As entertaining as NBA games are and as much as I enjoy watching guys getting their ankles broken or getting dunked on, in the past five years I’ve been more interested in understanding the game of basketball from a coach’s standpoint. I’m a member of Street Corner Basketball ( SCB), a place where guys don’t just share exciting basketball highlights but actually talk about the strategic aspect of the game of basketball. One of the founders of the group, Ned Okarter who is probably one of the best unpopular basketball analyst in the country, often graces us with some of the choicest games breakdown I’ve ever come across- his understanding of the X’s and O’s is second to none. This morning he gave us a breakdown of last night’s game between the Cavaliers and the Sixers and I had to share it with you guys. Enjoy and be sure to follow Ned Okarter via FB.
just a couple of thoughts (especially on last nights game)
– brett brown is a GREAT X&Os coach. great ATO (after timeout) plays and he runs ALOT of creative misdirection sets to get his shooters open.
– in college, Ben SImmons was a horrible defender – mainly because he didn’t try. NOW hes a solid defender and he was actually able to irritate LeBron. I forget how BIG he is; hes actually bigger than LeBron and would NOT allow him to drive.
– until the cavs fix their transition defense (BY HUSTLING), then I cant take them seriously to beat golden state (or Houston). they will run circles around them. also in the half court, they just get lost too much on switches but most importantly off ball switches. I think Coach Lue must change to the non-switching defense they played against the warriors in game 7 of 2016 (when they won). these players are not instinctive to make the correct switches on defense.
– the opposite is the sixers – you can tell theyre VERY well coached on defense AND they have the correct instincts. Saric and Ilysova are unathletic bigs with poor lateral quickness. However theyre ALWAYS in the right spot on rotations – that’s why Ilysova is the BEST in the NBA at drawing fouls.
– T. Thompson = nance. both are redundant undersized bigs who create “gravity” with their alleyoop threat (very important to get their 3pt shooters open). however Lebron is the only one who can create these opportunities (Clarkson has always been a shoot first SG in the body of a PG; Hill is a spot up shooter who never really had dynamic PG skills). they miss Delly and Kyrie who could initiate alleyoops and unlock that gravity threat. All of this to say, when Lebron is off the court, they have no creators – as a result, Thompson/Nance become useless.
– Embiid is great! hes reminding me more and more of P.Ewing. nice touch, improving passer and great defense (you know a big at blocking shots when teams are AFRAID of attempting layups – even LeBron. He simply ELIMINATES options on offense). however unlike Ewing, embiid CANT dribble – I mean hes simply a turnover waiting to happen.
– Rodney hood started at SG last night. ive always liked his game (as a fellow lefty myself). However JR smith SHOULD be the better player – more dynamic and a potential game changer. But he was suspended last night?!!? Dude youre 32/33 after playing a decade in the NBA. what happened!??!!? I hope his demons haven’t returned – I wish him the best because he seems like a good guy
img via cleveland.com/cavs