Film Study: Chaos Trips vs. Twins
Chaos’ trips set is tailored to its Canadian players’ strengths. Featuring two three-man games -- one lefty three-man game and one righty three-man game -- their trips look is truly box lacrosse on a field. All six players are above GLE picking and re-picking to produce close range shots.
This offseason, Chaos completely leaned into that scheme by bringing in more Canadian and Iroquois personnel. Head coach Andy Towers traded Connor Fields for Ian MacKay (Port Elgin, ON). He dealt for Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, ON) and Wes Berg (Coquitlam, BC) at the deadline. He drafted Mac O’Keefe (a Syosset, NY native who is developing a Canadian accent), Ryan Smith (Burlington, ON), and Tanner Cook (Courtice, ON) in the College Draft; and Kyle Jackson (Sarnia, ON) in the Entry Draft. And he took Josh Byrne’s advice by claiming Chase Fraser (Vancouver, BC) out of the player pool.
The change-of-pace speed dodging line was scratched from the lineup. Chaos went all-in on its Canadian style.
Trips had its ups and downs. With everyone above GLE, run out rate was low -- way too low for a team that was already at a possession disadvantage. The middle of the field was clogged, too. Neither of these sweeps can put much pressure on the defense because of how readily available the help is. If O’Keefe’s defender is glued to him, this possession amounts to nothing.
Through the All-Star break, Chaos was shooting 31.3% in settled sets and generating more assisted looks than unassisted -- rare in the six-on-six. They were ending too many possessions early, though.
The answer? A move from trips (two three-man games) to twins (three two-man games).
Juxtapose this Ryan Smith cut out of a trips set...
...with this Ryan Smith cut in a twins set.
“Our spacing wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be,” said offensive coordinator Matt Panetta. “We’ve definitely opened it up. We wanted to run almost a circle and keep people out of the middle.”
Now, those sweeps are more dangerous. Dodgers like Dhane Smith can lower their shoulder and drive between the hash marks with no adjacent defenders in sight.
Unclogging the crease has made it tougher to trap Chaos’ pick-n-rolls. Since the All-Star break, Chaos’ assist opportunity-to-turnover ratio is 1.41 -- up from 1.02 prior. Their assist rate is still a league-high 55.9%.
The Byrne-O’Keefe pick-n-roll on the lefty wing is the most lethal in lacrosse. Byrne is a career 32.1% shooter off the dodge -- and 36.4% when those dodges begin on the lefty wing. He has range on the sweep but can beat you underneath as well.
O’Keefe is already a stepdown nightmare, shooting 37.5% off the catch. Hedge from him, and Byrne will dish it.
Panetta has kept O’Keefe moving and running off screens. Jamie Munro broke down a Rattle look that rang the pipe -- but will probably produce points soon.
Chaos is moving from one twin to the next well. Their righty-lefty picks on the Z-line -- whether it was Cook picking for Dhane Smith or Ryan Smith slipping a pick for Mac -- gave the Archers headaches.
Their Spain pick-n-rolls keep all three pairs engaged. This out-of-timeout pick-the-picker action is beautiful. O’Keefe picks for Byrne, Cloutier picks for O’Keefe, and O’Keefe has a dunk.
No team generates more doorstep looks than Chaos in the six-on-six. Their “big chance” rate (i.e. percent of shots from the doorstep or hole) has jumped from 25.2% to 30.8% since the All-Star break. Next closest team: Archers (22.0%), who also run an open pairs set.
Part of that are the layers built into every action. Cover O’Keefe rolling in the Spain set? Okay, here’s Kyle Jackson -- who plugged into Cloutier’s role seamlessly -- rolling off the pick for the picker.
Atlas plays an opportunistic style of defense. Picks are an opportunity for them to trap the ball. Last time these two teams met, Chaos was running mostly trips -- those traps are tougher now against the twins’ spacing. On Sunday September 5th at 11:00AM, we'll see the Bulls' physical defense against Chaos' box-on-a-field offense.