Monthly Archives: June 2012

New at Bullets Forever: How the Wizards Can Use Harrison Barnes

Go check out the video breakdown of Harrison Barnes and the Wizards’ playbook!

Finally, Wittman had a play to get his shooting guard into a pick-and-roll. Wall wasn’t the only guy using ball screens last year; about one third of Crawford’s offense came from pick-and-roll plays. On this play, Crawford runs off of screens to get to the wing and then receives a screen when he gets the ball.

Crawford took a lot of the ball handling responsibility last year, so it will be interesting to see if Barnes assumes a similar role. The major holes in his offensive game include his ball handling and pick-and-roll abilities, so that could mean that the Wizards have one fewer ball handler and initiator on the team.

New at Bullets Forever: What to Expect from Bradley Beal’s Rookie Season

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Beyond simply putting Beal on the right side of the floor and standing around, Randy Wittman may try to use off-ball screens to get Beal to his sweet spot at the top of the key. According to Draft Express, Beal is effective at using screens, and Wittman had a few plays to free up shooters at the top of the key this past season.

One way to get Beal clean looks is by running a decoy pick-and-roll. In the video below, Wall draws the defense’s attention by running a pick-and-roll on one side of the floor, while Beal (potentially) gets a screen on the other side of the floor. The defense is threatened by Wall, so they can’t focus their attention on helping on Beal. This play worked for Jordan Crawford, so it should work for Beal, as well.

Video Breakdown of Trevor Ariza’s and Emeka Okafor’s Defense

Head over to Bullets Forever to check out a video breakdown on the two defensive-minded veterans that the Wizards just acquired.

Another part of off-ball defense is defending spot-up shooters. Ariza was solid in his recovery to spot-up shooters, ranking 87th in the NBA in points allowed per spot-up possession (Sidenote: Synergy’s defensive spot-up numbers can be a little misleading because it is difficult to assign responsibility for a particular spot-up shooter.) The defensive player will always be at a disadvantage in a spot-up situation. They can close out slowly and allow an open jumper, or they can sprint at the shooter and give up a driving lane.

Again, Ariza’s physical gifts really help him shut down spot-up shooters. Check out the clips below, as Ariza plays help defense in the lane and recovers to block his man’s shot. It’s not often you see a player cover that much ground, even in the NBA.

New Post on John Wall in the Clutch at Bullets Forever

Go check out the crunch time conflict between John Wall and Randy Wittman.

Wall breaks the play and decides to take the game into his own hands. He nearly pulls it off as his shot comes just after the buzzer. The full play is below. Pay attention to Wittman on the sidelines during the play. He signals for the pass to Crawford and then looks dumbfounded when Wall decides to go one-on-one. Clearly frustrated, he doesn’t pay much attention to the rest of the play.

New Post at Hickory High on Lebron in Transition

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In the videos below from Game 7 vs Boston, Miami doesn’t have a numbers advantage, but we see Lebron attacking before Boston’s defense gets set. In this first clip, Lebron pushes the ball up the floor after a rebound.  Watch Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce on the play.  When Lebron starts his move to the hoop, neither player is prepared to help, as they are still tracking their men. Lebron ends up getting the basket and the foul because Pierce is a split second late getting into the lane.

New Post at Bullets Forever on Post Defense and the NBA Draft

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Being a rookie is tough, and getting schooled in the post is part of the learning process. To his credit, Vesely didn’t get bullied in the post too often, despite his slim frame. He did, however, have trouble with fakes. Players using up-and-unders and head fakes were successful numerous times. Check out the video below and watch Vesely get faked out of position.

New Post at Hickory High on Kevin Durant’s 4th Quarter

Go check out how the Spurs tried to defend the scoring champ.

In this next clip, we see the Spurs change up their defense. They switch on the Westbrook screen, which leaves Tony Parker to guard Durant. Clearly a mismatch, the Spurs have to send some extra help. In the first play, we see some nice weakside action, as Kendrick Perkins sets a screen on the helper, Gary Neal, so he is unable to recover to his man. James Harden misses a wide open three. In the second play, Kawhi Leonard times his double team perfectly, but misses the steal and Durant hits the shot.