The Lob That Clinched The Game

With the Nets up one point with 3:30 minutes left against the Spurs, I was unsure how the game was going to turn out.  A few times this season, the Nets have held leads late only to blow them and lose the game.  The reason this has happened in the past is because the Nets fail to get themselves easy baskets late.  As I was watching the game last night, I was worried the same thing would happen again.  To the relief of Nets’ fans, that isn’t what happened, and the Nets executed a real pretty lob from Devin Harris to Brook Lopez.  The Nets didn’t look back:

This play is actually a variation of a set that the Nets run very often (Under Little To Big Screen).  In the normal set that the Nets run, Brook Lopez gets a backscreen from a guard (this time Courtney Lee) and goes over it to post up on the block.  However this play includes a read option, according to Brook (when asked if the lob was planned), “We have been running that all year.  Yeah, it’s just a read.”  What Brook reads is his defender, Tim Duncan, and how he defends the screen.

Here, Tim Duncan fights over the screen in an effort to beat Brook Lopez to the block (and not allow him to post up).  Brook sees that Duncan is going over the screen and he gives a jab-step, then goes backdoor off of the screen.

The two Spurs’ defenders who should be in position to help Duncan out are in the wrong spots, leaving the area directly under the basket wide open.

When you can get Brook Lopez behind the defense, you basically have a guaranteed two points if you can make an on target pass.  This is because he is so big, all you have to do is lob it over the defenders and Brook will do the rest.

Devin Harris takes care of things on his end and throws an on target pass, and Brook Lopez finishes with the dunk.  Here it is in real time: