MIAMI -- Our good friend Kevin Arnovitz of the Heat Index has already done a fantastic job breaking down James Jones’ big night during Miami’s Game 1 triumph over the Celtics. While Boston simply lost Jones at times (often his man cheated too hard to help on penetration and couldn’t scramble back out to defend), ESPN Stats and Info noted that Miami ran the same play at least three times during the middle quarters, generating Jones three easy looks (and two of his five 3-pointers).
Here’s a quick glance at how the play operates:
The Heat, with a small lineup on the floor, already have a favorable matchup with Kevin Garnett defending Jones and they’re going to make him chase. With Mike Bibby handling the ball on the left wing, Jones sprints down the left side of the paint with LeBron James setting a pick at the elbow (and it doesn’t have to be a good one because the real action on the play is still to come). On the right side, Dwyane Wade and Joel Anthony are spacing the floor, but will come into play shortly.
After chipping Garnett to slow him down in pursuit of Jones, James shuffles out to set a screen on Bibby’s defender. This is where it starts getting tough for Boston because it has to be leery of the pick-and-roll as James slips towards the basket. Jermaine O’Neal steps up to prevent that option, but all that does is create more space on the right side where Jones is about to run around a stagger screen from Wade and Anthony.
Ray Allen is glued to Wade’s body -- no surprise given his big night -- and Garnett gets snagged by Wade, who is setting the first pick. Anthony is waiting to screen anyone that sneaks free while Jones finishes his curl.
Jones gets to his sweet spot on the right wing and Garnett really has no chance to get out and defend. Jones knocks down the easy 3-pointer -- his fifth of the night -- and Miami pushes its lead back to double digits, keeping Boston at bay yet again.
Go read more from Arnovitz. Keep an eye out to see if Miami goes back to the play again in Game 2.