Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:19 pm Post subject: West round 1: Bemidji @ Las Vegas
High and low rollers come to Vegas as Wilt and Tiny lead Bemidji into the Thomas and Mack Center to play the #1 seed Donaghys and KG, Yao and the crew. Donaghys head coach Coville makes the rule call, only fitting that it's house rules in Vegas. Chef Green is hoping to serve Coville defeat.
The winner plays the victor of Oregon v. Santa Barbara.
Jerome Kersey is injured. Bemidji coach Chef Green has the option of using the magic wand to heal him. The wand only works once, so if he uses it now it can't be used again for the rest of the playoffs.
Last edited by Sky on Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reports are that Kersey suffered a devastating "craps injury" and possibly has a bruised liver. Team officials have since confined all players to their hotel rooms to prevent further injuries. _________________ I play with knives and fire.
The Rock Stars report that the loss of Kersey will greatly affect "our ability to hold down the far end of the bench." They hope that Kersey will be ready to go in time for the 2nd round and that they are "keeping his towel warm for him." Tom Boerwinkle said that he is "very excited about my opportunity to be the 11th man, instead of the 12th." _________________ I play with knives and fire.
Tough match up in round 1 for the Rock Stars. Funny thing is, Coville drafted a bunch of guys who have mostly played with New School rules, and then set up the game for Old School Rules. Does Emeka Okafor even know what a hand check is?
Anyways...Bemidji no longer needs a zone to be effective, but apparently the Donaghy's video guy stopped TIVOing Bemidji sometime in November.
Our game plan is, as always, to use Tiny's speed and skills at penetration and dish to create easy baskets for the rest of the team. As such, we'll be implementing the Dribble Drive Motion Offense used by Calipari at Memphis this past season. The DDMO uses a speedy, shifty point guard to break down opposing defenses, then find open cutters and spot up shooters. It is predicated on spacing, timing, and sharp cuts, as well as solid shooting and finishing. Since the post player must be an effective finisher, Wilt's 72% FG% is an enormous benefit. Nance and Marion's abilities to finish and hit midrange (or longer, in Shawn's case) jumpers is also paramount. Barry and Person will see some minutes in this offense, simply because of their ability to knock down the long range jumper, however, Buse and Riordan are also good 3 point shooters, and their defensive ability is also important.
What we're focusing on is Baron Davis – force him to play defense every minute he's on the floor, give those wobbly knees a workout, and tire him out enough to reduce his effectiveness on offense. One wrinkle will be finding Marion in transition and letting him exploit Rashard Lewis' defensive deficiency.
1: http://tinyurl.com/5mhzow - Notice the spacing of the offense. Since LV won't be playing a zone, Tiny will have constant opportunities to drive the wide lanes created by the man to man defense.
2: http://tinyurl.com/68p6ct - O1 breaks his man down off the dribble. From here, he can either drive to the hoop and score (or get fouled, or both – Remember Tiny averaged almost 9 FTAs a game), kick it to the corner to a spot up shooter, or find an open man in the paint after a defensive rotation.
3: http://tinyurl.com/5gtzd5 – Now O2 has the ball, and O1 is in the corner. This is essentially a repeat of Diagram 2, with a different ball handler. Note that O3 now rotates to the top of the key for an open jumper, while O4 moves toward the corner.
4: http://tinyurl.com/5dkgo8 – The play is reset, with O4 now attacking his man off the dribble from the top of the key. In our set, Marion and Nance will be switched (meaning Nance will be O3 and Marion O4), forcing Rashard Lewis to try and guard Marion off the dribble. This allows Nance to work towards the basket, pulling Garnett's away from the perimeter, where he can cause havoc for guards with his length.
One important note: Nance will generally shade towards the rim from the weakside once penetration starts, so that he can take advantage of midrange jumpers, cutting opportunities, and the occasional alley-oop. Normally the DDMO is either 3s or layups, but Nance doesn't have the shooting ability to do that. We'll play a "true" DDMO when Nance goes to the bench, Marion rotates to the 4, and Riordan or Barry is at the 3, but that's only a few minutes (5, tops).
