Why won’t the Nuggets run more pick-and-roll?

Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop brought up an interesting statistic regarding the struggling Nuggets:

According to Synergy Sports, the Nuggets have choreographed a pick-and-roll — then hit the roll man — 17 times in this series. The results:

* Nine made baskets
* Six trips to the free throw line
* Two missed shot attempts

That’s an 88.2 percent success rate.

Those 17 possessions in sequence is an impressive reel of video. Ball-handlers/passers include Billups, Anthony, Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith. All the Nuggets bigs are represented among the roll men. Whatever the scenario, the Nuggets score on 15 of the 17 opportunities, which leaves you with one question:

Why are the Nuggets running this action only four times per game?

When asked why his team isn’t running what seems to be working, interim head coach Adrian Dantley had this to say:

“We looked over our offensive stats and we definitely score more on our pick-and-rolls,” Dantley said.

Then why doesn’t he call for them more often over the course of the game?

“That’s the way we play,” Dantley said. “We’ve had more success right now with the pick-and-roll, more than ‘random,’ but our basketball team is known as a ‘random’ basketball team.”

At some point, doesn’t a team have to recognize what works? And whatever the identity of the team might be, shouldn’t the team conform to what’s working?

“That’s what we’ve told them,” Dantley said. “Whether they do it every time, that’s a different story. Statistically, we tell them every game, ‘Hey, run the pick-and-roll. Run drags. We’ve had success with that more than “random” basketball.'”

Given that success, will that be the plan Wednesday night in Game 5?

“I’m agreeing with you,” Dantley said. “Statistically, we’ve had success on pick-on-rolls. We’ve told them that. We want them to do that tomorrow. Hopefully they do it. But, the last five years, we do more ‘random’ than we do pick-and-roll.”

“Hopefully they do it.” No wonder the Nuggets are on the verge of elimination.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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