Baller's Blueprint, NBA / Dec 10, 2010 / 1:00 pm

Baller’s Blueprint: Kevin Garnett makes Philly even more miserable

Last night in Philadelphia, the Celtics found themselves down one with 6.6 seconds left on the clock. We have seen this situation many times in the past, where the ball always seems to find it’s way into the hands of either Paul Pierce or Ray Allen for the chance to win the game.

But last night, both teams played small lineups for most of the game, as Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal were inactive for the Celtics. With the game on the line, Boston had Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett on the floor along with Pierce and Allen. The Sixers were very small, with Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks, Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala:

1. With KG set to inbound, the Celtics already have the floor spread with Ray Allen in the right corner, who is being blanketed for obvious reasons, Rondo towards the top, and Robinson and Pierce on the left side. You can tell there is going to be some serious movement here as the entire middle of the court is open.

2. Rondo is allowed to catch the inbounds pass without much trouble, which is the first bad sign for the Sixers. As the ball goes to Rondo, Pierce and Robinson exchange, which the Sixers play well and don’t switch. Pierce and Garnett are now lining up ball screens on either side of Holiday for Rondo to use to attack. Allen remains in the right corner occupying Meeks and Robinson stays left wing occupying Williams, which leaves the middle wide open.

3. Rondo chooses to use the Garnett screen to his right and the Sixers are forced to switch to keep Rondo from turning the corner. This now has Holiday on Garnett with no one remotely close enough to come help in the paint.

4. With Robinson, Allen and Pierce all around the three-point line, all KG has to do is roll down the lane behind Holiday. This is an easy read for Rondo, who throws a safe lob over the top to KG. Holiday is in a truly helpless situation as KG catches the ball with plenty of room to finish without anyone contesting him.

5. KG kisses the ball off the glass to put the Celtics ahead by one, as Philadelphia never had a chance to react. Thanks to three shooters spacing the floor, a terrific decision-maker in Rondo, and KG, the Celtics execute another terrific set out of a timeout in the clutch. This is a play they had been working on recently and last night it came up big on the road.

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  • George W Kush Sr

    Excellent job breaking down an incredibly simple play. My 12 year old nephew however was able to sum up the play in just a few words though, “Rondo alley-ooped it to KG”.

  • ballsinyoface

    ^ A$$HOLE

  • srb

    The spacing of the other players was important too, but yea, this was a pretty easy one to break down.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Imagine someone had iced a free throw to end the game, lol, “The ref passed him the ball which enabled him to secured it in his hands. He then looked at the rim to get a visual, he then used his eyes to aim. He bounced the ball a few times which enabled him to catch a rythm, he proceeded to ignore the fans behind the backboard and focused on shooting the ball….” hahaha

  • momadance

    “the Sixers are forced to switch to keep Rondo from turning the corner.”

    Problem on this play for the Sixers is they weren’t forced to switch… Young made a bad play by jumping out on Rondo… just hedge for a second and let Jrue get back.

    IF Young backs off and contains, you leave Rondo looking at a jumper… of all possible scenarios, a Rondo jumper would have been ideal for the Sixers.

    Really though, I have to give Collins some blame here. Why is Brand not in to guard Garnett? Young is a below average defender at best and Brand is the second best defender on the team.

    KG never gets that shot off with EB covering him…

  • ENEW

    I forgot you are all genius coaches and have been drawing up these sets for years, what was I thinking?!?!

    Being that Doug Collins had all the attention towards Allen and Pierce who always get the ball in these situations it was actually a terrific play designed by Coach Rivers, but Mr. George W Kush Sr. already knew that!!!

  • Wake

    Let me break it down for you.

    He slowly read the article which broke down a key play by the Boston Celtics. Then he thought to himself “I’m going to be a a douchebag today.” He put two of his fingers on his chin, stroking. His eyes widened, a stroke of genius that he alone could have thought of popped into his mind. “I’m going to pretend my non-existent 12 year old nephew said something so that I, George W. Kush, can compensate for my insecurities.” He typed into the comment box. ” Excellent job breaking down an incredibly simple play. My 12 year old nephew however was able to sum up the play in just a few words though, “Rondo alley-ooped it to KG”. Then he waited patiently under the dim lights and said “FEED ME. FEED ME. FEED ME!”

  • MattO

    hahahaha…props to you Wake for that.

  • Kudabeen

    Would have loved to see Dre. I push and communicate Jrue to stay with Pierce on the perimeter while he dived on KG…but it is a younger squad and they don’t really communicate well. tough way to lose, but I will say the sixers are back scrapping and making games entertaining more.

  • ENEW


    Real good point, they are crazy young and real fast.
    It will interesting to see what roster decisions they make after the season, or before the deadline. They need to trade AI, and get real lucky in the draft…

  • karizmatic

    Yeah they should have communicated on that one and definitely not switched…was it possible to go under a screen there? I’d rather try and force Rondo or KG to make a jumpshot with time running down. Definitely an excellent play call by Doc.

  • Hassan

    I’d say that’s a good break down of a sick play by Doc. Thanks.

  • Ace-One

    This play is a great example of something that seems simple but reveals a lot of cool details

    Here’s the play in action: http://www.youtube.com/user/mrtripledouble10#p/u/6/tY6PYZjtmm8

    One point that should be mentioned is that, like most coaches do in last-second situations, Doug Collins told his team to switch on all screens. Coaches do this because they are trying to keep things simple for the players (too simple, imo), and they don’t want to see guys like Rondo driving free through the lane on a miscommunication. Doc Rivers anticipated the “switch on everything” strategy and drew up a play with that in mind.

    Another small point: It isn’t quite accurate to say that “Pierce and Garnett are now lining up ball screens on either side of Holiday for Rondo to use to attack.” The picks are timed so that Pierce sets his pick first, then KG. Doc Rivers said after the game that Pierce was setting up a “fake” pick and then KG setting the real one. BTW, the Celtics often do run a play with simultaneous high screens for Rondo; check the 3:58 mark of http://www.youtube.com/user/mrtripledouble10#p/u/6/tY6PYZjtmm8. This play was different, though, designed for KG all the way.

  • Ace-One

    Oops. The second link from my previous post (showing the simultaneous high screens) should be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB-CRDUIAWw. Action begins at 3:58

  • kyballer

    Doc is one of THE best coaches in the L…his pre-game preperation and in-game adjustments are second to none I think…and it helps when you have 3 potentially 4 all-stars running your sets…Boston vs. LA series coming to a Finals near you!!! Miami looks better and better tho’…