Friday, April 30, 2010

Options out of the post

In this post, we'll go to game 5 and take a look at some of the options that arise out of the N.2 pass to the post.

In the first clip we'll see the N.2 pass go to the post:

1) Instead of a N.1 pass, Odom directly dribbles into the key position (called "Wing Dribble Entry") which signals to Kobe, who was in the key position, to go to the corner.
- Gasol comes in to fill the post along the line of deployment, forming the triangle
- Fisher goes to defensive balance.
- Artest goes to the weakside wing

2) N.2 pass to the post:
(In the clip, this pass is technically the first pass in the possession, but in the eyes of the offense the pass is considered the N.2 pass, the key pass of the offense from the key/wing position that determines the next sequence of options of the offense.)

The N.2 pass to the post is the N.2 pass with the highest priority.  This N.2 pass keys a number of options:

A. Odom makes an over-the-top speed cut (called an "action zone speed cut").  He will continue his cut into the lane and then screen for Artest, who will become the third cutter.
B. Kobe speed cuts along the baseline as the second cutter
C. Artest cuts behind the defense to the "freeze spot" (the point on the court where Artest keeps his defender busy while waiting for a possible screen/rebound/pass).  Artest will become the third cutter when Odom comes to screen for Ron
D. Fisher "fans away" to the "fan spot" (also known as the "garden spot," the spot up location opposite the ball on the weakside wing that is likely to be wide open if the defensive man attempts to double team the post).  Fisher then returns to the strongside wing as the last option if the other cutters do not receive a pass from the post.

3) Gasol chooses to hit the third cutter, Artest.  Ibaka is caught completely off guard by Odom stopping to screen for Artest, leaving Ibaka in no man's land and freeing up Ron for the easy lay up.

In the next clip, we'll see the third cutter hit again.

1) Fisher fakes to Kobe in the wing and lag passes to Odom.
As the pass goes to Odom, Gasol and Bryant eye each other to set up a "center opposite" (where Kobe will come across the lane to fill the post and form the triangle).  Fisher cuts to the corner after passing to Lamar.

2) N.1 pass from Odom to Artest:
Kobe begins his cut off Gasol and comes across the lane to fill the post and form the triangle
- Fisher is in the corner
- Odom is at defensive balance
- Gasol is at the weakside wing
- Artest has received the ball in the key position

3) N.2 pass to the post
A. Artest makes an action zone speed cut
B. Fisher speed cuts along the baseline
C. Gasol is basically waiting in the freeze spot for Artest
D. Odom chooses not to fan away and instead slowly walks into the lane

Ibaka has learned from the last time and is ready for Artest to screen.  Ibaka drops off Gasol to stop the lay up opportunity.  Unfortunately, Green is completely caught by Artest's screen while Durant is left in no man's land.  Gasol fakes a shot to draw Ibaka out, then lofts the ball to Artest (who had sealed Green, removing Green from the play) for the easy finish.

1 comment:

  1. Thunder must be playing a 2-3 zone here, which is why Artest and Gasol are looking to use the screen as a seal, as they know the "switch" is coming.