– Shows Memphis practicing the DDMO offense at high speed – notice the continual rotation of the ball, forcing Man to Man defenses to react constantly to the movement of the ball.
Vegas is a tough team to defend. Other than a lack of assists (Baron and KG are good passers, but the rest of the team is average or worse), Las Vegas does everything well. The key is to get the ball out of Baron's hands, where his teammates are more likely to put up a bad shot than if Baron creates easy opportunities for them.
To really disrupt the flow of their offense, we plan to utilize a Viking 1-2-2 Press LINK several times a quarter. The Viking works great for us because of the speed of Tiny, Buse, and Marion. It also will help us to “hide” Tiny a little bit on defense by making use of his speed simply to plug a passing lane or draw a charge than to try and be a stopper.
In the Viking (diagram is at the link), we'll use Tiny as the X2 defender – Buse or Riordan will spring the trap outside the half court line, pushing the ball handler towards the sideline. Tiny will become the down court “lock” of the trap, shutting off the ball handler's forward movement and forcing him to look for a pass. Shawn Marion will cheat towards the center to break up passes across court, Nance slides to the sideline to break up passes along the sideline, and Wilt plays deep center field to stop passes at the basket. Because of the recovery speed of Tiny, Buse, and Marion, and the downcourt presence of Wilt and Nance, even when the press gets broken, recovery will be quick – the Viking is designed to get the ball out of the point guard's hand while not allowing the long pass towards the basket.
Coach Zimmerman plans to use this trap on about 25-30 percent of Las Vegas' possessions, more if it is proving particularly effective. If it's really working, Bemidji has the athletes to run this play on just about every possession, although we perceive it as more of a “junk” play to disrupt the flow of Las Vegas' offense than a true full game defense.
When we are not trapping, we will play straight up man to man defense, with our 2 guard (Buse or Riordan most of the time) moving over to play the point in order to slow down Baron. Although Ray Allen is the team's high scorer, almost half of the shots he took in the season selected were 3 point shots, so Tiny will be instructed to fight over picks whenever possible, where his size and quickness might even allow him to draw some fouls. We're confident that Wilt will slow Yao (and we are certain he will dominate the smaller Emeka Okafor), and while Garnett is sure to outmatch Nance, we like the quickness and leaping ability of Nance to at least help slow Garnett.
Fortunately, this is always pretty easy for us. With some of the most durable athletes (including THE most durable athlete) to ever lace 'em up, we can use several of our starters for almost the entire game and still have them fresh at the end of the night. Wilt and Tiny, especially, are only going to see short rests at the beginning of the 2nd and 4th quarters. Marion will see a slightly longer rest at the same time. Don Buse is going to rotate in and out every time Baron Davis gets a rest (Buse averaged 3 MPG more than Davis). Larry Nance will get an additional break at the end of the first quarter and the start of the second half.
We will have our starters in for at least the last 9 minutes of the 4th quarter. Not many teams can say that. And no team has a starter that can play 46 minutes the way Tiny can. 4 of our 5 starters can play 40+ if need be, versus 0 starters for Las Vegas. Which means our first team is going to spend some time playing against their second team.
Las Vegas thinks they can attack Nate Archibald, break him down, get into the lane, force the post defenders to rotate to try and stop penetration, pass off and get easy layups. Sometimes, they will. However, by matching up Don Buse with Baron Davis, that takes away a lot of Davis' ability to create havoc in the lane. Ray Allen will see some open looks, but without Baron Davis running the offense, the scoring potency of the rest of the team is going to be lessened.
High screen and rolls with Baron and KG will also be less effective because when forced to switch, Larry Nance or Shawn Marion will extend as far out towards the midcourt line as possible, pushing the ball handler away from the paint (a la Celtics vs. Lakers in the playoffs). The combination of strong man defense with the Viking thrown in should be enough to give us a defensive advantage.
