Breaking It Down

Breaking It Down (3 Plays): Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson Drawing Charges vs Pacers

Three charge plays that tell us the value of Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson on defense.

Now that you’ve already checked out the Breaking It Down segment on Terrence Ross and Tyler Hansbrough, here are three charge plays that I’d like to quickly review.

Play 1: Lowry in transition

This is Lowry picking up a charge after a turnover. The key thing to note here is that Lowry is playing perfect transition defense. As the ball is covered, his good positioning is taking away the easy pass to Paul George on the break, forcing Watson to look for another option, which happens to be Scola.

Lowry is not only cognizant of this potential pass but successfully predicts it and picks up the charge. Note that if Lowry had “set up” for the charge too early, the pass to George would’ve been easy. Instead, his timing of when to play defense on George and when to focus on Scola is bang on.

Play 2: Amir Johnson gets back in transition to surprise

The great part of this play is note where Amir Johnson is at the start of it. Paul George thinks he’s got a clear path to the rim and is not anticipating Johnson to get back on defense that quick, let alone set himself up to pick up a charge.

Play 3: Lowry draws a charge, thanks partly to Amir

The reason I love this play is because Lowry is really battling George in the post. The latter has made the cut to the rim looking for the ball hoping to exploit the height mismatch. Lowry sees that Hibbert is doing something that Hibbert doesn’t generally do – drive from the key – and leaves George to get in position. Now, the hidden beauty here is that the pass from Hibbert to George for an easy dunk is being blocked by Amir Johnson dropping down. It’s that little movement by Johnson that has made the decision for Hibbert to go in himself, instead of passing.

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