Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blind Pig

Today we will take a look at a triangle staple, the Blind Pig, and also see how the pick and roll can be integrated into the offense.

In this October game vs the Warriors, We see the lead guard, Steve Blake, encountering light half court pressure.  Despite the pressure, Shannon Brown breaks the lag principle and goes ahead of the ball.  Matt Barnes, instead of setting up at the weakside wing, flashes out and receives the ball.  This is called a "blind pig"

The blind pig is a classic sequence designed to break pressure.  The actions of this sequence resemble a backdoor step: the weakside wing flashes to the ball then the man at defensive balance cuts.  But there are some differences.   The off guard breaks the lag principle and cuts first.  Instead of entering the ball into the wing, the lead guard directly passes to the flashing weakside wing.  The strongside wing then goes down to set a double screen for the off guard who has cut through.

In this clip the ball goes to Brown, who comes off the double screen and launches a quick shot.

In this December Kings game, we see a blind pig being run from a side out of bounds.

The play is well defended.  Derek Fisher is denied on the cut, Lamar Odom doesn't have a good angle to receive the ball after passing to Ron Artest, Fisher's defender denies by going  under the double screen, and the Lakers are forced into a bad shot off of Kobe's iso. The Lakers end the posession with points from the offensive rebound, but can't be satisfied with the look that the blind pig generated...

In this clip from the 2010 opener against the Rockets, we'll see the blind pig lead directly to an iso for the weakside wing:

The lead guard is Brown, the off guard is Blake, and Kobe is the weakside wing who flashes out.  Kobe receives the ball out on the perimeter and is able to take the ball all the way to the basket for the and 1.

This play from the 1997 Finals between the Bulls and Jazz will results in another iso and shows us how the Lakers might be able to counter against the Kings defense in that December game.

This looks like a standard blind pig setup: Michael Jordan isn't setting up at the weakside wing, and Steve Kerr is breaking the lag principle.  But if we watch Kerr, he is timing his cut to screen for Jordan.  Jordan fails to convert, but the important thing to remember is Kerr's screen.

Let's return to that Kings game:

Blake is the lead guard, Odom is the off guard and is breaking the lag principle before the ball is even inbounded.  Instead of cutting like normal, Odom screens from Kobe (just like Kerr for Jordan) before going to the double screen. Now we see the counter.  Instead of passing to Kobe, Kobe comes out to set a screen for Blake up top. Blake drives and Odom's defender loses sight of LO.  Instead of settling for a Kobe iso, Odom is able to go up for a point blank layup and is fouled.

The next possession we see the weakside pick and roll counter again:

Odom's defender goes out to help on Blake's drive and Lamar would have gotten another easy layup had he not stepped on the line...

On the next possession, we will see how this play can disguise the formation of the triangle:

After the pick and roll, we see a weakside triangle form:

Kobe could enter the ball to the wing and initiate the offense, but he chooses for a pick and roll.  Kobe gets close to the rim but ends up getting denied.

Just like we saw in last week's post, the pick and roll can be used when the triangle isn't working.  The versatility of the system allows the offense to disguise it's use of the triangle as well as disguise when the triangle will be broken


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