Korean basketball fans have been blessed by the basketball gods.
The 2013 KBL finals have been nothing short of spectacular. Make no mistake of it, this is no David vs. Goliath series. There is no underdog. Many did see SK as the favourite, however these two teams are very evenly matched. SK finished the season with a 44-10 record and Mobis finished 41-13.
In the first two games, I noticed some interesting matchups that could determine the outcome of any game.
Benson vs. Haynes
Aaron Haynes (left) and Rod Benson dive for a loose ball during Korean Basketball League 2013 finals actions
Photo by: KBL
This is the main battle of series. The two best players in the league going toe to toe on the biggest stage. Two exceptional talents with two very different styles.
Benson is a traditional power forward. He is very savvy on the low block on both ends of the floor. He is a great screener on a team that can shoot the lights out from outside. Benson also possesses an above average post up game. Once again, with Benson drawing all the attention inside, it opens up room on the perimeter for outside scoring.
Haynes is one of the most skilled players the KBL has ever imported. He handles the ball well and has a playmaker’s instinct. He will take you off the dribble and dead stop to knock down a mid range jumper. Once he gets comfortable, he likes using that textbook pump fake to get the defensive player up in the air and draw contact.
Dong-Geun Yang (left) has been teaching the young Sun-Hyung Kim a lesson in the finals
photo by : KBL
A point guard duel that couldn’t have come at better time for both of these players. There is a seven year age gap between these two players. At the age of 32, Yang is proving that he is still the best point guard in the league but Kim, 25, is trying to prove that there is a new “sheriff” in town.
In the first two games, Yang has been the most valuable player by far. He has stepped up big defensively shutting down Kim and playing great help defense creating problems for SK. Yang has made some very big shots down the stretch including the three pointer that gave Mobis the lead late in game one.
Kim has struggled thus far to get going in these finals. Credit the defense of Yang that keeps Kim quiet. SK’s coach Mun Kyung Eun must do a better job at creating opportunities for the all-star point guard to get going. The only offensive set that is ran for Kim is the high pick and roll that is being defended well by Yang. I would run some isolation plays or some off ball screens to help get Kim’s confidence back into all-star form.
Game three is a must win for SK to keep their championship hopes a live. If they lose tonight, it will be very difficult to win four out of five against Mobis.