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[Highlights] PnR versus OKC's sagging bigs with no help off shooters

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by heypartner, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    OKC's defensive game plan was to stick to the shooters. Here's MDA discussing taking the Paint Points.



    They used both switching defense and sagging bigs throughout the game, while sticking to the shooters. Harden destroying the switching defense by OKC's bigs got a lot of highlights, so I won't show those here. OKC also tried sagging with their bigs a lot as well....both Adams and Kanter. They even started the game that way.

    Here are 14 examples when they didn't switch and the big sagged into the middle
    • Watch how the PnR sheds the guard and turns the PnR into a 2 on 1 drive when the big stays back
    • Note how the 2 on 1 also provides better offensive rebounding position on some of these
    • There is one play where Harden even converts the Sag defense into a forced-switch ISO


    • This isn't all the plays, but enough to show how this tactic isn't working for OKC. Combined with our ability to force switches if the big comes out, my bet is they'll need to send help off of shooters, eventually. I suspect some Ice defense with help, like GSW plays.
     
    #1 heypartner, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  2. AFS

    AFS Member

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    Good post. I think in game one, OKC probably would have benefited from sending help off of our shooters. Apart from PatBev, none of our other shooters were getting it going.

    I'd anticipate they make that adjustment tonight and force us to make three pointers to win. Hopefully we aren't running cold.
     
  3. do work son

    do work son Member

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    Really tough for them. If they help off, they open the opportunity for our shooters to get hot. If I were them I'd trap every PnR and force the second or third guy to beat you. Either that, or a harder hedge, allowing Roberson to recover onto Harden before he can get going downhill.
     
  4. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    If I were them I'd take my chances giving us open threes and hoping that we are ice cold. It's a much better strategy than what they tried doing Sunday.
     
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  5. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I don't think they used this in the regular season did they?

    Which is weird that they would try now considering 3 of the regular season games were close.
     
  6. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the post heyp.

    Yep, they're definitely not helping off the other players. For one, the Thunder don't have the personnel to stop the 2 player game there. We all know it won't be that easy against the Spurs [if both get there], even if the Spurs employ the same strategy [which I don't think they will]. For two, well even though they're not the best defending it this way, even the best defending it this way are going to get beat a bit. It's classic PnR with a great offensive player and solid roll bigs, or 3 point shooting big. It's almost impossible to defend. For three, you see very little trapping. If Harden is running a PnR with Capela, the defense has to throw in the trap as a strategy. Turn Capela into a top of the free throw key playmaker. That's not what Capela or the Rockets want. [this wouldn't work quite as well with Nene, as he has a FT jumper and is a better passer].

    It's likely just a big case of the Thunder just being overmatched. It seems the right strategy is to sag a bit, and then rotate, while mixing in some other defenses - eg. hard doubles, hard switches, etc. You got to add variety. But in all cases rotate. I suspect the Spurs will be rotating like crazy. That's the crux of their defense success over the years.
     
  7. apollo33

    apollo33 Member
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    So this game we will have shooters open? hopefully we don't brick city from three
     
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  8. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Traditional trapping defense is predicated on sending help...otherwise, Capela is an easy target slipping the pick to the rim. It's not pretty for the defense to do that without sending help on Capela. Also, MDA will use a 3-man PnR to combat trapping defense.

    btw: today's NBA defenses use a new form of "trapping" defense, called Ice defense. It is much better. It's used heavily on attacking guards like Harden, WB and Wall. We see this a lot. We saw GSW do this the last game, with sending help. But I don't think OKC is good enough to rotate well. Plus, again, we beat this with a 3-Man PnR ... some call it the Spain PnR....also Double Drags.
     
    #8 heypartner, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  9. BackNthDay

    BackNthDay Member

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    OKC has really poor one on one defenders besides Robertson and Westbrook (who isn't that great). As a result, they have to go with junk defenses. At least we have Pat and Ariza and OKC doesn't have much else with one on one offensive players.
     
  10. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    Is there an example of this?
     
  11. Soneca

    Soneca Member

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    Well, tbf those three were close at the end, but we built big leads in all of them, even during the one that we ended up loosing.

    As I see it, they had to change strategies once they'd spent 82 games focused on getting WB his triple-doubles. All of a sudden, the coaches and WB must game plan to win games, they don't quite know how to do that with their personel. It felt like they were in the preseason, getting to know each other.

    Not just willing to take a jab at them -- actually, I am, but it doesn't make it less true, does it?
     
  12. DavidRocket

    DavidRocket Member

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    So in theory to combat the ICE defense, a sharp shooting Big like Ryno could be the pick-setter and pop a 3 with about 1 sec of daylight (which is plenty for him) before close-out correct?
     
