(This image of JR Smith is entirely unrelated, but I included it for obvious reasons. via NBA Offseason)
Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook broke down Denver’s commitment to finding Carmel in spot-up situations last night. It’s just a fantastic breakdown of all 8 spot-up jumpers he canned last night so you should go read the whole thing.
Here’s a taste.
The way that Carmelo Anthony was used against the Pacers was completely different than the way he has been used over the course of this season. 29.7% of Anthony’s possessions against the Pacers were possessions labeled by Synergy as “Spot-Ups,” while just 18.5% of Anthony’s possessions used were ISO sets.
Instead of just giving the ball to Anthony and watching him pivot and work out of the ISO against the Pacers, the Nuggets used Carmelo Anthony off of the basketball, ran action involving other players, and forced the defense to make a decision. Specifically, the Nuggets ran pick and rolls with Carmelo Anthony on the opposite side of the court. 5 of the 8 Spot-Ups that were ran for Anthony came this way. This forced the defense to decide whether or not to sink in on the help man or stick with Carmelo Anthony.
He includes screen shots breaking down the plays and videos that show Danny Granger, Brandon Rush and Paul George all getting exposed by Denver’s pick-and-rolls.
Here’s one in which Rush is caught sleeping helpside and, shockingly, can’t recover 30 feet to close out on Melo to bother his three-point shot.