Os and Xs: Round 1 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs

This years NBA post season has been filled with incredible stat lines, jaw dropping highlights, and an intensity that leaves us begging for more. But what sometimes goes unnoticed during the course of the games are the various set plays that teams are executing with impressive precision and quickness. I’ve collected thirty sets from the first round and narrowed that list down to the ten that may spark an idea for yourself and your program. Let’s get started!!

— -Utah Jazz Flow Stagger

This is a great misdirection set that’s designed for your four man to get a three pointer. In the case of the Jazz that player is Joe Johnson.

— -Utah Jazz Fist Davidson

Also another great action designed to bring attention away from your shooter before the play goes back towards them. I named this Davidson after Davidson College (Yes that’s where Stephen Curry went to school) where Coach Bob McKillop loves to have a curl screen followed by a pin down screen.

— -Toronto Raptors 4 Pop Stagger

The set requires a bit more time to run but when it’s done correctly, it does an excellent job of moving all five players but also vacating a portion of the floor for the five to roll to the rim. Your shooter will get a nice stagger screen on the weak side as well.

— -Portland Zipper Ram Flow

A quick action to get your shooter the ball without having to make several passes. A simple screen the screener concept in an unusual area on the floor that yields a corner three or slip to the rim.

— -L.A. Clippers Down (Baseline out of bounds)

A very lethal play to use when you have a shooter that attracts a lot of attention. After the initial action, the play goes away from the shooter before coming back towards them.

— -Milwaukee Bucks Flare Step up

For those of you familiar with coach Rick Adelmans Corner series, this should look familiar to you. The action forces the defense below the free throw line with an elbow catch. From here the play eventually gets a step up screen that uses the defenses help side position against them as they literally run into a screen they weren’t ready for.

— -Cleveland Cavaliers Korver Rip

Cavs sniper Kyle Korver loves screening for his teammates before he looks for a shot. He knows that defenses don’t want to leave him open which results in his teammates getting easy looks as well as making him an even bigger threat. The result is the opposition helping to much which leads to an open look for one of the leagues best long range bombers.

— -Golden State Warriors Stagger (Baseline out of bounds)

If you have the luxury of having multiple shooters on your roster, then you’ll enjoy this set very much. After the initial screen the screener action, the ball is reversed before a stagger screen is set on the inbounder. What makes this one effective is that you have your two best shooters screening for each other which usually results in a good scoring opportunity. If the higher screener slips, they have a chance to drop the ball off to the post or kick out to the three point line.

— -Memphis Grizzlies 15 Side

The Grizzlies do a very good job of shifting attention away from their post players before letting them operate in space. After the initial curl screen to get the post cutting to the rim, a flex action eventually leads to the player getting into a pick and roll with the floor spaced on his side.

— -San Antonio Spurs Double Shuffle

One of the most effective sets in the Spurs arsenal, this play is lethal because of the movement and amount of actions that take place within it. If you don’t score on the first two shuffle cuts, the play ends with a stagger screen for the point guard before the turn around and attack via the spread pick and roll.

That does it for the sets from round 1 of the NBA PLAYOFFS! Plays from Round 2 will be posted this week as well. For a look at sets that I didn’t post, questions, or general hoops talk, feel free to contact me via twitter @coachkj22 or email at 14ksmith14@gmail.com

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