Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Sport https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ How Jazz star Donovan Mitchell definitely shifts to chase the Clippers’ worst defenders in the 45-point blast

How Jazz star Donovan Mitchell definitely shifts to chase the Clippers’ worst defenders in the 45-point blast



If all superstars have one thing in common, it’s their sense of showmanship. Scoring on someone is not enough. The NBA’s best players like to play with their food before eating it, knocking the rock in the perimeter and dancing the isolation dance before finally ending the defender’s misery with a jumper.

It is the most frustrating universal feature among elite ball dealers. They have worked hard to find their ideal matchup, and yet they settle unnecessarily bad shots. Here’s LeBron James isolating Devin Booker in … a middle class jumper?

Stephen Curry did not go along with attacking Jabari Parker on this switch. Instead, he waited for Payton Pritchard to blow over the double before throwing a 3-pointer.

The list goes on and on. Here, James Harden settles against the Warriors in the 201

8 Western Conference final.

The Harden can make stepback jumpers against anyone. James can pull flutes against smaller defenders. These are superstars we’re talking about here. They can generate positive results out of almost any situation. But all they do is make their lives harder. It defeats the whole purpose of chasing a switch.

After all, the goal is to find a matchup that can be exploited. Become a big one in the perimeter, and any star-ball handler worth the salt should be able to blow off him. Find a little guard and you can bully him into the position. The faster you attack, the better. Every second spent dribbling in place is one that the defense can use to adjust to your advantage, to scram-switch or double or zone up or whatever makes sense in the specific situation. Speed ​​is the worst enemy of the defense when you switch.

This is largely due to the confusion a switch creates. Even when done properly, it requires communication. Defenders need to process the contact and can therefore only do so as quickly as they can think through the decision. The gap between the decision to switch, the communication of this decision and the execution of it are windows that offensive players can benefit from.

And Donovan Mitchell did just that in his 45-point outing against the Los Angeles Clippers as the Utah Jazz secured a 112-109 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday. Mitchell refused to offer an exhausted defense, even a moment’s rest in a dominant second half marked by, you guessed it, crucial shift hunt. Reggie Jackson was his first victim, and by the time he got around Royce O’Neale, Mitchell had already split him and Kawhi Leonard and drove to the basket for a layup.

For a stretch in the third quarter, Mitchell started going on Ivica Zubac. The Clippers rarely ask him to switch directly, but Mitchell is too good for a midfielder to let Zubac fall aggressively into the basket. They try to split the difference here by bringing Zubac out to the 3-point line, but having him back-pedal in the paint in hopes of removing the layup. Mitchell counts by fooling Zubac with the pump fake.

But Mitchell saved his best job for a poor Clipper. Almost every time down the floor in the fourth quarter, the Clippers possessions began with Leonard chasing Mitchell. These possessions always ended with Mitchell finding and destroying Luke Kennard. Just like he did against Jackson, he split the defenders on this game before the contact settled completely to get downhill for a layup.

He manages to lure Kennard into a false sense of security on this piece before exploding past for him another layup.

In an ideal world, Mitchell attacked every switch as he does the first: Before it is even completed. Basketball is rarely that simple, but even when Mitchell could not attack as instantly as he would like, he did so as decisively as possible. When he makes his move on this jumper, it’s fast and deadly: A crossover in a stepback in a fluid motion.

The Clippers tried several alternative ways to contain Mitchell. Leonard sees this screen coming and tries to deny it by turning his body between Mitchell and O’Neale and getting close to Mitchell. This is an overplay, and Mitchell knows it, so he spins around Leonard and manages to pull free throws.

Leonard and Kennard try to switch back to their optimal matchups after this screen, but Mitchell calmly lowers the jumper before they can do so. The whole sequence takes place so fast that we miss most of it with the camera zoomed in on Mitchell.

It was an accurate, deadly dissection. The Clippers put bad defenders on the floor for the offense, and Mitchell punished them mercilessly, leaving them no time to send help or put the defense behind the mismatch. That’s exactly how a star like Mitchell should attack shift defense, and that gave the Jazz a 1-0 lead over the Clippers.




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