The G4 game between the Lakers and the Grizzlies is a difficult game to describe.
Compared to the G3 Lakers, who almost defeated the Grizzlies with two tweaks and one tactic, both sides did a lot in this game:
tentative adjustments; targeted adjustments; There is trouble with fouls that interfere with the game; There is an offensive climax; There is slack after leading; There are superstar moments in late quarters and overtime.
And what's interesting is that these elements appear on both the Lakers and the Grizzlies.
So who is the side that did better in this game?
Overall, it was a chaotic game — and the chaos was the rhythm of the Grizzlies.
This is the reason why the Lakers, as the dominant side, were forced to almost lose.
But on the other hand, the game was a classic playoff game — an orderly mess. It is not that the two sides are fighting randomly, but that the two sides are constantly adjusting, constantly disrupting each other's plans, constantly adjusting their own plans, grasping all the details to interfere with the opponent...
And that's why the Lakers finally won — they have the most playoff star on the roster, LeBron James.
Next, we try to use an article to make everyone understand the game.
Let's take a look at the opening first.
The G3 Lakers won, so the Grizzlies were the adjusters in this game, and in the opening game, although the Lakers also made some tentative adjustments, it was the Grizzlies' adjustments that were more targeted.
The Lakers' first defense in the game - very unexpectedly, adopted a strategy of changing defenses - does not look like a passive defense change from the point of view of action, may be hoping to test Morant's right hand?
But this strategy was punished by the Grizzlies in the first round - the Grizzlies did not perform a single cover but executed a continuous cover, Russell could not quickly squeeze through the cover of 3J, resulting in LeBron and Vanderbilt needing to fill in Morant, 3J, and finally there was a vacancy on the outside, and after Jen and Van made up for the second time, James lost the rebound position and was successfully made up by 3J.
Look at the offensive end.
The Lakers' first attack tactic is also somewhat unclear - the ball is in Russell's hands, Davis and James are responsible for taking away the defenders, and the other uses cover to cut out from the bottom line to the top of the arc and then bounce off the bottom corner - maybe the original intention of the tactic was that James used Vanderbilt cover to catch the ball and shoot three points or break through, but it was not executed well?
But in any case, instead of letting James block with the ball as in the last game, the Lakers returned to the pattern of James without the ball and Russell possession — which should be a tentative adjustment like the opening defense change — to see how the Grizzlies would defend.
In contrast, grizzly bears' adjustments are much more targeted:
In the last game, the Lakers played ten times in the first half, and the invincible double cover split tactic.
After a day, the Grizzlies also figured out a countermeasure - although Morant's presence made it impossible for the Grizzlies to change defenses indefinitely like the G2 (Morant is too small to go around the front like Bane), a similar effect can be achieved through Tillman's more aggressive catches (strong delays) on the second cover.
This round, the Grizzlies successfully cracked the Lakers' double cover tactics through strong delays.
Including when Russell blocked, the Grizzlies also adopted a strong delay strategy - they tried to turn the game back to G2: forced the Lakers to give the ball to thick eyebrows, and then used the strong defensive point of 3J and Davis' poor ability to bring the Lakers' offense to a standstill.
In terms of the opening two rounds, they succeeded.
Then there's a small detail to see how well prepared the Grizzlies are pre-game:
Remember this tactic? Davis stood in the bottom corner, Reeves came over to cover without the ball, and Davis tried to use the cover to go straight to the basket.
This tactic appeared in G2, G3, and G4 (you can see the G3 review article), but the effect was worse and worse every time - G2 this tactic was directly played, G3 Jackson came to make up for the thick eyebrows but let Vanderbilt get an empty position, G3 Tillman and Jackson directly bypassed cover in advance, and made up in place in advance - the Lakers simply did not have a decent chance.
That's playoff-level adjustment.
The Grizzlies took the lead in making adjustments and started with the Lakers 6-0, so did the Lakers have a way to respond? Yes, there is.
The Grizzlies are still strong delays than Russell, but this round the Lakers made adjustments - Russell did not give the ball to Davis, but to James who was 45 degrees on the other side, and Davis was attracted to the 3J defense after the downward stream, and did not take the position, and used his body to jam the 3J - the purpose is to block the 3J for Vanderbilt in the bottom corner and create an open three-point opportunity.
45 degrees at the bottom angle, which is a large diagonal. For the average team, such a pass is dangerous, but LeBron can do it, and Vanderbilt also made a good grasp of these open three-pointers today - the Lakers temporarily responded to the Grizzlies' strong delay defense.
Then, with the exit of 3J, the situation changed again:
After the trouble of the foul in the last game, the Grizzlies were noticeably more cautious, and after receiving the first foul in 3J, Jenkins chose to replace him.
