East round 1: Buffalo @ Washington

 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: East round 1: Buffalo @ Washington

From the nation's capital it's the first round of the ATL eastern conference playoffs as the Washington Behemoths host the Buffalo Braves. The Braves would go on to become the Clippers but Braves coach Michlake asks that judges not hold that against him.

For the Combat Zone division champion Behemoths, coach Laker_Behemoth makes the rule call. Old school (handchecks, no zones) or new (zones, no handchecks). Starters must be named at least 24 hours before tipoff. Starters must play at least the first 8 minutes of the game.

The winner plays the victor of Antarctica vs. (Berlin/Hiroshima/Manila/Seoul).
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject:

Just PM'ed Sky but I will post it here too:

Defensive rules for this game will be new school; handchecks are forbidden and zone defenses are allowed.
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Last edited by Laker_Behemoth on Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject:

btw these are single elimination games, not a series.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:03 am    Post subject:

Statboxes
Buffalo
http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/6493/buffaloib5.jpg

Washington
http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/9818/washingtonng5.jpg

Injury Risks:
BUF Johnson (25) 46 - healthy
BUF Hunter (13) 26 - healthy
WASH Wilkens (11) 98 - healthy
WASH Redd (29) 50 - healthy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject:

Starters for Buffalo:

PG-Terry Porter
Wing-Scottie Pippen
Wing-Rick Barry
PF-Horace Grant
C-Patrick Ewing
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject:

Washington starters:
Lenny Wilkens, DWade, Glen Rice, Buck Williams, Shaq
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:10 am    Post subject:

Buffalo

Rotation

PG-Porter(30)/ J. Johnson(10)/ Rondo(8)
SG-Pippen(32)/ J. Johnson(16)
SF-Barry(30)/ Posey(10)/ Pippen(8)
PF-Grant(36)/ Thorpe(12)
C-Ewing(38) Bellamy(10)

Offense

-Lots of Pick and Roll. Every perimeter player has the freedom take use the pick and roll or pick and pop all game. This includes Porter, Pippen, Joe Johnson, and Rick Barry.

-Will try to get Shaq in foul trouble with the pick and roll game and isolations with Ewing. If Shaq gets in foul trouble Ewing will be used in the post extensively, as the backup bigs on Washington are no match for Ewing.

-Pippen will have a size or speed advantage all game. If Wade is guarding him he goes into the post. If Rice starts on him he can isolate against him or use the pick and roll.

-One of the go to offensive sets will be the Pippen pick and roll with whoever shaq is guarding. This will bring Shaq out of the paint and get him in foul trouble. Both and Ewing and Grant can hit the mid-range jumper, so Shaq will have to show further then he will want.

-Pippen will have open driving lanes because of the quality of shooters on my team. When Pippen drives Washington can't give perimeter help because of Porter and Barry spotted up outside and either big can't help as much because both Grant and Ewing are money from mid-range.

-When either Porter, Barry or Joe Johnson are using the pick and roll they will have the advantage of the great team shooting, plus the added value of an elite slasher of the ball in Pippen.

Defense

-Will start the game with
Porter on Wilkens
Pippen on Wade
Barry on Rice
Grant on Williams
Ewing on Shaq

-Their best perimeter playmaker is Wade so Pippen gets that assignment. Pippen will play off Wade and force him to beat him with his suspect jumper. Rondo get also see some minutes against Wade.

-Rice is a good matchup for Barry. Will be glad if Washington tries to post up Rice on Barry, since that will take away touches from Shaq. Barry is big and long enough to do a decent job on Rice. If Rice gets really hot we will can bring Posey in or put Pippen on Rice and bring in Joe Johnson to defend Wade. Johnson will see more minutes in this matchup than normal.

-Will mix up doubling Shaq. Will only double after Shaq takes his first dribble. Whoever is guarding Rice or a good shooter will never double Shaq. Will double off of Wilkens, Buck, and Wade and force them to beat use from the outside.

-Will throw many big bodies at Shaq. Ewing will start, but Bellamy, Thorpe and Grant will all take turns to keep mixing it up. Ewing has the combo and size and length to handle Shaq as well as anyone so we won't double on every play. Estimated double team 60% of the time on Shaq.

