Green in the low post: Examining progress

In the Pacers game at home in Boston today, we saw a concerted effort by Jeff Green on trying to post Paul George up. It’s a a great sign on the evolution of Green’s role in the team, and it also speaks of better spacing by the Celtics. Observe.

1. After Avery as the only guard on the floor, the possession slows down a little as they try to get something happening with Wallace and Bass. Eventually, the ball goes back into Avery’s hands, who dribbles out of Scola’s hedge and flings it across to Vitor, who is on the weak side with Green. Green sees an opportunity and gets ready to establish himself for the post up.

Spacing: being on the weak side is very important, as double-teams can be thrown too readily when you are posting up on the strong side.

Positioning: note the black line, this is where he wanted to start the post up. It’s also the ideal position to get started, as you would be able to make your move without excessive dribbling.

greenpost1

2. Vitor takes the ball at the top, gets ready to feed it to Green.

Positioning: look at how Green has begun to drift from his original spot, thanks to George’s defense.

greenpost2

3. Green finally gets the ball in his hands. Vitor moves off right after the pass, bringing his defender Hibbert with him.

Positioning: at this point, we can see Green is indeed a fair distance from where he wanted the ball at first.

greenpost3

4. Doesn’t stop him though! Jeff takes a few dribbles while backing George down, who tries to stop him from going left into the paint.

Positioning: Jeff has finally dribbled and bumped his way back to where he wanted to be. Note that the rest of the Celtics have basically moved away from Green’s side, so as to draw their defenders away and allow isolation offense. Avery tries to cut. Hibbert is dangerously close as help defense.

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5. All that overplaying on the left allows Jeff to plant his foot, spin and get himself right in front of the basket.

Positioning: Hibbert is still paying too much attention to Vitor, has drifted away from his original position.

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6. Enter jump shot, easy two points.

Positioning: Maybe Faverani was too big a threat to leave alone, so Hibbert preferred to stick to Vitor, and wasn’t in place to help.

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Although this sequence ended on a positive note, it would have gone a lot better if Green had been able to hold his position and not get pushed out when receiving the ball. The extra dribbles would not have been needed, and he would have had more options, perhaps just a fake and spin move right into the paint?

Coach Chuck says it better here:

Much as I’m not a fan of LeBron, this is a good example of what Green should be getting in the post. See how LeBron actually throws the ball back and re-establishes his position, waiting for the feed a second time before starting his post up.

The season’s still early, and I’m still positive on Green’s growth. Keep grinding!

– Kein

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