Tuesday, November 30, 2010

UCLA Inspired

Last week we saw how the Triangle's offense could resemble other offenses.  In today's post, we'll look at another pressure counter and see how the triangle directly incorporates other offenses within the format of the triangle.

Tex Winter first released his book on the "The Triple Post Offense" in 1962.  Since that time, many new elements have been added into the offense.  Among them were some UCLA functions added by Phil Jackson in his time with the Bulls.

In this clip of the 1997 Finals, we see the Chicago Bulls facing light pressure against the Utah Jazz.  Steve Kerr initiates the offense at the moment of truth by entering the ball into Michael Jordan, who has popped out to the wing.  We see that Luc Longley has flashed to the high post.  It's here that we see the famed UCLA cut:

Longley, in the high post, sets a backscreen for Kerr to cut to the basket.

After setting the backscreen,  Longley initiates a side screen and roll with Jordan.

Nothing results from the screen and roll so Jordan passes to Scottie Pippen, who makes a dribble entry into the wing position on the other side of the floor, establishing a triangle:
- Pippen at the wing
- Dennis Rodman in the post
- Kerr, who made the UCLA cut off of Longley, in the corner
- Jordan at defensive balance
- Longley at weakside wing

From there we see a two pass to the post keying Pippen and Kerr:
- Pippen runs a squeeze action to free up Jordan
- Kerr speed cuts the baseline
Jordan's defender chooses to go under the screen so Jordan rises up and fires the catch and shoot three.

Back in the present season, we see the Kings applying light pressure against the Lakers.  Odom enters the ball into Artest and executes the UCLA cut.  Pau then moves to screen for Artest.  Carl Landry is playing Artest for the drive.  Artest makes a quick in and out and moves Landry into Pau's screen.  Landry chooses to go under the screen leaving Artest open for a wide open rhythm three.

For the next clip we step back in time again to look at the famed 2006 First Round Game 4 of the Lakers vs the Suns:

This time the play is called from a side out of bounds.  Odom initiates the offense by entering the ball into Kobe in the wing and makes the UCLA cut off of Kwame Brown.  Brown then screens for Kobe who drives, drawing the complete attention of the defense, and dumps the ball off to Brown for the finish.

Back to that Kings game:

Kobe pops out and receives the ball from Odom, who then makes the UCLA cut off of Pau, who then screens for Kobe.  DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans develop a case of concrete feet waiting to trap Kobe, so Pau slips the screen and receives the ball from Kobe.  Landry moves off Odom to help on Gasol so Lamar wisely cuts to the basket and Pau makes the great pass leading to an easy layup.

As Kurt Rambis said when he was with the Lakers, the triangle is just a format.  Any sets that you see another team run can be run out of the Triangle.

Next week we'll take a look at how the Lakers take advantage of teams who begin to sit on this UCLA screen play.

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