Checking in in the second half of game 5 Philadephia 76ers against the Boston CelticsBrandon Bass at the line for two shots…. 57 all after the made free throw by bass. Sixers seem to get a little flustered by 1) the celtics defense 2)their lack of execution… Meanwhile, Thaddeus Young with a missed baby hook shot is not his shot. The Celtics are on a tear as of right now a 12-2 run within the last 6 minnutes or so. The Sixers must capitalize and cannot keep turning the ball over. It’s absolutely crucial to take care of the rock. One thing abou the Philly defense in my mind is their pick and roll coverage. The previous play was a corner pick and roll with Rondo and Bass and once Andre got caught off that screen, both the players focused too much on the dribble drive by Rajon and overhelped which led to the dunk by Brandon Bass. The Sixers must look at this pick and roll coverage post-game and look at film because this particular defensive liability is significant in determining their success in the future games against the Celtics and the Eastern finals, which a popular choice to move on in that Indy series is the Miami Heat despite them missing Chris Bosh and his shooting ability. At this point, we’ve seen two three turnovers by the Sixers that has been a result of tremendous defensive pressure by the Boston Celtics as they are zoning in and disrupting the Sixers offensive flow. One thing that see in the celtics defense are that they are pushing the Sixers frontcourt further than where they would like to catch the basketball therefore out of their comfort zone. My thought is that the sixers in executing their post pass very porously. Much like the entry passes into the post ala the Triangle offense by the Lakers, very often when Bynum or Gasol is fighting to get position in the low block, there’s always a couple things that happen: 1) the 1 that makes the pass to the wing will cut to the strong side corner and receive the pass (if they can’t get the pass from the wing into the post) from the wing and into the low block to gasol or bynum. Either one of those two guards/forwards who initiated those entry passes will make a baseline or basket cut to the weakside corner. The offensive spacing will then move a couple feet to the left to allow the same 15 feet spacing between EACH of the players. (2) would be the weakside forward or guard cutting to that strong side left corner.Getting back to the game, the Sixers are 11 down. Now wonder they are down. They are just running some pick and rolls with the forward jumping up to the free throw line, and Lou Williams shooting an off balance fadeaway. Also, they are running a 4-1 offence where you get everyone except for Elton Brand to be oriented on the perimeter. That is a huge no no. You want to run your offence through Elton Brand (and if he gets going to use him as a decoy) and set him up where he is comfortable, in the post. When you got four guys who are setting up in the perimeter, because of Garnett’s strength, he will be pushed out more. Hence, Brand should really set up on the weakside of where the ball handler is, and a Sixer should set a screen for him allowing him to make a curl cut into that low post where he’ll get deeper. 84-68 after a completed three point play by a potential triple double man for tonight’s game, Rajon Rondo. I am a huge underdog fan. I always like those teams who plays with a chip on their shoulder to make it up the hierarchy of the NBA playoffs. Myself personally, not much of a Sixer fan, have a feeling the Sixers will fail to advance to the Eastern conference finals. Give a lot of credit to Doc Rivers and the coaching staff for the Boston Celtics. The defense obviously speaks for itself at this point in time, the plays that the Celtics are running, simple pick and roll, weakside basket cuts, they are absolutely on a tear. The sixers are shooting 45.7% from the field, an atrocious 50% from the free throw line, and 33.3% from downtown. This young club is not an exceptional three point shooting team by any stretch of the imagination while they do have Jodie Meeks, Lou Williams who are scorers and not “shooters” per se. The sixers have turned the ball over 15 times where the Celtics have capitalized off of that by contributing 18 points so far off those Philadelphia turnovers. Much like Reggie Miller said two games ago in the OKC versus Lakers game at the Chesapeake Arena, you must convert the defense and opponent’s turnovers into points, and that’s exactly what the celtics are doing in this game right now with themselves leading by 19, 93-74. With the Celtics leading 3-2 in the series, a likely matchup for them will be against the Miami Heat, a rematch of conference finals from not too long ago, it’ll be something to watch in the coming days..
