Photo/Video Breakdown of Help Defense
The Pacers have had some tough losses recently and a lot of that is due to our defensive breakdowns throughout a game. We talk a lot about help defense, and the two most crucial plays in our last second loss to the Suns show examples of good and bad help defense, which are illustrated below. There is a photo breakdown of each play, followed by a video of the full play.
Game tying shot in the 4th quarter
Here we see all 5 players watching the ball with Danny sagging into the lane to help should Nash get into the lane.
Nash gets past Price but Foster is able to help due to Gortat's position. Danny is sagging really far off of Hill but is saved by a tough passing angle.
Nash has picked up his dribble around 00:48.6. Danny needs to recover to Hill now. Nash can no longer penetrate and Foster is in good position to help.
Clock is at 00:47.6. Danny is still down low as Nash pivots.
Nash is passing to Hill at 00:47.3. Danny reacts and makes his way to Hill but it's too late.
Hill launches one of the best shots in basketball, the corner three, at 00:46.6, which is two seconds after Nash picked up his dribble. With good help defense, it's possible that the pass never reaches Hill, leaving Nash stranded in the lane in bad position and forcing other players to scramble. Instead, tie ballgame.
Here is the full play:
Game winning shot
Hill is getting ready to inbound a pass to Nash, who is coming off of a Frye screen. A couple of things to point out about this play..1) the recipient is coming directly towards the ball, which makes this inbounds pass relatively safe and easier than other plays, and 2) the Suns player spacing creates a wide open passing lane for the inbounder with little risk of the pass being intercepted. Compare this to a lot of Pacers inbounds plays in which the players are stacked together.
Nash comes through the screen but Price does a good job of fighting through, causing Nash to curl out to receive the pass.
Ball is inbounded to Nash, but the key play here is made by Jared Dudley. Dudley, who is at the top, is on his way to screen an unsuspecting Josh McRoberts.
Here Dudley is in good position and sets a good screen on McRoberts. Notice how Dudley gets low and wide. He is also perpendicular to the defender.
Brandon Rush makes a good play here to rotate on Frye before he receives the pass.
Rush contests Frye's shot, but Frye is too tall and makes a very tough jumper that ends the game.
We played good defense, but this was a beautiful play by Phoenix that they were able to execute. Here is the full play: