Hello! My name is Kristians, this is my first blog about the game of basketball.
In this article I want to have closer look on Latvia’s biggest basketball star Porzingis performance while the first time playing for Latvia NT. How coach A. Bagatskis will fit him into our NT offensive system it will be interesting to see and what kind of solutions serbians for stopping him.
Anyway this is only 1 the first game in tournament (against Serbia) which I will have a closer look so there will be no absolutes but only first impressions.
- Fast paced and modern basketball
- Lot of three-point shots
- Not too much low post game/bigs have tendency to play far from the basket
- Most of the time 5 out offense with constant movement of the players.
- “European Golden State Warriors”.
Coach A. Bagatskis is trying to use Porzingis talent in similar way how NYK is doing. Trying to give him his usual shots what he has when playing for NBA team Knicks.
Location of shots: midrange 2/7, three-pointers 3/6, paint 2/3. 6 of 16 shots total from 3-point line (37.5%).
Last season in NBA for NYK 319 of total 1299 shots were 3-pointers (24%).
Type of shots: 4 off the dribble (all 1vs1 on perimeter), 4 of pick-roll or pick-pop situations, 8 (catch and shoot, catch square-couple fakes-shot).
Definitely KP is threat from 3-point line so this can effectively stretch the defense, pick-and-pop is good option after setting the ballscreen.
Suprise is that being 2.21m tall he shot only 3 of 16 shots from paint. This strategy could be explained with fact that he was most of the time defended by 2 tall and strong and experienced Serbian centers – Kuzmič (2.14 m/114kg) and Marjanovič (2.21m/132kg).
POSSESSIONS. CAN NOT BE WITHOUT A SHOT THAT LONG PERIOD OF TIME
Of 59 possessions of Latvia while Porzingis was in the game, he took a shot only 16 of them, total 27% (16/59). And there was period around 9 minutes long while he was on the court KP did not have any shot (0)…. 3rd quarter of the game he did not take any shot, 3 total in 2nd half. There is no doubt about it that Serbia did very good job of stopping KP, but world class NBA player to run 9 minutes without a shot…
Even he has a green light to shoot, sometimes lack of patience can hurt team. Porzingis are much better this year in the shot selection than last year’s NBA season! Young and amazing talent and it is hard to imagine how great he can be when more experienced!
OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING WHEN PORZINGIS TAKES A SHOT IS LESS EFFECTIVE
Interesting fact that after 9 missed shots by KP teammates grabbed only 1 offensive rebound, so that could mean that if he takes shot outside of paint and it is missed shot, there will be less chance to get offensive rebound compare if another teammate takes a shot. 1/9 (11%)…
Let’s compare to other teammates. If any of rest of the team takes shot offensive rebound was grabbed 9 of 27 (33%) shot attempts. 1/9 (11%) vs 9/27 (33%) = huge difference.
This is no secret, that Latvia do not have impressive big men this tournament except KP, so this difference does not suprise me that much, especially that M.Meiers (Center) and Porzingis also did not play together at the same time.
- 28:30 minutes – 0 post ups in low post. Serbia has tall, experienced and strong big men.
- Strategy. 5 out = stretch the defense. To keep relatively slow Marjanovič outside of paint = opens up driving lines to basket for other teammates.
- Most like he received the ball in the high post.
There was only few times during the game that Latvia play any set play to get the ball to Porzingis in the low post or high post. If X5 forces KP to baseline and X2 helps on baseline side, there is bigger chance for KP to receive the ball in the low post or even if the make mistake defensively easy lay-up. Serbian team forced KP middle and X2 bump him.
I think not posting up him that much this game clearly was the strategy and adaptation to Serbian roster. Against teams who has no that much tall big men I see him KP post up much much more often.
ROLL vs POP? PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE OF SERBIA
Pick-and-roll game is the big part of every team offensive system. PICK-AND-ROLL or PICK-AND-POP? Porzingis is well known as PICK-AND-POP player because of his great ability to shoot 3-point shots, especially if you are 2.21 m tall… It could be unstopabble weapon. Most of the pick-and-roll Porzingis POP, but sometimes he also ROLL to the basket, it depends on set play or in this case also on team strategy. I think option of SHORT ROLL could be considerable.
Both pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop game was struggling whole game mainly because of 3 reasons:
- Before European championship Latvia NT had only 2 games in their best roster, players do not know each other that well.
- Great pick-and-roll defense of Serbia team.
- Starting PG Strelnieks did not have a good game + Blums/Porzingis, Skele/Porzingis pick-and-roll does not look too effective so far.
SERBIA PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE
- Serbian strategy was to keep their tall, heavy and not that quick big men inside of three point-line.
- PNR defensive coverage 90% of time when KP was involved was
1) MIDDLE PICK AND ROLL – PREVENT (force the ballhandler in a direction away from the screen), usually trying to send ball handler to the side of 2 defensive perimeter players.
2) SIDE PICK AND ROLL – ICE (no middle) + full rotation if necessary in case KP pop and slow bigs are late back.
MIDDLE PICK-AND-ROLL/POP coverage
PREVENT – force the ballhandler away from the screen. Serbian defenders ACTIVE HANDS disrupted the timing of point guard passes to KP and forced turnovers.
X1 forces ballhandler to the side where is 2 perimeter defenders, first line of help discourages shot and dribble penetration. X2 ready to stunt and recover in case ball is quickly delivered to KP.
This set play where Porzingis sets a screen in the middle of floor and after that rolls to the basket while O4 sets a backscreen for him was not effective this game.
SIDE PICK-AND-ROLL/POP coverage
ICE (no middle) + rotation. Active/high hands of ballhandler’s defender.
Coverage for pick-and-roll on transition also was ICE, since the ball handler was near the sideline.
Overall Pick-and-Roll involved Porzingis was not too efective this game mainly because of significant amount of turnovers when ballhandlers tried to pass the ball to KP after he POP or ROLL. At least 5 turnovers while passing the ball while executing pick-and-roll is too much per one game. Mainly because of Serbian active hands and Latvian teammates lack of time to play together before European championship.
There are few examples:
Of course this is just only one game in tournament, but these are the first impressions, I predict that KP will receive ball in the post more often and team chemistry will be much better!
Good luck Latvia in next games in European champioship!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Kristians Broks @ abouthegame.com