PICKING APART THE PICKS

Looks like the Celts and the Thunder are facing a similar problem: how to guard against the picks.

Usually, teams have well-established defense systems when it comes to guarding against the pick and roll, per team. Some prefer to double the handler, some prefer to plain-switch, and some have their big men back off until the guard recovers. However, it’s a different animal in this year’s Western and Eastern Finals. The heat and spurs are so excellent because of the dynamism, speed, explosiveness and sheer unpredictability of the screener and ball handler. It’s a pick and roll, pick n pop, pick n pass – pick your poison. and the score isn’t usually after the first pass. it’s the defensive adjustment that HAS to cover up that catches the defense flat-footed.
What the Thunder did with some success towards the end of game 4 was to just switch when the screener arrives. But this necessitates that all five men on the floor can guard all the other five men of the opposing team. boston also did it to some success. But as it is usually the case in the NBA, it’s easier said than done. The Heat and Spurs have excellent spacing, and five guys who can nail the jumper and/or penetrate.

If they can adjust their defenses and get more active bodies and hands on their opponents, the celtics and thunder may still have some life and fight left in them.

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