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Nene vs. Omer Asik: A battle for post position

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Instead of fighting Omer Asik in the paint, Nene used his quickness to beat him on the perimeter.


During the final minutes of Wednesday's game against the Rockets, Nene and Omer Asik battled for position, as theWizards tried to run their offense through the Brazilian big man. Let's take a look at how Nene fared against one of the best interior defenders in the league.

On this first play, Asik's denial of the pass forces Nene to come way out to the perimeter to get the ball. Ultimately, this may have benefitted the Wizards because Nene has an advantage over Asik in short-area quickness. Whereas Asik probably has the advantage if they stay in the paint. Here, Nene beats him off the dribble for the layup.


The next time Nene posts up, we see a little more teamwork. As Nene posts up, Bradley Beal is able to use a screen on the weak side of the floor to get an open jumper. Considering that the Rockets weren't double-teaming Nene, they should have done a better job handling the other four Wizards. Nonetheless, nice job by Beal and Nene here.


Next possession, the Wizards don't work very hard in looking for Nene in the post. Beal is a bit late to set up for an entry pass, and Jordan Crawford decides to abandon the post-up and drive.


On this possession, we see what the Wizards were trying to do last time. Beal makes the entry pass to Nene, who, again, has to go to the perimeter to get the ball. Again, Nene beats Asik with quickness to get another layup.


The Wizards were able to stop Asik from denying the pass to Nene by re-routing him with a backscreen. The Wizards then are able to run a nice handoff to free up Crawford for the jumper.


On Nene's final post-up, it was perhaps his worst effort. He commits an offensive foul (flop?) trying to fight for post position. It's silly because we witnessed his success in driving from the perimeter; let Asik have the position, just beat him off the dribble like before.


Omer Asik is one of the best interior defenders in the NBA, so a few empty possessions come with the territory. But considering that, Nene did a nice job combating the pass denials. Asik's fronting may have actually been helpful to the offense because it forced Nene to use his quickness on the outside instead of trying to out-muscle Asik inside.