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Minor adjustment overcomes Rondo's lack of spacing, gets Monta an easy layup

The Mavericks adore the high pick-and-roll with Monta Ellis. Of all his NBA gifts, his quickness stands out, and starting him 30 feet from the basket has been one of Dallas' pet plays since last year.

This play worked exceedingly well with a dead-eye shooter at the other guard position, but one consequence the Mavericks understood when they made the Rajon Rondo trade is that the spacing would suffer. I enjoyed this tiny adjustment Dallas used on Tuesday against the Grizzlies to help make up situations where Rondo's defender would usually help off him generously


The play sets up like an average pick-and-roll, and the defense reacts like it has a million times before. But before Powell even sets the pick, Rondo reverses the ball to Monta. It's a beat sooner than usual and no pick comes from Monta, which is enough to confuse the Memphis defense just long enough for this action to work.


One defender will never stop Monta already on the move, especially when he sees a wide open lane.