The Celtics vs Bulls series has definitely been the most entertaining to watch, yet as a coach its been interesting to dissect some of the good plays, and the bad ones as well. Of course, last night's game was controversial mainly due to how it ended, was the Rondo foul on Miller flagrant or not? As a coach though, the more relevant and important question was how did he get so open (a missed defensive assignment) in the first place?

In my opinion, the turning point of the game was in the fourth quarter when the Bulls had an 11 point lead heading into the stretch run with 6 minutes or so to go in the game. A turnover, a bad shot, a defensive lapse, and a Ray Allen 3-pointer gave the Celtics momentum and allowed them to claw back into the game. Here is that 1-minute sequence,



The turnover from Derrick Rose leading to a Rondo layup seems obvious, but I wanted to point out why as coaches we should think twice about starting drives from the top of the key, as opposed to the wing. If you turn the ball over on a drive from the top of the key, it allows the offense to get a jump on primary break with your only safety being the 5 man,

If it is an end of quarter or end of game play, and you want to go 1-4 low, that works because it is the last possession play. But I think during the game, it leaves you vulnerable for the easy run out.

On the Ray Allen 3-pointer, it was just a bad defensive sequence. Ray Allen is able to turn the corner on the attempted hedge on the ball screen, kicks it back out to Rondo, then nobody picks up Allen as he clears out to the corner,


Summary:

Basketball is a game of runs and as a coach, you have to recognize when one of those runs is happening either in your favor or against you. The Bulls probably go ahead and win the game if they hunkered down and concentrated a little harder in this key moment of the game. If they had held that 11 point lead for 1 or 2 more possessions, the game would've probably been out of reach for the Celtics.

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2 comments

  1. bruchu  

    April 30, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    It was a bad shot not so much in that he was open or not open, but in that it was not the right shot at that moment, it was taken way too quick. After a bad turnover, you want to get a solid possession to stop the Celtics momentum. It's like a feedback loop, a quick shot, just adds fuel to the Celtics momentum.

  2. FreeCashFlow  

    May 2, 2009 at 12:18 AM

    Thanks. I figured that it probably was related to the shot clock. I think that is one of the toughest things as a player, passing up a quick shot you feel you have a good chance of making.