By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
A quick blog post on former Hornet/Bobcat Gerald Henderson returning to Charlotte, checking in the game and within four seconds facing an out-of-bounds play which we ran specifically for him numerous times over the last couple of years.
The Hornets “Short” Play
If my memory/research serves me correctly this out-of-bounds play, which our players and coaches refer to as “Short”, was brought over by Steve Clifford’s coaching staff. I’ve questioned myself previously about this (suggesting that it, perhaps, is the work of assistant coach Stephen Silas) but I haven’t been able to find the play executed before the 2013-14 season. That would be the season when coach Clifford, his associate head coach Patrick Ewing and assistants Bob Weiss, Bob Beyer (now in Detroit) and Mark Price (now with NCAA’s Charlotte 49ers) first started working here.
Despite opposing squads constantly getting burnt by it, the play is actually quite simple.
It starts off with some misdirection action as a big (in this case Al Jefferson) cuts from one side of the paint to the other one. In the perfect scenario, where the big is actually on his assignment (like Marcin Gortat) and not sagging off to bother passing lanes, the designated player of “Short” (in this case Henderson) sets a cross-screen for him and thus gives the defense even more reason to believe that Jefferson should be under supervision:
Henderson then supposedly continues his movement towards the three-point line, while the other big (in this case Josh McRoberts) is already looming to set a screen:
Only for Hendo to make a sharp turn to his left and curl around McBob’s screen, while his man (Trevor Ariza) is still dedicated to follow him:
The man in Gortat’s role is hopefully somewhat concerned by the Jefferson cut and thus doesn’t pay any mind. The player who chased Henderson is in no man’s land after committing to track him. And the defender of the screen setter (Trevor Booker), to be honest, is usually oblivious to the fact that anything is going on:
In Booker’s defense though, that’s a tough spot to be in. Unless you fully know what is going on, you have to out-jump Henderson with your back to the basket from a stand-still, while he has the benefit of being in motion.
Hendo’s prefer-ability of jumping off two feet and his explosiveness made him the perfect target for “Short” as he completed a few beauties for coach Clifford in those two last seasons:
(It’s a real shame that some broadcasts didn’t fully capture this play.)
Jeremy Lamb – The New Recipient of “Short”
Flash-forward to the present season. Henderson has been traded and there is an opening for the position of alley-oop dunking off “Short” if you’re up to it.
For some reason, we firstly tried out Jeremy Lin, someone you don’t exactly associate with finishing alley-oop plays. It ended badly.
Although in his defense, another former Charlottean in Josh McRoberts deserves credit for notifying Justise Winslow of what is about to happen and to go under the screen. I’m scared to think about what would have happened if this were Hendo and he attempted a poster dunk on Winslow.
Either way, Jeremy Lin failed the audition and Lamb was up next. Up until last night’s Portland game he was 2 for 2 on “Short” opportunities by laying in some difficult looks with the help of his lanky body:
Hendo Tries to Ruin “Short”
Said night was Gerald Henderson’s first game in Charlotte as a member of a visiting NBA team.
Hendo, being 6th in games played and 9th in points scored for the franchise (and also just a hard-working professional during his time here), received a tribute montage on the jumbotron during the first time-out.
The guard then checked in the game with :06.9 left in the first quarter to a warm reception and ironically within 4 seconds of playing time faced the out-of-bounds play, which once was his specifically designed for him and was his meal ticket for a cool NBA highlight.
Hendo, just like McRoberts earlier in the pre-season, instantly knew what was bound to happen and the broadcast even caught him depicting the play for his younger team-mates:
Only this time around Nicolas Batum was the one getting his first shot at “Short”…
Great read by Batum who has played some great basketball as of late.
Frank Kaminsky‘s DNP
A bit of a random side-note to close out this write -up.
It just so happens that the day before the Blazers game I touched on Frank Kaminsky’s lack of minutes from a historical standpoint. The conclusion was that 22-year-old bigs who play so few minutes in their rookie year very rarely develop into good players.
I don’t know if there are precedents for a team not playing a senior lottery pick in a game in which they were up by 29 but I can tell you the following.
The last senior lottery pick to be DNP’d within 10 games of his rookie year (health reasons notwithstanding)? Hilton Armstrong, back in 2006.
Once again, if he isn’t worthy of at least a few minutes then I don’t know what kind of a rookie Clifford considers ready for the league. Or, perhaps, in Clifford’s opinion Frank is on the career path of Hilton Armstrong (currently playing his second season in Turkey, I might add).