Offensively, they are going to expect pick and rolls, which they aren't going to get – which will probably throw them. They will also gameplan to stop Tiny, but his ability to penetrate and pass in the DDMO is going to force so much defensive rotation we expect to see a lot of open looks (and most of our team shoots 50% or better) – a plan strengthened by having two excellent passers in Buse and Tiny on the floor most of the game.
In Case of Emergency:
They are going to be expecting pick and rolls, and the DDMO uses almost no screens, so that should be a bit of a monkey wrench for them. However, if they were somehow expecting the DDMO, it's easy to switch over to a pick and roll offense, and would be equally effective. If Tiny gets in foul trouble, we would have to go PnR, because Buse doesn't have nearly the penetration ability that Tiny does.
If Nance gets in foul trouble, we'll rotate Marion onto KG and put Riordan in for extended minutes at the 3 spot. If Wilt gets in trouble, PJ can play the C, and Bynum's length can help against Yao. If Marion gets in trouble, Riordan again. Wilt never fouled out of a game in his career, and there are only two guys on the team who averaged more than 3 fouls per game: Bynum and PJ. Fouls shouldn't be an issue.
We win because we're craftier at disguising our weaknesses (Tiny on defense), we play better team basketball (read: more assists, better ball movement), and we have a better game plan. We win because no one on Las Vegas can stop Tiny, but our team defense can slow down Baron. We win because Yao is going to get owned by Wilt.
We win because KG can't outplay Nance enough, and they might need KG to take over down the stretch, which he can't do. We win because Rashard Lewis isn't going to see a flicker of daylight until Shawn Marion leaves the building. We win because “...that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” (Sun Tzu)
1: Baron Davis – 39 minutes / Steve Francis – 9 minutes
2: Ray Allen – 38 minutes / Stephen Jackson - 10
3: Rashard Lewis – 26 minutes / Stephen Jackson - 22
4: Kevin Garnett – 39 minutes / Pau Gasol – 9 minutes
5: Yao Ming – 30 minutes / Pau Gasol 10 minutes / Emeka Okafor – 8 minutes
Offensively my team will bring a balanced attack. We will start off by putting Baron in the post. His size and strength is too much for Tiny who will get pushed around down low as Baron has his way. Below is how I will set up Baron in the post, along with pulling his big men out while giving us some other options:
Baron brings the ball up, has the option of passing to either wing position. From there the big on that side will set a high screen for Baron. Baron than rubs off, cutting to the low post. Off that, the wing has a few options. Hit Baron if Tiny is caught in the screen. Hit the big man if he is left wide open from his defender dropping down. Or hit Baron in the post if Tiny goes under the screen and let the offense continue. Either of the options; they’re most likely to be burned.
In the case I bring in a big man who can’t hit the elbow jumper effectively, I will switch to an offense that will run a series of picks to open Ray Allen for an uncontested three.
In this offense: http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/9987/offenset2wu4.gif
we will stack up our players baseline, first the 3 will set a screen, than roll out to the three point line. Than the 5 will set another screen, than roll out to the elbow (pulling his defender out of the paint), than the 4 will set up another screen to which he can post up if needed. But, these screens are set up to get Ray Allen an open shot, and if he doesn’t get one it means people are switching, and with a great point like Baron, he is going to find the open man.
In conclusion, we feel these two offensive sets will work for us. We feel running these things, highlighting Baron and Allen will open things up for other players. As his players over extend themselves trying to cover their weaknesses, our balanced offense will just score, score, and score, because it has no weaknesses.
On defense we will look to cut off the head of the snake. We feel Baron has the size and strength to take Tiny out of the game. Especially with hand checking and a more physical game being played. Baron being able to check Tiny will force him to burn more time dribbling the ball and less time taking it to the hoop and getting his teammates involved. Heavy ball pressure will disrupt their offensive attack. Outside of Tiny, he really has no other playmakers to get the ball rolling.
