“We wanted Kelly to slip a screen, and Isaiah to either turn the corner or make the right read, and [two defenders] went with Isaiah — they blitzed Isaiah — so Isaiah made the right read and threw it to Kelly,” Stevens said. “And then we wanted Al in the corner because sometimes that¡¯s a unique position for a big man defending to be in. And he¡¯s made shots, he spaced the floor. Him spacing the floor in the fourth quarter was huge for us.”
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Stevens had the presence of mind to sub in Olynyk, a shooting threat and solid ball-handler, in place of Marcus Smart, whom Philadelphia might have allowed to fire away. Olynk did a nice job drawing Embiid from the corner by putting the ball on the floor and forcing the rookie to shuffle over with help while Olynyk’s defender, Ersan Ilyasova, recovered from swarming Thomas. Horford patiently waited for the ball to come and made a clutch shot.
Coaches deploying more shooters over defensive specialists could be creating some powerful snowball effects. Fewer defense-first guys being on the floor means scoring is easier for everyone. When scoring is easy, teams might become complacent on defense, figuring they can just get it back on the other end. Fast breaking at every opportunity takes a physical toll; players have to sneak in rest, and they might exhale when the other team has the ball.
Youth Trevor Ariza Jersey Coaches are perfectionists. They want to field lineups that can play airtight defense. But the math is so stark, they feel almost compelled to stock the floor with shooting at the expense of size, rebounding and defense.
The braver they’ve gotten with all shooting, all the time, the more they’ve realized the tradeoffs appear to work in their favor. Three is so much more than two, and the threat of a 3-pointer makes the best 2s easier to find; the league is on pace for its highest 2-point shooting percentage ever, according to research from pocket square king Kevin Pelton.