So, what happened on that Shane Battier 3-pointer?
Think of this like our Out of the Timeout series, but the opposite. Not as fun.
So what happened on the play that essentially gave Memphis the win in Game 1 over the Spurs?
A couple of things, really. Mike Conley (1) dribbles the ball upcourt on the right wing. As he’s moving up the sideline, Shane Battier (3) sets a pick on Tony Parker (x1). Richard Jeferson (x3) is hanging back making sure Conley doesn’t drive to the basket.
What is unclear here is if there was any communication between Parker and Jefferson as to how they were going to play it, or if there was already a plan in place. Either way, Jefferson and Parker end up switching on the pick.
After setting the pick, Battier makes his way around the perimeter to the other wing with Parker marking him. Marc Gasol (5) who was trailing the play, sets up near the elbow on the same side of the floor as Conley.
Gasol sets a pick for Conley out on the wing. Tim Duncan (x5) follows Gasol and shades more to the right side of the floor, in case Conley crossed over and tried to go back towards the baseline, I’d imagine. There isn’t much help defense on that side of the floor besides Duncan and there’s more help towards the middle. Although that would bite the Spurs eventually.
Conley goes towards the middle and attacks the lane. In doing so, he forces Tony Parker to leave Battier on the perimeter and stop penetration. Conley dishes to Battier and you know what happens next. One thing I noticed in watching the video, though, is the reason George Hill (x2) wasn’t able to rotate over.
As Conley got to the middle and passed the ball off to Battier, Hill’s man Tony Allen cuts to the middle. By making that cut, he forced George to have to pay him some attention and it kept Hill from getting out to put a hand in Battier’s face.
Relive it if you want, though I won’t blame you if you don’t.