Thursday, November 11, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers have an opportunity to use Tall Ball to develop late game three point perimeter of confusion Defense.

The Cavaliers now have three tall defenders who can handle center. Jarret Allen, Power forward and the wing position (Mobley and Markkanen) at the same time (Kevin Love is more of an offensive scoring and rebound threat). They can then slide Osman and Okoro into the guard slots 6' 7" and 6" 5" and use Tall ball to thwart an oppositions attempt to shoot a late game three.

When the opposing team is losing by 3 or 4 points with under 30 seconds left in the game, the LAST thing the Cavaliers want to do is give up a three point play as they twice did against the Washington Wizards with under 30 seconds left and the Cavs clinging to what was a 4 point lead. If the Wizards are inbounding the ball at mid court, the Cavs could use tall ball by placing three or four of their tall players OUTSIDE of the three point line, not inside. This forces the other team to play really deep and go for a three that is 10 feet beyond the 3 point line, or, go for the two point play while Jarret Allen is there for a possible block at the rim.

Against Washington on November 10, 2021, the Cavs allowed two 3 point shots that were canned within five seconds of the throw in from mid court. In both situations, a 2 point shot would have given the Cavs a much better strategic situation. Presently Love and Markkanen are out because of COVID protocols, so Tall Ball could have still worked, but with a less experienced player such as Wade

What is nice about the Tall Ball circle of confusion perimeter defense is if the ball is thrown past the three point line to a cutting player, the move can be countered by someone on the three point line opposite from where the ball is being thrown cutting towards the rim who avoids contact, and the best the opposition can do is get a two point play. 

Of course, once this 3 point defense is used and then studied by the opposition, the counter move might be to dish to a cutting player and as the three point defense collapses, dishing out to another player on the three point line as the defense is collapsing inwards. Nonetheless, this requires an extra pass and perfect timing which is preferable to for some strange reason thinking the best way to guard against the three is to stay behind the three point line.

Washington ended up scoring 8 points from the moment they inbounded the ball with 31 seconds left in the game and down by four. Washington managed to win by 3 points but it was getting 2 three point shots so quickly that was the difference maker. Both three point shots could have been prevented with the Tall Ball circle of confusion perimeter defense.

Los Angeles Emmy winning Producer Alessandro Machi combines his editing, camera and observational skills to provide unique insights into the World of Sports.

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