Mark Jackson was faced witha difficult dilemma entering his team's second matchup with Denver in the Playoffs. With David Lee out for the Postseason thanks to a torn hip flexor, Jackson asked his assistant coaches to talk him out of starting point guard Jarrett Jack alongside Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
They gave him the go-ahead and the rest was history. Golden State evened up its series behind a 64 percent shooting night, one of the great offensive performances in Playoff history. The move worked perfectly and seems to continue to work as Golden State's offense continued to efficiently hum along in Game Three on Friday night.
The Rockets were faced with a similar decision and opted to sit power forward Greg Smith for Game Two and commit to a small lineup by starting Patrick Beverly. It worked to some degree as Houston turned a 29-point Game One loss into a two-point Game Two loss.
Even the Celtics, looking for an offensive spark, opted to slide Jason Terry into the lineup and take out power forward Brandon Bass. That plan did not work as well as the other two, but the general idea was there. These teams wanted to spread the floor more and create defensive issues by putting as many shooters on the floor as possible -- sometimes defensive consequences be damned.
The power forward position has changed dramatically in the last decade. Perhaps it started with Mike D'Antoni putting Shawn Marion at power forward. The revolution in the NBA into positionless basketball largely happened in Orlando the last five years.
The 3-pointer is one of the most important shots in basketball. Offense are now completely built around it. The power forward is more or less dead. And the Magic might very well have started it. However, now the team is in transition and the franchise's relationship with the 3-pointer has completely changed.
The Magic signed Rashard Lewis to a max contract and change the NBA in four years. Stan Van Gundy, Orlando's recently hired coach, did something drastic in putting him at power forward instead of his traditional small forward. Van Gundy's idea was to spread the flor with 3-point shooters and let it fly with Dwight Howard drawing the defense into the paint.no comments