After 3J went off the court, because the weak side contraction assistant was replaced by Aldama, the frame protection ability was degraded a lot, and the Grizzlies did not dare to continue to take strong delays to prevent Davis from going down - they changed to Tillman sinking defense, Aldama contraction double clamp thick eyebrows.
So the Lakers' double-cover tactics began to work again, and Vanderbilt seized the opportunity to hit another three-pointer.
And as Tillman's defense sinks, the Lakers can not only use the bottom corner to punish them, but the Grizzlies' frontal defense has also begun to loosen.
This round was again a double-cover tactic, with Reeves leaning his back against Morant and hitting a mid-range shot in a quick stop.
With this goal, the Lakers managed to overtake the score - from this stage, you can see the importance of Jalen Jackson Jr. to the Grizzlies. Without him, even if the Grizzlies had a strategy to deal with the Lakers, there would be no one to execute.
And then due to the double-cover tactic in a row, the Lakers seem to smell the repetition of the previous game, and unlike the last one - they began to wave.
It was still a double cover tactic, but this time Reeves chose to play a flower - a 360-degree turn, changed to cover the other side, and perfectly passed Morant. This one drew cheers from the Lakers' home mountains, but then what?
Reeves risked throwing an empty catch to Vanderbilt without Aldama leaving the basket – which was sabotaged by Aldama's jump.
At the end of the day, Reeves is a young player. And this was just the beginning of his irrational performance in the first half.
Then this "casualness" began to pass among the Lakers players:
Davis started dropping low again for the ball.
Unsurprisingly, he was pinched, couldn't read the empty spot, and made a mistake.
And then, another very unnecessary elbow foul.
It was Davis' second foul in the first quarter.
Hamm chooses to risk continuing to keep AD on the court, so Morant naturally won't miss the chance to continue killing AD (if Davis makes 3 fouls in the first quarter, the Lakers will be in huge trouble).
He used cover to kill straight to the middle - and perhaps to protect Davis from Morant's direct impact, Russell on the weak side chose to completely let Roddy go, stepped forward to "close" with Schroeder, and tried to keep Morant out of the box.
And Morant read Roddy's open space brilliantly, jumped up to pass, and Roddy hit a three-point shot.
That's the playoffs, and every round is tied together — when you make a mistake on one side, you pay the price on the other.
Hamm then replaced AD after two rounds, but instead of going on Gabriel like G4, the Lakers put on a small lineup.
Considering the presence of 3Js on the opposite side, I refused at first glance at this small lineup - but in fact, this small lineup ended up with excellent results and became the reason why the Lakers opened the score in the first half.
Through the review, we can see more defensive details of the Lakers' small lineup - first, the first picture Schroder executed a full-court pressing as soon as he came up. His purpose in doing this is to make the opponent consume as much time as possible in the half, and under this defensive pressure, the opposing point guard has a high probability of choosing to shoot - so as to disrupt the opponent's game plan and improve the defensive quality of the small lineup as much as possible.
This is exactly what happened in the second picture - under Schroeder's step-by-step pressure, Jones hurriedly gave the ball to Roddy in the bottom corner, and because there were only 9 seconds left, Roddy did not dare to risk passing back, and simply played himself, but was defended by Beasley.
The Lakers strengthened the outside defensive pressure, which I only noticed when watching the rematch, and the small lineup defensive focus I noticed when watching the live broadcast was actually on Jalen Jackson Jr. - the same reason why the Lakers lost in G2, the reason why the Grizzlies lost points during this time was that the Lakers sold a flaw on the inside (small lineup, always find a misplacement), the Grizzlies are constantly looking for 3J, hoping to take advantage of his misalignment advantage, but the ability of 3J to break the pinch and break before the loop is insufficient, so it has failed many times, resulting in the overall offense stagnating.
The round shown above is an example - Schroeder desperately went around the front to push Jaren Jackson Jr. out of the box to prevent him from receiving the ball easily, and in the instant after 3J received the ball, Brown's pinch had arrived, and finally Schroeder successfully knifed the ball.
(Once again, I have to praise Schroeder's defense)
Let's take a look at a few more 3J deflated shots:
The outside line failed to try to force Hachimura with the ball - the layup on the right side of the 3J burst was much worse than the left side of the burst.
In the second quarter, the Lakers were still a small lineup, and the Grizzlies still used 3J as the center of attack, but the effect was still not very good, and the Lakers covered up front and back, making 3J play very hard (but the ball was blown and interfered).
After Reeves Jr. came on the court, he went around the front to defend 3J very well, during this time the Grizzlies often spent 5-6 seconds of offensive time in the process of feeding 3J, and often failed to feed like the picture above and caused mistakes.
