In their game versus the Mavericks, the Rockets relied on a couple of end-of-game inbounds plays in their attempt to win the game. Let’s look at what they ran and how the Mavs defended it.
With only 10 seconds left, the Rockets need a three to tie. The play starts with the Rockets in a stack near the elbow. Goran Dragic curls around the stack to the corner, and Chase Budinger sprints to the opposite side of the court. Is he looking for a Rex Chapman-style game-tying three? Probably not. Instead, Luis Scola sets a screen for Budinger as he cuts back towards the ball. Jason Kidd thwarts the quick hitter by reading the play and stepping up to deny the easy pass to Budinger.
Houston is able to inbound the ball to Budinger, but he isn’t in a position to get a shot off. The Mavericks switch on a screen for Budinger, and he is forced to pass back to Parsons who makes a great shot over Kidd’s defense to send the game into overtime. Nice defense by the Mavs is beaten by a better shot. The full video is below.
At the end of overtime, the Rockets are only down by two, so that obviously opens up a few more options, despite only having four seconds remaining. Dragic begins the play by running off staggered screens from Budinger and Scola. The Mavericks don’t switch, and Roddy Beaubois is trailing Dragic around the screens. Dragic correctly curls around Scola’s screen, toward the basket.
Budinger is wide open in the corner, but Marion makes a great play to deflect the pass. In the scramble, Dragic is able to tip the ball to Budinger, but Marion has time to recover to challenge the shot. It is still a makeable shot, but definitely not as easy as a wide open shot. The full play is below.
The Mavericks ended up playing better defense on Parsons’ game-tying three, but Shawn Marion’s individual effort (and some good fortune) on the final play saved the game for Dallas.