Basketball is a game of split-second decisions and tiny windows of opportunity. Success hinges on doing the smallest little things correctly time and time again, failure is not so forgiving. After turning the ball over on the Knicks’ last possession last night, no one knows this better than Jared Jeffries.
In fact, he knows this so much that he admits he made a mistake last night. From the New York Daily News:
“Looking at the tape, I should have shot it,” Jeffries said, recalling the final seconds when he tried to pass, and had the ball taken away by Kevin Garnett.
“I felt like KG was coming down,” Jeffries said. “I tried to dump the ball off to Bill (Walker), and KG had his hand down. So when I tried to pass the ball to Bill cutting to the rim, he got a hand on it.”
On the plus side, at least he knows where he went wrong. Definitely should have shot the ball, considering he had Garnett on his back. It’s good he’s aware of that, I guess. On the minus side, everything else about this play. From the second Jeffries caught the ball, things started going wackadoodle.
On the catch, Jeffries does a completely unnecessary pivot when the pass was taking him towards the rim. For all his defensive accolades, Kevin Garnett is not a great shot-blocker, averaging less than a block per 36 minutes while blocking a lower percentage of shots this season than he has his entire career. If he shoots it, odds are he’s at least getting it on the rim.
But he decides to throw this ill-advised pass, and he makes it even tougher by throwing it with two hands which limits his ability to wrap the ball around KG. It’s hard to recommend a one-handed pass in a situation like this, but there’s a chance Jeffries could have gotten it off if he wouldn’t have reached across his body to throw it.
Of course, even that’s compounded by the fact that Jeffries can’t reach around KG because that stupid pivot made his right leg the one that had to stay planted. If he’s on his left foot and can step with his right, he gets a better angle and maybe Bill Walker has a layup. For such a quick play, a lot went wrong.
And really, that’s to be expected. Look at Jared Jeffries’ clutch stats. They are almost non-existent, but the ones that do exist are not very good. Carmelo Anthony made the right play here, getting the ball to a wide-open man who is headed toward the basket. Sure, Jeffries isn’t a very good finisher at the rim, but he’d made plays earlier in the game and this should have been a layup. All he has to do is shoot it.
Next time, I guess.