Checking in with 10:45 left in the 2nd quarter in the OKC and Lakers game 5…one thing I already like, the OKC ball movement is getting better….James Harden is a tremendous asset to the OKC, his versatility makes OKC THAT much better. I like what OKC is doing on the offensive end, they are attacking the paint knowing Andrew Bynum already picked up two early fouls. 32-32 at this point I love the pace of this game right now. OKC’s favour right now..My one concern is still Russell Westbrook. If you remember game one where he achieved 27 points on 10/15 shooting and 7 assists or something, he was reading the right reads off the high screen and rolls and the side pick and rolls. There were three Lakers crowded around him….luckily Kevin Durant bailed Westbrook’s mistake out by converting on a tough shot off the glass for 2. Tonight so far as I have seen, Russell has taken tough pull up jumpers off the bounce that are “off-balance”. I’ll criticize Westbrook a little bit later. Meanwhile D-fish for 3…and Bynum picking up his third…———–It’s halftime right now. Quite an entertaining first half….there was NO way that that defensive play from World Peace on Thabo Sefolosha was a flagrant. Clearly Metta World Peace was making a play for the ball and clearly got all ball despite slight contact with Thabo. Nonetheless, that was a horrible call by the referrees and should be rescinded in the future (not like that’s going to help the lakers much). So far OKC is doing ok on the offensive end.Maybe it’s a tendency for the OKC to fall for pump fakes: Sefolosha, Russell, Ibaka…you just HAVE to stay down on those pump fakes. ———–They are doing a great job of making Pau Gasol catch the basketball all the way out at the three point line, making him shoot tough shots from about 5-7 feet. They should continue to do that to him and Bynum as well and make them catch the rock far out. In Bynum’s case, he will probably ask for a repost and try to get deeper, but I don’t see him being AS aggressive in that repost because he is reluctant to pick up that 5th foul. Pau Gasol has got to demand aggressively for a repost. If he picks up an offensive foul i.e. hooking the defensive player or what have you, so be it. But he is absolutely not being aggressive enough which is the reason the Lakers are not up much at this point. The only individual carrying them at this point is Kobe Bryant hitting tremendously tough fadeaway jumpers ala Dirk Nowitzki.On the OKC side, despite Kevin Durant getting the shots he wants, you see Kobe denying him to get the basketball until Kevin is at the far wing at the three point line. He either needs to curl off screens of some sort and flare the screens or something. On the other hand, Russell with that and one on the breakaway after Sessions foul, as a defensive player, you either make your mind up and foul the guy by bear hugging him, or you just let him go. You absolutely DO NOT hit Russell with a tacky foul and allow him a chance to attempt a shot, which he makes. This play already has the OKC crowd going as well as the shift in momentum for the Thunder and that is the last thing the Los Angeles Lakers want to see as they face an elimination game in the Western conference semi-finals. The OKC thunder are much more active in rebounding and contesting the Lakers. Meanwhile, you see in the second half on Westbrook’s game, he’s letting things come to him. Where did he get his shots? Taking advantage of his size and athleticism against Ramon Sessions with that and-1 bankshot moments ago. As well, where did he do that pull up, size up mid range 17-18 foot jumpshot? Against a switch on Gasol. Gasol, reluctant to step out too far outside of the paint in order to protect it, he already has a disadvantage against the more quicker, explosive, and athletic guard, Russell Westbrook. Russell had at least 3 feet of separation against him where he got that soft mid range jumper to go in. ————-4th quarter underway….Thunder up 11 right now….It’s just another one of them days for the OKC Thunder. The Lakers at this point are quite flustered on offense, on defense. As the Thunder’s confidence skyrockets, the Lakers’ esteem plummets. Another charge, another turnover. I don’t understand why Steve Blake didn’t even TRY to get the ball to Bynum when Collison was clearly overplaying and trying to front him. With that said, you need to run those fundamental plays to get the ball into the player who is being fronted. At this stage, they should go back to Gasol or Bynum. I know Kobe has a strong will, but he’s got to run plays for the two 7-footers. Kobe is taking tough tough shots except for that uncontested dunk streaking from the left side moments ago.————-106-90 elimination game win for the OKC Thunder against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western conference semifinals. Congratulations to this young team. 46.7% field goal shooting for the Thunder while the Lakers shot a dismal 45.3%. They lost the battle down low on the glass 51-35 and gave up 14 offensive rebounds versus 3 of their own.Andrew Bynum being in foul trouble literally the whole game hence being reluctant to be as aggressive in boxing out to clean up on the glass. But he isn’t the only individual who can rebound on the team…right? Where is Pau Gasol? He only picked up a total of one foul! Hence that old phrase “whichever team wins the glass wins the game”. And now we can see that paying off for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they move on to the Western conference finals to face the San Antonio Spurs. ————–I can criticize the Lakers’ execution as much as I want. But the game is over and nothing I do or say will really change how the Lakers play this season and the next. ————–As the Lakers season comes to an end, there needs to be severe critical decisions as far as how the Lakers can spice up their bench as their backup squad in the most overall sense played quite dismally for LA. There is no reason Kobe should score a whopping 42 points in order to keep them in the game. He is human, he is old, let’s face it. And we could really see that as the game winded down last night. The Lakers have team options on Gasol, Bynum, and one other I forget. Player option on Barnes and a few others, as well as a restricted free agent of Darius Morris. Long term, I think that Bynum should be the one still remaining on the team whereas Gasol, he played decent for a lack of better word. But his lack of assertiveness both on the offensive and defensive end was apparent as the Lakers exited themselves in further contention for the 2012 NBA Playoffs. These two 7 footer bigs have failed to set their accumulated value as a centerpiece for the Lakers. They have showed that they cannot be existent together. Everyone will yell at me or criticize me as it’s true that they played together ok during the regular season. But clearly, that problem was a defining moment for their result in this year’s playoffs. We’ll see how the Lakers mix up their pieces this coming summer.