They tried to block Schroder by blocking and creating opportunities for 3J and the outside, but the Lakers did a good job of shrinking and assisting, and the Grizzlies' open three-point position in the first half was always uncontrollable, allowing them to punish the Lakers' small lineup with a lot less effective:
On the contrary, the Lakers' small lineup was very fast by counterattacking and using the change of defense to catch the misalignment, and the score was gradually pulled apart:
The above three pictures show that from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the second quarter, Schroder used misalignment, defensive weak ring (Kennard), and double block to successfully score for the Lakers. I won't explain much, and everyone can see it for themselves.
The difference from the last game is that the Lakers' ball has not been in James' hands during this time, but it still plays a good offensive effect - it can be regarded as showing the possibility of some small lineups. (It's not just LeBron's style of playing)
Subsequently, Davis came on the field, and the two teams changed their attack and defense again:
As soon as Davis came on the court, the Lakers once again played a double cover disassembly tactic - this round the Lakers took advantage of the Grizzlies' retreat to find mistakes - they used Roddy against Reeves, and obviously like a meat mound, Roddy couldn't squeeze cover at all, and 3J was not present at this time, so Tillman did not dare to take a strong delay this round, so James took advantage of the Grizzlies' interior defense to be compressed by thick eyebrows, and received the ball for a layup.
The score of this round immediately made the Grizzlies realize the danger:
Jenkins immediately signaled to Tillman to switch defenses, so the next round, when the Lakers once again sacrificed a double cover tactic, the Grizzlies broke the Lakers' double cover tactics with the same unlimited change of defense as G2.
It can be seen that even in Game 4, when the Grizzlies can change defenses indefinitely, the Lakers' tactic is still difficult to implement smoothly - Bane's ability to circle forward is quite strong, and Reeves still has no idea in the face of Tillman's misalignment.
Next, the Grizzlies broke the Lakers' double cover tactics several times:
As long as the Grizzlies change defenses, whether it is Russell or Reeves, there is not much to do, and Davis's confrontation with Bane on the inside does not take advantage of the slightest, and Brown can't feed the ball - Bane has a low center of gravity and enough strength, just for Davis' instability in the next set. The Grizzlies' weak side is always ready to help defend the knife ball, and it is difficult to find the timing of the pass.
The Lakers continue to double block removal, the Grizzlies continue to change defense, this time replaced by James feeding the ball still can't feed - the pass low will be Bain knife (Grizzlies change defense in the first round), pass high hanging ball will give the weak side assistant defense players time, just like this round, will also be slapped off.
Not only is the double cover not good, once the Grizzlies choose to change defense, the Lakers even begin to limit the normal blocking, the ball is transmitted outside, but there is no chance.
We can see that throughout the second quarter, in fact, the Grizzlies had the upper hand in tactical adjustments (they successfully limited the Lakers' way of starting positional battles), and the Lakers were able to gain the upper hand in the first half (4/5 quarters to be exact) not because of how good their offense was, but because of their defense - LeBron and Davis frequently sent big hats, outside positivity was also very high, the Lakers put the Grizzlies in a scoring drought of up to 3 minutes, and in the deafening era at home, the Lakers relied on counterattacks and strong shots , and there is always some way to score points.
That's the playoffs, and it's not enough to do the right thing on one side. And immediately, this sentence was also returned to the Lakers.
In the last two minutes of the second quarter, the excited Lakers lost two frontcourt rebounds to give the Grizzlies five points, Reeves once passed Russell to miss the gap, he played two more heroic balls and did not score, and then James misplaced and directly pulled out a three-point miss, Davis was suspected of being fouled and missed, Russell stopped suddenly - the Lakers' series of misattacks allowed the Grizzlies to find a chance. The likes of Bane and 3J scored consecutive shots and free throws, and the Lakers' lead was almost eaten away.
There is not much to analyze during this period, almost caught in a chaotic battle, and the biggest impact on the Lakers is not the score being chased, but the fact that Reeves received his third foul while he was on top.
In the second half, the Lakers made adjustments on both sides, and one of the most obvious changes on the Grizzlies' side was that they changed their ball-carrying promoter from Morant to Bane, who played well in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies played a Spanish block as soon as they came up (the ball carrier and No. 5 first made an arc top block combination, and then No. 3 came from the baseline and then made a free throw line back cover for the ball carrier to block the opponent's No. 5 defense), and Bane scored a shot.
Leaving the ball to Bane was the right decision, as Bane now has more options for starting with the ball than Morant, who is injured in his right hand – he has no scruples about going out (Morant is now more on the left side) and he can also score from mid-range.
After Reeves received the fourth offense, Bane's counterpart became Beasley, and the power of this change became even more prominent.
After Bane held the ball, blocked and attracted the assistant defense, Morant used Van der Biao's defensive inertia to break through and score - Beasley faced Bane, and Vanderbilt had to choose to assist the defense.
Bane blocked with the ball, attracted Davis to change defenses, and assisted Tillman to hit a basket.
Bane used cover to cut out the catch and hit the basket to cause a foul.
