Chicago and Philadelphia: Game 2 Video Playbook
Over the next few weeks, Jordan Kahn will be providing video breakdowns of key sets and plays from many of the playoff games. Check out previous entires here. Find more from Jordan at Basketball Things and follow him on Twitter @AyoitsJordan.
With the game slipping away from the Bulls in the second half, they needed some points to stay within reach of the 76ers. Unfortunately for Chicago, Philadelphia really clamped down on defense after halftime. Let’s take a look at this tough stretch for Chicago and how Philadelphia handled them.
On this first play, you can see the chess match between offense and defense. John Lucas starts the possession with a pick-and-roll with Taj Gibson. Thaddeus Young shows great quickness by hedging and not letting Lucas get past him. Lucas has to reset the offense and calls for another pick-and-roll. Omer Asik comes to set a screen, but he is now guarded by Young. Lucas does not want to see Young as the help defender again and sends Asik away, calling for Gibson to set the screen. Young then calls for a switch with Lavoy Allen so he can be the help defender on that pick-and-roll. After all of these mind games, the shot clock has run down, and Lucas is forced to go into isolation just to get a shot. Chicago leaves the possession empty-handed. The full play is below. Chicago was thwarted by great effort and communication by Young on the possession.
A few possessions later, the Sixers had the ball and ran something the Bulls had seen before. Andre Iguodala initiates the offense, and Lou Williams looks like he’s setting up for a slip screen pick-and-pop. After Williams slips the screen, Lavoy Allen sets a screen as Williams curls to the basket. Taj Gibson is concerned with Iguodala off the dribble and Luol Deng stays attached to Thaddeus Young underneath the basket. Neither of them are able to help as Iguodala shows off his passing ability with an alley oop to Williams.
This isn’t the first time the Sixers have run this play this year. In fact, this isn’t the first time they ran it against Chicago. Back on March 17th, the Sixers ran the same play and nearly got the same result. Iguodala’s pass wasn’t on the money, and Williams couldn’t finish the one-handed flush. That play is below.
On the final possession of the third quarter, the Bulls run another pick-and-roll and the Sixers end up switching. Thad Young guards Lucas, while Lou Williams tries to defend Taj Gibson in the post. Here’s where the Bulls really miss Derrick Rose. The 6’8” Young is pretty agile for a forward, but he can’t stay in front of Rose in isolation. He can, however, stay in front of the athletically-limited Lucas. Gibson has a big size advantage over Williams, but post scoring isn’t really his game. Lucas swings the ball to Luol Deng, who is forced to find a shot against future All-Defense First-Teamer Andre Iguodala. The Bulls go scoreless for another possession.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulls initially run Kyle Korver off of a down screen, but Lou Williams double teams Korver, leaving Lucas alone at the top. Korver makes the pass to Lucas, but Lucas doesn’t pull the trigger on the shot before Williams recovers. He pulls it back out for another series of pick-and-rolls, but he doesn’t attack the defense. Chicago has to settle for another contested shot and another empty possession.
During this crucial stretch, the Sixers were able to put the game out of reach with strong defense and some creative playcalling. When Chicago’s first options were stopped, John Lucas was unable to create something out of nothing.