Slipping The Pick-And-Roll: How San Antonio Thwarted The Miami P&R Trap In Game 1

Beating Miami's trapping pick-and-roll defense isn't particularly easy. It requires the right and pinpoint passes, secondary penetration and very skilled players. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers didn't try to beat the trap so much as use its momentum against itself. Using Roy … [Read more...]

Why Can LeBron James Shoot Three-Pointers All Of A Sudden?

In 2010-2011, LeBron James connected on 33.0% of his three-point attempts. In 2011-2012, that number jumped to 36.2%. This past regular season, it surged to 40.6%. In his recent piece on Grantland, Kirk Goldsberry attributed LeBron's improvement (both in three-point field goal percentage and field … [Read more...]

Miami-Indiana Game 1: Roy Hibbert Or Not, It Wouldn’t Have Mattered

Lost in the Frank Vogel-aimed yelling is a play from late in the 4th quarter, when Dwyane Wade streaked in for a layup over Roy Hibbert. It gave Miami a two-point lead, but more importantly poked a giant hole in the Hibbert-led Indiana defense; he can't cover Bosh as a shooter and protect the rim at … [Read more...]

Wait A Second, We’ve Seen That Play For Danny Green Before…

So, that Warriors-Spurs Game 1, right? Pretty fun. It was also an exhibition in offensive coaching and running plays and organization versus isolation-style hero ball. It was also also Gregg Popovich vs. Mark Jackson. Gregg Popovich won. Now, to be fair: Pop's Spurs did run plenty of half-hearted … [Read more...]

Start The Pick And Roll Farther From The Basket, New York

So, 85-78. A win! That's good, for Knicks fans. But Boston's defense was strong and frustrated Carmelo Anthony, all while keeping the rest of the team relatively in check. And even though Boston's offense is, at times, inept, it's safe to assume they'll score more than eight points in the fourth … [Read more...]

Playoff Capsule: New York Knicks

The New York Knicks went 3-1 against the Boston Celtics this season, handling them with ease in the final two matchups and splitting two other close games. But in their first round playoff series, we can safely expect the Celtics to tighten up their defense and raise their level of play by a few … [Read more...]

Why Can’t Brook Lopez Rebound? He Boxes Out Too Much.

Brook Lopez is a notoriously bad rebounder - he's halfway down the third page on the rebound rate leaderboard, according to HoopData. Even by traditional metrics, his 7.0 boards per game places him 38th in the league. There's Reggie Evans, of course, who is an excellent rebounder in his own right … [Read more...]

Why Can’t Jason Kidd Shoot Three-Pointers Anymore?

So Jason Kidd is shooting the ball poorly these days. This we know. In the first two months of the season, he shot 44.3% from beyond the arc. Since January 1st, only 28.4%. We actively attribute this to a regression to the mean, but what regressed? What mean? Why did he have to regress to the mean? … [Read more...]

The Mismatch Myth: Big Men Can Defend NBA Guards In Isolation

You've seen it countless times before: the offense runs a pick and roll, the defense switches. Amar'e Stoudemire is guarding Russell Westbrook now. Westbrook, swaggering in self-assurance, waves off Serge Ibaka. "I got this, bro. Let me iso this fool." Then, this: A weird, over-dribbled … [Read more...]

How To Beat Miami’s Pick And Roll Defense: Or, Tom Thibodeau, Offensive Genius

A common refrain in evaluating Miami Heat losses focuses on rebounding. They can't rebound, they won't rebound, what have you - within which lies an assumption, grounded in nothing, that rebounds and victories are linked by causation, the former to the latter. Because in today's world of half-baked … [Read more...]