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More reflections from last night...

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2forLaRue sends this:

Two quick thoughts from the game last night:  
  1. the first 3 possessions we tried to go to Zack (I'm not sure, but I think he had 2 of his 7 turnovers and one of his two missed shots in those first 3 trips).  While I see the importance of trying to establish a low-post presence early, I wonder how good this is for the team, as the rest of our guys stand around and wait for Zack to shoot.  Clearly, nothing insightful there, but seeing it live really made me question how healthy that philosophy is for us, if we should earnestly pursue trading him, or if we should just let him be the ultimate garbage man and only let him shoot the balls he rebounds on the offensive end.  (not really, but that seems to be his forte...)
  2. The main point / question I have is regarding our pick and rolls.  It consistently seems that when setting the screen, they are often not set firmly nor does the dribbler use them well.  The part that really bugs me though, is the total abandonment of how to properly roll.  I was always taught to pivot on the foot closest to the hoop and and open yourself up to a pass from the dribbler, while "sealing" the guy that is  picked.  Not sure if I'm articulating this clearly, but it just seems like these professional basketball players are either ignoring or simply don't know how to do a basic, fundamental "hoops 101" play.  If I'm remembering correctly, Joel did set solid picks and rolled "properly" and got most of his points from dunks off this play last year...

I agree with both assessments.  I commented again last night in the game chat that Zach's post set was dead in the water because they doubled so quickly.  Again I'd argue he's getting the ball too far from the hoop.  I know it allows him to either drive or shoot the jumper without too many people clogging his way but the reality is opponents ARE double teaming almost every time on that play.  And when they do double team he has almost no angle to pass the ball anymore.  He has no space behind him nor in front and to the right is the baseline.  The ball can only go one place...right back to the guy who originally gave it to him.  And when there's only one option like that it becomes pretty easy for opponents to defend.  Part of the reason he holds the ball for so long is probably because there aren't a lot of good options about what to do with it otherwise.

We don't set picks well and we don't use picks well unless Joel is out there.  He's the only one who sets them strong and the only one the guards have enough confidence in.  Lamarcus occasionally sets a good one.  Zach almost never does.  (He actually set a great pick last night and it was really memorable...which is probably a bad sign.)  Something I wonder is whether some of our other guys shouldn't be setting picks too.  I know some of our smaller guys set down screens and cross screens, but it seems it might open up new scoring opportunities for some of our small forwards to have them in a high pick and roll as well.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)