Ben McLemore Vs. Kansas State First Half Breakdown

0:00    This defensive breakdown in transition by Kansas begins when McLemore takes a step towards the Kansas State ball handler, as if to defend him, then continues to run towards his man. Had McLemore picked up the ball-handler, the defensive big man would not have been forced to and could run to defend the basket.  This would have left a player open on the left wing but would likely have prevented the easy layup.


0:08    Out of control, McLemore throws a bad pass, leading to a turnover.  An extra dribble in the lane would allow him to further draw the help defender and have a better passing angle to the man in the high post.  Also, McLemore may have been able to make a pass to the big man under the basket had he not gone at such a lateral angle on his gather.


0:15    This time McLemore gets all the way to the rim on a nice drive that includes a faked change of direction to force the defensive big man to commit to a bad defensive angle.


0:22    McLemore appears to keep his head down while dribbling, causing him to miss the big man on the open role and get caught off guard by the aggressive defender, leading to a turnover.


0:28    The on-ball defender gets caught on a screen and McLemore helps to prevent a drive, leaving his man open from three one pass away.  Possibly due to a teammate’s presence, McLemore does not recover aggressively on the close-out.


0:40    Though he commits a foul, McLemore’s speed in recovering defensively is impressive.


0:43    At least McLemore won’t be intimidated by the NBA 3-point line.


0:49    McLemore does a good job running in transition, resulting in an open lane and a free throw opportunity.  He also showcases his athleticism with the explosion to the rim.


0:58    McLemore attempts to anticipate the screen and loses his man off-ball, but recovers before the offense can take advantage and plays impressive on-ball defense.  McLemore should not have taken his eyes completely off his man after seeing him move towards the original down screen.  It varies by team, but most NBA defenses avoid attempting to overplay off-ball screens, choosing instead to have defenders follow as tightly as possible with the assistance of off-ball hedges by big man to prevent easy asses when the offensive player gains space.


1:08    McLemore again launches from deep, this time for a better result.  He appeared to be perfectly on-balance, landing in the exact spot from which he jumped.


1:12    Another nice jump shot.  Teams will be more than respectful of McLemore’s shooting, giving him the opportunity to attack close outs.


1:21    McLemore closes out effectively, acknowledging that an open corner three is a far more damaging result than an open mid-range jumper, and has the athleticism to recover and prevent an opportunity in the lane.


1:29    McLemore anticipates a telegraphed pass and finishes in transition with a euro-step.


1:35    McLemore gathers the defensive rebound off a nice effort and comfortably pushes in transition. McLemore appears comfortable dribbling at high speeds and finishing in transition, a skill often absent in young players and shooters of his caliber.


1:46    Though he could have held the box –out longer, McLemore is in position and grabs a rebound.


1:53    Wary of the post-up, McLemore helps off his man in the corner.  He closes out and gets a hand up but does not really discourage a shot attempt.  Though a week of seeing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard close out on Heat shooters may have given me unfair expectations, McLemore should look to be more aggressive on his close outs.


1:57    McLemore takes longer getting around a screen that he should, forcing the hedging big men to remain on the perimeter long enough for the offensive big man to roll into the lane.


2:03    Though he deflects the pass, this is bad transition defense by McLemore, who allows the offensive player to get ahead of him on the break.


2:13    Another nice jump shot off an action he will likely go through many times in his career.