Friday, February 5, 2010

PSP PHX '10: Laning Off The Break

Normally I don't do this prior to an event we are playing but in this case it's a more complex "problem" than usual and I don't expect I'll be giving anything away to our competition--and even if I do it will still come down to players, plans and execution.

Keep in mind that ideally the lanes chosen are consistent with team goals and not simply picked by the player(s) randomly or because it's a more 'comfortable' option; ie, I can't do that 'cus I'll get shot so let me shoot over there instead. The lack of a unified effort on this layout will prove particularly counterproductive in a match with a real team. (And, yes, if you're wondering I am suggesting there are plenty of 'teams' that aren't really teams in a meaningful sense.)

Inside the half circle on the diagram is the basic shooting zone. I've chosen some spots but the available lanes aren't limited to the spots. Anywhere within the zone offers most of the same lanes. On the d-side of the field the home shooter has limited lanes and minimal control of the wire. This is where A, B & C come into play as players delay their move to their primaries in order to lane first. A & C are moderately high risk which is where E & I become options. E represents player movement up field with the option to shoot a moving lane to either side of the field and I is positioned in the nearest TCK in order to shoot a cross field corner and D1 lane. The problem in relying on I is that you remove a gun from the snake side of play otb.

Regarding the snake side, while it is more open to effective laning options, it is still possible and important to make your opponent prove their laning ability. And once again relying on crossfield lanes will weaken your initial efforts on the opposite side otb. (A d-side shooter [A or B] in those positions is a d-side player on that point but is, in a sense, out of the play during the critical initial seconds so the effort to shoot the crossfield lane leaves that player playing catch up. So while it's a good lane there is a real trade off.) Additionally, players shooting lanes from outside the shooting zone will require time to reach their spots and this is where your team speed can come into play. It is important to make solid judgments in practice about actual degree of risk involved in the various breaks you attempt and to have alternative options planned in advance.

The core complication is how to mix your laning options so that you consistently put paint through the critical lanes without getting caught inside the shooting zone or simply inside generally after your opponent is wide and denying outside rotations. (This includes routinely filling the MTs as the result is a predominantly defensive posture that won't allow teams to push the wires if they drop a body. It will also tend to overextend the lead wire player as it will lead to an inability on one side or the other to fill the voids anytime the lead player is eliminated.)

Hopefully this will give some teams a good place to start preparing fo Phoenix. If you would like additional information or have a specific related question put it up in comments and I'll (probably) be happy to take a stab at an answer.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Those 2 center Maya's remind me of Phoenix 08 where Infamous won and always had guys there locking down lanes... interesting and good post.