[Editor's Note: Eric Weiss is going to provide a key-matchup scouting report before every game. Enjoy. - Green17]
Arenas vs. Rondo
Arenas’s top 3 tendencies: ISO(28% of the time), Transition(18%), P&R/Single (16%)
- Goes right 49% of the time
- pulls up for jumper 39% of the time (NBA% average: 45th percentile)
- drives to basket 61% of the time (NBA% excellent: 86th percentile)
- Goes Left 51% of the time
- pulls up for jumper 47% of the time (NBA% very good: 69th percentile)
- drives to basket 53% of the time (NBA% excellent: 87th percentile)
83-100=Excellent // 65-82=Very Good // 51-64=Good // 31-50=Average // 15-30=Below Average // 0-14=Poor
-Statistics courtesy of Synergy Sports Technology-
The Match up:
On the left side set-up, force him baseline if you can as its his lowest efficiency in ISO situations (60th percentile.) Set up on the right side the best chance to limit his effectiveness is to force him into the pull-up jumper, which is hard to do as Arenas uses his size to good effect and can usually bull his way to the basket. From the top of the key Arenas is least effective going toward his right however, (50th percentile) and good communication with the help defender in the post should help to force Arenas into more pull-up shots.
When Arenas gets hot there isn’t much to be done about it. His percentages are extremely solid in all facets of the game. Like most scorers of his caliber, it is best to try and deny him the ball for as long as possible and try to limit his touches to the last 12 seconds of the shot clock. Arenas uses screens well to rid himself of pesky defenders, so its going to be up to Rondo to stay tough and cut off the drives to the basket off of these cuts. Following over the top or trailing on these motion plays will wreak havoc on the Celtics defense as Arenas will be able to turn the corner and drive uncontested into the paint area-this will get the big men in foul trouble.
Rondo’s best defensive strategy should probably rely on a collaborative effort between him and the strong-side post defender. Ball-denial for as long as possible followed by heavy pressure on the catch. If Arenas is set up on the left side Rondo should hedge against a right handed drive by leaving the left baseline open. As long as the post defender is aware of this strategy the combination of Rondo and he should force a decent amount of baseline pull-ups, which aren’t a significant strength of Arenas.
Arenas is great at balancing out his drives all over the court, so playing the percentages and working together will be essential. On the right side of the court the strategy should be much the same, pressure and contain with strong-side interior rotation. Arenas is very good at countering with a mid-drive crossover though, so patience and intelligence will be needed when the defense is in motion.