Adelman's Corner set offense found all over NBA

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Adelman's Corner set offense found all over NBA

He lost out on the Lakers job, yet his fingerprints can be found on nearly every team in the NBA this season including those self-same Lakers.
Phil Jackson? No. Rick Adelman.
The most common set being used by teams this season goes by a variety of names Corner, Push, Wide, Motion, Sacramento but theres one man credited for popularizing it: Adelman, who was passed over for the Lakers job two years ago in favor of Mike Brown, who was recently fired five games into this season and after 83 total games at the Lakers helm.
Adelman was subsequently hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves, which has a winning record in spite of an absolute avalanche of injuries. Thats an Adelman specialty taking whatever group of players hes given and making them instantly competitive. In 21 seasons with five different teams, hes made the playoffs 21 times.
One reason is his Corner set offense. The rest of the league has taken notice, which is why more than two-thirds of the leagues 30 teams run some version of it. Even Mike DAntoni, hired by the Lakers to replace Brown, uses it when forced into a half-court offense.
Just about everybody runs it, said Denver Nuggets assistant coach Melvin Hunt. You almost have to, just so your guys know how to defend it.
Most teams call it Sacramento, because thats where Adelman used it to such noticeable success, leading the Kings to the playoffs every one of his eight seasons with them, including a run to the Western Conference finals in 2002. It has been making its way into opposing playbooks ever since. The San Antonio Spurs have long had a version of it. The Mavericks used it to great success to win the 2011 NBA title, as did the Miami Heat to win the 2012 championship.Ricks impact has been phenomenal, said one NBA scout. The (WNBAs) Minnesota Lynx are even running it.
The system is ideal for teams with good jump-shooting guards and big men with passing skills. The basic premise is for the point guard to get the ball to a big man at the free-throw line elbow and then curl to the nearest corner. The second guard then sets a down screen for the point guard. The two guards then cut, or split, away from each other and the big man looks for the one who is open. If neither one is, the ball swings to the other side of the floor, most often for a pick-and-roll action.
The Kings are back to using it and the Golden State Warriors are expected to run it as much as anybody with David Lee and Andrew Bogut passing from the high post and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes picking for each other.
Its kind of sexy now because most of the bigs in the league are not post-up bigs, Hunt said. It facilitates movement and balances the floor. It has a ton of stuff you can do out of it.
Its also a perfect balance of structure and freedom. There are basic rules, but the players are free to operate within them as they see fit.Its a flow offense that allows the modern player to do what he does best read and react, the scout said. Theres never been a guy who hasnt liked playing for Rick Adelman. Even Tracy McGrady, who was a pain in the balls, liked playing in this system.
The Lakers said at the time that they chose Brown over Adelman because his interview was so much better, but one other reason could have been Lakers executive Jim Buss committed desire to move away from the Triangle offense. The Corner system bears some resemblance.Hopefully someone catches Buss expression when the Lakers fastbreak is stymied and he suddenly sees those purple and gold uniforms spaced on the floor in a very familiar pattern.

Kings fall flat after emotional win last time out

Kings fall flat after emotional win last time out

SACRAMENTO -- Managing expectations. The Sacramento Kings are neither the team that blasted the Denver Nuggets by a final of 116-100 on Thursday night, nor the group that was flattened 99-85 on Saturday afternoon by the Charlotte Hornets. They are likely somewhere in between.

As Dave Joerger searched for combinations that work together, the Kings struggled with massive bouts of inconsistency Saturday. They are a team of veteran role players and young talent, none of which have ever been a focal point of an NBA offense in their careers.

It’s a work in progress for all involved. Sacramento has 23 games remaining on the schedule and it will take plenty of those games to once again balance out the lineups.

“It’s tough right now, trying to acclimate everyone in and trying to move forward,” point guard Darren Collison said.

Willie Cauley-Stein had a breakout 29-point, 10-rebound game against Denver just two days ago, but things change when a team has time to gameplan. The second-year big scored just two points and grabbed two rebounds in 28 minutes of action against Charlotte as they clogged the middle and took away the pick-and-roll.

