I took in the ESPN game of the week, Davidson against Duke tonight. Great atmosphere at Cameron Indoor. Still on my list of things to do in my bucket list, Cameron Indoor Duke versus UNC. But as for tonight's game, Duke did a solid job doubling and crowding Stephen Curry most of the night (and Curry still ended up with 29). The Wildcats had one last gasp in the last 5 minutes to close within 10 but couldn't get any closer.

I picked this play for a couple of reasons. First off, I think any baseline inbounds that includes a screen and basket cut is great because for whatever reason, defenses usually breakdown against that action on the inbounds. But also defensively, it begs the question on the positioning of the inbounds defender. Watch Davidson's box BLOB and then read further afterwards,

Box BLOB Screen and Cut:

First the play. Your basic box set. Curry inbounds (O2), O3 cuts to the opposite corner. O4 sets a screen across the lane for O1, O5 goes up to make it a stagger screen for O1. Notice how X1 and X4 get caught trailing O1,

O4 does a simple basket cut after the screen and as mentioned, X1 and X4 get caught trailing O1. X3 has 1 foot in the lane in ball-you-man but his help is late. Notice also that should X3 closeout in time, O4 can skip it to O3 who was wide open for a jumper,

Defending BLOBS, Wearing the Crown:

I've heard of this concept before and it came up the other day when I was talking with a coaching friend about how they defend inbounds. The idea is that in defending BLOBs, the inbound defender should "wear the crown." That is to say, they should be right underneath (or very close to) the basket so as to act almost like a goaltender. This would be counter to the traditional M2M defense which is to crowd the inbounder and make it difficult for them to throw the ball in,

I'm a traditionalist, so I've never tried "wearing the crown" but I think this idea has merit. It's safer in that you prevent the uncontested layup. But at the same time, leaving the inbounder open can also leave you vulnerable for the pass back to the inbounder to the corner. Pros and cons either way.


In the video clip you can hear Mark Jackson and Mike Tirico argue whether Stephen Curry is NBA ready. Tirico mentions Curry's turnovers, but I think that some people over-estimate numbers. Remember, everything about Davidson's offense runs through Curry, so naturally he will have higher turnover numbers. I agree with Mark, Curry is ready to be a starter in the NBA as a rookie next year. He reminds me of a skinnier version of Deron Williams.

If you're a Davidson fan, then you'll want to check out Bob McKillop's new DVD on Winning Special Situations including BLOB and SLOB. Coach McKillop is the longtime head coach of Davidson College. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.