Welcome back to another installment of Behind the Play. This week we will dissect the Denver Nuggets decisive 3 against the Houston Rockets. If you have a play that you want to know the mechanics behind please reference it in the comments section at the bottom of the page so I can write about it for you.
THE SITUATIONThese two teams have been trading blows like prizefighters all game and they are still fighting for the result with a minute to go. This is a classic game with 2 teams in playoff contention battling for seeding and qualification. The Score is Denver 101 Houston 100 as Chandler Parsons has just made a jumper to bring the Rockets within 1. George Karl, the head coach of the Denver Nuggets has elected not to take a timeout as he has faith in his team to come up with the right play. These 2 teams play better offense with a high speed game so a timeout would slow the tempo right down and would disadvantage the attacking team. Houston is also in the penalty so stopping a penetrating guard without fouling will prove extremely tough.
Andre Miller has the ball and I must say has no idea what the situation is. He is burrowing his way into Goran Dragic with plenty of time left on the shot clock, his teammates aren't even looking at the ball because their understanding is they have some time to get into position before the offense starts. This clearly shows you that the spacing is horrendous, only Arron Afflalo (behind the 3 point line) is the only one is position for Denver. Whereas Houston is playing man on man defense as this Nuggets team has plenty of depth, anyone could hit a shot that secures the game.
As a result of the spacing it has created an isolation for Andre Miller and he has tried to take advantage of the foul situation by turning the corner on Dragic and driving for the basket. He has attracted the attention of 2 Rockets players in Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson as they have looked to shut down any chance of a Miller layup.
Apart from the 3 Houston players active in the paint, the other 2 are ball watching and with some simple off the ball movement 2 Nuggets find themselves with an open look. Its only a matter of Miller finding one now to make Houston pay.
With only 1.1 seconds gone since the last screenshot 4 that's right 4 of the 5 Nuggets players now find themselves with an open look. Miller is in the process of finding all Harrington, a 3 point specialist. It's code black for Houston their defense has shattered.
The Rockets scramble but Harrington has been left on a island and its too far to swim for Courtney Lee. His desperation has been noticed by Al and he delivers just a god damn pretty pass to Ty Lawson that gives up a good shot for a great shot.