“I think teams are definitely going to start doing that now, playing the pick-and-roll where we’re not getting layups and dunks,” Cauley-Stein said. “They’re going to challenge us from the 3-point line. But me personally, I’ve just got to find other ways to make an impact.”

On top of the lack of scoring and rebounding, both Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos struggled to stay with mobile big man Frank Kaminsky on the perimeter. The 23-year-old center doubled his season average, finishing the night with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Kaminsky knocked in 5-of-9 from long range as the Kings’ big chose to take away All-Star Kemba Walker and sagged off the University of Wisconsin product. The rotations were slow, which is to be expected from a team that is just starting to come together.

“Tonight was a situation where you had a team that is a veteran team, a very physical team,” Joerger said in his postgame comments. “They pushed us around the court most of the night with their size and their experience at all positions.”

There were still some positives to take away from the lopsided loss. Skal Labissiere is finding a way to produce since making his way into the rotation. The 20-year-old rookie played 23 minutes off Joerger’s bench, scoring eight points on 4-of-10 shooting while grabbing 13 rebounds.

“Obviously, he’s got a lot of potential,” Anthony Tolliver said. “For him, I just tell him every day, ‘just go out there and play hard, man, everything else will take care of itself.’ As he starts to get more comfortable, that’s when he’s going to start to make a big impact.”

Taken with the 28th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Labissiere has played very sparingly over the first two-thirds of the season, but with very little depth at the power position, he has received an opportunity and taken advantage of it. His length and athleticism were on full display against the Hornets.

Rookie Buddy Hield added 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, but 13 of those came in the fourth quarter when the game was long out of hand. He struggled to find a rhythm early, like most of the Kings perimeter players.  

Ben McLemore chipped in 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Like Hield all but two of those points came after the intermission and after the Kings had already fallen behind by double-digits.

Tyreke Evans started in his second game back with the Kings, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. The veteran wing played well defensively, but he’s still searching for his place with this team.

Sacramento gets a shot to redeem themselves on Monday when the young and talented Minnesota Timberwolves drop by Golden 1 Center. With the loss they fell a game and half behind the Nuggets in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Instant Replay: Flat Kings routed by Kaminsky, Hornets

Instant Replay: Flat Kings routed by Kaminsky, Hornets

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- It’s going to be a process. After a big win on Thursday night over the Denver Nuggets, the Sacramento Kings looked every bit the part of a team that had just completely revamped its roster on the fly. The result was a disappointing 99-85 loss to the Charlotte Hornets at Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento left big man Frank Kaminsky open all night and he torched them from the perimeter. The second-year center scored 23 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point land while grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out three assists.

Nic Batum couldn’t buy a bucket, shooting just 4-of-17 from the field on the night. He stall managed to impact the game in a positive way for Charlotte, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

Marvin Williams chipped in 16 points and six rebounds. All-Star Kemba Walker scored just 12 points and dished out six assists and Marco Belinelli added 13 points and six rebounds in the win.

Rookie Skal Labissiere put up solid numbers for the second straight game. After bouncing back and forth between Sacramento and the Reno Bighorns all season long, the athletic big dropped in eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.

Ben McLemore rallied late to score 18 points on 3-of-7 shooting from deep.

Buddy Hield went for 15, although most of his points came when the game was out of hand. Darren Collison added 10 points and five assists

Anthony Tolliver was one of the few players to find their range as the Kings fell behind early. The veteran knocked down 3-for-6 from long range on his way to 11 points.

Tyreke Evans turned back the clock and showed flashes of the player that averaged 20-5-5 as a rookie. The 27-year-old wing dropped in 11 points, five rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes starting at the small forward spot for Sacramento.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Kaminsky lit the Kings up. More of a stretch four than a true center, the second-year big looked very comfortable all night long.

TURNING POINT:
Charlotte finished the first half strong to take an 11 point lead into the break. Coming out of the intermission, the Hornets jumped all over the Kings, using a 12-0 run to start the third and push their lead to 23.

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson sat again with varying degrees of hamstring issues. Afflalo continues to be listed as day-to-day with hamstring stiffness. Temple is out for another few games with a left hamstring tear and rookie Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear, but hopes to return before the season is finished. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back in action Monday evening when Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves roll through Sacramento.