Closing

Starters will close the game. No set go to guy in the clutch although Barry will take most of the biggest ones. If ahead in the game will play hack-a-Shaq from the 4 minute mark to the 2 minute mark. Only if ahead. Make Shaq prove he will make them when they count.

-If need a defensive stop with under 50 seconds left in the game, will bring in Posey for Barry and then bring Barry back in for offense.

Crystal Ball

-I think he will try to go at Barry. If so fine, that takes away touches from Shaq. Barry can handle Rice fine and if not Posey is the Rice-stopper.

-I think we will try to isolate Wade. Fine, either Pippen, Rondo or Joe Johnson will be on him. All can do a good job on Wade.

-I think he try to pound Shaq inside. Fine, Ewing can do as good of a job as anyone and we have multiple big bodies to throw at him.

In Case of Emergency

Team can handle foul trouble as good as any team. Both Pippen and Johnson can play the 1,2, and 3. Grant, Bellamy, Thorpe can all play the 4 and 5.

My main strategy of Pick Roll will work, because Shaq has proven to never defend that well and I don't see Washington benching him. Wade, Rice are also very bad Rick and Roll defenders.

Summary

-I win because my strengths match up well with Washington's weaknesses. His main strength is Shaq in the post. Well I have Ewing to defend him at an acceptable level. He only has one good perimeter playmaker(Wade) and I have the great defender Pippen to defend him.

-His team defense needs a lot rotations because of poor perimeter defenders. Well I have a great shooting team that will make him pay. His anchor Shaq will spend a lot of time defending the pick and roll, which will take him away from the basket.

-He has no one to defend Pippen. He takes Wade in the post. Takes Rice off the dribble.

-Barry will also get good looks because Rice won't put in the effort to chase him around screens or stick with him on the outside.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject:

Washington

Rotation:
O'Neal – 39 minutes
Wade – 39 minutes
Rice – 31 minutes
Williams – 30 minutes
Wilkens – 28 minutes
Redd – 18 minutes
Kukoc – 15 minutes
Van Lier - 12 minutes
Davis – 11 minutes
Mahorn – 11 minutes
Turiaf – 4 minutes
Russell – 2 minutes
Total – 240 minutes

Offense:
For my first round match up against Buffalo, my main idea is to work from the inside out on each and every offensive possession. Whether that involves simply feeding Shaquille O'Neal in the post to put Patrick Ewing in foul trouble or allowing Dwyane Wade to drive and take advantage of the new school defensive rules to get to the line, the goal of our offense will be to break the defense down in the paint, creating foul trouble for Ewing, Horace Grant, and the other big defenders.

Our principle combination of sets will involve an excess of ball handling from Wade. Lenny Wilkens, the starting point guard, and Norm Van Lier, the back up, will bring the ball up court when they are in the game. However, most offensive plays will begin with getting the ball into Wade's hands out on the perimeter.

If Scottie Pippen is guarding Wade, this is even better. Because of the presence of anti-handcheck rules, Wade will drive it right at Pippen and force him to play overtly physical defense to cause foul trouble. That leaves Rick Barry and Terry Porter out on the perimeter to defend against my three point threats. But one will also see a number of screen rolls involving Wade and my centers to draw Ewing from the post.

By setting screens with Shaq and my other bigs, Ewing will be forced to either try to prevent Wade's penetration or to stay with Shaq and allow Wade access to the middle. Wade will have free range to operate on the screen rolls because if Ewing does tail him, Shaq will be charging toward the hoop for lob passes. If Ewing does not, Wade can either drive right at Grant and the other power forwards or can kick out to my open three point threats if a double comes.

Glen Rice will be a match up to exploit on Wade kick outs. If the double had come, Rice can drain threes, all day. If it had not come, Rice can use his superior post skills to back down Barry or whomever may be guarding him to force a double team over. Which leads to a play that will be seen often by my offense.

Visualize it: Wilkens starts the offense by passing over to Wade who quickly swings it around to Rice, who is on the same side as Shaq. Rice begins to post up Barry who is on an island, aside from one defender who can help: the man guarding Shaq. If he decides to come help, Rice makes a quick backdoor pass to Shaq for an easy slam. If no one comes to help, Rice continues to back down Barry for the score.

