Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Solo Cut Series

In this post, we will go to game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Semifinals featuring the Utah Jazz against the Los Angeles Lakers.  We've been looking at options out the traditional triangle but this post will look at the Solo Cut Series.

The triangle offense actually has a whole sequence of options that work without the triangle called the "Solo Cut Series."  The typical triangle formation has the overload (three man triangle) on the strong side of the court (the court with the side of the ball) and the two man game on the weak side.  The solo series has the overload on the weak side of the court and the two man game on the strong side.

In this clip, the play starts from out of bounds instead of a transition situation.  Artest inbounds to Fisher.

1) Fisher passes to Artest in the Wing.
Fisher, instead of cutting to the corner to form the triangle, makes a speed cut diagonally through the lane, clearing the side of the floor for a Solo between Artest and Pau.

2) Artest makes an entry pass into Gasol in the post
Once Artest makes this pass, he makes a "solo cut," a cut that attempts to rub the cutter's defensive man off on the post man.  If Artest's head and shoulder's are past his defensive man, the post man should pass to him on the solo cut.

3) Gasol makes a good read and passes to Artest on the solo cut for an easy lay up.

The next clip shows another solo cut and another passing option for the post man.

1) Fisher passes to Odom in the wing.
Fisher then cuts diagonally across the lane to the opposite corner, overloading the weakside and establishing a solo for Odom and Gasol.  Notice Kobe's position as he screens for Fisher to go to the corner.

2) Odom makes an entry pass to Gasol.
Odom then makes his solo cut, but is unable to shake his man to receive a pass.  Because Odom has not received the ball on the solo cut, he continues his cut and sets a screen for Kobe.  No one on the Jazz is prepared for this screen.

3) Gasol is able to easily pass to Kobe who pulls up for the floater.

There are many other options out of the solo.  Once the solo cut is completed, an entire side of the floor is cleared giving the man in the post a lot of room to operate if no other passes can be made.  You will also see the Lakers establish a solo and make a pass into the post without making the actual solo cut so that no man can double off the solo cutter to the post.  Often times, the continuity of the offense carries the offense back and forth from triangle to a solo or from solo to triangle.  The Lakers even use the solo as a decoy to disguise the formation of a triangle on the weakside of the floor.


  1. Amazing how the Jazz can be caught sleeping like that on the Odom screen for Kobe.

    It seems to me that they have a plethora of options for helping on the screen. Kobe´s man could slide to the top as the screen comes, since Odom´s man is hanging in the centre of the bucket.

    Or Deron can cover the baseline as Kobe´s man fights to get over the screen.

    Anyway, another great article on an aspect of the triangle!!!

  2. NYK fan here. Can't wait to see the triangle in the reg season. Loved seeing it in pre-season. Thanx for sharing the info. Trying to learn all I can about the Triangle. It's about to be on!