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Topic: Be a forward or a guard  (Read 101 times)
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Posts: 3

« on: February 26, 2018, 12:06:51 AM »

Not only did they neutralize Kawhi Leonard by stationing whoever he was guarding in the corner, they attacked LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee and Pau Gasol by having them defend Harden and 2K MT a shooter — usually either Trevor Ariza or Ryan Anderson — in pick-and-pops. When the big showed or hedged, Ariza or Anderson slipped to the perimeter. When they switched, Harden called his own number for an isolation.

We saw the Spurs make a big adjustment in Games 2 and 3. Rather than hedging or switching on Harden in the pick-and-roll, they dropped the big back to the paint to protect the rim while Kawhi Leonard chased him around screens. The combination allowed the Spurs to defend pick-and-rolls with two defenders and not give up as many open looks from the perimeter. In fact, the only open shots the Rockets could consistently generate in those games were midrange pull-ups or floaters, both of which are D'Antoni's kryptonite.

The solution for the Rockets is to involve other players in the pick-and-roll. Even when Leonard was guarding Harden in Games 4 and 5, they'd run a pick-and-roll with whoever was being guarded by Aldridge, Gasol or Lee, no matter if it was a forward or a guard. Ariza has been fantastic in that regard, knowing when to pop and when to roll to the basket for layups or dunks. It becomes more complicated for the Spurs when the Rockets play Anderson at center as well.

Just look at how much space the Rockets have to work with on this possession in transition: The advanced numbers with Anderson at center aren't great — Harden, Lou Williams, Eric Gordon, Ariza and Anderson have a minus-28.0 net rating in two games — cheap NBA 2K18 MT Coins but it's somewhat skewed by the Rockets missing shots they usually make within a small sample size.
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