But make no mistake, no matter who is guarding when my team has the ball, Wade and Shaq will be the focal points. There will be a plethora of times where Wade has the ball and is quickly driving in toward the perimeter. The defense begins to panic; Wade has already blown by his man and is quickly charging in. The post defenders step up to body him but just then Wade flashes a quick pass toward the hoop where Shaq waits to throw it down over the poor defender. Or maybe the defenders decide to avoid allowing an alley oop to happen and play off of Wade. Well, here he comes.

What it comes down to is the fact that with Wade driving the lane and Shaq waiting for lobs and feeds in the low post, Ewing and the other defenders will not be able to avoid foul trouble. If they zone up, Wade and Shaq can kick it out to my superb shooters: Rice, Redd, Kukoc, and the rest. They will bust the zone wide open with devastating crunch time threes.

The defense has to pick its poison: try to keep D Wade out of the lane (go ahead, try it) and probably have fouls drawn on their perimeter defenders, allow D Wade to drive but play physical defense in the lane (that's instant foul trouble all night long), or focus entirely on stopping Wade and Shaq and allow my three point threats to eat you alive. The offense is too powerful.

Defense:
On the defensive end, we will man up the entire night. In doing so, we take away their medley of three point threats because we will employ a defensive strategy that refuses to allow our defenders to leave any player open who is floating in the corner or otherwise at the three point line. No open three point attempts will be taken. This places important on our post defenders, who will not receive weak side help from wings and the like. However, this plays into my plans because my best defenders are all in the post. Buck Williams will be defending Horace Grant and the other opposing power forwards.

However, it is no secret that the strength of Buffalo's offense is Ewing. Whenever he receives the ball in the low post, Buck will come over and help Shaq out by doubling up Ewing. We will not allow Patrick to kill us on the block and because he will not have his wings open for threes, his only real options will be to fight through the double teams or try to get the ball to his power forward. Horace Grant and Otis Thorpe will be forced to beat me. And they cannot do it.

But it is no secret that my defensive weakness is the pick and roll. Shaq is deficient on coming out toward the perimeter on screens and this will hurt at times. But by imposing our will defensively, we can help to mask this flaw in our defense. We will use a plethora of shifts and switches to get the right guys out toward screens. If a center begins to drift outward for a screen, Buck will head out and follow that center, allowing Shaq to stay back in the post and wait on penetration or a pass to the power forward, whom he is now guarding. Buck, who is the defensive anchor for the team, will pick up the slack on pick and rolls, not only because he has the ability to defend them with efficiency and great effectiveness, but because Shaq does not. Buck will be active in these switches, leaving Shaq to sit in the paint and impose his will, and massive size, on whomever may enter the paint.

On the perimeter, we will also do a bit of ball hawking with Wade's superb help defense. Imagine the scenario: the opposing ball handler has the ball and is waiting for the offense to begin its movement as the defender is crouched in front of him, waiting for the ball handler's next move. In this calm before the storm, Wade uses his superior speed, quickness, and hands to swipe the ball from the defender before he has a chance to react.

This will happen frequently: Wade coming over to force a double when he is in the vicinity and it does not involve leaving an elite shooter open. Or perhaps the opposing ball handler drives over towards Wade's side while Wade is on a wing. Instant trap on the sideline. By putting pressure on the ball handler, not only can we create possessions for our high octane offense, but we can also prevent an offense from getting set and using picks and screens, helping to dissuade the offense from attacking our main defensive weakness.

Closing:
To prepare for the closing minutes, I will keep my main guys rested at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth, to ensure fresh legs and a mentality that now is the time to attack. The five on the court in the closing minutes, Shaq, Buck, Rice, Redd, and Wade, will be able to control the tempo, the tone, and the overall direction of the game in the closing minutes.

Every time down the court we will kick it into Shaq, the ultimate grinder. The offense will run through his massive hands, causing undisciplined defenders to panic at the sight of Shaq with the ball down low as time ticks away. Shaq can use his size and his slower pace to demand double teams in the crunch. And with Wade handling the ball each time down the court in the waning minutes, whomever has to guard him will have his hands full.

Wade's ability to penetrate is key late in the game, as he can get to the line at will for timely free throws our kick it out to Rice and Redd, elite three point shooters, or allow Shaq, the most dominant ever, and Buck, a clean up man who thrives off of second chance opportunities and his ability to grab offensive boards, to put the rock through the hoop.

