Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Raptors Revisited: The Bargnani Effect

On Monday, January 26, 2011, the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-96.

Like noted in yesterday's post, the duo of Jose and Amir were able to pick apart Cleveland's interior defense with a healthy dose of pick and rolls. However, a big reason why it worked so well (besides the fact that the Cavs paint D isn't the most intimidating) is because of the dynamic Bargnani brings to the table.

Let's take a look at two plays that begin with a Calderon-Johnson pick and roll and end with an easy bucket partly because of where Bargnani positions himself on the court.

Jose and Amir initiate the pick n roll, while the Raptors keep both corner 3s occupied, establishing proper spacing. The key thing to watch is Jamison on Bargnani.

Irving goes over the screen due to Jose's hot hand, causing Varejao to leave Amir and switch to Jose. At this point (and due to Cleveland's lack of a shot blocking big), Jamison as the 4 man is caught between switching to Amir or staying on Bagrs

Jamison decides to stay near the perimeter with Bargnani, allowing Amir an easy uncontested basket.

Here's the second play, same concept, same result.

A switch is caused for Varejao on Jose, and Amir again rolls to the basket. Again, Jamison as the Cavs' 4, is assigned with shading Bargs near the top of the 3 point line.

As mentioned by Leo Rautins last night, Irving incorrectly commits himself to Calderon even though Varejao did a good job of leading Jose to the sideline on the hedge. This makes Jamison's job even more difficult when deciding between a wide open Amir or a wide open Bargnani.

Jamison decides to stick with Andrea at the perimeter, allowing Amir to get yet another easy bucket over the shorter Anthony Parker..

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