Who Should The Archers Draft No. 1? The Premier Lacrosse League’s postseason format aims to prevent tanking. The top pick isn’t awarded; it’s won. And this year, it wasn’t won by the last-place Chrome or the fifth-place Atlas. The Archers (the third seed!) are on the clock for the 2020 PLL Draft. The Archers are …
In any sport, the best teams are the teams that adapt to the current set of rules. This starts with roster construction and continues on the field. Rules shape the speed and style of play. But rules are also constantly changing — just ask faceoff specialists. The Premier Lacrosse League is playing with a shorter field (100 yards) and a shorter shot clock (52 seconds) than field lacrosse has ever seen. It’s no surprise then that the two teams competing for the Crown — the Redwoods and the Whipsnakes — are the two best teams at the parts of the game that these rules emphasize: transitioning from defense to offense and from offense to defense.
1. A throwback throwback The Chaos went into the locker room with momentum, but the Redwoods snatched it back and took over the game in the third quarter. During that run Kyle Harrison drove down the lefty alley, drew Joe Walters’ defender, rolled back, and threw it eight yards and 10 years behind him to Walters.
It’s no secret that the Chaos offense is at its best in transition. They want to play fast, so naturally, other teams want to slow them down. At their pace of choice, the Chaos is the best team in the league. The problem: They haven’t played at their pace during their losing streak. Jarrod Neumann hasn’t hit a two-pointer in a month. He didn’t even attempt any in Columbus.
1. Connor Fields vs. Matt Dunn, Round 1 Tim Muller drew the Connor Fields assignment in the first two matchups between these teams. Muller won Round 1, holding Fields to 2-for-6 shooting, no assists, and four turnovers in a Whipsnakes win. Fields and the Chaos countered in Round 2 with two goals, one assist, and one between-the-legs shot attempt.
1. What trick did Ryder Garnsey add to his bag this week? Every damn week Ryder Garnsey (4G, 3A) adds a new trick to his bag. Sometimes it’s a pass – a shovel, a lever, or a behind-the-back. Sometimes it’s a new shot release point. It can be a new idea entirely, like throwing the ball to a defender as the shot clock expires in hopes of causing a turnover to earn a fresh 52-second clock. Most of these tricks aren’t new for Garnsey alone – they’re new for the entire sport of lacrosse.
1. Whips midfielders dodging decisively The Whipsnakes – excuse me, “Clinchsnakes” – midfielders are all carbon copies of each other. They can unleash shots on the run with either hand. Because of their two-handedness, they have a tendency to rollback repeatedly. Those staircase dodges work well against slow-to-go defenses like the Chrome. Against a defense that helps early like the Redwoods, those midfielders need to drive one side decisively and move the ball after drawing a slide.