On the defensive end in crunch time, Buck and Shaq in the paint will be enough to control the flow of the game and to make sure second chance opportunities are not allowed for Buffalo. We will not leave their three point threats open to shoot us out of the game, forcing Ewing or Horace Grant to try to take over the game and rise to the occasion.

My main thought process in the final minutes of a game versus Buffalo is this: they lack that superstar who can take over late in the game and guide a team to victory while I have two of these guys. Barry is a clutch performer, sure. But can he outduel Wade in the closing minutes? Can he nail three pointers when I refuse to leave him even an inch open? And more importantly, can their opposing bigs possibly hope to contend with Shaq down low in the final seconds? Shaq thrives off of this and his championship experience will be crucial. I have the superstar power to take over games late as well as the role players to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Buffalo does not.

Crystal Ball:
Buffalo may think that their stable of perimeter defenders will stunt my offensive ball movement. He probably assumes that Pippen will be able to lock down Flash and that Posey and Rondo can be thrown at him, as well. This is where I can use the rules to my advantage. If he attempts to play physical defense on Wade, Dwyane can just drive, using his far superior quickness and speed to get around him, and force hands to be thrown around in an attempt to stop him. Wade will put these guys in quick foul trouble, with relative ease.

Buffalo also probably thinks that if I zone up he can use all of his three point threats to shoot me out of the game, overcoming my significant offensive advantages. Well I will not zone up. And I will not leave his three point threats even a shred open. He will have to beat me on the offensive end with his bigs, and I do not think that his post players can possibly out duel mine. After all, I have the most dominant ever on my side.

And he probably thinks that he can put Shaq into foul trouble with Ewing and his other bigs, like Bellamy and Thorpe. But the key to preventing foul trouble for Shaq will be the way in which Shaq defends. Shaq will not be jumping up in an attempt to block a ton of shots because that is an easy way to get him off of his feet and force fouls.

For the most part, Shaq will stay grounded and use his massive frame to form the opposing bigs to simply try to push through him. Won't work. Try to work around him? Buck Williams is right there to help, an elite post defender.

In case of emergency:
And if Shaq does garner foul trouble? I will throw Mahorn and Turiaf, two mean, energetic, high pace defenders at his bigs with reckless abandon. Ewing could get thrown off his game if he has the Bad Boy Mahorn refusing to back down and high energy Turiaf attempting to block every shot in front of him and using every foul he is allotted.

If Mahorn and Turiaf have to enter the game in Shaq's wake, the offense will become more up tempo and more focused on D Wade, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And on defense, they will create blocks and force opposing defenders to earn their points at the line. They will help us to enforce our will even without Shaq because they are not scared of anyone and are not afraid to foul and foul hard.

Summary:
Ultimately, the headlines tomorrow should read, “Washington handles Buffalo with a healthy dose of Diesel to advance to round two.” My team wins this match up for a number of reasons. For one, our offensive firepower is simply to great. Buffalo has a fantastic defense, probably one of the best in the league, but they cannot use said defense to impose their will because my offense will match up nicely. Against a less offensive team, sure they could control the tempo. But they simply do not have a definitive answer for Shaq and Flash can use the handcheck rules to his advantage for easy points.

My team can grind it out better in the clutch. My team can run it up and down the court better if we choose to let the game's pace skyrocket. My team can shut down their offense by refusing to leave three point shooters open and by forcing their bigs to beat my bigs. My team controls the tempo and forces Buffalo to play the kind of game I want to play. And by forcing Buffalo to play my game, they cannot get a great hold on their own game plan. Washington wins.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject:

DB

Buffalo

They will run a ton of pick and roll this game, which should open some things up against Shaq. Smart choice. Pip will attack or post depending on whether he's facing DWade or Rice.

Defensively, they won't double off Shaq with whomever is guarding Rice. They will double off of Wilkens, Buck, and Wade and force them to try to hit jumpers or attack.


Washington

New school rules may help Wade a little against Pippen in some plays, but Pip is a smart defender and will try to make Wade a shooter (as much as is possible). Does DWhistle get some love from the refs against Pip? Rice will be on the same side of the floor as Shaq throughout the game.

