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Friday, April 27, 2012

Additional Spurs Plays

In today's post, we will look at some other plays that the Spurs run.

In this clip we see the Spurs bigs at the elbows and two wings in the corners (much like the spacing that occurs when the weak-side wing is denied in strong). The ball is entered into Splitter at the elbow, then the ball handler cuts toward the corner to set a down screen.  Here the strong-side wing step fakes toward the screen and his defender bites hard, so Green cuts baseline toward the weak-side corner instead.  The ball handler comes back to Splitter for a DHO (prompting Bonner to set a down screen for the weak-side wing).  Splitter takes out the ball handlers defender with a pivot as Joel Anthony jumps out to hedge the ball handler.  The action draws the attention of Green's defender, who decides to camp in the lane to prevent an easy basket.  The ball is kicked out to Green who is ready to fire and knock down the corner three before the closeout can get there.

We see the ball entered into the elbow again.  The ball handler moves down to set a screen but the pass to Green can't be made so Blair reverses to the other side.  This keys Splitter to set a down screen for the weak-side wing (Stephen Jackson), who receives the dribble weave hand off from Blair.  Blair takes out Jackson's man with a screen, allowing Jackson to get deep enough to draw Marc Gasol to help.  Meanwhile, Danny Green has completed his cut to the weakside corner.  Once again, the DHO action has captured his defender's attention.  On Jackson's drive, Green drifts to the wing and Jack finds him for the catch and shoot three.

We see a big at the elbow again, but the shooting ability of Diaw allows him to drift out to the perimeter.
- The ball is entered into Duncan
- The ball handler cuts off Duncan to set a down screen, then heads towards the weak-side corner
- Once the DHO is made, Diaw moves to down screen for the weak-side wing
After making the DHO, Duncan rolls but stops short of the basket at the block.  Parker doubles back and uses Duncan as a screen.  Parker's defender cheats over the top so Parker fades and knocks down the easy jumper.

In the next set of clips, we will see an action that is referred to as "trailer to post" ("TTP"):

Here we see the ball handler dribble towards the strong-side wing, which keys the strong-side wing to loop.  Instead of looping up top, the trailer signals Green to set a screen.  This keys the post to duck in, then head towards the other block.  From here the trailer has the option to go to the vacated post or screen the ball handler.  Diaw sets then slips the screen, drawing Duncan's defender.  Duncan smartly moves to the top of the charge circle, giving Diaw an easy angle for a dump pass leading to Duncan's layup.

Another trailer to post.  This time the first big down the floor, Matt Bonner, decides to spot up rather than fill the post.  The strong-side wing screens for Duncan who then goes into a pick and roll with Parker.  Jackson's cut through to the weak-side corner is enough to force Bonner's defender to momentarily dig in, giving Parker a window to get the ball to Bonner for a quick three.

Another trailer to post.  This time the post man floats to the elbow as an outlet for the pick and roll instead of ducking in towards the opposite block.  As Diaw holds the ball, the defense is preoccupied with Duncan's position in the lane.  Diaw ball fakes to Duncan to hold the defense long enough to skip the pass out to the wide open Green who attacks the closeout.  Danny draws Duncan's defender and makes the correct read by dumping the ball off to Duncan for the jam.

Next is a play the Spurs often use in the beginning of the games to get Duncan a touch:

The play begins with Duncan out in the perimeter as the strong side wing.  Green sets a back pick for Duncan then goes to the wing to receive the ball.  Duncan curls around, allowing him to solidly seal his man. Green feeds Duncan and cuts to the weak-side corner.  As always, the off ball players are constantly moving without the ball, occupying the defense enough so no one is quite in position to help on Duncan's drive.

Another set up to get Duncan in the post.  Duncan banana cuts through the lane towards a Blair cross screen.  Meanwhile, Richard Jefferson has moved down from the strong-side wing to set an additional screen for Duncan to come out to the strong-side wing.  From here the play is similar to the last clip: Duncan moves down to the post, Jefferson comes out to receive the ball at the wing, then Jefferson feeds Duncan in the post.

The last two clips focus on another set where the Spurs use a screen-the-screener action:

The play begins with:
- The strong-side wing (Manu Ginobili) down on the block
- The two bigs at the elbows
- The weak-side wing (Kawhi Leonard) at the weak-side wing
Leonard cuts across a parallel double screen (set by Diaw and Duncan) to receive the ball at the strong-side wing.  This keys:
- Parker to cut across to the weak-side corner
- Manu to set a cross screen for Duncan to get to the post.
- Diaw to come down and screen Ginobili, who had just screened for Duncan

The Lakers switch on the cross screen, and the big center Andrew Bynum is not prepared to fight through Diaw's screen.  Ginobili easily makes his way up top and sinks an open three.

The same action again:
- Manu at the strong-side block
- Duncan at one elbow (and Diaw moving towards the other)
- Weak-side wing cuts through a double screen to the strong-side wing, keying:
- Ginobili to cross screen for Duncan
- Diaw to screen-the-screener
Metta World Peace sticks with Ginobili up top so Diaw sets a ball screen.  Duncan drifts to the top of the key as the Lakers softly trap Ginobili.  Manu gives up the ball to the rolling Diaw.  Bynum rotates to help leaving Duncan wide open.  He shot fakes Gasol out of position and goes right over Bynum with a floater for two.


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  2. Great stuff. 1st two sets are called High Post Split, ripped straight from the Playbook of 60s Celtics. We should talk. Can u email me?

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