GAME REVIEW: Raptors at Warriors [Dec 29]
A long time ago a very good basketball coach taught yours truly something about the game which has never been forgotten.
What is the basketball shot that is arguably the most difficult to defend against once the shooter already has the ball in his/her possession?
The direct offensive rebound put-back.
When a basketball team does not have enough REBOUNDERS on the court, at a crucial moment in a game, it:
1. Substantially reduces its own opportunities to get and make the specific shot which is quite possibly the highest percentage FGA there is … other than an uncontested layup in transition;
2. Substantially increases the opponent’s opportunities to get and make the same type of high percentage shot.
What killed the Raptors in this game wasn’t just that they missed 4 wide open 3PT-shots coming down the stretch of a close game with a chance to take the lead versus Golden State … but exactly what TYPE of shots THOSE specific attempts were at THAT crucial juncture of the game with the line-up they had on the floor at that time:
1/Calderon + 2/Parker + 3/Kapono + 4/Graham + 5/Bosh
Much like the key basket which Andre Biedrins hit for the Warriors, at the 02:05 mark of the 4th quarter … which followed a missed driving layup by CJ Watson with a simple put-back; as Chris Bosh had left Biedrins, momentarily, to deter Watson’s initial shot attempt and, then, was unable to recover quickly enough to stop his original check from scoring … what the Raptors NEEDED most at that specific moment in the game was an OFFENSIVE REBOUND PUT-BACK, which they would have been more likely to get from a line-up with:
Calderon + Moon + Graham + Humphries + Bosh
at crunch time, rather than the TYPE of shots which they took during possessions #5, #6, #7 & #8, i.e. four consecutive missed 3PT-shots by Parker, Kapono, Calderon and Kapono:
#1. Bosh Made Jump Hook – 04:55 … Tor 99, GSW 104
#2. Graham Missed Turn-around Jump Shot [blocked by Biedrins] – 04:17
#3. Calderon Made 2 FTs – 03:53 … Tor 101, GSW 106
#4. Bosh Made J3 – 03:29 … Tor 104, GSW 106
#5. Parker Missed J3 – 03:09
#6. Kapono Missed J3 – 02:37 [O-Reb: Graham]
#7. Calderom Missed J3 – 02:24
#8. Kapono Missed J3 – 01:51 [O-Reb: Graham]
#9. Graham Missed J2 – 01:48 [O-Reb: Bosh]
#10. Kapono Missed J3 – 01:42
#11. Kapono Made Running J2 – 01:10 … Tor 106, GSW 108
During this specific sequence, the best shots the Raptors took were:
At the 04:55 mark, when they isolated Chris Bosh on the Right Block vs Captain Jack, cleared the right side of the floor, and allowed CB4 to get his jump-hook off in the lane [#1];
At the 01:48 mark, when Joey Graham was able to corral an offensive rebound of a missed 3PT-shot attempt but then wasn’t able to convert the direct put-back.
If the Raptors would have finished last night’s game with more REBOUNDERS on the floor …
e.g. Calderon + Moon + Graham + Hump + Bosh
they might have closed the deal on the Warriors, in a highly entertaining game … by generating a different type of shot attempt to begin with, and then even if they’d missed a couple, been in a better position [overall] to retrieve an offensive rebound in a spot on the floor from where a direct put-back opportunity would have been more likely to occur.
Coming down the stretch of a close game … high percentage shot attempts which are made are frequently generated by the REBOUNDERS and DEFENDERS a team chooses to have on the floor, or not, rather than the number of high percentage shooters in its 5-Man Unit.