Defensively...as Phil Jackson might say, the pick and role has befuddled Shaq over his career. He'll see a lot of it in this game. Shaq will get a lot of help from Williams to double Ewing. Will this be a wise choice? Can Washington handle Pippen attacking with shooters around him?


The Game:

Pip seems to focus in on the Shaq pick and roll early. Shaq, however, is content to sag off and leave the midrange jumpers from the bigs open. He's staying in the paint to help deny penetration. Buffalo is seeing some good looks and hitting them. On the other end, the Big Dog is getting fed. Everytime down, he's getting the ball. With Rice making entry passes and the D not able to deny the entry passes, Shaq is having his way with Ewing. In his MVP year, Shaq was sensation on the right block, hitting those bank jumphooks. He generally doesn't go to the middle on this move, so the doubles are having a hard time getting there while waiting for that first dribble. He gets Ewing into some early foul trouble and goes to the bench early. The interior has softened.

Pip, Porter and Grant all start to send doubles on Shaq now, even on the catch. They have no choice. After a particularly emphatic dunk, Shaq stomps down court to the defensive end. The Washington crowd is going nuts. Washington gets off to an early, 6-point first quarter lead.

Joe Johnson comes off the bench and provides Buffalo with a spark. Redd can't quite do the same for Washington and Buffalo cuts the lead to 2 with their second unit while Shaq is resting. Cautiously, Ewing returns to the floor again to match up with Shaq. He gets help from Pip and others on Shaq and somehow avoids the third foul. All the collapsing D, however, has allowed a few easier looks for a few otherwise mediocre perimeter shooters. Shaq seems to coast a little during this quarter, while drawing all the attention.

The guys doing the heavy lifting offensively for both teams now are Glen Rice and Pippen. Pip is imposing his will on his man and Shaq picks up a couple of fouls, but not a third. Glen Rice has been having an outstanding year and is now having his way with both Barry and Posey. Wade has an occasional breakaway score, but is having some trouble getting over on Pip for the moment. Washington still leads by 6 at the half.

The second half starts with both bigmen with two fouls each. Washington's plan is to dump the ball into Shaq everytime. Buffalo looks to pick and roll on Shaq. They should dump the ball more to Ewing in the post, because for some reason, Washington keeps sending Williams to help Shaq and this is causing the D to collapse. Fortunately for Washington, MVP Shaq again wins this battle on the offensive end, picking up a third foul and later fourth foul on Ewing...making this defensive double a non-issue as Ewing has to ride the pine again. Washington pulls out to a 9-point lead.

Again, however, Joe Johnson gives the team a lift, hitting a couple clutch shots in the fourth and pulling his team within a couple of baskets. He then sits and watches the game from the bench. Shaq, Buck, Rice, Redd, and Wade are closing out the game. Not the same crew that started, but good outside shooters to spread the floor with the ball in Wade's hands.

Pip is on an island with new school rules. DWade finds he is able to get to the line late for multiple free throws, getting into the heart of the D and getting contact on the bigs. Both Redd and Rice hit from deep. Rice misses a three, but Shaq pulls it down and dunks in an And-1 (up by 5, he misses the FT). On the other end, Pip drives, but decides to pass off on a couple key possessions. Ewing settles for fading baseline jumpers that clank off the rim. No one for Buffalo on the court seems quite able to impose their will to get them over the hump. Washington closes it out and takes the game by 7.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject:

Sky

Buffalo on offense
Pick and roll first, last and always but Shaq is cleverly in a one man zone underneath as Buck comes up for Washington. The dream of barbecuing Shaq on the pick and roll is over.

The Buffalo game plan calls for pick and roll/pop with jumpers taken by Porter, Johnson, Pippen and Barry. The game plan is very specific on who pops and who rolls but does mention Ewing’s midrange game further down the list. Since the pop list only mentioned guards Buffalo will pay an early penalty for that. The guards will be the only poppers. Then Ewing/Ho pick and pop will kick in.

Washington on offense
The Behemoths make an assumption as large as their name - with new school rules against a slower defender Dwyane Wade must automatically go to the line a billion times.

