Ok, maybe “argue” is a strong word. Perhaps it was a disagreement … a contention … a discussion … a conversation. Whatever it was, Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison certainly weren’t on the same page regarding defense for a moment toward the end of the second quarter against the Cavs on Wednesday.
I couldn’t quite hear all of the audio that goes with the scene above, I just know it began with a quizzical point by Jamison followed by Haywood putting his hands in the air in a defense manner and saying “I don’t know,” several times before getting his ‘I DO know’ point across. The players then moved on with the basketball game.
Now, I don’t profess to know much about the scheming and assignments in Flip Saunders’ defense. So, let’s take a screen-shot look at the play in question.
The Wizards seem to be in a match-up containment zone looking thing. Boykins is playing in the passing lane, facing West, but not up on him. Haywood steps out, seemingly to contain West.
West picks up his dribble and Shaq starts to cut through this spacious defense.
I see two things here: Because West no longer has a dribble and is not in position to shoot, Haywood should stop the contain help and step back into the lane, or to the cutting Shaq … but Brendan seems a second late to pick this up.
Meanwhile, Jamison has turned his head away from the ball. It’s okay to check on your man, but you always gotta see the ball. Perhaps Jamison could feel for his man with his off arm while using his periphreal vision to check on the ball, or Shaq in the least … I don’t know.
Here, the ball is going into the cutting Shaq. Caron gives soft help, but is at Shaq’s back where he can’t do much. Haywood is still a step out of position and Jamison is the most egregious offender of a defender. He’s buried under the net in the restricted area and in very poor position to help.
And the Daddy spiders his long legs to the basket right through the porous area left by Antawn and Brendan. Haywood was able to reach a hand in and knock the ball out of bounds.
Still, the method of anchoring the Wizards’ paint defense is controverted … and that’s not good.