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.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls played a close, but ugly, series that has finally ended. Let’s take a look at the final moments of Game Six and how a couple of strong individual efforts aided by defensive miscues.
With 30 seconds left, Chicago extended their lead by running a C.J. Watson-Omer Asik pick-and-roll. Asik set the screen well beyond the three-point line, and Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes attempted to trap Watson on the sideline. As Asik rolled to the hoop, both Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young were reluctant to leave their assignments, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson, respectively. It looks like Iguodala should have been the main helper on the play. Luol Deng was two passes away, and considering the trap, Watson would have had a very hard time making a good pass to Deng. Iguodala could have recovered to Deng if Watson managed to make the pass. Regardless, both Iguodala and Young are late, and Asik finishes his roll with a dunk.
Following Asik’s first missed free throw, Chicago had a choice to try for an offensive rebound on the second free throw or fall back and play defense. In Chicago’s strategy to try for the offensive rebound, they likely planned on at least creating enough chaos under the basket to waste a few seconds. Taj Gibson and Luol Deng battled for the rebound underneath and Chicago sent Ronnie Brewer in from the perimeter for good measure.
As Iguodala gets the rebound, Gibson and Deng were already pushed out of the play. However, the big problem was that Ronnie Brewer wandered too far into the lane in an attempt to crash the boards. He is somehow trailing Jrue Holiday when Iguodala starts his move up court.
As Iguodala heads up the floor, Holiday runs interference on Brewer, wiping him out of the play. That leaves Omer Asik to guard Andre Iguodala in the open court. Asik backpedals so far that he puts himself too close to the basket, and the only option is to foul Iguodala. The full play is below.
It may not have been intentional, but the Sixers ended up boxing-out perfectly considering the game situation. Because they didn’t have any timeouts, it was important to get the ball to a capable ball handler as soon as possible. When Spencer Hawes wiped out Taj Gibson on the box-out, it left Andre Iguodala alone to get a clean rebound and head up the floor. Iguodala is uniquely talented enough to be crash the defensive boards and go coast-to-coast against a strong interior defender.
All year long, and through this series, the Bulls punished teams on the offensive boards. Unfortunately, it ended up costing them the game when they overextended their defense in an attempt to crash the boards.