That’s true when the defender is Jason Terry. When the slower Bruce Bowen (in prime) was on Kobe in new school rules he didn’t get in instant foul trouble. Reason why, 1st Team All-D, the NBA’s get out of jail free card. All-D = way fewer calls. Pippen played the opposing team’s best scorer or point guard aggressively every minute he was out there, only averaged three fouls a game in the year selected.

Pippen doesn’t have the hand check and that’ll hurt him, but he can concede jumpers to Wade and sink off him, playing him to penetrate. Pippen has the iq to figure out the angles and anticipate, the space to react and the all-world D rep to silence the whistles. Wade will get some good looks but the ft parade won’t happen.

Alley oops to Shaq, with Ewing’s length that’s not going to work very often. The offensive engine isn’t Wade forcing Ewing to choose, it’s Shaq mandating a double with shooters and a finisher around him.

Rumble Time:
Buffalo opens with pick and roll and hits some jumpers, but can’t find a rhythm in the opening minutes. Shaq’s one man zone has caught the Braves completely off guard, a game plan focused on beating Shaq into the ground on p/r is suddenly gone, and Shaq is there to stop the roll.

Wade drives on Pippen, gets some contact but no whistle and glares at the ref as Pippen smiles. Washington establishes Shaq early. Ewing competes but ultimately can’t contain Shaq on his own. It’s not automatic for Shaq, he has to work, his fg% is a little lower, but he’s getting consistent points. Washington wins a game of percentages taking a six point lead.

Buffalo starts running pick and pop with the bigs finally allowed to shoot. As one of the best midrange shooting centers ever Ewing is draining j’s over Buck Williams in pick and pop and Ho is finding the range as well. Pop. Life. Tie game, time out Washington.

The Behemoths have Buck stay home on Patrick in pick and pop, opens penetration for Pippen and he draws fouls on Shaq. Buffalo up 4. Time out Washington. Shaq now comes up to defend Ewing, a stride below the elbow, able to close on him on the pass. Ewing lacks the handles to take O’Neal off the dribble, can’t back him down, so he moves off the ball to set up baseline.

The Washington game plan seems unaware that Ewing is so money midrange. Shot 52% in this year and more of his shots are midrange than block. Washington is assuming he lives on the block exclusively. Even if they were aware of it, Shaq is going to be extremely hesitant to go out 15 feet baseline. Ewing is gong to have that shot all game and he's going to hit half of them.

Washington runs p/r with Wade and Shaq, Pippen goes under not respecting Wade’s j. Ewing stays with Shaq. Doesn’t work. It’s time for the meat and potatoes. Shaq grinds on the block.

Pippen gives Wade jumpers D hits a few and misses more (.359 efg on jumpers in that season) but in penetration Pippen is there and fouls are rarely called. Wade gets some finishes, but his points are under the norm. He has value in penetrate and create but while Barry is worthless man up he can play the passing lanes well for steals. Wilkens is a volume shooter.

Rice post up, Shaq’s already down there, Lakers tried to run a little of that with Rice and it didn’t work. Rice backdoor pass block to block? ATO ratio under 1. Rice can post up when Shaq sits, not mentioned in the game plan but it would be common sense if Shaq is out and Wade isn't going off to turn to Glen. Since it wasn't mentioned get that 2nd half only. Rice destroys Barry in that, Buffalo brings in Posey to stop the bleeding.

Ultimately this game is Shaq man up and forcing a double and kicking to shooters and cutters vs. Pippen and Porter/Joe creating for themselves, the bigs and Barry. It’s a game of attrition because Shaq and Shaq doubled to team will be higher percentage basketball over time. But Shaq won’t go out on Ewing midrange, especially baseline. Buck can’t defend both Ho and Patrick. So Buffalo gets wide open jumpers and hits well with Ewing over 50%, just not quite at the same percentage as Shaq and Shaq kickouts. Washington has to lead going into closing but it isn’t a big margin. Wade doesn't shoot high percentage jumpers, Shaq sits for 9 minutes (2 of that offset by Rice on Barry), Buffalo has wide open looks, etc.

