Apr 15, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings (3) drives towards the basket during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Denver won 112-111. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Can Mario Chalmers Defend BJ3 On The Pick And Roll?

With the Bucks down 10-21 with five minutes left in the first quarter, the Bucks ran a high pick and roll for Brandon Jennings.  BJ3 got wide open (and I mean no-defender-within-5-feet-of-him wide open) and hit a three to get the Bucks rolling on a 14-5 run to finish the first quarter.

Here’s the breakdown of that play:

Ersan Ilyasova starts to set a screen on Mario Chalmers, who is guarding Brandon Jennings.

Ilyasova’s defender, Chris Bosh, has done a good job sniffing out the play and has already started to hedge on Brandon Jennings

Unfortunately, Bosh doesn’t really hedge hard enough — Brandon Jennings just skips around Bosh.  Since the three other Bucks players (and their Heat defenders) are on the other side of the court, there is no Heat to help on Jennings.  What Bosh should have done was hedged harder to 

1. Buy Mario Chalmers more time to recover from Ersan Ilyasova holding him the Ilyasova pick.

2.  Funnel BJ3 inside — while this makes the Heat susceptible to the split, you can see that in this frame Chalmers is almost out of the grasp of the Ilyasova “pick”.  Thus, if BJ3 had gone inside, Chalmers probably would have been able to pick BJ3 back up.  Hopefully, Bosh would be able to recover quickly on Ilyasova.  The other plus of funneling Jennings inside is that there are plenty of Heat help defenders in the middle of the court, but there is no help on the left side.

What ends up happening is a Brandon Jennings open three.  In fact, Jennings is so open that Chalmers doesn’t even try to contest the shot.  

While Brandon Jennings only shot 8-20 (40%) he was the only Buck to consistently penetrate and create offense.  This high pick and roll set, where the three other Bucks players are on the other side of the court banks on the ability of Brandon Jennings to get by the defense of the hedging big man (in this case, Bosh) and the recovering guard (in this case, Chalmers).  As Jennings was able to roast Chalmers on more than one occasion, and since Ilyasova is such a good three-point shooter  that you simply can’t ignore him and semi-double team Brandon Jennings, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this set run a lot more by the Bucks.

Tags: Brandon Jennings Mario Chalmers Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Pick And Roll

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