When it comes to forcing Domantas Sabonis to finish with his off-hand, many have tried, but few have succeeded. Per Synergy, the lefty big man has only turned over his left shoulder, whether setting up from either block or flashing middle, on 16 percent of his post-up possessions. Furthermore, he’s also right-handed just 16 percent of his shots classified as hook shots. Instead, when an opponent sits on his right hip and attempts to take away his ability to turn over his preferred shoulder, he generally does one of two things.
He either counters with a running hook and still gets back to his left hand through shear force of strength, or he wriggles his way out of tight spaces with adroit footwork and body control, teasing his man toward the baseline with a reverse dribble before rapidly pivoting back in front of the basket for a lefty jump-hook.
With power and polish like muscle memory, nullifying the first-time All-Star’s physicality calls for an exaggerated game-plan and a stiff upper lip, which means the Pacers need to take note of some of the ways in which those who know him best have limited him most — especially once the playoffs roll around (whenever that may be).