It’s easy to blame Rajon Rondo for getting torched on the last play of last night’s game… but he had a lot of help. Jose Calderon didn’t go from beyond the arc on the left win to a layup-and-foul on the right side without a lot of people doing the wrong thing.
Let’s start with the set up… where we can see why Rajon got burned. He’s got Calderon but he’s not squared up at all. I have real doubts that he would force Calderon right from this spot on the floor.
Our second culprit here is Kevin Garnett. Chris Bosh had tried to set a pick. When your player steps up to set a pick.. you want to chip the other player as he goes by. I know KG was probably trying to get out of the way to let Rondo go over the pick… but all he did was give Calderon a clear lane to the hoop. Also in this frame… you can see Paul Pierce is late getting over. He should be in the middle of the lane.
Had Pierce gotten over into the middle of the lane… he could have actually been playing 3 guys at the same time: Calderon on the drive… Bosh on the roll… and his own man. But, by being a step late and a step too low… Calderon actually still has two options on the bosh roll and under the hoop. One simple late rotation caused Pierce to be out of position on three guys… when he could have guarded them all. One last note: Ray Allen should probably be a step closer too… just in case Calderon dumps it down. Ray would have a time to get out to the corner to make a 3 difficult. And I know how scorching hot they were from 3… but I’d still rather that be their only option… as opposed to something close to the hoop.
Help is the essence of team defense. So yes, Rajon Rondo got burned… horribly… but he was only the first domino to fall in this defensive collapse. This also goes to show that one guy can screw up, but he can be picked up by his teammates.
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