There was a fun little battle of wits at the end of the Warriors-Raptors game. The Raptors pulled out a scheme that attacked Stephen Curry with the high pick and roll. Curry’s assignment screens for DeMar DeRozan and tries to force Curry to guard DeRozan in isolation.
Usually the Warriors just let Curry defend. But I’ve seen the Warriors pull out a special defense for exactly two attackers: LeBron James and DeRozan. I’ve called this the High Tag in past analysis. I wrote about it in great detail at The New Way Stephen Curry Defends LeBron James:
This [2016-17] season, the Warriors rolled out a new default coverage the Cavaliers have yet to respond to; and their next adjustment will be a key thing to watch for as the Finals begin.
The scheme is that as soon as Curry’s man sets up to screen LeBron, Curry immediately rushes up to tag LeBron as far from the basket as possible. The other defender cuts off direct passes to the screener and contains LeBron’s straight line drive. Usually, the screener will short roll. At this point, Curry uses his speed to bolt back to his original man and the original defender comes back on James.
Here’s a video tracking Toronto’s counter to high tag, and includes an intriguing example of how Draymond Green blows up a Toronto play before it even starts.
Which East team will be in the Finals?
This poll is closed
Cavs again, yawn
another hipper pick
Thanks to @CoopNBA, whose tweets alerted me to this play!