Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Clippers Demonstrate How To Beat The Front

How do you defend one of the best players in the game?  The answer is simple: don't even let him get the ball in the post.  Fronting is a common tactic used to not allow an entry pass and thus a post up.  It can cover up a lack of post defense and screw with teams' offenses.  In last year's Heat/Pacers series, the Heat successfully fronted, negating the Pacers huge size advantage.  When the offense spends the first 14 seconds of the shot trying to get a player a ball in the post and can't, they suddenly need to get into something else with the shot clock ticking down.
Last night against the Clippers, the Bulls fronted Blake Griffin with Joakim Noah.  It worked for most of the night as he didn't get many post touches.  Late in the fourth quarter though, needing a basket, the Clippers countered the front perfectly.
You can see on the far side Noah fronting Griffin.  To counter this, Lamar Odom flashes to the top of the key.  He gets a pass from Chris Paul and in one motion lobs it up to Griffin.  Luol Deng is a beat late helping and Carlos Boozer needs to have his hands up and should know this is coming.  Lob City.  Of course, this play still isn't easy.  You need the perfect pass and an explosive leaper to finish it.  Still, a lot of teams struggle with fronting defenses and fail to execute this kind of counter.  Kudos to VDN and the team for being in sync and knowing exactly what to do in this situation.

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