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Thread: Great article on how we "switch ourselves into disaster"

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    Veteran StEpHoN_mArBuRy's Avatar
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    Default Great article on how we "switch ourselves into disaster"

    Got this from another board. Thought y'all should see it. Most of it is just **** we already know but still a great read. Shows how clueless the coaching staff is to making adjustments..

    It was written on the white board in the Bobcats’ locker room before Wednesday’s game against the Knicks in New York: “They will switch a lot. Attack mismatches.”

    And boy, did the Knicks switch a lot — and in all kinds of different ways. Let’s take a look at the photo evidence.

    Switch No. 1: Covering for Amar’e Stoudemire on the pick-and-roll

    Stoudemire has never been a good defender, especially in space, and he returned Wednesday night after a two-game absence due to a sprained ankle. The Bobcats attacked him relentlessly on pick-and-roll plays, confident he wouldn’t have the mobility to jump out, cut off Charlotte’s point guards and then return to find his man rolling in the paint.

    Here’s a still midway through a first quarter D.J. Augustin/Boris Diaw pick-and-roll:


    Augustin has already dribbled around the Diaw pick, and you see Diaw rolling into the lane, where Landry Fields has come to meet him. This is typical stuff: Wing players in Fields’ position here have to crash into the lane and at least bump the roll man, who would otherwise have a clean path to the hoop. The risk is that Fields’ man, Gerald Henderson, is now open on the right wing, but the very best defenses can pull this off without yielding a wide-open jumper. The best-case scenario is for Fields to bump Diaw and then sprint back to Henderson, giving Stoudemire time to find Diaw again in the lane.

    This is not what happens here:


    As you can see, the Knicks switched, with Stoudemire on Henderson and poor Fields left to contain the bulky Diaw in the post. The Bobcats had their choice of mismatches, and on this play, they chose to enter the ball to Diaw, who drew a double team and dished to D.J. White for an easy layup.

    Ok. This happens. The pick-and-roll is tough to defend, and sometimes it ends in a harmful switch.

    Switch No. 2: The baseline switch

    Here’s a play from about a minute later where Henderson and Corey Maggette cut from separate sides, meet under the hoop and have Maggette set a half-hearted screen for Henderson. Every team in the league runs this action dozens of times per game. Here’s how the Knicks handle it:


    Carmelo Anthony drifts off Maggette and shifts onto Henderson, and Fields takes the bigger Maggette. There really isn’t much reason for this — Maggette has barely set a screen at all, meaning there wasn’t much of an obstacle through which either Knick had to fight. But they switched anyway, and in a clip I’d show if I still had televised access to New York games, Henderson immediately got a good look at a mid-range jumper by accelerating around a White screen, creating separation from Melo. He missed, but this is the punishment for a switch: A quicker guy gets a decent look.

    But then the following happened on New York’s next possession and it dawned on me that perhaps the Knicks are switching on defense in hopes of reaping the rewards on offense:

    On the right side of the lane, you see Anthony posting up Henderson, who had no chance here and compensated by fronting Melo. Boris Diaw sensed the crisis and doubled Melo, creating openings elsewhere. The Knicks could have gotten a great look here had Toney Douglas tossed an accurate entry pass. Instead, he overthrew Anthony, resulting in a turnover.

    But the thinking here (assuming this kind of thinking is happening) is interesting: Why not switch defensively against Charlotte’s wing players, not exactly the league’s most threatening scorers, if doing so creates the potential for a mismatch on New York’s very next offensive possession? A Henderson miss triggered a transition opportunity, and in such moments, defenders often have to stick with the guy closest to them; Anthony rushed up the floor before Charlotte could get their defensive match-ups in order.

    Maybe it was a good plan? But after the Douglas turnover, this happened:


    That’s Melo’s guy, Henderson, about to slam down a transition alley-oop from Maggette. Henderson ran hard after the turnover, and neither Fields nor Douglas (the two Knick defenders who got back on defense first) knew who should take him. Watch the clip, and you’ll see some pointing and hear some communication, but Henderson ran free anyway. The confusion was understandable; Fields had been attached to Maggette since the initial switch two possessions ago, and Douglas was generally assigned to Augustin, who is next to Maggette in the above photo.

    Anthony has long been a serial switcher on off-ball screens, so it’s tempting to blame Melo and chalk all of this up to his usual point-and-switch routine. But it wasn’t just Melo on Tuesday night. In the middle of the third quarter, with Melo on the bench, the Bobcats had Augustin (guarded by Douglas) set a simple back screen for Henderson on the right sideline:


    You can see Douglas and Iman Shumpert, Henderson’s initial defender, sandwiching Augustin as Henderson, a blur of movement, headed for the baseline and eventually the other side of the floor. By attaching himself to Augustin (and later pointing at Henderson), Shumpert was acting under the assumption the Knicks would switch here, with Douglas leaving Augustin to chase Henderson. But Douglas didn’t seem to have made the same assumption, and he hesitated for a beat, losing both momentum and Henderson:


    Henderson is gone, and he’s about to curl around Boris Diaw’s big body, catch a little shovel pass, take one big bounce to set himself and nail an open jumper.

