The Brooklyn Nets lost a close game to the Washington Wizards last night, despite shooting better from the field. They lost because gave up 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 14 more shot attempts and 23 second-chance points. The Nets recognized a lot of “back-taps” — rebounds that were tapped out by Marcin Gortat to their guards — but also bemoaned their poor rotations.
“They were non-traditional in a lot of the things they did,” Kevin Garnett explained after the game. “What I mean by that is that usually a big rolls up (on the pick-and-roll) and everybody can rotate easily. They didn’t do that tonight. They crashed three to four guys each time, they were able to get offensive rebounds, and offensive rebounds became second shots.”
The Wizards are an unorthodox team, and it caught the Nets off guard when trying to get to their spots. But it must have only felt like three to four guys crashing each time, because Trevor Booker got enough offensive rebounds for three men alone. It wasn’t just him, either:
As you’ll see in the above examples, the Wizards only had two players crashing the glass on most plays, but that second player was usually uncontested. The Nets often had to bring that second player’s defender in help defense to contest the first look, and no one rotated down to contest the Wizards on the rebound.
The Nets have recently talked about their simplified schemes making things easier defensively, and that most of it relies on communication and getting to their spots. But whatever their scheme was Wednesday night, it didn’t end well for them on the glass.