Defensively inside we feel we’ll be fine. Yao and KG can protect the rim while holding their own on the boards. Yao is going to be one of the bigger defenders Wilt will face in this league. Wilt has never played a guy bigger than him and because of that – we think Yao will be a nice surprise for us on both ends. KG can handle Nance while backing everyone up as he has shown he can do throughout his career.
Ray Allen holds his own verse scrub 1 and scrub 2. Marion is stuck as garbage man, Rashard or Stephen Jackson can handle that role just fine.
To finish the game, we will look to go with Baron David – Ray Allen – Stephen Jackson – Kevin Garnett – Yao Ming. We will look to monitor minutes to set these guys up to give us quality minutes in the clutch. With the depth our team has, we should be fine on giving our guys the breaks they need to be effective an entire 48 minutes.
In the clutch we will go to Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson. Bemidji has no answers for any of those players (not to mention Ray Allen) and if we run our offense, run high pick and rolls/pops we should get plenty of open an easy shots to win the game. We get boards and stops because we have a good defender at the one and a monster front line. KG – 7 feet, Yao – 7 6’. I think our squad will do just fine on the boards with a size advantage over our opponent.
My guess is my opponent will claim Tiny is too fast for Baron. Not true. Baron can keep up with any point in the league, the guy is a physical specimen, 220 with that speed. He’ll be able to shut Tiny down easily. Factor in hand checking – game over.
In addition I’m also guessing he will argue Wilt will close things down inside. Constantly keeping bigs who can shoot on the floor will help pull him out of the paint and open up the inside. Not to mention if he collapses I have the shooting to burn him.
He probably argues Wilt overtakes Yao inside. While Yao is arguably the lesser talent, Yao holds his own off sheer size. Wilt gets his, but he won’t need a double team.
In Case of Emergency
If Yao/KG gets in foul trouble we will look to speed up the game, push the ball. Get Pau on the floor and tire out their bigs.
If Baron gets in foul trouble, Steve Francis is an all purpose guard too with the same mindset who can fulfill the same duties.
I win because my team is balanced. His teams’ talent is stuck with two players, one of whom is totally locked up in this contest. My team is going to hurt him from all angles, he won’t be able to stop me offensively and I can shut down his one and only playmaker.
Not to mention closing. I have players who have won rings, who have come up big in playoff series, who have shown up.
Imagine this, 3 minutes left in the game, they have the ball out of a time. Check in Emeka Okafor. Hack a Wilt – good luck winning with the 51 FT%.
So with Tiny being shut out by Baron and Wilt being taken out of the game because of free throws, who does he turn to? Marion? Andrew Bynum? Please, I love Drew, but don’t put THAT pressure on the big kid.
In the end my team is too balanced and deep, we’ll outlast him. His two best players are taken out of the match up IF the game is close, but I doubt it would be. Baron from the post, Ray from three, KG midrange, Yao shooting from the elbow, Rashard running the floor and making it rain. Game Over.
They hope to get Baron muscling Tiny in the post. This is a tough match up and will cause the D to sag whenever they can get it. When Tiny switches onto Allen, you would expect more of the same. Anytime Vegas can get the D to collapse, their shooters will capitalize. The won't likely get much of the defense collapsing when Yao posts up because Wilt has the size and strength to go one on one with Yao. One advantage in Yao's favor is his perimeter game. He'll be able to suck Wilt a few feet out of the paint at times with that jumper of his. If that's the case, the Bemidji perimeter defenders may have to rely a little less on Wilt to bail them out if they get beat.
When Bemidji goes to the press, they will have to recover quickly onto the Vegas shooters. Some of these guys have some quick, effective triggers.
Defensively, the handchecking and fore-arming that Baron will be able to get away with helps. With his strength he will be able to funnel and cut off some of the attacking lanes if he uses that handcheck to his advantage. No matter how often Bemidji switches Tiny, you are likely going to see him get attacked in the post. Trying to hold ground, his legs may tire.
