Ben McLemore Versus Iowa State Second Half and OT Breakdown

0:00    McLemore jumps off his man to attempt to cover for a teammates defensive confusion.  He is momentarily out of position, but only due to a teammate’s mistake, and does a good job recovering to his man while denying a pass.  In some NBA defensive systems, over-helping, especially one pass off the ball, is discourage, however HIs ability to recognize an immediate threat and then instantly recover when his teammate is back in position shows a defensive focus not generally attributed to McLemore


0:08    Though it is semi-contested and early in the shot clock, this is a good shot from McLemore.  The drawn foul creates a beneficial result, but more importantly, McLemore, a good three point shooter often criticized for being too passive takes advantage of an opportunity.  Generally, decent looks from the corner three are very efficient shots.   The back screen to free up a corner three point shooter is often used in the NBA during out of bounds plays and for weak side shooters.  McLemore does a good job squaring to the basket, but is fading slightly to the side.  With consistent footwork and continued practice reps, McLemore should be able to improve his already strong off-ball game.


0:12    McLemore makes a nice pass to the roll man.  However, he appeared to pick up his dribble before finding the open man, and had to scramble to eventually made the right play.  Compared to most NBA defensive possessions, Iowa State’s pick and roll defense was flawed, leaving an easy pass to a scorer in a high-efficiency position.  The pick and roll will be key to McLemore’s development as a scorer.


0:20    Here, McLemore gets into the lane off a pick and roll and makes a nice push shot over the defensive big man.  McLemore’s original defender was taken out of the play by a likely illegal screen.  On most possession, McLemore’s defender will be recovering to harass him as he makes the hesitation move at the free throw line.   Though he made the shot, he should try to get all the way to the rim when he has the defender baking up in a similar situation.


0:26    Though it likely went unacknowledged as the shot was made, McLemore’s box out is significant.  McLemore keeps his man on his back, preventing any offensive rebound possibility.  The rebounder gets all the credit, but teammate box outs often allow the eventual rebounder to gain possession.


0:30    Though he is relatively open.  This is not very good shot selection.  He takes a long two when he could have curled into the lane after receiving the pass, and set up a better shot for himself or teammates.  Also, McLemore’s exaggerated backpedal after the release indicates an off-balance shot.


0:38    McLemore gets caught on the screen, then recovers at a bad angle.  He should have cut parallel to the free throw line to cut off the driving lane while remaining able to contest the jump shot but instead moves diagonally towards the ball handler, allowing the ball handler to blow by the recovery.


0:44    McLemore gets caught ball watching and is caught off-guard by the kick out to his man in the corner.


0:50    McLemore completely turns his head away from his man, a signal for any offensive player to cut.   Again, McLemore was caught ball watching on defense.


0:56    This is a bad foul, but these mistakes happen to every young player.


1:06    This good effort play was preceded by another example of attentive defensive rebounding positioning from McLemore


1:12    McLemore was right not to force a shot and instead pass to a teammate.  However, he could have created a better chance at a shot attempt for himself had he rubbed directly off the screen and not taken a hesitation dribble as his defender recovered.  A timely example of what McLemore could have done is given by the San Antonio Spurs, who often have Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker run looping routes to receive a pass and continue their curl into the paint in one motion.