PBA Finals Primer: Bay Area’s Offense Will Get Better

Getting more shots for their main man and crashing the boards will be priorities for Bay Area in Game 2 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

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Original photos via PBA Images

PBA Wednesday Game (December 28, 2022)

Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum

Barangay Ginebra versus Bay Area Dragons – 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Game 2 (5:45 PM)

Game 1 Quick Recap

Bay Area got off to a decent start in Game 1, but Ginebra took the reins in the second quarter and came away with a 96-81 victory. The Gin Kings’ defense tightened up in the second period, holding the Dragons to only 15 points. Overall, Bay Area only shot 38% from the field, with Andrew Nicholson as the lone Dragon to eclipse the 20-point mark. 

Top Performers in Game 1

  • Justin Brownlee

    28 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 56% FG, 8-8 FT

  • Andrew Nicholson

    27 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 58% FG, 3-6 3PT, 4-9 FT

Bay Area's offense should be able to bounce back

Bay Area entered the Finals ranking first in offensive rating (114.9) and points per game (108.7). Game 1 ended, and they only totaled 81 points, 27.7 points below their average output. 

Ginebra’s defense should get a lot of credit after their solid work in the first game of the series. Limiting Andrew Nicholson’s shots was a priority for them, and they did that to a great extent. Nicholson was efficient from the field, but he only shot the ball 17 times, a big dip from his norm of 24.5 field goal attempts. 

But the Dragons’ offense should be able to bounce back in Game 2. They still had good looks from beyond the arc, but just failed to capitalize. Hayden Blankley, who averages 38% from three, went 0-for-9 from deep in Game 1. Kobey Lam only had 12 points but we know that he has an excellent knack on getting buckets, evidenced by his two 25-point performances in the semifinals series against the San Miguel Beermen.

Check the boxes on defense

Bay Area managed to limit Ginebra’s three-point shooting (7-22 3PT) and transition buckets, but they gave up boatloads of offensive rebounds in Game 1. The Gin Kings made it a priority to crash the offensive glass, tallying 19 offensive rebounds leading to 19 second-chance points. That’s one point for every offensive board for Ginebra.

With the likes of Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and even Justin Brownlee hunting for rebounds after misses, Bay Area has to be wary of their opponents’ knack for crashing the boards. Failure to come up with the defensive rebound almost always results in defenders scrambling to their assignments, giving their opponents easier scoring opportunities.

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