Yao is going to have to get up and down the floor with some speed. Good choice to limit his minutes to 30 by playing a little more Pau/Okafor. This should allow him to stay fresh for crunch time against Wilt. Using SJax to close looks like a good decision in this match up.
The press that will be utilized a few times every quarter is a good choice. This will help play to some of Bemidji's strengths and occasionally take away some problems that Tiny will face against Baron/Allen. Good choice.
Offensively, the show is run through Tiny's speed. On one hand, the new school zone could have been useful to slow him down a little. On the other, Baron able to maybe take a step from Tiny with his strength and handchecks is also useful. They will relentlessly attack, hoping to tire Baron down defensively.
The speed in which Bemidji plays at times will also have an effect on Yao's ability to get up and down the court. Making him a little less effective.
The Yao vs. Wilt match up is clearly one of the more intriguing of the first round. Goliath vs. Goliath. Yao hits an early turnaround after trying to back Wilt down with no success. He later gets a shot blocked by Wilt in the paint. He reconsiders how he will attack. Wilt leaves him a couple of times to try to contest shots and Yao makes him pay with some perimeter jumpers. Now Wilt has to think twice about giving Yao too much space.
The cross match between Baron/Buse and Allen/Tiny isn't always there as they change ends quickly. When Baron gets tiny on him, he goes to the post, collapsing the D for an open look for a shooter. When Tiny is on Allen, Vegas goes to Allen in the post, forcing a collapse and kickout. Bemidji just can't help leaving Tiny on that island, they collapse again. Vegas runs Tiny through a series of baseline screens, a scheme they were planning to use. Tiny refuses to switch on any screen, but he's working very hard to stay with the shooter.
Meanwhile, because of the pace that Tiny plays, Yao starts sucking wind early on. He has to go to the bench in favor of Pau. Pau is a crafty post defender and has been known to play some big guys surprisingly well, but Wilt is taking advantage of him. Thankfully, Wilt has for a couple minutes and their is a short break for the back-up C's. KG is now wishing he had the new school rules so he could sag and zone a little easier.
First half ends with the score tied. The fans are wondering if their a massive upset in the making.
In the second half, Yao continues to stay away from attacking Wilt in the post except for an occasional turnaround jumper, which he sees some success on. Again, however, we see more of the same in the second half attack by Vegas. Although Allen is having a difficult time shaking Tiny on that series of baseline screens, he still finds he has enough room and ability to catch and shoot over him when he gets the ball.
The Viking press helped keep Bemidji in the game and keep the post D down for Tiny, but late in the third quarter they get burned when Vegas knocks down a couple quick open threes when the D is scrambling. Baron has set up Yao for a couple of open jumpers off a screen roll earlier in the game. They run the sequence again, Wilt hesitates on leaving Yao for a second, Baron attacks the lane and throws down a monsterous dunk on him as he's a hair late. The Vegas crowd goes nuts and Bemidji calls timeout, trailing by 8.
Again, Bemidji is able to chip away at Vegas in the post when Yao has to leave because of the pace of the game. Vegas has to double Wilt and this leaves Wesley Person open for a big three to close the quarter. Bemidji leads by 5.
After Wilt goes to the bench for a couple of minutes and returns, the lead is the same margin. They feed the post a couple more times and cut the lead to 3. Finally, Yao returns to help at the C spot. His legs are fresh and his wind is good to close out the game. The same can't be said for Tiny, however. He's been battling the post, fighting through a series of baseline screens to stay with Allen and also pressing. His legs are tired. Baron starts to sag off him to deny penetration, Tiny's penetration starts to disappear. With his legs tired, he comes up short on several jumpers.
On the other end, Stephen Jackson gets loose for a couple late game threes and Vegas goes on to win by 12. One wonders where Sean Marion was this game. He was key all regular season, but besides few dunks off the press and one three, he seemed to disappear for stretches. A valiant effort from Bemidji, but they crap out in Vegas at the end.
