With all the buzz surrounding the Celtics victory last night in Miami and highlights of Rajon Rondo‘s dunk everywhere — as well as the basketball world just killing Chris Bosh — we wanted to examine how that play developed last night in the first quarter. While Bosh was victimized, as he did not protect the rim this play had trouble written on it from the start for the Heat:
1. The Celtics spread the court with Ray Allen and Marquis Daniels in the corners while Rondo surveys the court in the center of the court. Eddie House, who obviously is following the “let’s lay off Rondo as much as possible” game plan, is just above the free-throw line, which allows Rondo to dictate where he wants to go at anytime. Glen Davis begins to rumble up the lane from the right block and KG simply goes left block to right block as he is going to be on the opposite side of where Rondo chooses to attack.
2. Davis is clearly setting up a ball screen so Rondo can attack the paint towards the left side of the court. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is guarding Davis, is neither hedging the screen or on the proper side which is confusing unless of course the plan is for Chris Bosh to show and for Ilgauskas to then drop in front of Kevin Garnett.
3. Rondo uses the Davis screen and because of the room House gave him as a running start with the left hand dribble towards the paint. Ilgauskas is still above the free-throw line and Bosh is still hugging Garnett and not nearly far enough up the lane. With LeBron James playing off of Daniels in the right corner he is in position to cover for Bosh if he chooses to show more aggressively.
4. Rondo turns the corner and after his 2nd dribble and eyes the rim as Bosh is still standing flat footed and next to Garnett. Ilgauskas realizes he is late and attempts to recover but he is out of the play. Dwyane Wade is caught in no-man’s land as he cannot leave Ray Allen alone on the perimeter.
5. Rondo rises up to the rim like he is shot out of a cannon and Bosh does not even contemplate challenging him. James attempts to get into the play but Garnett shields him out of the play off the right block. If you look at the perimeter Allen, Davis and Daniels are all spread to be recipients if Rondo is challenged by a collapsing defense that never rotates or helps.