What we don’t know when a play goes wrong

Published: February 17, 2010


Journal contest:


Close game. Down by 1. Who cares what play they run if you’ve got CP3? I feel good about it. We know what’s coming: pick and roll. But what if it doesn’t work? After we’ve watched it in real time, slo-mo, and super slo-mo, we think we know the exact point where it wrong. We don’t. Let’s analyze a busted play, but instead of watching let’s pretend we can get into the mind of CP3. (oh we can pretend, I’m already pretending I won the grand prize, so why the hell not!)


The play:


CP3 at the half-court, Emeka sets a high ball screen above the left elbow. Peja’s in the left corner. Posey is in the right corner. West at the right elbow. Congested at the top but it frees up the paint, a place CP3 thrives. CP3 will go around and West will set a pick for Posey to roll to the elbow. Playing the Nuggets.




 Set it up, there we go. I’m running this ish when it hits 10 (:15 left, Hornets down by 1.) 

letter-spacing: 0.0px;”>Chauncey can stop me? Ha, ok. 

No, Emeka little more to your left. There we go. 3…2…1….


Yea, yea Nene go ahead and hedge, but you’ll go back. 


Oops Melo’s trying to collapse. Damn, I can’t get a bouncer to Emeka.


I’ll just cut behind him to the FT line.


That’s right Melo shade back to Peja, wouldn’t want him open.


Emeka, SLIDE over to the left, Nene’s got the paint on lock. Chauncey, get used to my hip. D have better set that pick on smith


There we go Jimmy set that screen for me (left elbow), going right, peace!



Damn, their rotations are good, DAMNIT! 


If I can just get around that hedge… I can’t get into that paint if I was in a hardware store!


Ah, I knew you’d slide over K-mart, quick sling to my boy D on the right baseline.


It’s up… damn, back rim. Good shooters always hit back rim.

If the bucket is good who cares how the play looked. But sometimes an easy pick and roll play, when you’ve got one of the best point guards in the game, isn’t enough. Sometimes they go through all the right reads, but as they always say, defense wins championships.


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