With the drama of never ending trade talks behind us (for the time being) the Nets schedule rolled on, and in their way tonight was one of the Western Conference’s best, the Utah Jazz.
As the Nets clung to a four point lead, with under a minute to play, Kris Humphries was able to make a play late in the shot clock to seal the victory for the Nets. Let’s take a closer look.
As you can see here, after taking some time off the clock the Nets get into their set with about 12 seconds to go in the shot clock. The play begins with Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries running out in tandem to set a ball-screen for Devin Harris. Interestingly, only Humphries’ man, Paul Millsap, follows to defend the screen. You can see Brook Lopez’s man, Al Jefferson, staying back in the lane at the foul line.
The Jazz really do a great job in defense of this screen. Deron Williams really fights his way over the top of the screen, staying connected to Harris the whole time. Paul Millsap shows a great example of a hedge, as he gets out and forces Devin Harris back towards the sideline. Harris to his credit keeps his dribble nicely and is able to escape the pressure, relieving it as he feeds Humphries rolling towards the hoop.
Humphries finds himself with the ball and the shot clock winding down. Their initial set is now broken down and the Nets just need to “play basketball.” With everyone else covered fairly tightly by the Jazz, the open man on this play just so happens to be the man with the ball, Humphries himself. This seems to throw Humphries off momentarily, but he quickly realizes he needs to make a play and fast, with the shot clock showing six.
Hump drives to the middle of the paint and does a great job freezing Jazz defender C.J. Miles. Miles gets caught ball watching and no longer seeing his man, Sasha Vujacic, who makes a great read and cuts backdoor. The rest here is fundamental as Humphries delivers a bounce pass the cutting Sasha for an easy two and puts the Jazz away on this night.
Take a look at the play in slow motion and live speed: