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2008, November: VIBE Magazine – NBA ’08-’09 On Point – Easy Pass

December 8, 2008

 JALEN ROSE runs back the tape on last year’s most exciting play.

After he averaged 21.1 points and 11.6 assists for the New Orleans Hornets last season, one thing became clear. No one could stop point guard Chris Paul. But as plenty of NBA players also found out, sometimes stopping him wasn’t the problem. Paul and his Hornets teammate Tyson Chandler connected for more than 100-alley oops, including five in a single game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in April. So, what makes the play so effective? Former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose checks the playbook.

THE SETUP
“In set plays, you can plan alley-oops, but the defense doesn’t allow them often in the pros. So it’s read and react – eyes always watching the defense, especially the weak side”

THE DRIVE
“This is equivalent to a running back reading and hitting the hole in football. Chris is one of the best in the league at getting to any point on the floor at any time, which is crucial. He has the ability to drive himself or run the pick-and-roll and break down the defense.”

THE LOB
“Some of the best passers in the league can’t throw an alley-oop pass. You have to gauge it right and lead the leaper into an open space for takeoff and landing.”

THE FINISH
“One of the most disheartening plays in the game of basketball to the defense. The timing, the anticipation, and the pass have to be there, but having someone who can go get it is ultimately the exclamation point to the play. Tyson Chandler can do that for Chris Paul.”

As told to Chris Yu