After Game 3 J.J., frustrated with the offense grinding to a halt against Chicago’s aggressive D, said he would “force the issue” Sunday. Basically Joe doesn’t think L.D.’s share-the-ball philosophy is the right way to do it even considering all the double teams faced by he and Jamal.
According to Synergy Sports Technology, Joe has used 26 isolation possessions against the Bulls out of 59 total isos for the Hawks. He’s scored 22 points on those 26 possessions.
Joe’s efficiency on those plays has declined with each game in the series.
In Game 1, Joe used 12 iso possessions and scored 14 points with 5 of 8 shooting, four free throws and two turnovers. In Game 2, Joe used six iso possessions and scored four points with 2 of 5 shooting and a turnover. In Game 3, Joe used eight iso possessions and scored four points with 2 of 8 shooting.
Joe was already gone when media were allowed access to the locker room today but L.D. addressed Joe’s frustrations:
“They are playing him physical. If he’s not being double teamed, they have climbed up in him. He is just going to have to combat that. There are a lot of key players on teams that other players play physical against and they just combat it. There are a lot of key players that get double teamed and they play out of double teams. A lot of playing out of double teams is not trying to beat double teams but making plays and you have to show a willingness to give the ball up and trust your teammates. If you continue to try to beat the double team by yourself you are playing into the opposition’s hands. We did a good job with that against Orlando. Orlando ran a very similar [scheme], the game plan was to take it out of his hands, double-team him. We made the right plays out of it. When you are playing against a team that is going to roughhouse you and play you physical, you have to combat that. A lot of these great players around the league, they face it every single night. You have got to look at how they play you, watch film, combat it. Don’t put yourself in situations where they can constantly be up on you. Draw fouls. That’s one of the things we need to do more of vs. that type of pressure, when they are playing like that.”
Could J.J. help himself by making quicker decisions against pressure?
“Without a doubt. When you know teams are playing you the way they are playing Joe, you have got to do things faster. That was something we put a lot of emphasis in at the start of the playoffs against Orlando is for him to do things faster. They are not going to let you and just jockey around with it. They are going to be on top of it right away. You have got to do things a lot faster. Your moves have got to be quicker and then just up into your shot. Just jockeying around trying to create space and go one-on-one against a set defense the way that they play him, chances are it is going to be tough for him. But if he does things just a little quicker–coming off screens, looking to shoot the ball right away–those are the kind of things that free you up.”
But is J.J. comfortable playing that way considering his deliberate style?
“Comfortable? I don’t know. Capable? Yes. He has shown the ability to come off screens and shoot the ball. Certainly I have seen him go into moves a lot quicker. I don’t know how comfortable he is doing it but I know he is capable.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat