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Lessons from Miami: How the bigs can help when Rose is trapped

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This was not a fun photo to search for. Anybody else surprised what they <em>don't</em> remember from the series? I think my brain blocked some of it out.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
This was not a fun photo to search for. Anybody else surprised what they don't remember from the series? I think my brain blocked some of it out. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A focus of the offseason hasn't just been a shooting guard, but specifically one that can be a second playmaker to Derrick Rose. After all, we have still-fresh nightmares of the Rose-on-five offense, and how the superlatively athletic Miami Heat were able to control the MVP and force awful possessions from him or his teammates.

The overall excellent Rob Mahoney at the New York Times NBA blog went through the data and found it startling just how much difficulty Rose faced in these situations:

According to Synergy Sports Technology, Rose is an excellent scorer in typical pick-and-roll situations; he generated 0.88 points per possession as a scorer in such spots last season...

Given the dynamic of the pick-and-roll trap, it’s natural that Rose would experience some drop in scoring proficiency when being blitzed by two defenders...but the extent of Rose’s scoring fall-off when facing a trap is rather startling. When Rose is up against the two-man front, his scoring efficiency plummets to 0.72 points per possession – placing him in the 17th percentile among players last season. Rose is not only much worse when facing a trap relative to his typical production, but much worse at approaching the task than the majority of the pick-and-roll practitioners in the N.B.A.

Improvement needed from Derrick as a pick-and-roll PG in general, but facing traps especially will be an ongoing challenge for him. And he likely will get better, and having another playmaker (whoever it is, it ain't Bogans) as an outlet is still a goal of this offseason.

But there's something Mahoney notices in watching the film that the unchanged roster can improve on:

When facing an inevitable trap, Chicago’s screeners often tried to preemptively slip screens or roll into open space. The idea makes sense, in theory, but turning Rose into a thread-the-needle point guard looking to make passes over or between two defenders still plays right into the opponents’ hands.

This season, Rose and Chicago’s bigs will need to be more deliberate in their execution of the pick-and-roll against the trap. One of the primary goals of the sequence, after all, is to get Rose into open space.

There is MUCH more at the link, including links to the video evidence.

And chalk this up as another thing Carlos Boozer can silence those pesky haters with.