The pick and roll is the genesis of the modern NBA offense. It forces the defense to make a decision on each and every possession. That decision then opens up a multitude of offensive options: the pull-up jumper, the drive to the paint, the pass to the rolling or popping man, the kick-out pass, the dish to someone coming off an action on the opposite side, etc. There is so much going on.
As a result, NBA defenses have come up with a smorgasbord of defensive coverages to combat it. Every team has multiple ways to play the pick and roll, depending on individual matchups and their overall defensive philosophy. Almost every defensive decision in the NBA begins and ends with how you choose to play the pick and roll.
This leads to a variety of questions. What are you willing to give up? What is the number one thing you're trying to take away? How does your personnel fit with what you would ideally want to do? Or, a better question: how can you play the pick and roll with your existing personnel?
The goal: try and make it so the pick and roll can only beat you one way. That one way must be something that's most different than their successful habits. If you ask the offense to make decisions that are new to them, you've blown up the foundation of their offensive actions.
quote:Despite all their winning, Boston has never been a destination city/team for high level free agents, for many reasons. So you'd figure, just like with KG and Ray Allen, if Ainge is going to get a star player there, it would have to come in a trade.
Also, Flannery had a good read on the Celtics looking to make moves this summer. Specifically mentions Sullinger and Olynyk as being potential bait for a big fish.
If you're wondering, here's the astonishing midrange shot count in the 2013-14 regular season:
The Rockets have all but abandoned the midrange game as part of a team-wide philosophy to pound the holy trinity of high-efficiency areas on the floor: the basket, the free throw line and the 3-point line. This has come to be known as "Moreyball," named after Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Midrange shots, on average, don't have a high payoff because they rarely don't yield foul calls and they are just about as likely to go in as 3-point shots. So they avoid them.
The day will come when Morey acquires a midrange maven like Aldridge. It just hasn't happened yet.
So, would Morey ask the player to change his stripes in the name of Moreyball? Or would he let the player shoot his shot like the Blazers have?
To Morey, it's an easy answer.
"If we had a player like Aldridge, we would play to his strengths as well," Morey says. "The key in this league isn't to be dogmatic to a certain idea, but to play to the strengths of your players and to put them in a system that's most effective for them."
If it helps increase the odds of coming out on top, Morey is on board regardless of how it fits with their present scheme. If you haven't noticed, Howard hasn't started taking 3-point shots
"For sure, we wouldn't do that," Morey said. "That'd be crazy. If we had a player like Aldridge, I think we'd comfortably be letting him bomb away from the midrange if it helped us win games."
The insights of analytics is constantly changing because the market is constantly changing. As teams smarten up about the payoffs of certain shots, they'll become more sought after on the open market. It's Economics 101. And as demand for certain types of players rises, so, too, will the price of those players.
At some point, the 3-point shooting bubble will burst and other shots will become more valuable. There is a natural cycle to these things. In the same way that players with high on-base percentages ceased to be a market inefficiency after "Moneyball" became a national bestseller, guys like Kyle Korver will be making $10 million annually, not the current $6 million. And then the market will react.
And soon, the midrange shot won't be passé for long.
"That's the very nature of market dynamics," Morey says. "It question is not 'What is the best shot?' It's 'What is the best relative to what everyone else thinks?' That's the challenge that you're trying to solve."
I'm not posting this to say we need to play like Houston. I just wish the Demps/Monty tandem would show more signs of creative problem solving, market knowledge, and the basic concept of playing to your strengths.
The game looks quite a bit different when Asik is tasked with guarding Aldridge. Quite unlike Jones and Howard, Asik has a keen understanding that defense begins when the opposing team gets the ball, not when your specific man gets the ball. Compared to the free-range roaming that Howard and Jones allow LaMarcus, Asik is already bothering Aldridge from the earliest seconds of the shot clock.
He's quick to pull the trigger with just a foot of room
The “pretty good” NBA veteran has taken a beating over the last half-decade.
In that hothouse atmosphere (playoffs), it becomes much harder to hide one player’s glaring weakness, and that is where the “pretty good” veterans renew their value — where the extra 20 percent shows up.
By far, Silver's worst moments yesterday were questions about Sterlings previous actions and the NBA's silence