[Versus the Wizards, Deron Williams takes the double screen and dribbles in an 'S'
around the hedging defense as the four rolls and options open at the hoop.]
The ball screen defense of the Wizards against the New Jersey Nets was sub par, to say the least. Also, Deron Williams is good. Nothing new.
“He just comes off pick and rolls good, and if the big is not there to show or help, he can pick you apart any type of way,” said John Wall when asked what made Williams so hard to defend. “He started making tough, contested shots, and when an All-Star player like that starts making tough, contested shots, there’s nothing you can do.”
Critique of the NBA often surrounds the narrative of one player dribbling around then shooting. But when you have a 20-year old athlete whose combination of speed and size is already superior to most at his position, you take advantage of his one-on-one skills. And when that player loves to pass and relishes in the assist while always being a threat to score, it’s called basketball. Flip Saunders is a basketball coach and he often knows exactly what to do with John Wall.
Spread sets usually seem reserved for late-clock situations, and mostly true for the instances in the video below. Still, with Wall they can be implemented at just about any point of the game, depending on his surrounding personnel and the defensive match-ups the Wizards might want to exploit, of course. This clip of four plays all occurred in two games against the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz on the Wizards’ late March west coast road trip, and all came with around 70 seconds or less left in a period. Let’s watch…
Earl Watson, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis… Sure, intimidating defenders they are not. But also, this is the NBA. Not many rookies can make these moves look so easy — an attack of the rim through trees, finding Yi Jianlian for a bounce pass in the paint, throwing the perfect lob to JaVale McGee, getting to the rim through a big man, making the basket, drawing a foul, and finishing with a muscle flex.