Something that’s been bugging me from Wednesday’s blowout win over the Mavs was a minor hiccup in the Clippers’ transition defense. But not in the immediate defense, which was actually quite good, but in covering the secondary break. A simple error in communication (or lack thereof) results in a wasted initial effort.
In the 3rd quarter, the Clippers miss a shot and Dallas collects the defensive rebound and push the ball up. Initially, the Mavs get a 3-on-2 break.
Chris Paul runs to cover Brand, who is going straight to the rim. DeAndre Jordan, seeing Marion drop the ball off to Mayo, comes up to cover the ball handler.
At the same time Butler catches up, creating a reasonable contain and stop the initial break.
Here’s where the secondary break begins and all the Clippers’ hard work in stopping the initial break goes for naught.
Willie Green is the fourth Clipper back and drops to free throw level. Blake Griffin is the last defender back with Fisher and Kaman trailing.
Blake is marginally closer to Fisher. Not wanting to create positional mismatches, he floats over to Kaman. But Green thinks Griffin is going up to defend Fisher, the closest pass available. Neither pick up Fisher.
This miscommunication lets a trailing Fisher spot up for a wide open 3 on the secondary break.
What’s the big deal? The Clippers crushed the Mavs. But the minor breakdown wasted the efforts of DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul. Easily correctable errors need to be addressed to reduce the possibility that it recurs in a meaningful moment.
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