I didn't think I would have the energy to watch basketball tonight but the LSU/OSU game was pretty dull after the first half so after the football game I did end up catching the second half of the Warriors game against the Spurs to wake me up. When I tuned in, the Warriors had a 15 or so point lead in the 3rd quarter. One sequence that ended up being a 5 point play for the Spurs to close out the 3rd I thought was a key momentum swing. Just how do you get a 5-point play? Well, you score a layup and get fouled. Then you miss the free-throw but get your own rebound and score and get fouled again, and finally make the free-throw, 5 points. Part of the reason was due to the Warriors not boxing out the shooter. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

The Fox Sportsnet crew from Oakland working the game claimed that the Warriors do that everytime on free-throws. I find that extremely hard to believe. I think that Monta Ellis just forgot to box out the shooter and had a brain cramp going straight to the basket getting burned in the process for a 5-point play. This is how it broke down,

I can see no reason why the Warriors would need to have 2 guys pinch Fabricio Oberto (pinch meaning 1 guy boxing out and 1 guy behind). I know Oberto is a good rebounder, but the numbers just don't add up. You always box out the shooter. And it doesn't even look like Ellis is pinching, he just goes straight under the rim. It's madness I tell you, if I saw that as a coach that would just drive me absolutely bonkers.

The Warriors did go on to win the game in OT, but the sequence was a huge momentum swing. If the Warriors had boxed out, they would've saved 3-points from the Spurs and could've gone on to put away the Spurs. Instead, it gave them life in the 4th quarter to catch up and tie the Warriors.

If you're looking for ideas to get your players to be better rebounders, I recommend taking a look at Tom Izzo's DVD on Rebounding and Man Defense. Coach Izzo is the long-time head coach of Michigan State. Join the great hoop discussions going on at the X's and O's of Basketball Forum.