Then you get to closing. Hack-a-Shaq and a closing game plan saying get it to Shaq in the final 2 minutes. Which means even more Hack-a-Shaq. There’s no way Washington closes well. It’s Shaq ft’s for the final 4 minutes of the game. Flipside of that though is Washington’s defense can set sans Shaq, but the same problem remains, Shaq won’t go out on Ewing baseline and if he does that opens a driving lane. So Buffalo gets an open look, Washington gets two Shaq ft’s every time down…for 4 minutes. Buffalo wins.

Tied 1-1.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:10 am    Post subject:

Coaches vote: 4-3 Buffalo

Coaches comments:

Toughest game to judge. I like both teams but think that there is too much reliance on Wade to blow by Pippen. Not going to happen. If Pippen has a modicum of success in stopping Wade, then Washington's in trouble. Buffalo in a squeaker.


On offense, Buffalo has a good gameplan. While it is clear why Washington chose new school rules, they don't use them to their advantage at all on this end, playing strict man-to-man. Shaq has never been a great pick-and-roll defender, and it'll be nearly impossible for him to defend Pippen/Ewing there. Williams switching with Shaq on pick and rolls leads to occasional defensive confusion, IMO. Ewing also takes Shaq out of the paint, killing Washington's defensive presence there. No one else on their team, at any position, is a good shotblocker to make up for the loss of Shaq.

What is really a killer is that, since no one plans to leave the shooters, Pippen is allowed to isolate against Wade. Wade is a solid (not superb) help defender, but he leaves a lot to be desired man-to-man, perhaps because he does gamble. I see Pippen being able to post him up (while Ewing takes Shaq out of the paint), which forces Buffalo to help (otherwise Pippen goes off).

On the other end, Shaq is Shaq. You can't really stop him. He will get his. However, well-timed double teams will bother him, and Washington's lack of shooting outside of Rice (who won't be doubled off of) will hurt them. Not as big of a problem with Redd in for Wade, but still something to worry about, as they have no 3pt shooting from the 1. There are also plenty of big bodies to throw at Shaq in case there is foul trouble, and his free throw shooting isn't one of his strengths.

As for Wade, while Pippen can't be overly physical as he was during his days, he is intelligent enough (and is advised) to back off of Wade and force him to beat him with his J. Unless Wade is hot from mid to deep range, Pippen will really bother him with his superior length and elite anticipation and lateral movement. While Wade gets by Pippen a few times, I also think he may draw a few charges as he barrels into the lane after Pippen has already slid his feet and established position.

Rice is the only matchup where I feel they have a real advantage (over Barry), but they don't go there enough to really capitalize. Wade and Shaq get theirs, but not as easily as they are accustomed to. They keep the game close, but ultimately Buffalo pulls away for the upset.


both game plans have flaws, but ultimately wade won't be able to operate with pippen. crunch time hack a shaq forces shaq out of play, but puts his big men in free throw trouble. Both coaches make blunders in their starting line ups; buffalo wins thanks to pippen


Last edited by Sky on Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sky
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:11 am    Post subject:

Buffalo wins in an upset and advances to the 2nd round against Antarctica. TIME is the higher seed, he makes the call on the rules.
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:01 am    Post subject:

Wow, close one.
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Laker_Behemoth
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:11 am    Post subject:

That was fun. Thanks Sky and DB for all the hard work and good luck going forward Michlake. Great game plan.
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TIME
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:29 am    Post subject:

Wow, both Wilt and Shaq bow out in round one.

Congrats Buffalo!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject:

TIME wrote:
Wow, both Wilt and Shaq bow out in round one.

Congrats Buffalo!


That's MVP Shaq, too.

(He must have missed Kobe.)
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Laker_Behemoth
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
TIME wrote:
Wow, both Wilt and Shaq bow out in round one.

Congrats Buffalo!


That's MVP Shaq, too.

(He must have missed Kobe.)

I had MVP Shaq and Wade (and I almost landed on Kobe in a trade as well to make a fantastic trio). Goes to show that it's all about the gameplan. Michlake was the superior coach, hats off to him.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject:

^thx for the nice words. I am not sure it was being the superior coach, but more that my talent matched well against your team.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject:

Very competitive game you guys. Part of it is how the talent matches up and certainly the game plan. Part of it also though is assumptions. If you make an assumption that doesn't hold that can be absolutely fatal. In this game LB assumed Wade parades to the line and Ewing stays low block on offense. Neither held up and that was critical to the outcome.
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