Friday, March 25, 2011

Two pass to the top techniques

In today's post we will discuss some of the fundamental techniques taught to players to execute the two pass to the top and look at more options of this two pass.

The triangle offense is designed to get the ball into the post.  As teams begin to aggressively deny looks to the post, the triangle has a built in reverse action in the form of the two pass to the top.  This two pass keys two actions:
1. Weakside wing to the pinch post
2. Strongside wing runs a rebound screen cut.

After the two pass is executed, the man up top has several options to choose from on both sides of the floor.

One of the most fundamental skills of the triangle is the footwork used when receiving the ball at the pinch post.  In Tex Winter's book The Triple-Post Offense, Tex goes through great lengths to ensure that the reader has a firm grasp of this footwork before he ever presents the offense itself.  All players of the triangle are drilled on these fundamental concepts.  In this video, Kobe attempts to teach some of the fundamental skills used by players in the pinch post:

- Pop to the ball

Tex asks the pinch post player to pop out towards the passer with the foot closest to the free throw line out in front of the player's hip.  This ensures that the receiver can properly seal his defender.  It's also important that both feet land at the same time so that the player can use either foot as their pivot foot.

- Free up the passer by using your body as a screen
After receiving the ball, the pinch post player can utilize their body as a screen by using the appropriate pivot move.  Once players have mastered pivoting in both directions on each foot, they can read the defense and free up the passer whether the defender goes under the screen

 or over.

In this clip we see Matt Barnes make a dribble entry.  The two pass to the top is made.  Odom pops out to receive the ball and uses his body to screen Steve Blake's defender.  The Blazers deny the dribble weave pass so Odom waits a beat before entering the ball into Shannon Brown at the strongside wing.  Another triangle is formed and another two pass to the top is made.  The ball is entered into Blake, who pops out to receive the ball and immediately proceeds to dribble off of the cutting Odom.  Both Blazer defenders commit to Blake and no one is left to rotate over to Odom who finishes off the lob.

Now that we've re familiarized ourselves with the two pass to the top, lets take a further look at how the Lakers executed the two pass to the top this past week against the Blazers and the Suns:

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