Bemidji on offense:
Chef Green has cooked up some fried Calipari for Vegas, using the high speed penetrate and finish/3 DDMO offense of John Calipari’s Memphis teams. Works for Memphis in part due to a huge athleticism gap via superior recruiting. In this case the athleticism edge is not nearly as dominant. Bemidji has the better athleticism across the board, but Vegas has Baron, KG and speed/athleticism off the bench. Bemidji does have a big edge with Buse as dual initiator at 2 penetrating against Ray Allen, and at 3 with Marion vs. Shard.
Hand checks aren’t allowed perimeter in college ball but they are in this playoff game. That will slow down the DDMO somewhat. The old school hand checks combined with Baron’s knowledge of the DDMO (having run it at Golden State) will also slow down Tiny slightly. Archibald will still take Baron off the dribble regularly, but Davis will have some defensive success. Tiny was high to’s, didn’t take care of the ball that well, can get picked or try to make plays where there just isn’t the room to pull it off.
Las Vegas on offense:
Expecting Tiny defending Baron, Vegas gets Buse instead. Buse is all-D thanks to his gaudy steal numbers. But those came at a price, Buse was like Sasha, go for the steal anywhere on the court, 30 feet, 70 feet, overplaying the passing lanes. For every Buse steal, he also reaches, gets off balance, Baron crosses him over and it’s 5-on-4.
Coville’s plan to post up still works but it’s not the automatic it is vs. Tiny. Buse surrenders 25 pounds to Baron and can still be backed down. Davis likes to shoot fadeaways low block but he’ll be limited to it, Buse has the same quickness and length, as a result Davis doesn’t have the other go to post moves.
The game opens with a lot of turnovers and easy baskets for both clubs, several thieves on both ends take advantage of the uptempo pace. The fast ragged play favors Bemidji early, plays into their finishers and strategy. Buse is beating Ray Allen regularly in penetration, as is Marion vs. Shard. The Viking press forces some to’s, but using Tiny as X2 is a lost opportunity as Baron has the height and length to pass over him. Use Marion in that role instead with Tiny as free safety at X3 would have been lethal.
Vegas has Baron succeeding in post up, Allen shooting over Buse. But KG and Yao both get in foul trouble as Tiny and Buse are relentless in penetrate and create. Wilt controls the glass and that feeds Bemidji in transition and early offense. The Rock Stars have an 8 point lead at halftime.
In the second half Bemidji goes back to what worked, but Marion sees more SJax than Shard and that option starts to fade. Riordan comes in and now penetration is focused exclusively on Tiny. The Bemidji efficiency starts to drop as Vegas can focus on Archibald alone. Bemidji needs 3 shooting to open the floor for the DDMO but the only reliable sniper is Person and he only has 4 minutes. His time comes in the third and works, but when Riordan is in and both Person and Buse sit the offense stalls. Too one dimensional with the heavy dependence on Tiny. Using Wilt as the primary passer in a set featuring Nance and Marion as cutters would have helped here.
Meanwhile Vegas starts working KG/Gasol effectively as Francis off the bench has fresh legs that set up the others and the game is tied with five minutes left.
Closing the game, Bemidji turns once more to Tiny and Buse. Both can play heavy minutes and have here, 46 and 39 respectively. But can they play those heavy minutes in an all-out every second college game plan that calls for constant running and penetration in the DDMO? And half court traps for 25% of the game? While trying to stop Baron all game long on post ups? Tiny yes but he’s definitely tiring at this point, Buse no, his legs are toast. Baron isn’t doing much better, he’s extra crispy after defending Tiny and posting up all game.
Sjax is stopping Marion. KG gags in crunch time. Wilt can’t hit ft’s. Yao is no closer. Nance is inconsistent. Is there anybody left who can close this? Just one. Ray Allen has tired Tiny chasing him over screens and three passers around him in Baron, KG and Jack. Ray drains the j’s to close the game out. Vegas wins. Barely.
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