The theme of this week’s Savvy/Shabby is inbounds passing. On the savvy side of things we are going to look at one of the most beautiful things in the NBA today — a Kevin Love outlet pass off of a made basket. On the shabby side, we’ll look at the Orlando Magic, and a mistake made by their inbound man late during their loss to Miami last Thursday.
Kevin Love’s Full Court Assist
We have seen Kevin Love’s full court entry pass before, but it is such an awesome/heads-up play that every time he does it, it is going to be the savvy play of the week. This week is no exception.
As the shot goes up, the Minnesota Timberwolves have two defenders closing out hard on the shooter. Kevin Love is doing what Kevin Love does, boxing out in the paint.
As the ball goes through the net, both defenders who closed out continue their run and end up leaking out. Love grabs the ball smoothly out of the net and quickly gets one foot out of bounds and one foot in the air. This is the key to his quick and long inbounds passes.
As long as the foot hanging over the inbounds line remains off the floor, this is a legal play. After watching this play a couple times, I am convinced that the ball is out of his hands when his foot is still in the air.
Wayne Ellington makes the catch on the other end and the defense has no chance, as Ellington makes the dunk and gets fouled. Here is the play in real time:
Kevin Love is always thinking on the basketball court, and this is a perfect example. More importantly, you never see Love make a turnover attempting plays like this. He only seems to make this pass when it becomes available (i.e. he makes a smooth catch and a man is open), and that is what makes it even better.
Hedo Misses Redick
Last Thursday against the Miami Heat, the Orlando Magic found themselves trailing by three points with about 10 seconds left in the game. Stan Van Gundy drew up a pretty nice play, one that freed up J.J. Redick in the corner. The only problem is that the inbounder, Hedo Turkoglu, gave up on Redick too early:
Once the ball goes to Turkoglu, Redick goes from his position on the elbow to the middle of the court. As that happens, Dwight Howard comes over to get in position to set a screen.
Redick puts his foot on the ground and quickly changes directions, using the screen set by Howard to try and get open in the corner. The one problem is LeBron James is using his wingspan to try and take away any pass to the corner.
Turkoglu sees LeBron’s body position and almost immediately decides not to pass it to Redick, giving up on the play and not even looking in Redick’s direction again.
However, James is reading Turkoglu’s eyes, and you see him start to shift as Turkoglu looks to find someone open in the middle of the court. James slides enough where Turkoglu now has an angle to get the ball to Redick.
However, Turkoglu already gave up on the play and he inbounds it to Ryan Anderson, who has to force a long fadeaway three. Here is the play in real time:
The way that LeBron is reading Turkoglu’s eyes makes me think that a pump fake towards the middle of the court would open up a lane to get the ball to Redick, who was wide open in the corner. However, he never gives Redick a look. Too bad.
Until next week.