In this post we'll go to game 4 to take a better look at the line of deployment and a few more options out of the N.2 pass to the top.
Here is a nice clip clearly showing the line of deployment theory:
Kobe and Bynum have a solo. Because Bynum has shaped up along the line of deployment, Kobe is easily able to diagnose the defense: Krstic has chosen to front. Kobe waves Artest to clear so that he can lob without fear of Durant coming over to help.
In the past we saw the Lakers go from a solo to the triangle, here we will see the Lakers go from a triangle to a solo.
1) The N.1 pass (the first pass to break the frontlines defense, typically a guard to forward pass, where the forward is in the "key"/wing position) goes from Fisher to Artest. Usually, Fisher would then come to fill the corner (which would be called, "Strong-Side Fill"). Here the corner is filled by Kobe (this is called "Weak-side Guard Fill").
2) Before Bynum shapes up on the post to form the triangle, Artest reverses the ball for a N.2 pass to the top. As we've discussed, the N.2 pass to the top keys the weakside wing to the pinch post, and the strongside wing to run a rebound screen cut (since: Kobe so readily violates the lag principle for the weak-side guard fill, the players never lineup the defense to make the read for the N.2 pass to the top, and Bynum becomes an additional screener for Kobe, it's possible that this sequence was keyed from a playcall and not the N.2 pass to the top)
3) Fisher passes to Gasol in the pinch post. In the past posts, the offense ended here as the two man game resulted in a shot. This time, Gasol is unable to get the ball back to Fisher, so he counters to Kobe, who is coming off of Artest's rebound screen cut (as well as Bynum's screen). This is another built in counter called a dribble weave (the first counter was the N.2 pass reverse to the top).
4) Kobe fakes the free throw line pull up, but passes out to Artest
5) Bynum shapes up along the line of deployment. Bynum and Artest now have a "solo" (two man game, where the overload is on the weakside).
6) Artest has an easy entry angle. Bynum makes a quick move but is unable to convert.
In this clip, we'll see Bynum call his number again off another N.2 pass to the top:
1) Kobe passes to Artest, then fills the weakside corner. This sets up a momentary solo between Artest and Bynum.
2) Artest quickly reverses to Fisher.
3) N.1 pass from Fisher to Gasol
- Fisher at defensive balance
- Kobe in the corner
- Pau at the "key" spot
- Bynum or Artest can come across the lane to the post and form the triangle (a "center opposite"), here Bynum allows Artest to fill the post, forming the triangle.
- Bynum stays in the lane instead of coming out to the weakside wing
4) N.2 pass to the top
Artest shapes up along the line of deployment, but Gasol's man is backing off and playing the pass (knowing that Gasol is unlikely to go up for a three), so Gasol reverses to Fisher. Gasol rebound screen cuts, but Bynum has acquired deep post position and decides not to come out to the pinch post. Fisher feeds him and Bynum is able to finish over Krstic.
Lastly, for my own amusement, we'll take a look at a clutch AmMo moment:
A tense moment in Game 4. The camera pans to a worried Lakers bench. The first time the camera is on AmMo, Adam Morrison delivers. Don't tell me he was a bust. Every Lakers game I attend, my friends and I inevitably begin to watch AmMo and he has never failed to deliver the unintentional comedy goods.