Kemba and Al - a Small Look into their Potential

Let’s take a look at the offense against Boston. Early on it was quite encouraging and I think as the season progresses, we’ll add more to it so we don’t stagnate as much throughout the game as the defense adjusts.

The first play we run a down screen with Hendo while Tolliver and MKG literally hold hands on the weak side.



Hendo flashes but the lane is clogged, so Walker and Jefferson run a PnR. Tyd6zvu_medium


The Celtics send Olynyk to help leaving Tolliver open, Kemba makes the right read. Jl0fuym_medium


Tolliver makes a good entry pass. At the same time, look at how great the spacing is… This would be even better if MKG stayed further out and his 3pt shot was more of a threat.

Once inside, Al surveys the landscape… 1kk2wef_medium


Good pass by Al leads to an easy lay-up after a nice cut by Kemba. 2-0.

On the following defensive possesion, Kemba plays good D on Crawford to force a miss. He starts the semi-transition with a long pass to Henderson. Hendo and Al work a nice two man game against a non-set Celtic’s defense, open jumper. Cats lead 4-0.

Kemba then gets a steal, and gives a nice assist to MKG on the break. Oh wait he misses the lay-up. Walker Should be Assist Count (1). The miss leads to a counter break. Big Al provides no rim protection on what should have been a contested dunk. 4-2.

New action next offense. Charlotte shows the Al post on the left block but only as decoy. Tolliver gets the ball on the weak elbow, Al sets a nice screen for walker who gets into the paint, gives a great feed to Al, who misses the shot but gets fouled. Walker Should be Assist Count (2). Al is perfect from the line. 6-2.

On defense, Al gets caught going for a steal… Kt5whvh_medium




His perimeter defense then amounts to trying to tackle Olynyk on the cut. Score 6-4. Both buckets given up by Al so far. But he’s created all 6 pts of offense…

Next play down they switch Al to the right block to free up the left for Hendo. He drives, keeps his dribble and finds a wide open MKG. Buckets on the 20 footer. 8-4.

Predictable Boston possession leads to a decent look from Bass at 20 ft, brick, good board by MKG.

Semi-transition by MKG leads to Walker/Tolliver two man game on the weak side. A nice pocket pass by walker on the pick and pop, leads to a made 3pt bucket. Kemba actual assists (1). Kemba Should be Assist Watch (3). Score: 11-4.

After the made bucket, Charlotte sets up solid half court defense that leads to Al with some nice help D to stay in front of and strip Bradley. Leads to a semi transition stopped by Bradley with a foul on KW.

A fair amount of early action with Al on the right block screening for MKG. Nothing real materializes so they quickly swing it to the left side. Easy entry pass by Walker to Al on his preferred left block… But notice only 8 seconds on the shot clock. Gsxorxx_medium


Still Al makes easy work of Bass and it’s 13-4. Giving Kemba an assist here for the entry pass, the Kemba shot creation/Should be Assist Watch (4).

Next play down. Kemba helps on 3 separate drives, stays in front of Crawford, and the perimeter D looks great. Contested Green 3 bricks. No rebound.

In the half court on offense, Charlotte tries to work High-Low with Tolliver and Al… bad entry pass, first turnover. Still this was very early in the shot clock, and a little more chemistry might have earned an easy look here.

Back down the court, Hendo gets caught on a nice screen by Olynyk, bank shot by Bradley on the pull up. 13-6.

Early action, MKG to Tolliver back to Kemba to open space on the left block for an easy entry pass to Al with 16 seconds still left on the shot clock. Walker cuts back door, Crawford follows. Al assesses for a full 5 seconds. But during this time, the entire Celtics defense gets into the paint. 1ehbe1m_medium


Double comes from Green, out to MKG, quick repost around the cheating Bass… easy 2. 15-6.

In just under 5 minutes of game clock, we got Al the ball on four of seven half-court possessions. Out of eight total possessions, I credit Kemba for creating four scoring opportunities, but he only got one actual assist. That’s the difference between a 50% Ast Ratio and a 12.5% Ast Ratio.

This small sample size is an example of how we can create offense without a ton of shooting and how Kemba really managed the offense quite well early on. And he made three great passes (MKG on the break, Al in the paint, and Tolliver on the pick and pop). We know that after this things got worse (especially in the 3rd quarter). A lot of this is due to Boston fronting Jefferson early on in the 2nd half. We have to get better at adjusting to defensive adjustments, but that will come with time. A lot of this stuff we likely installed in the pre-season, we’re working back into it with little practice time. I have hope for the Kemba and Big Al offense. Kemba did a great job organizing and running an offense where Big Al was involved in every single half court posessions (either by getting the ball or by creating space for others).

Conclusion: If we can get to where we run this offense for 35 minutes a game… I think we can greatly improve our shot selection and as a result our FG% (which has been putrid so far).

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