The Grizzlies responded with a double cover from the Lakers — although LeBron chose to switch defenses, Davis still sank, so he couldn't interfere with Bane's shot.
Reeves' foul trouble cost the Lakers — they couldn't block the Grizzlies' offense in the second half as they did in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies scored 31 points in the third quarter, the highest of any four, but thankfully, they were able to find a way to bite the score in the first half.
The key person who helped the Lakers bite the score was Russell:
For some reason, the Grizzlies switched back to sinking when facing double cover, so Russell scored an easy layup.
In the next round, the Grizzlies switched back to a strong delay defense, and Russell made good judgment and hung high to Davis at a good time, attracting a 3J defense and scoring Van der Biao for a dunk, successfully breaking the Grizzlies' delay defense.
That's what I'm saying — the Grizzlies are adjusting, and the Lakers are adjusting. They are constantly trying to find ways to break the opponent's strategy.
Since then, Russell has broken the Grizzlies' blocking defensive scoring twice, saving everyone's traffic one by one, let's see where the change in this quarter happened.
Until the sixth minute into this quarter, the Lakers and Grizzlies were still evenly matched - the Grizzlies were efficient offense, but the Lakers were not bad.
But at this time, as Morant injured his wrist again, the two sides adjusted, and the change began to happen:
Because Reeves was carrying four fouls, the Lakers did not dare to take him with five minutes to go, so they simply replaced James with eight village bases (during the break). As a result, the lineup on the court became a three-forward line + Davis + Russell - the Lakers handled the ball only one with Russell, and there were two non-shooting points on the court, and the space was extremely poor.
The Lakers' offense came to a standstill in an instant.
Take this round as an example, after LaSalle broke through the score, he saw that the bottom corner was Vanderbilt, Van der Biao did not dare to shoot, dribbled in and did not know how to deal with it, stumbled to the cut Brown, but the quality of the pass was not high, and it ended with a mistake.
After Russell handed over the hand to block the demolition, another 4 people stood still, and Russell didn't know how to deal with it, and suddenly missed a shot in eight villages.
This round can be seen Davis's poor defensive reading and ball handling ability - when he and Vanderbilt both got a misalignment, he did not choose to ask his teammates to pull away to the low post, nor did he choose to use cover to use his height to dry, but let Vanderbilt come up as a fake cover and immediately disassemble to the basket - this offensive choice is already very inexplicable, and when Vanderbilt took apart to get an empty position, Davis did not have the ability to pass the ball at all.......
This round is really confusing for those who watch it, and there is a feeling that Davis "targets his own weak ring".
After a few rounds, the difference quickly widened. What to do?
It has to be a small lineup to fight defense:
Reeves was forced to return, and Schroder came up to continue his heroic performance in the second quarter, and the Lakers played two extremely pressing defenses, one causing a 24-second violation and one directly breaking out of bounds.
Then with the return of double control, their double cover tactics returned:
Why didn't the Lakers play double cover this round and didn't play before? I think it's mainly because the person who receives 45 degrees on the weak side has become more able to handle the ball - so that even if the strong side does not form a chance, the weak side can punish Kennard (just like in the second quarter). Conversely, when there is only one point on the field, Brown or Hachimura have limited things they can do to catch the ball in that position.
And, of course, it also has to do with the Grizzlies' rotation with Kennard — so it's really intertwined.
With the return of the dual point guards, the Lakers gradually pulled the point difference back, but at this time they encountered an uncontrollable variable: feel.
LeBron's sudden points have created a large space on the outside, but the Lakers' three-point points have always popped up, which has prevented the Lakers from completely turning the momentum back.
It wasn't until the final attack of the third quarter that Hachimura's three-point shot in the bottom corner finally hit. The Lakers also took advantage of this to equalize the score:
In general, the offensive and defensive games and strategic adjustments of the two sides in the first three quarters are very many and very targeted.
For the Lakers, they were actually the slightly dominant side in the adjustment — but Reeves' foul trouble and lax lead in the first half allowed them to lose their lead and get into domino-like trouble.
This reminds us once again: in the playoffs, there is no time to relax.
Then enter the fourth quarter, when the two teams put on a core showdown:
On the Grizzlies' side, the offense was led by Bane, blossomed inside and out, and scored 14 points in a single quarter;
On the Lakers' side, James frequently made roll calls, and Russell once again took out a double cover, but this time in the face of 3J's defense, he singled out a three-point shot and hit three in a row.
These pictures, the content is actually relatively simple, everyone should be more impressed, so I will not analyze them one by one.
We'll see you next game.
(This issue is relatively long, but without these GIFs, I am worried that people will not fully understand what I am talking about...) In short, the fans who can see here are true love fans and serious football watchers. Real competition is so complicated, but that's the beauty of the sport, isn't it? ）