viernes, 20 de mayo de 2016

Final Four 2016 (I)

It’s not the first time I say it, very often we try to find the “key” for the outcome of a game. We go to the statistics, we talk about this or that defensive modification, a beautiful set play drawn by the coach, a player in bad shape or a great offensive performance. 

Sometimes we make things too complicated and sometimes we try to over simplify and find one reason to explain why the game ended as it did. The truth is: there isn’t a single key when it comes to sports. That makes it, specially basketball, amazing and unpredictable.

There were so many details during the CSKA - Fenerbahce… It would take days to run through the game trying to understand in deep every single action. So, I will just bring some of them, and I hope we will be able to enjoy in the next years many more games as good as this one.

As they pointed out in @Euro_Adventures podcast that fifth foul might have been one of the luckiest strikes in the last years. Vorontsevich was fouled out and that brought Khryapa back in the game. His performance during the last ten minutes has been praised enough by now but, was he supposed to be there? was he supposed to sub in during the last minutes of the game? We will never know, but a situation that could have been really negative for CSKA turned into the best momentum for them to win the trophy. If that doesn’t make us think as coaches...

The game started with an interesting match up, Kalinic guarding De Colo. Probably to switch ball screens slowing the french down, while avoiding mismatches inside or in the offensive rebound. Seven CSKA points and two personal fouls on the Serbian (who had to be substituted) gave the first “victory” to the Russian side.

It is a frequent topic in this blog, I’ve written about it here,  here,  here,  here,  here, and not many days ago here. So it is no surprise to see teams switching in several ball screens. Having players like Kyle Hines (also frequently featured around here) or Udoh helps a lot. We saw many fantastic defensive actions from these players in the final game of the Euroleague season.

I counted 13 situations where Hines switched defending ball screens. Do you know how many points did Fenerbahce score against him? Zero. Not a single point scored by the “small” being guarded by Hines in those switches. Fener scored two points off an offensive rebound (Vesely against Kurbanov) and that was all in 13 possessions. Obviously, there is a team effort there, other players are involved too, but having Hines is an insurance in these situations.

We’ll keep talking about this game in the next post, stay tuned. 

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