Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lob plays and the Triangle vs Lebron's return

Today we will look at another Triangle Offense play that utilizes the UCLA screen as well as see how the Heat may fare against the Triangle this coming Christmas.

Last week we looked at a UCLA inspired pressure counter.  Today we will look at a set play call.  The Lakers like to run this play to start quarters.  Yesterdays 2nd quarter started out with this play:

The lead guard, Shannon Brown, initiates the offense by entering the ball into Luke Walton in the wing.  Pau Gasol comes up to the elbow to set the UCLA screen.  

The key difference between this play and last week's play is the weakside wing (Matt Barnes in this clip).  Instead of staying on the weakside, Barnes cuts across the lane.  This cut clears the lane and tips off the coming of the lob.  Shannon makes the UCLA cut off of Gasol and the Kings must foul to stop the athletic Brown from finishing.

Once again:
- strong side entry
- post man to the elbow
- weakside wing cuts across the lane leaving room for the lob.

In last months Kings matchup, we see how the play can be run in a side out of bounds situation.  We can't see the start of the play because of the director's facination with Gasol, but Kobe is out of bounds.  He passes to Odom who quickly hands the pass back to Kobe in the wing. Gasol makes the UCLA screen, Barnes cuts across, and Odom finishes with an easy dunk.

Naturally, the lob pass can be sniffed out by opposing teams, so the lob has a counter:

We again see strong side entry and the UCLA screen, but the lead guard is Derek Fisher.  Surely he isn't about the receive lob?  Rather than going for the lob, Fisher goes to fill the strong side corner.  But we know something must be brewing because the weakside wing still made his cut across the baseline.  Indeed, instead of foolishly setting up a lob play for Fisher, the play is designed for  Gasol, who spins off to receive the lob and finishes with a close jumper.

This lob counter doesn't always work, so the Lakers can simply move into triangle options if the play breaks down:

Again, this is a set play call.  This time to start the 3rd quarter.  We see strong side entry, the weakside wing clearing, and Gasol going to set the screen.  Gasol attempts to go for the Lob counter, but his brother does a good job denying so Gasol simply moves to the pinch post as the ball is reversed to the top.  This resembles a two pass to the top:
- Gasol fills the pinch post
- Artest runs a rebound screen cut
Fisher receives a good shuffle pass and drives to the basket.  Unfortunately, Darrell Arthur is able to come over and block the layup.

Once again, a set play to start a second half.  The playcall is for the Lob counter but the Kings do a good job denying the pass so the ball is reversed, again resembling a two pass to the top:
- Gasol goes to the pinch post
- Artest runs a rebound screen cut

When the shuffle pass is not available, the man in the pinch post can counter by getting the ball to the man running off of the rebound screen cut in a "dribble weave."  Here, Gasol dribble weaves over to Kobe.  Typically, if the ball is dribble weaved over, the man receiving the ball will have an open pull up shot at the foul line.  In practice, this is often used as a shooting drill while learning the options of the two pass to the top.  Here Kobe elects to drive against the bigger DeMarcus Cousins, who has switched onto Kobe on the dribble weave.  Kobe tries a tough fadeaway over Cousins and bricks the shot.

Speaking of the dribble weave, not even this blog can escape the enormity of Lebron's long awaited first return to Cleveland!

Here we see the Cavs run the Triangle!
Strong side entry > Strong side fill > Two pass to the top which keys
- weakside wing to the pinch post
- strongside wing rebound screen cut
The shuffle pass can't be made so we see the dribble weave option!

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