Larry Sanders has been great this season. He’s been so great that I’ve finally bestowed upon him the prestigious title of “Professional Basketball Player.” I realize that’s an incredibly condescending thing to say, but I mean that in the best way possible. I’m not just happy that Sanders is playing well – I’m happy for Sanders. But Sanders hasn’t faced a challenge quite like this in both quality and style.
The Memphis Grizzlies are ranked second in the NBA in post-up offense. They average 1.04 points per possession (PPP) on post-ups. It’s a small sample size, but I’m quite sure that Grizzlies are about that good at post-ups. They were ranked fourth last year with 0.87 PPP. The Grizzlies had 51 rebounds in their last game against the Utah Jazz (a team with a talented frontcourt as well). Basically, I’m just trying to make the case that the Grizzlies have a very talented frontcourt – something that should be easily accepted. They have Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. I shouldn’t be working this hard to try to prove they’re good.
The Bucks haven’t faced an opponent with nearly this much size and as much focus on post play. The Cleveland Cavaliers bigs do most of their damage off the pick and roll. Thirty percent of Anderson Varejao’s points have come from pick and rolls. The Boston Celtics decided to downsize with Kevin Garnett starting at center. Sanders has always had the length speed, and strength to effectively defend smaller bigs or help defend offenses focused on the pick and roll. Can he defend bigger frontcourts that focus on post-ups?
This offseason, the Bucks decided that he can’t when they signed Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert hasn’t gotten much play at all in the first two games, but this is what he was brought in for. Dalembert allowed 0.75 PPP on post-ups last year. Sanders allowed 0.81 PPP. It’s only a .06 difference per possession, but that can be a one to two point difference in a game against a team that posts up a lot. Considering that it took a buzzer beater win the last game that could be the difference.
Choose the Form of the Destroyer
Tony Allen because I got a LOL from him once.
— Tony Allen (@aa000G9) August 23, 2012
Matchup of the Game
— BRANDON JENNINGS (@justryod3) November 5, 2012
Ekpe Udoh All-Star Watch
Dalembert gets 20+ minutes for the first time this season.