Or “The Augustine Good Defense Shoutout Post”
Turnovers Key to CSKA’s Game 2 Win or: The Augustine Good Defense Shoutout Post
If you haven’t seen the two key plays that settled Game 2 between CSKA and Baskonia (in Moscow), here they are:
That’s a decent inbounds play turned excellent by a nice Beaubois 3 (and, not insignificantly, Higgins seemingly tripping over his own feet). That tied the game with a little over 10 seconds to go. Then this happened:
A ridiculously tough Teodosić shot leads to a Kyle Hines rebound and foul call (some found it dubious, I thought he got hit on the arm while shooting the putback — to me that’s a foul). Hines knocked-in the free throws, and CSKA won. However, I’m here to briefly rewind and highlight the earlier action in the game, which got us to that exciting finish. And one of the unexpected keys? Good defense from none other than James Augustine. Miloš peaks his head in for a forced turnover as well — can you believe it! Less shocking? A number of Hines defensive highlights ahead, as well.
There’s that aforementioned forced turnover by Miloš. However, Roddy B didn’t exactly help himself by dribbling deep into the baseline area into 3 defenders (including our man Augustine) — you really want to make that a probe, turn, dish. He had an open 3-point shooter behind him thanks to refusing the screen in semi-transition, but never even saw his teammate. That’s a bad one.
It was particularly a story of turnovers for Baskonia in the 1st half. Augustine ended the game with 2 steals (he had 4 in the first game of the series, by the way — racking them up), and he played good positional defense as well. Here he is locking down Shane Larkin on a switch:
And here’s his steal against Tornike Shengelia, again guarding on the perimeter. These guys expect to be able to tear Augustine out there, but he more than held his own in this game.
Shengelia, Beaubois, and Larkin all had 3 turnovers apiece — however Larkin dished nicely overall (8 assists), and Beaubois was left open by CSKA when he wasn’t turning the ball over (5/9 from 3). Shengelia finished with as many turnovers as points, and in general was a major liability in this game for Baskonia.
More gifs ahead let you see the combination of sloppy Baskonia play, as well as good CSKA rotations. Here’s Beaubois stepping out of bounds when isolated on the wing/corner area:
You see Beaubois makes a nice cut after Diop’s screening helps to confuse Fridzon…but good hands by Kyle Hines (never a surprise when he pulls his weight on D) leads to a fastbreak for CSKA.
Here, Shengelia gets overexcited to make his move on the catch, with some space. Maybe a tough call by the ref, frankly.
Shengelia again a little sloppy here, and Hines again shows off good hands. Hines is an excellent option to limit Shengelia’s post/mid-post game, and CSKA’s Itoudis is aware of that.
Needless to say, Baskonia was just one play away from winning this game. Look for them to play a little calmer and limit their turnovers, shoot a little better, and (probably) pick-up a home win in their upcoming game in Vitoria-Gasteiz.