Archive for the ‘Savvy/Shabby’ Category

As we take a step back to look at week four’s Euroleague action, it is safe to say that things are heating up. Not only have the games been fantastic and competitive, another eight games last week were decided by less than 10 points. As the regular season continues, we are starting to see a lot of teams bunching together — group A’s first place and last place teams are separated by just one game in the loss column — meaning each game and each moment is all the more important. Here, we are going to take yet another look at two key plays from week four of the Euroleague.

Josh Shipp’s Smart Cut Helps Seal the Game

Up six points with about two-and-a-half minutes left in their game against Olimpija, Galatasaray Medical Park were looking for a basket to clinch the game. A lot of player movement by Galatasaray was able to set up Josh Shipp and put him in a position to make a smart cut off his defender to get open for the basket that effectively ended the game.

We pick up the play at the top of the key near halfcourt after Galatasaray inbounded the ball from the baseline. Once the ball gets near halfcourt, Shipp and his teammate interchange with Shipp going from the block to the wing while his teammate replaces him.

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Week 3 in the Euroleague is where things really started to heat up, as six of the week’s 12 games were decided by single digits. Even better, two of these six games were decided by a late possession, requiring the team that had just pulled ahead to get a stop. In this week’s edition of Savvy/Shabby, we are going to look at one team who did a good job of getting a stop and another who couldn’t finish the possession and ended up losing because of it.

Caja Laboral’s Team Defense Gets a Stop

After a basket that gave Caja Laboral a 2-point lead with 1.7 seconds left, they found themselves trying to stop Olympiacos in a sideline out of bounds situation.

On a pretty well run set, Olympiacos is trying to get the ball to one of three players, all set up on the weak side of the court.

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Until at least late November, the world’s best professional basketball is being played overseas. Perhaps the most competitive is Euroleague, a league where the top teams in Europe face off against each other once a week. With real basketball going on, it makes sense to bring back Savvy/Shabby with a focus primarily on the Euroleague.

CSKA Moscow’s Zone Offense

Euroleague 2011-2012 kicked off on Monday as CSKA Moscow faced off against Zalgiris Kaunas. During their first defensive possession of the second quarter, Zalgiris tried to throw a zone at CSKA Moscow but CSKA was able to counter with some fantastic player moving, stretching the zone, and creating a wide-open jump shot.

We pick up CSKA Moscow’s set right after the ball gets sent to the wing. Once that happens, you have all five players off the basketball taking off and moving. You first have the offensive player on the weakside block flashing to the basketball. As that happens, Alexey Shved comes from the opposite wing and heads to the strong side corner. Once Shved leaves, Milos Teodosic replaces him, creating space and allowing the fourth and final player off of the ball to fill his spot at the top of the key. Once that top of the key spot is filled, the ball gets swung around.

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The EuroLeague is a club basketball competition that mimics the Champions’ League in soccer. Basically, this league takes the 16 best teams in Europe (mostly league champions with some leagues getting two or three spots) and allows them to play each other to determine Europe’s club champion. While the regular season for EuroLeague doesn’t start until October 17th, last week had 16 teams fighting for the final two spots (14 teams automatically qualify, two teams have to fight through qualifying rounds) in a single elimination tournament. Here is the best and the worst from that tournament.

Lietuvos Rytas’ Quick Hitter to Close the Quarter

Up by six points with the third quarter winding down, Lietuvos Rytas had the ball looking to get a big bucket to extend the lead. Opting not to go for two, Rytas made sure they worked the clock and got a really good look out of it.

Once the ball gets to the top of the key, Predrag Samardziski sets a screen for Simas Buterlevicius, allowing him to pop out on the wing and make himself available for the basketball. In this set, Samardziski is basically your designated screener.

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After two rounds of group play, eight teams advanced to the single elimination quarterfinals, where teams had to win two games to guarantee a spot in the Olympics (which is what Spain and France did) and three games to win the entire competition (which is what Spain did). With so much at stake, every play — both good and bad — gets amplified. Like the first and second round, we are going to be looking at those plays.

A Quick Hitter to Close Out Navarro’s Amazing Quarter

Maybe Spain’s toughest game in the elimination rounds was their matchup with Macedonia. Macedonia, powered by Bo McCalebb, actually found themselves winning at halftime and only down six in the third quarter with about 50 seconds left. After a quarter that saw Juan Carlos Navarro go crazy, Spain knew they had to get the basketball back in his hands, so they ran a very deceptive quick hitter for him.

With the way that Spain is setting up as Ricky Rubio brings the basketball down the court, it looks like they are going to be running a simple staggered screen off of the ball for Navarro as Rubio comes off of a ball screen.

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The elimination round of EuroBasket 2011, an international competition pitting 24 European countries against each other with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympics, started started today. With real live basketball action featuring a number of NBA players taking place, I thought now would be the perfect time to a break from looking at the NBA’s season leftovers and look at some of the best and worst plays of EuroBasket’s second round. To check out last week’s post on the first round, click here.

Off-ball Movement Sets Up Lithuania’s Pick-and-Rolls

We already know that Lithuania loves their pick-and-rolls, as they ran it 30+ times in at least two of their games in this year’s EuroBasket tournament. Fighting for seeding, Lithuania needed a win, and late in the game they found themselves trying to pull away from Germany. To do that, they used the pick-and-roll. However, it was some movement away from that action that freed up Jonas Valanciunas for his two big dunks on the roll to the rim:

We pick up this possession as Jonas Valanciunas gets in position to set a ball screen for his teammate. Valanciunas’ defender, Chris Kaman, is going to step up and hedge on the screen, relying on his teammate’s help defense in the corner to try and stop Valanciunas as he rolls to the rim.

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EuroBasket 2011, an international competition pitting 24 European countries against each other with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympics, started on September 1st. The second round started today. With real live basketball action featuring a number of NBA players taking place, I thought now would be the perfect time to a break from looking at the NBA’s season leftovers and look at some of the best and worst plays of EuroBasket’s first round.

France Rotates and Gets a Stop

On the final day of round 1, Serbia and France played each other to determine the winner of their group. In the middle of the fourth quarter, France found themselves up one point, looking to get a stop on the defensive end. Serbia went with a pick and roll, however good rotation from France forced Serbia into a tough shot.

We pick up this possession with Nenad Krstic setting a ball screen for Milos Teodosic. France is going to defend this ball screen by hedging hard with Kevin Seraphin and having the man defending the ball handler go over the top of the screen. That isn’t the only rotation that needs to be made, however. On the weakside, Mickael Gelabale, who is defending a Serbian in the corner, dives to the middle of the paint to defend the roll man.

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