Why The Last Shot Cost The Spurs

There was 6.1 seconds left in regulation between the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
The game had a good chance to go to overtime if the Spurs played defense enough to cause a bad shot or turnover, but Mo Williams had other plans with a buzzer beating 3 point shot to win the game for the Jazz:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TItX0EdvzOs

Some fans may say Danny Green played great defense by contesting Williams' shot, but Green's defense was actually poor for a few reasons:

No Pressure: Green gave no pressure to the ball with the small amount of time left in regulation. He gave Williams a clear view of the basket and let Williams shoot the ball from where he wanted to.

Lack of Trust In Help Defense: You can tell Green had a mental lapse when Gordon Hayward faked a screen and rolled to the other side of the court. He went into a "happy feet" type motion where he danced around with the defender and staying low, in case another screen came so he can stay with him. If Green would've applied pressure from the beginning and someone set a pick for Mo, it would've been a harder shot to get off in a short amount of time because the Spurs player (especially a big) would've came to contest the shot faster than Green would've ever recovered from the screen anyway.

Not Making the Jazz move the ball: This goes to the first two subjects. If there's pressure applied and trust that the help defense will contest the shot, the ball handler will most likely have to pass up the shot. The defense can recover with one or two passes, but the third pass (because of the rotations) will most likely be a wide open shot. If the Spurs would've contested every pass, it would've been a harder shot and with less than 7 seconds left, there's no way the Jazz would've passed the ball 3 times to get a shot off anyway.

Contesting isn't good defense by itself: Contesting isn't defense by itself. In fact, it should be the last part of playing defense, not the only thing. If a player only contests shots, then wide open players will get to shoot the ball from where they want and if it's their sweet spot, it'll be an extremely easy shot for them. Applying any kind of pressure while keeping up with the offensive player and making them move away from where they want to shoot already makes their shot harder. Defensive minded players also use their hands on the ball and opponent's face to disrupt their vision and passing lanes. Once these things are done to make the shot harder, then contesting makes the shot extremely harder than just a "soft" contest. Don't take my word for it, hear it from the Spurs' "defensive stopper" from their championship years:

The reason the Spurs lost on the last possession against the Jazz is simple: the offense dictated the last shot instead of the defense.

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