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Robert Covington Recovers After a Screen
Covington – Sense and Scalability’s oft referenced portable dynamo – is ridiculously flexible on defense. Not only does he defend the 27th most shots within 6 feet, but he also has the perimeter chops to bother sprightly guards.
Even though he doesn’t have the quickest feet, he’s able to use his immense length and timing to track down Chris Paul. Notice how little space he gives CP3 to fire the jumper. Very few players can combine off-ball brilliance, rim protection, and point-of-attack defense like Covington.
(A quick aside: Chris Paul’s efficiency is absurd). – Cody Houdek
Milwaukee Bucks Struggle to Defend the Double Drag
Milwaukee’s roster has seen quite a bit of turnover on the margins; besides Bledsoe and Matthews, most of the players they replaced came off the bench. With those changes have come massive shifts in performance. Their offensive rating is 5.1 points better than last season while their defensive rating is 7.7 points worse than last year’s historic defense. I’m not going to identify any specific reason for this change right now, but I will point out that Milwaukee struggles with the double drag.
A double drag is when an offense sets two consecutive ball screens in transition. In this specific play, Lopez begins the possession guarding Randle even though he had been guarding Noel in previous possessions. These sorts of mismatches is what unlocks the potency of a double drag: it spirals an already mismatched defense into further disarrays. Noel slips the screen, and neither DiVincenzo nor Lopez pay him any attention. While guarding Bullock in the corner, Middleton tries to recover too late, and Noel is open for a lob.
Jake Reetz pointed out that this has been an ongoing discussion in the Bucks community and that the Bucks actually cleaned up their act later in the game agains the Knicks. – Cody Houdek