Last week, we looked at some final possession playcalling. This week we are taking a look at some more late-game coaching decisions. First, we are going to look at a great decision made by Lionel Hollins, one that allowed his team to protect the rim up by one point with 0.3 seconds left. Second, we are going to look at some poor clock management from Kurt Rambis and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Grizzlies Use A Backup Big To Protect The Rim
After a Zach Randolph rainbow jumper, the Memphis Grizzlies found themselves up by one point with 0.3 seconds left. With this situation, Hollins was faced with a decision that coaches tend to struggle with. That is whether or not to use his big to protect the rim or use him to bother the inbounds pass. Instead of making that decision, coach Hollins came up with a creative solution:
For Savvy/Shabby this week, we are going to look at final possession play-calling. Specifically, teams that faced late game situations (with the basketball, game tied/trailing by 2 or 3 points) twice this week. The Phoenix Suns were successful both times they faced the situation this week, while the Heat failed both times they faced these late game situations.
Suns Use Misdirection And Variation To Get Two Wins
Twice this week (Sunday & Monday) the Suns were in a situation where they needed a basket. Both times, they were able to run a play that used Steve Nash as a decoy, setting up Channing Frye for the game-winning shot.
For this week’s Savvy/Shabby, we are going to look at some individual plays. For this week’s Savvy play, we are going to look at Andre Miller, and how he was able to trick the entire New Orleans Hornets defense. As for this week’s Shabby play, we are going to look at Brook Lopez and his inability to recognize the Celtics’ tendencies on the offensive end.
Andre Miller’s Fake Timeout
After the New Orleans Hornets hit a bucket to stretch their lead over the Blazers to six points, Nate McMillan wanted his team to call a timeout. However, as Miller brings up the basketball, he notices something and takes advantage:
For Savvy/Shabby this week, we are going to look at some team-wide issues. This week’s savvy play isn’t actually a play, but more of a play-calling decision by Stan Van Gundy. As for the shabby play of the week, we are going to look at a play that sums up the Nuggets and their struggles perfectly.
Stan Van Gundy Commits To Dwight Howard
On Sunday, February 6, when the Orlando Magic played the Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard had a terrific first half, scoring 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the field. However, he got just 5 post touches in the second half (including zero in the fourth quarter) of that game, a game that the Magic ended up losing.
Against the Celtics, Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic weren’t committed to getting Dwight Howard the basketball in the post. Fast forward one week and the Magic are playing the Los Angeles Lakers, looking to get back on the right track. Dwight Howard struggled to get it going in the first half, scoring just 9 points on just 7 shots. Not a great start.
In games past, that would mean no more touches for Dwight Howard for the rest of the game. However, Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic stayed committed to getting Dwight Howard the basketball in the post, and Howard didn’t disappoint. Howard got eight post-up touches in the second half (four each in the third and fourth quarters), scoring 22 points, with most of his points coming from the post.
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.
The one common thread of this week’s Savvy/Shabby is the pick-and-roll and how teams react to it. First, we look at the Grizzlies, who identify the way that their opponent has been defending the pick and roll and use it to their advantage. Second, we are going to look at Aaron Gray and a mistake that he makes when defending the pick-and-roll that leads to a three-point play.
Grizzlies Read And React
With two minutes left in the game and the score tied against the Orlando Magic, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to run a pick-and-roll. The first time they ran it, there was a quick foul:
This week’s Savvy/Shabby will be taking a look at on court execution. First, we have the Lakers, who were able to keep their heads during a chaotic loose-ball situation, eventually getting an easy basket out of it. Second, we are going to look at the poor execution by the New Jersey Nets on their final possession against the Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers Recover A Loose Ball
Towards the end of the third quarter, Kobe Bryant put up a three-pointer six seconds in the shot clock from the top of the key. The rebound comes off of the rim funny, and a loose ball situation ensues. This is where we pick up the play: