Most NBA teams run variations of some standard sets — “floppy,” “horns,” and so on — and players pick them up quickly.
Or, know how to break them up quickly.
Kevin Garnett is a student of the game and Nets coach Avery Johnson said before his Nets went out and beat the Celtics that Garnett keeps calling out their plays. And it’s frustrating for a coach. From ESPNNewYork.com.
“He’s seen so much. We’ll call a play and he’ll say, ‘Joe is going over here and Deron is going here.’ It’s not funny anymore, OK?
“As much as (Rajon) Rondo quarterbacks their offense, (KG) quarterbacks their defense. … I like every now and then when we’ll surprise him with something, and then maybe he’ll look at the bench and curse the other coaches out, not me.”
Garnett is a defensive force.
The reason teams run those plays, by the way, is they work. It’s about execution, plus these are NBA players and most will score consistently on decent looks or even covered one-on-one.
But the trend — really started by Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix but now used by a lot of teams — to have a system where traditional plays are not called (at least early in the clock) is a reaction to that KG-like knowledge and scouting. The idea is to allow players to freelance and create in transition and early in the clock, something the defense can’t prepare for and be set for the same way.