Wait, the “NBA on TNT” show sparked a real basketball-related conversation? Oh cool!
Tuesday night’s panel consisting of Adam Lefkoe, Shaquille O’Neal, Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade discussed the challenges of defending in the modern NBA, especially when teams have to consider skilled big men who can sink 3 points. to a high clip. It all started with O’Neal praising Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, who posted 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a 128-97 win over the Bucks.
“MVP contender, dominant, playing like a real big man,” said O’Neal. “He has the ability to come out, and he does, but that’s not all he does. You saw a fadeaway, went inside with the spinning motions, keeping his guys involved. I have nothing bad to say about the big guy, at all. “
Parker and Wade went on to detail how difficult it is to cover Jokic and Jamal Murray in a pick-and-roll scenario with Wade arguing that defenders cannot be “lazy” on switches and must attack the ball handler. aggressively to the point of the screen. This has led O’Neal to wonder why NBA teams change so often.
Leave it to Parker to break it down.
Parker: The NBA is changing now.
Parker: Because not everyone can shoot three.
O’Neal: What happened to the man?
Parker: Because you’re going to try to get your man back, and they’re going to hit a three, just like Jokic did.
O’Neal: What happened to the pre-rotation?
Parker: Then they move the ball, and someone gets a 3 point.
Wade: If you have four to five 3-point shooters on the court, you’re not going to shoot in enough time.
It’s fair to say that NBA teams can sometimes be too reliant on change instead of keeping in touch with major assignments. Look no further than Mason Plumlee’s gaffe at the 2020 Western Conference Finals.
That said, O’Neal doesn’t seem interested in understanding how the game has evolved since his playing days, even with Parker and Wade exposing the “staffing” issues. A guy like Jokic has the size to score in the paint, but he’s also shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc this season. This puts the frontcourt players in a brutal situation and change is often the best option. It’s not as straightforward as O’Neal would like it to be, especially when the bullet manager is also a sniper.
As BasketballNews.com’s Nekias Duncan notedThe spacing of offenses in 2006 when O’Neal and Wade won the NBA championship compared to the 2020-21 season is staggering. Find out where the players are on this pick-and-roll from almost 15 years ago.
Now fast forward to the hoops of the current day This is a lot of land to cover.
O’Neal continued to push for his strategy, but Parker had the facts on his side. Parker calmly informed him that the pre-rotation would lead to opening 3-point turns for teams with multiple shooters, adding that the Nuggets went 11 of 30 deep against the Bucks (36.7%), which was below of their usual standards (38.6% for the season).
Yeah, let’s hit the hammer. Case closed.