Game 7 always comes with all the hype of the winner takes all, close or hit the bricks cliches. In the end, the Celtics were really the far superior team over the Hawks, especially defensively and that much was painfully obvious today in their big win.

Though, the Hawks didn't do the Celtics any favors by taking a bunch of quick jumpers with plenty of ticks left on the shot clock. Here, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy breaks down a couple of defensive sequences from the blowout, I especially like the idea of trapping the inbounds with the shot clock winding down,

Trapping the Inbounds Pass:

I don't have exact numbers, but I read somewhere that something like 80% of BLOB passes go to the corner (though I bet it's much lower than that in HS as most teams try to go for the quick hitter underneath the basket).

In this particular situation, it's important to know time and situation. With the shot clock down to 2 seconds, it makes perfect sense to try and trap the first pass knowing that the player has to chuck it up,


I know a commenter earlier posted about why it was so different playing at home and on the road. I think the difference is exasperated during the playoffs because during the regular season, teams play in front of half-filled stadiums with another significant percentage receiving tickets complimentary from a friend that has season tickets. So when the playoffs come, the arena is full of hardcore loud fans and the players actually feel the pressure of "the must win".

Now that the Celtics have advanced, their task does not get any easier whatsoever. As we can see from the clip, the Celtics play good help defense and they can stop penetration, but against Lebron James, they'll need better 1v1 defense as the Cavs can really keep you honest with those shooters whom I don't think you can really leave open to help on LBJ. The other option is to tilt the floor on defense with 2 defenders covering Lebron and the other 3 in a triangle zone. In any case, it's going to be a fascinating series to watch.

For a new video that just came out last month, check out Bob Huggins' DVD on M2M drills. Coach Huggins' Bearcats teams were always known for their incredible defensive intensity. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.