  13. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    The first two plays in the video above are classic ICE defense on the wing PnR.

    ICE is always a sagging Big, referred to as the Blue defender. You can hear the Defense yell out "Blue" (not in this video, though), so the guard knows the big is sagging, and the guard is supposed to jump the pick and stop the dribbler from going one way, steering him to the Blue defender....thus forming a pocket of resistance. With help, the defense can create an entire wall. The key is to steer the dribbler one way, by eliminating his ability to use the pick...developed against wing PnRs to force baseline.

    As you can see in the 2 plays, Ice defense against great attack guards can easily turn into a 2 on 1 when no help defender is added to the package. With most guards, Adams would not retreat as much (creating a trap-like wall/pocket), because the guard can't dribble around him effectively like Harden can. But in those two plays, Adams is retreating with the roller, because he knows he has no help coming....despite the defense forcing Harden right.

    We will attack ICE defense with a 3-man PnR. Then it's no longer a 2 man PnR game. We bring a shooter to provide a pick and pop on the Blue defender or on Harden's defender, while the drive and roll are also in play. Also, the double drag plays will prevent jumping the first pick.

    ICE just steers the dribbler in a direction the defense wants him to go. If there is no help, it can result in a 2 on 1 against great offensive players. It is mostly a defense for wing PnRs, where you can steer the dribbler to the baseline, cutting off many passing options. But with really good attacking guards like Harden, WB and Wall, they will start in the center, often, so can't be steered baseline. However, teams will still use ICE on them, just to dictate from where they can send help. So, the main thing it does to them is stop the drive, but still needs help defense to stop both the driver and roller.

    When you hear coaches say they need to "Form a wall" on superstar drivers, it's often with ICE and a helper. Anderson recently mentioned a "wall" against WB, so watch for it on our defense of him.
     
    #13 heypartner, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  14. BigShasta

    BigShasta Contributing Member

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    Damn I love your post. Thanks breh! so pumped for this game.
     
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  15. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Great post HeyP. I loved the way we attacked their defense. And because of Harden's ability to step back while the defense is adjusting, he was able to draw the big into guarding him ISO. As expected, that almost always resulted in a score, even when it was Adams.
     
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  16. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Pick you're poison OKC. The analytics say guard the shooters because 3>2.
     
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  17. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    ICE doesn't seem like it would work with elite scoring/distributing guards surrounded by either other offensive players or solid shooters. [though I get it, there's not a ton of defenses that would work with that]

    Like Houston. It doesn't make any sense. Without help, the big is useless / the weak part of the wall against Harden. With help, Harden makes the right pass.

    Or against GSW. A sagging big is just a recipe for Steph to start bombing, and they pass and cut as good as any team I've ever seen.

    It should work better against the Thunder. Russ isn't an efficient 3 point shooter, and you can help off their non-shooters.

    It's not exactly surprising this method didn't work for OKC.

    That's the reason why I suggested throwing in some hard doubles, especially when its Capela as the pick man. I don't think Harden can make the pass to a Capela under the rim out of hard double. He can certainly make the pass to Capela at the top of the key, though. That makes Capela a top of the key playmaker. Eg. a Draymond Green, or LMA/Gasol (for the Spurs), or Kevin Love, or whatever. But unfortunately for Capela, he's not that guy - I know as a Rockets fan I never want to see him with the ball outside 3-5 feet.

    If I'm picking my poison as OKC, I'd want to at least add this in some.
     
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  18. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Why do you say that? Is it because I showed you two plays of OKC trying to use it without help, and failing miserably. I can also show you trapping defenses with no help that fail miserably, too.

    ICE was developed to stop wing PnRs like Lebron's. It is better than trapping defenses, imso, as it doesn't require help defense as much as trapping defenses do....and when you do add help defense, it can create a wall, with similar characteristics to a Chaney/Temple match-up zone.

    ICE is very popular in the NBA. Much more than hard doubles are.
     
    #18 heypartner, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  19. ilias

    ilias Member

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    Interesting observation HP. I'm a bit surprised they were not more aggressive defending the PnR. They have a lot of long, athletic players. I would think Adams is mobile enough to show on the ball handler, especially now in the playoffs where some contact may be allowed.
     
  20. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    They did. They tried several methods, none of which included sending help off the shooters. I suppose I could have created a vid on 2 or 3 plays of every type of defense they threw at us, rather than a comprehensive vid of one type of defense.

    I simply chose to focus only on when the Big stayed back, because some in the media feel like that is the magic defense -- sag in the middle and don't leave the Houston shooters. It results in MDA taking the "Paint Points" the defense is giving us -- as he says in the vid.
     
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