Keys to Georgia's defensive success in the final 15 minutes of last Saturday's game
January 9, 2019By: Ty Merrow
Originally, this Film Room was going to be both of Brendan Bomberry’sdiving goals. But it’s kind of difficult to break down plays that are dependent primarily on a player’s instincts.
Bomberry had the awareness and quick wits necessary to take advantage of holes in the Warriors defense to give Georgia the lead twice in the game. At the end of the day, you can break those plays down, but you can’t teach instinct.
Instead, we can take a look at the Swarm’s defense in the final 15 min. of their 10-8 win against the Vancouver Warriors. There were plenty of things that Georgia players did right to prevent Vancouver from scoring in the fourth quarter.
Maintaining the Perimeter
The Swarm were able to keep the Warriors outside for most of the fourth quarter. A number of the eight goals that the Warriors scored in the first 45 min. of the game were from working their way inside and taking advantage of breakdowns in the Swarm defense.
As you can see above, the Swarm would slide forward immediately towards the on-ball player, shutting down the lane so the Warriors would have to move the ball to someone else. Whenever there would be a breakdown, the Swarm would quickly swap assignments…
…and sometimes cause a turnover. In the above play, Chad Tutton slid towards James Rahe, leaving Jean-Luc Chetner open. It was too little too late, but Rahe attempted a behind-the-back pass to Chetner. Tutton’s hard check caused the pass to miss its mark, allowing the Swarm to regain the ball. This was the shift before Jordan MacIntosh’slone goal of the game.
By keeping Vancouver outside, Georgia could force bad shots on goal that either Mike Poulin could stop pretty easily or would miss the goal altogether.
Above, Alex Crepinsekstuck on Mitch Jones like glue, despite Chetner’s pick attempt. Tutton on Rahe across the front of the crease and John Ranagansliding towards Jordan McBride meant Jones didn’t really have any open opportunities. With the shot clock at 11 seconds, Jones decided to shoot across his body farside, missing the goal altogether (it did hit Tutton’s leg, though).
Georgia also got better at stopping Vancouver’s two-man game, and we saw a bit of this above. The Warriors executed pick and rolls pretty easily in the first half, but Swarm adjustments at halftime pretty much stopped those.
Chetner tried to execute a pick and roll off of Adam Wiedemann, but Wiedemann wasn’t having any of it and stuck with his man. Since Jones wasn’t able to pass the ball to an open man, Lyle Thompsondid Lyle Thompson things and caused a turnover.
If there’s one guy on the Warriors the Swarm needed to shut down Saturday night, it was Logan Schuss. Schuss had scored his only goal of the night off an outside shot when a Jones pick gave him plenty of room to wind up and rifle the ball into the net. Forcing him back was key to holding him to just a goal all night.
In the bottom of the GIF, Connor Sellars does a good job of pressing Schuss away from the net. Realizing Keegan Bal behind the net isn’t the best option for Schuss to pass to, Jason Nobleslides towards Schuss to double team him and force a bad pass, leading to a Swarm possession.
Tack on Poulin making great saves, a number of intercepted passes and players blocking shots, cutting Vancouver’s fast break opportunities, and roughly five Swarm caused turnovers, and it’s no surprise the Swarm were able to prevent the Warriors from scoring at the end of the game.
Tutton had some hits in the fourth quarter, and I couldn’t not share them.
It sucks this wasn’t considered a caused turnover, but the shot clock had just expired when Tutton landed the hit.
I could watch this all day. Slam.
Communication is Key
The Swarm are the only NLL team so far to prevent two opposing teams from scoring in a quarter. Strong all-around efforts and communication are the recipe for this success, and no play highlights how important this skill is and how good the Swarm are at communicating like the following does.
Everything we want is on the left side of the screen. Matt Dunnwas chasing the on-ball player before moving towards what he believed to be the open assignment, but Bomberry and Leo Stouros were able to get him to where he needed to be to not let McBride be open. Doing this resulted in a pass to Rahe and Poulin blocking his shot.
With Poulin playing steadily between the pipes, the Swarm defense talking in the backend is key to earning more of these quarter shutouts.
The Swarm head to the City of Brotherly Love for their first game against the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday, Jan. 12. Faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch the game on the B/R Live app available through iTunes, Google Play, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire.
Georgia returns on Sunday, Jan. 27 to take on the Saskatchewan Rush. Faceoff is set for 4:05 p.m. ET. Billed as the Meeting of the Champions presented by IceByrd Frozen Yogurt, the last two teams to win an NLL World Championship will meet for the only time this regular season.
Early arriving fans can receive a Stinger Snowglobe. Tickets are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Champions or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.
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