This one is going to be a little shorter than the others, not because there wasn’t a good amount of mistakes, but because I could only get my hands on the first quarter of last night’s game. So your breakdown will come from there, but most of the stuff I am picking out continued on into the other quarters so it will still give you an idea of what went wrong during the game. After the jump, we will start the breakdown with what went wrong:
Brook In The Post
After Brook’s big game on opening night, people (including myself) were hoping that he could do that game in and game out. Instead, he struggled with Dwight Howard and the Magic, and then with Brendan Haywood and the Wizards. Once of the biggest reasons for his struggle is receiving the ball in the post. He is allowing the defender to push him too far out when the entry pass is made.
He is both too high on the post and too far away from the basket. He needs to be where Haywood is standing. The problem with him being this far out is that when he completes his move, he ends up too far away from the basket, and he ends up taking a tough shot. Another reason he wants to get lower because if he is too high, it is easier for the double team to get there. If he can position himself lower in the post, it will only make things easier for him.
A good amount of mistakes that the Nets are making are just mental mistakes. As a team with lesser-quality talent, mental mistakes can’t be made. This plays shows that the Nets aren’t paying attention to the scouting report and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of individual players.
Oberto set an off ball screen, and CDR did a fantastic job getting around it and closing on Mike Miller who received the pass from the win. Miller wanted to take the shot, but CDR is playing solid defense.
After a spin move into the lane (which CDR cut off nicely) Miller has nothing to do but pass it off to Oberto.
Oberto’s range is inside the paint, so he is no threat to score from where he has the ball.
Mike Miller quickly cuts out to the corner 3 and Oberto drops the ball off and sets a nice screen. CDR makes a mistake by going over the screen the wrong way. Mike Miller is a shooter. You want him driving into the middle (which is what would have happened if CDR went the right way around the screen) rather than shooting.
Look at Yi, just staring at the basketball. He needs to see that CDR is caught up in the screen and help. It looks as if he doesn’t want to help because he doesn’t want to leave Oberto. Yi needs to recognize that Miller is the bigger threat and he needs to close out hard on him. Instead, he just stands there and lets Mike Miller drain a 3.
Let’s shift to the good:
The Nets had one truly great possession last night, and unfortunately it was the first possession. Rafer Alston showed exactly how you are supposed to defend Gilbert Arenas.
The play starts with Arenas bringing the ball up and kicking to the wing. The key to guarding guys like Gilbert Arenas is to not let them touch the ball once they give it up.
As the ball gets swung around, Gilbert cuts through the lane. Rafer does his job and stays attached to his hip. Look at Oberto, the only option he has, the only thing he wants to do with the ball is give it to Gilbert Arenas. Rafer doesn’t allow him to.
Since Rafer doesn’t let Gilbert catch the ball on the wing, Arenas tries to cut backdoor, but Rafer is right on his hip, not allowing him to get open.
After the backdoor cut, Arenas tries to post up, but again, Rafer Alston is right there, doing the right thing, which is fronting Arenas. You front here because you want Oberto trying to thread the needle with a lob pass. More often that not, if he tries to make that pass, he turns it over.
Finally realizing that he can’t get the ball to Arenas, Oberto passes it to Haywood, who misses a tough jumper. Look at the shot clock from when the possession started to now. That is 9 solid seconds of ball denial, great effort from Rafer there. It is a shame that he couldn’t keep it up though, as the rest of the game his defense was pretty bad.
The final clip is a nice offensive possession that we can continue to run if Yi can continue to shoot well (Even though he shot it poorly, he still was aggressive).
The set starting with Rafer Alston bringing the ball up, giving it up to CDR and cutting through. CDR gives it to Yi trailing the play, and Yi swings it back to Rafer.
Brook comes through and sets a real nice ball screen. This allows Rafer to get into the lane, and seeing this Oberto dives in to help.
Rafer does a fantastic driving in enough to draw Oberto in. Look at Yi, spoting up already, ready to step into the pass and shoot all in one motion.
Rafer makes the kick, and because Yi was ready to shoot, Mike Miller doesn’t have enough time to get over. Yi takes the jumper in rhythm, and he knocks it down. If Yi can continue to knock down that shot, he will force guys like Oberto to stay with him, helping clear the lane for penetration, and more importantly, it will help keep double-teams away from Brook.