    The Knicks have done a decent amount of switching this season, both on and off the ball, but never as much as they did Tuesday night against Charlotte. That would lead you to believe it was part of the coaching staff’s game plan rather than the sort of ad-lib switching Melo has engaged in for most of his career. Maybe the coaches thought it was a low-risk way of engineering mismatches on subsequent New York possessions, as mentioned above. Maybe it was a way to ease Stoudemire’s recovery.

    It’s also tempting to point at Mike Woodson, New York’s new assistant coach reportedly brought in to stress defense. Woodson coached the Hawks for six years, and during the latter half of that stint, Atlanta became known league-wide for switching on defense more than any team. But that had more to do with Atlanta’s personnel than any pro-switching stance from Woodson. The Hawks had a point guard, Mike Bibby, who couldn’t stay in front of anyone, and they had several tall-but-not-giant athletic types in Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith, each of whom could credibly defend point guards for short stretches and switch assignments among themselves.

    The Knicks have Bibby, but they otherwise don’t have this kind of personnel. They have a true center in Tyson Chandler, a decent (if overrated) defender at point guard in Douglas and two star scorers who have been defensive liabilities throughout their careers. Maybe last night was an early season experiment to see if over-switching might be something to consider in the long run. If it was, it didn’t work.
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    Nein, Mann! Lercher's Avatar
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    I think Woody has no other choice but to experiment, I realize that it isn't easy to figure out what's the most effective defensive strategy if you work with a team widely known of being defensive noobs. Let's give him some time, we already got better defensively allowing 9-10 points less than we did last season. It must be hard to put guys like Carmelo and Amare to work on their D.

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    Veteran KingofNy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by StEpHoN_mArBuRy
    Got this from another board. Thought y'all should see it. Most of it is just **** we already know but still a great read. Shows how clueless the coaching staff is to making adjustments..


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    Now that's coaching. The only thing written above the Knicks locker room door is "Don't be scared to chuck" This coach has to go!

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    Seriously I have no idea what this coaching staff is thinking.

    I've never played organized basketball or even recreational basketball in my entire life and even I know that there is absolutely no reason that we should be expecting a 6'1 Toney Douglas to switch on defense and start guarding Boris Diaw instead of the opposing PG.

    Seriously all the Bobcats did last night was basic ****. Find the mismatch, and shoot over the smaller guy. That **** is weak. If that's how easy it is to beat the Knicks then how do people expect us to beat Miami or Chicago?

    Glen Grunwald has assembled together a team that has quite possibly the most potent frontcourt in the entire NBA. What this has done is that it has created a scenario for Mike D'Antoni to cover up his mistakes with the few wins that he does get. That win in Boston? That wasn't us playing a better game than them. That wasn't us taking a look at the Celtics' weaknesses and finding ways to attack them.

    That was Melo being Melo and his killer instinct kicking in and winning us the damn game because nobody else on our team, be it coach or player, could figure that **** out. We need to be able to orchestrate an offense and not just depend on Carmelo to win every single game.

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    Nein, Mann! Lercher's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SSj4Wingzero
    I've never played organized basketball or even recreational basketball in my entire life and even I know that there is absolutely no reason that we should be expecting a 6'1 Toney Douglas to switch on defense and start guarding Boris Diaw instead of the opposing PG.
    NO WAY, you've got to be kidding me...

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    I mean, yeah, I've taken the ball out to the court near my house and played with some friends, but nothing serious. Playground basketball, but it was never ORGANIZED ball. Just three guys, no fouls, anything goes, just goof off kinda deal.

    Never an organized rec league. Got too much **** to do, graduate school starts later in the month!

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    I might haven't understood you correctly, when you wrote about recreational basketball I thought you've never played basketball at all...

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    Oh. Nah, I meant recreational organized ball. I haven't even joined a church league or a YMCA league. I'm a 5'5" Asian guy who's not athletic, not much Bball in my blood. More of a math guy if you catch my drift

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    Nein, Mann! Lercher's Avatar
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    I feel you, I'm a 5'7 average white guy, so there isn't much basketball talent in my veins. I'm much more of a soccer guy (have played organized for about 6 years).

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    Wow, you guys are really short!

    I'm a legit 5'11 and that's not tall at all, but tall enough to tower over most women.

    At 5'5 and 5'7 most girls are taller in heels right?

    Ain't that a problem in the club?

    (Not hating on you guys, just asking out of true interest!)

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    Depends, that's true I'm quite short as for Dutch standards (average men's height = 6'), but there are plenty of states in Europe where people are much shorter, for example Italy or Portugal.
    But, being short has its own adventages, also in basketball, many of my friends playing with me together (all at least 6'3") are slow, have coordination problems or suffer small health issues, if you're short, you've probably never got this problems...

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    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    great video breaking down wtf the issue is. Enjoy.

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    BALL DON'T LIE MeloforMayor's Avatar
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    BUMP

    14 games into the season and they still haven't got this figured out. Are they even watching game tape? Does MDA even address this issue? Almost 1/4 of the season has passed and still no progress.

    He's playing STAT, Melo, and Chandler way too many minutes and only goes 7 deep into his roster even with this hectic schedule.

    I'm ****ing tired of this "coach".

    FIRE THIS SON OF A BITCH! PLEASE!

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