Sometimes the highlights do tell the story

March, 12, 2010
3/12/10
12:43
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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How any basketball game is won or lost is complicated. A zillion things go into it. And no highlight package can tell the whole story.

But this one tells us something about how the Warriors got outscored by 18 in the final quarter.

There are five plays here: A Brandon Roy jumper, two Roy layups, a Rudy Fernandez jumper, and an Andre Miller pass to LaMarcus Aldridge for a point-blank layup.

Three of the give buckets, in other words, came at the rim.

And here's why that's remarkable: Check out the Warriors' defensive set-up! At almost every moment, on those three plays when Portland scored in the paint, Golden State had five defenders in the paint. There were a minimum of four. The Blazers had open shooters all over the perimeter. That's what Golden State was conceding with their "pack it in" approach.

Yet somehow Roy and Aldridge manage to befuddle all those guys. Roy did a bit of the juking and tricking which made him famous. The Warriors are hardly the first to fall for his fakes. But he does get two big buckets in the paint, against five guys, without even getting above the rim.

More importantly, look at that last play in the highlights. Andre Miller drives baseline. There are five defenders in the paint. And ... nobody can stay with the high-scoring forward right under the hoop? Really?

It's like a martial arts movie: Can the hero really win a one-on-five battle? Not normally. But if the five are going to fight (or not) like that ... well then, maybe.

Henry Abbott | email

TrueHoop, NBA

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