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Red's Army

Does the pick-and-pop game return for KG and the Celtics tonight?

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) June 3, 2012 Kevin Garnett 1 Comment

Doc Rivers has been stressing the post game so much that I wouldn't be surprised if the team put a shock collar on him and set it to go off 5 feet from the rim.  And as you can see from one Jay's videos from the Greenlights earlier today, it really paid off.

But the playoffs are all about matchup and adjustments.  KG is taller than all of the Heat, and the C's have one of the best passers in the game, so fronting him didn't pan out so well.  And the Celtics use of pick-and-rolls to establish deep position is something the Heat will have to figure out.

So what do they do about it?

1)  They can stop fronting KG.  Unless they really want all those lobs to get him the ball 3 feet from the basket. 

2)  They can blitz the ball handler off the pick so he can't see KG when he rolls.  At the :20 mark, Paul Pierce has the ball, LeBron is lazy getting over the pick and KG just rolls to the hoop to get the ball deep in the lane.  Miami can double team that hard so Pierce can't get that pass in there.  Philadelphia doubled Pierce in those situations and got good results.

But at the :08 mark, you see how the C's can counter that as Pietrus gives the ball up to Rondo after getting the pick from KG and it's Rondo that makes the entry pass.  The C's have, and will continue to, position guys as outlets when doubles come on the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations.

Still, Miami's best bet is to figure out how to attack the pass rather than attack Garnett.  You can crash on KG when he catches the ball, but he's still the best passing big man around, so you're going to have to find another way.  If you double KG, then I'd tell Ray to just become Avery Bradley and dive to the hoop and get a ton of layups.  That's fine by me.

No, you have to, if you're Miami, attack the ball… especially once its out of Rondo's hands.  If the C's run the P&R with anyone else, I'd say they blast that ball handler and hope for a turnover or a pass along the perimeter.  Of course, the C's will welcome the ball movement.  They should take advantage of that. 

Couple of options.

1:  You send KG down to the post anyway, swing the ball a couple of more times and try to hit him on the block.

Kg pick 2

Rondo swings to Pierce and then it gets into KG. They might try to deny Rondo there and even though KG is open, hope that the double team is strong enough where the pass is soft and possibly stolen.  I'm not a fan of that option.  What I'd do if Miami doubles is..

Kg pick
2:  Go back to the pick and pop.

I know it's not the post game Doc's been begging for, but you take what you get and you hope that KG's shot is its usual deadly self.  In this situation, KG reads the double team.  Pietrus takes one more dribble at about a 45 degree angle towards center court, then would reverse and look for KG in the open spot on the wing.  From there it's his usual 18 footer or, at least in that photo, Ray in the corner. 

Of course, they may not double and this means nothing.  But Miami will do something to stop KG from catching the ball so close to the basket and that's going to leave something open.  And all my feeble blogger brain keeps going back to is to stop the pass from getting there because you can't make an adjustment in which Udonis Haslem grows 4 inches.  The way to stop KG from getting the ball so deep is not necessarily to prevent HIM from getting there, it's to prevent the ball from getting there.  That's going to to open up a nice little area around 15-20 feet from the hoop. 

The Celtics, luckily, are pretty proficient from that spot.  And if it's not KG, then it will have to be Brandon Bass who finds some overflow offense from there.  I think the Celtics return to some of the stuff we've been used to seeing tonight, knowing full well they can go back to the stuff that worked in Game 3 if Miami backs off it's new plan.  We'll still see ball-movement, the result will simply be open mid-range jumpers that the C's will have to knock down if they're going to tie this series.

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  • Kricky

    Great analysis. Love the Dog Collar idea. THE answer to my question from a few posts ago. You should patent it and make a fortune selling it to exasperated coaches around the league.