After an extremely long blogging hiatus, I have decided to see if I can’t return to blogging some.
I found it interesting that the Lakers one of the few Western Conference team (i think) to not send a representative to SSAC .
And then I read an article that Kevin Ding has written detailing how the Lakers have tweaked their defense to adjust to the modern game.
“The concession is the Lakers will let opponents take mid-range jumpers from 15 to 19 feet. The Lakers can stay out on 3-point shooters better and keep point guards from getting all the way to the basket. When Tony Parker got hot early for San Antonio on Sunday, the Lakers moved up their plug just enough to deter him”
The lakers have basically decided to guard the 3point line, and the paint and leave the midrange game somewhat open, the fascinating thing about this isn’t that the Lakers have finally caught up to the advanced defensive strategy that teams like the Spurs, and Magic under Van Gundy have been employing for some time, its that they have been winning championships in spite of this.
The “genius” in this is that you are basically allowing the worst ev shot in basketball the midrange jumper, and taking away all the higher ev shots. Trivial yes, but the fact that the Lakers have finally discovered this is troubling to the rest of the league.
I remember listening to a Phil Jackson presser from the 2008 season where he described his disdain for the corner 3 point shot - he argued that once the defensive rebound was secured. it led to a higher than normal amount of transition opportunities.
I have always been a big proponent of the corner three point shot - after watching the Lakers repeatedly leave Ray Allen, Eddie House, and James Posey wide open from the corner (the Posey 3 point shots were especially comical as you’d have Lamar Odom streaking down the center of the court awaiting a fast break outlet pass that never materialized), it was clear to me that the Lakers were actually coaching their team to abandon the corner 3 point area in hopes of exploiting transition opportunities.
I decided to watch and chart every 3 point shot and the ensuing rebound from the 2007 and 2008 season and found that the corner 3 point shot did not lead to higher than normal fast break opportunities.
The Lakers are going to be a much tougher out in the playoffs if they are able to consistently protect the paint and close out on 3 point shooters.
Which brings me to this shot chart;
This is a shot chart from the 1st quarter of the Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs game from last week. Note how the Heat (offense on the left) were relegated to a mid range jump shooting team, they have no chance of beating the better (defensive) teams in the regular season or the playoffs unless they figure out a way to get something other than a series of 16-20 foot jumpers in the half court.