Given how the Raptors deployed their chess pieces …
What set Inbounds Play was Toronto trying to run yesterday during its final possession of the game vs Portland?
Here’s the best read this corner has to offer:
Initial Player Alignment
PG/#1 – Jose Calderon [vs Blake] – Left Baseline Corner
OG/#2 – Anthony Parker [vs Roy] - Left FTL Extended
SF/#3 – Jason Kapono [vs Outlaw] – Inbound Passer, Right Sideline
PF/#4 – Chris Bosh [vs Aldridge] – Left Elbow
C/#5 – Jermaine O’Neal [vs Oden] – Right Elbow
First Offensive Action
* Parker was to cut above Bosh and O’Neal [who were to set stationary Staggered Screens at the Elbows], in order to free himself in the Right Wing/Corner [outside the 3PT-line], to receive the 1st Pass from Kapono.
If Aldridge tried to Switch this screen, Bosh was to Dive toward the Right Low Post position for a direct entry pass from Kapono.
Second Offensive Action
* Kapono was to step in-bounds; then cut hard to his left, above O’Neal and Bosh [who were to set Staggered Back-screens], in order to free himself in the Top Of The Key area [outside of the 3PT-line, to receive a Flare Pass [the 2nd Pass in the sequence] from Parker.
* O’Neal was to set his Back-screen then Dive hard toward the basket.
If the defense tried to Switch this screen, O’Neal should have been open Slipping toward the basket.
* Bosh was to set his Back-screen, then step out beyond the 3PT-line as a potential pass recipient, if Parker was not able to pass the ball to either Kapono [for the 3PT-shot] or O’Neal [for the Layup inside].
If the defense tried to Switch this screen, Bosh was to Slip towards the basket, as well, in the wake of O’Neal’s into the lane.
* If Bosh received the pass from Parker, on the perimeter, he was to attack the basket towards the middle of the floor with his strong hand drive.
[Option I] If there was no Help coming off [A] Kapono [spotting up at the Left FTL Extended] or [B] Calderon [spotting up in the Left Corner], he was to [i] get to the hoop vs his defender, or [ii] get fouled on his drive.
[Option II] If there was Help coming off either Kapono or Calderon, Bosh was to ”Drive & Kick” to either of his two open teammates for the uncontested 3PT-shot.
* If all three passes of these passes were Hard Denied, Parker was to drive against his solo defender, in a 1-V-1 isolation play from the Right Wing/Corner.
What did the Blazers do to disrupt the play?
First Defensive Action
* Travis Outlaw Sagged Off Kapono toward the Right Corner, denying an easy pass to that area on the floor.
Second Defensive Action
* Aldridge stayed with Bosh; held him, and prevented him from diving into the Right Low Post.
Third Defensive Action
* As Parker cut above the first set of Staggered Screens, Oden Sagged Off from O’Neal to deter the easy pass from Kapono.
Given the Blazers’ First, Second & Third Defensive Actions vs this set play, Jason Kapono … remembering the difficulty the Raptors had inbounding the ball successfully against New Jersey, in a similar scenario two weeks ago … made the first available “safe” pass he could see, which was a direct entry to Jermaine O’Neal [stepping towards the ball].
For his part, O’Neal immediately recognized that the original play had been broken; quickly found and then got the ball to Bosh [the Raptors "best player"], at the Top Of The Key, and took his own defender away from the ball [by diving into the Right Low Post position].
For his part, when Bosh got the ball from O’Neal, he quickly recognized the situation and drove the ball towards the Left side of the floor, vs Aldridge [in a favourable match-up for the Raptors], using his strong hand.
For his part, Aldridge made a good defensive play, initially, by tipping the ball away from Bosh, when he changed hands with his dribble [beyond the 3PT-line], going from Left-to-Right; and, then defending CB4 by moving his feet, not reaching in, and not fouling Bosh, on his drive toward the basket.
For his part, Blake did a solid job, Hedging in from the Left Corner vs Bosh’s drive to the basket, while remaining in a good position to still Close-out hard vs Calderon, if Bosh had tried to pass the ball to the Raptors’ PG.