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Sunday’s Secret Weapon

30 Jan 2012

Aptly pegged by Beckley Mason as the smartest analysis you’ll read about Sunday’s heavyweight bout — present company excluded — Brett Koremenos breaks down Chicago’s flashes of zone defense as the latest move in the Bulls-Heat chess match:

[T]he latest twist in strategy came with Tom Thibodeau deployed a zone for a handful of possession starting in the middle of the first quarter. While this move was most likely meant to help Derrick Rose avoid picking up a debilitating third foul, it could be tool the Bulls use again come playoff time. The question of whether or not they use it is something that remains to be seen, but both teams now have the tape to assess whether not it will be effective and to what degree. …

By unofficial count, the Bulls limited Miami to 5 points over 6 possessions (0.83 PPP). Obviously, six possessions is a ridiculously small sample size. That is where the film comes into play and when looking at that, the answer becomes much less clear.

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