Game 6: A Series of Unfortunate Events

In N.B.A. Basketball by Brock Bourgase

No to belabour the point, but I wanted to look at two plays: one from Game 5 that shows DeMar DeRozan receiving the ball as he curls towards the hoop and finishing in the paint and another from Game 6 when a Kyle Lowry fade away three point shot proves to be an outlet pass for Alan Anderson.Although Toronto has strong guard play, it is imperative that all other players on the court play a concrete role in constructing a successful possession. When other players are bystanders, it enables Brooklyn to close the paint and force tough shots.

Game 5: I’ve always been heartened when the Raptors try to run sets where DeRozan cuts to a high percentage scoring area, especially the paint. Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross ensure that DeRozan gets open and the All-Star does his part by cutting aggressively.

Game 6: On the other hand, I am definitely hesitant when a play begins to unfold like a dribble isolation for a long-distance jump shot. Deron Williams keeps Lowry in front of him and everyone else stays by the baseline in a 1-4 Low alignment. The 1-4 sets require assertive dribble penetration to force a reaction from the defense and this does not occur. Even worse, the Nets attack the other way with tremendous initiative and hit a buzzer-beating shot.

Throughout the series, I’ve thought that Toronto can make a big difference by focusing on executing little things at both ends of the court: communication, movement, anticipation, intensity, teamwork. Winning Game 7 necessitates achieving their goal for a full forty-eight minutes.