During the Oklahoma city thunder and the los angeles lakers western conference semifinals, especially in game 1, 4, 5, we’ve seen how effective the pull up jumper has been for the third year guard out of ucla. Around 17-19 feet is where Russell is most effective at.
For video demonstration purposes please search “Westbrook offense PO” as the search query on YouTube. It is a
7:00 video demonstrating the effectiveness of the pull up jumper by Westbrook during the regular 2011-2012 season as well as the first round matchup against the defending world champions, the Dallas Mavericks.
Before I go into the mechanics of it, let me briefly elucidate why this is such a great shot to add to your arsenal.
As you may have seen, when Westbrook executes his pull up jumper, he does it in the following occasions.
1) the usage of the high screen and roll
The effectiveness of this comes because if the screen is set well,
the initial defender of the player using the screen will almost always be
it causes that separation and now the only person needed to be worried about is the big who may have to switch if the original guard defender does not recover
B) defender goes under the screen
Either they have not read the scouting report or they just don’t respect your jump shot. If the defender goes under the screen, you get that separation of the screen. There you can pull up and hit that 17-19 foot shot. Study how Westbrook does this closely. Instead of driving in and pulling up, he kind of uses the screen and goes like half a foot to a feet away to get even more separation. Reason is because if the defender is quick and can react to challenge the shot despite the screen, you’re in trouble. Therefore pulling away slightly after the set screen is an effective way to ensure you getting te separation you want from your jumper plus more.
2) rejecting the high screen and going
the opposite way to get separation.
In order to execute this properly you must do a fake of using the screen and go “away from the screen”. That is where you will get your desired separation. Simple.
3) sizing up the defender either going left or right.
This is quite effective when Russell gets the switch off the screen. Either a big or a forward will be guarding you on this switch. Good time for you to take advantage of it.
4) in transition
Lastly in transition. Russell does this quite effectively but sometimes chooses the wrong situation to pull up. More often than not, he elects to pull up when they have an extra man advantage on the fastbreak. Pull up in my opinion when in transition, is when you have equal number of offensive players as there are defenders on the break. Either that or you have no advantage but do not have anyone else trailing because they are too far in that scenario. Pull up, splash.
Alright so I have finished explaining the effectiveness of when to utilize the pull up (different from kobe’s pull up which is off triple threat). I will explain how to effectively execute it.
Boom 1-2 pullup jumper
This boom 1 2 jumper allows you to:
1)get shot off faster
2)get on balance
3)get repeatable rhythm
Progression 1: Groove Shots
last dribble, last two steps no matter how you got to that point on the floor.
off the dribble NOT off the catch. Boom dribble and 1, 2 step.
Key principle 1: Boom your dribble
The harder you boom your dribble the quicker your feet are going to be.
The harder you boom the dribble the quicker the ball gets back up into your hand.
More space and separation.
Lose ball frequently
(boom it to the top. More elevation, jump higher)
outside foot to hit last
Key Principle2: steps to be short and choppy
You want to create space and separation between you and the defender in front of you.
You’re trying to “create separation”, NOT getting “by” the person.
You should HEAR your sneakers squeak
The faster you make your STEPS
The faster you make your RELEASE
Say “Boom 1-2” out loud
Key Principle 3: inside shoulder dip
If you’re attacking a defender that is retreating in front of you, it’ll be difficult for them to contest jumping backwards. Dip that inside shoulder to drive that defender even further back.
Extra: Get balanced by freezing your finish.
Freezing your finish basically means holding your follow thru. More often than not, players drop their arms after they get the shot up. That is bad because by doing that you have limited your arc. In a great jumpshot you want to get a good flick of the wrist. When you let the arms go, you have a) shortened the revolutions of the basketball because you no longer have that pure flick of the wrist. By shortening the amount of revolutions on the ball you will have left it short, OR if you generated too much upforce on your jumper the shot will go far hitting the back rim.
Progression 2: Two Dribble Boom 1-2
Cover your ground on your FIRST DRIBBLE
Save TIME by shooting lots of Groove Shots