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Dribble Penetration And Zone Defense

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#1 bigvee



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Posted December 14, 2012 - 02:08 AM

This is kind of a suggestion thread for what I think D'Antoni should try to start planning for. Based on my basketball knowledge, I just think I'd spit out what I think would help this team right now.

First of all, dribble penetration. Our set offensive plans seems to be a high pick, swinging the ball over to the wing, looking for Dwight in the post (rarely ever getting to him), and usually taking a long range jumper. Our other sets involve Kobe ISO, a modified triangle with only one cutter for Dwight on the block, and a high-low game was available when Pau was in with Dwight.

It seems like our guards are pretty much never looking for any dribble penetration. When Kobe wants, he usually is able to pass his defender and earn a trip to the foul line by driving straight to the basket. Other than him though, Duhon and Morris usually never cut to anywhere near the key. All of their cuts involve a slash to the post and dashing to the corner 3 point line. With this, our spacing is sincerely horrible.

A few times I've noticed, Meeks has attempted to drive to the hoop with a full head of steam, but he's just not experienced enough with dribble penetration to know what to do with it when getting passed his defender.

This is a league that runs solely on pick and roll offense. I've seen that played a few times, but pick and roll is only effective when you are using the triple threat - the threat to your defender that you could either 1) shoot the ball 2) drive the ball inside 3) pass the ball out to the open man on the switch. When your only threat is to either pass the ball or shoot a contested jumper, your defender will always cheat on the screen, making the roll portion of the play pretty much pointless.

Now, this will be solved partly by Nash when he returns. He will definitely have the dribble penetration to get the ball down low to either Pau or Dwight for easy lay ups and dunks. When Kobe does this and hands the ball off its almost always effective.

Most people at this point are blasting at the D'Antoni offense for not fitting the Lakers profile. The truth is, we are running an offense full of Iso's and back to the basket post ups, and that's not what D'Antoni's style is all about. Sure, he likes his team to take a lot of 3's, and we are. But, these 3's are usually taken from an inside-outside style of play.

Along with Nash returning, I really believe that this team needs a quick point guard who can penetrate the ball. Look at how many times Kidd or Felton got Tyson Chandler or the cutter for the wide open lay up just by driving the ball inside. Look at that OKC game, Westbrook started out hitting jumpers, so when he penetrated the ball, this presented his triple threat, and they blew us out of the water.

Moving on to the other side of the game. The more important side. Defense.

When the Spurs are playing a faster team, they immediately switch to a zone defense for some possessions. That championship Celtic team destroyed teams defensively by zoning up also. ESPECIALLY in the playoffs, I believe we will need a very effective zone defense to keep up with these quicker teams. Nowadays, almost every competing team is blazing fast.

The Celtics had KG and Perk for their front court post. Now, I don't expect Pau to become an amazing defender through the zone defense, but when the paint is clogged up in the zone, it's much more forgiving.

Our biggest problem, and this even is going back to the Fisher days, is not being able to guard any point guard in the league. Whether it be Tony Parker, Darren Collison, or Westbrook, point guards tend to have career nights against us. The zone would force these penetrations to pass the ball out and hit outside jumpers. Right now, I can live with teams raining 3's on us, with the chance of getting hot, versus having them penetrate and score whenever they want. That's what this season has come to - teams are feeling like they can score on us whenever they want, and honestly, they can.

Our man offense has us switch almost everything. With an older team. These old legs of Jamison, Metta, Kobe, etc. aren't going to be able to provide the necessary help defense. On the other hand, chasing their defender around isn't going to show much positivity either, as the Ray Allen's and the JR Smiths of the league are going to get their shots way easier like this.

TL;DR - I'm suggesting much more dribble penetration, possible a backup guard to Nash to be able to penetrate also by running the PnR correctly, and a zone defense - at least for playoff times with certain defensive lineups. Thoughts?

#2 bfc1125roy



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Posted December 14, 2012 - 11:35 AM

I'm wondering if the Lakers could implement the same zone the Mavs used against the Heat in the finals. They had a lot of old players too (granted some were more defensively minded than the ones LA has, but still) and managed to stop one of the most athletic players in the league, LeBron. Our anchor, Howard, is superior defensively to Chandler, and we also have Kobe and MWP to funnel players into him and force contested jumpers instead. Maybe it would work...

#3 SuPeRmAoR


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Posted December 14, 2012 - 12:57 PM

Zone wont work on the high pick and roll which is why they never use it in the NBA. The mavs used it on the heat because they dont run the pick and roll, they rarely run a slip screen but when they do that bosh doesnt cut straight to the basket, he makes a v cut and pulls up from 12-15 feet. So the zone stopped that.

As far as our offense goes, ive noticed weve been playing 4 out 1 in, thats the worst offense. I hate that because if you dont have consistent shooters(which we dont) then whos gonna get the rebound? Espicially since we have Gasol rotting at the top of the key, You need to play Hi-Low with these two, give it to gasol high post, spread the shooters and if they collapse on Gasol dwight has an open dunk. If they stay honest on dwight and collapse on Gasol guess whos waiting on the wing, Kobe.




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#4 MiguelSanchez



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Posted December 15, 2012 - 12:29 AM

Duhon and Morris simply aren't good. Even if they penetrate they can't finish. Multiple times I've seen Duhon dribble around like Nash but end up missing a short turnaround when he gets open or simply not find a play.

Defense is more about effort and adjustments. Even if Phil never ran defensive drills he knew how to adjust during the game. D'Antoni just says "play better defense" and the Lakers haven't played together enough to play defense cohesively.

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