

Even it was strength of schedule or just simply making shots with high % – THE LUCK IS EARNED.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

MIL

Let’s assume that Milwaukee will be #1 team in NBA in the end of regular season.

TOP teams now

New venue (Bradley Center to Fiserv Forum), new coach (Mike Budenholzer), new system. Shoots a lot of three-point shots, rebounds the ball excellent!

bucks-2018-19

What’s very important – best defense in NBA! Def RTG 104.7 (1st).

There are lot of sayings who describes importance of defense in basketball or any other sport: Defense wins championships, Defense has no bad days, Defense is consistent…

Defense really wins championships?

thinking

 

DEFENSE winner

 

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IN BUCKS CHANCES TO WIN NBA TITLE?

INJURIES of Brogdon, Gasol, Mirotic. Good for Bucks they not out for rest of the season. And recent injury of DiVicenzo (out)…

Play-off experience & success..

It’s hard to truly believe in Coach Budenholzer team’s possible Play-Off success if their 7 best scorers totally have played 52 seasons and have won only 4 play-off series…

BUCKS playoff experience

THE FIRST ROUND

Shouldn’t be a problem for Bucks even without injured players. Brooklyn Nets? Personally I believe that other teams who possibly will finish regular season at #8 spot won’t be able to compete vs. great Milwaukee Bucks team.

     BKN OR DET MIACHAR

 

THE SECOND ROUND

Most likely it will be winner of #4 and #5. Boston/Indiana winner. Both great defensive teams but completely different style of offense.

Last season Milwaukee lost 3-4 in First Round to Boston Celtics without Kyrie and Hayward.

BOS OR  IND

Season series: vs. Boston 2-1/vs Indiana 3-1.

Two very tough teams to play against. Boston Celtics not stable but they play great in play-offs,+Kyrie know what it takes to win big games. Indiana without Oladipo.. I think Milwaukee should win any of these series if injured players are back. Slight favourites over Boston.

THE THIRD ROUND

TOR OR PHI

Hard to predict anything now but I can’t say Bucks are huge favourites. 76ers Starting Five and huge potential offensively + Toronto depth and teamwork + great defense.. Who knows?

Season series: vs. Raptors 3-1/vs. Philly 1-1.

Interesting statistics of recent game between Philadephia and Miwaukee 130:125. Despite Giannis career-high 52 points he was less effective when Embiid was his primary defender.

Giannis Embiid.png

 

NBA FINALS

GSW OR HOU DENVER 1.png OR ANY OTHER TEAM?

I think any team who will make it out of East will have a chance to win the NBA Title. With all the respect to Warriors/Rockets/Nuggets and other Western Conference teams, Bucks can play against all of them. Still.. Golden State Warriors is #1 favourite but other teams are much closer to them than it used to be recent years.

Thanks for reading NBA basketball fans! Kristians@abouthegame.com