Limiting Gators' flat ballscreen will slow their offense
Posted: Wednesday March 21, 2007 1:32PM; Updated: Wednesday March 21, 2007 3:06PM
SI.com checked in with an assistant coach from a former Florida opponent to get an anonymous scouting report on the Midwest Region's top seed.
"With a loaded team like Florida, what you have to do is look at each individual player and try to take away what he does most effectively. [Al] Horford is the main guy in the low post, so you have to take care of him first because he's a better scorer than [Joakim] Noah is down there. I would double-team Horford and force someone else to hurt you.
"Noah is not going to do as much damage in the post because he doesn't have the moves and balance that Horford does. Instead, you have to worry about getting back and not letting Noah get easy baskets in transition. Obviously you also have to deal with Chris Richard, who's as good as most starting big men in the country; he's effective enough in the low post that you should consider double-teaming him as well.
"The other thing that's just, if not more, important, is handling the Gators' flat ballscreen at the top of the key for Taurean Green. A lot of Florida's offense revolves around that ballscreen, which a lot of times the defender doesn't hear because he certainly can't see it coming, and therefore doesn't have a chance to adjust. Noah is the guy setting it most of the time, and it forces his defender to help out on Green. If he doesn't hedge effectively, Green goes by him to the rim. If he does defend it effectively, they throw it back to Noah, and while he can shoot, he's not a consistently good shooter from anywhere outside the lane. One method we used to handle the ballscreen effectively was to have Noah's man step out, forcing Green to one side of the floor, and then try to trap Green and get the ball out of his hands.
"What's happening elsewhere, when they set that screen, is they have [Lee] Humphrey in one corner and Corey Brewer in the other, and Horford hanging around under the basket. As soon as the ball is thrown back to Noah, if you take it out of Green's hands, Horford ducks in and posts you really hard. And if you want to help out on him, you have to do it with perimeter guys. That's what opens up Humphrey and Brewer for all those shots. It's a very effective play and if you can't handle it, a LETHAL play. They'll keep going to it all night long.
"In the normal flow of their offense, they're trying to get you to help off of Humphrey to give him open shots. That's one thing you shouldn't do, because you're giving him easy baskets. He's a quality shooter, like a Steve Kerr, who can't get it on his own so much, but plays off of his teammates really well. You have to stay with him; it's no different than what Kerr or John Paxson did with Michael Jordan on the old Bulls teams.
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