US Sports Net Today!

Live Play-by-Play, Updates, Highlights and More! on US Sports Network!
[Chrome Users-You may have to click on the play button twice to listen]
US Sports Network Powered By Beast Sports Nutrition!

US Sports Radio
The Las Vegas Raiders Play Here
Fitness and Sports Performance Info You Can Use!
The Scoreboard Mall
The Rock Almighty Shaker Of Heaven And Earth!
The Coolest Links In The Universe!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Today's Breaking Sports News and Live Streams . And CoachTube's How to Create a Pick-and-Roll Offense


Presented on US Sports Net By Hanes

How to Create a Pick-and-Roll Offense

Due to a variety of reasons, basketball has become more up-tempo over the years. Coaches have become enthused with the use of speed to take advantage of opponents and create more fast breaks. Perhaps no one has adopted this philosophy to a greater degree than former NBA head coach Mike D’Antoni. His pick-and-roll offense first gained prominence with Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns and then later in New York with the Knicks.

Seven Seconds or Less Principle

One of the key concepts behind Mike D’Antoni’s offense was this idea of the seven seconds or less principle. It has been well documented and was even the subject of the book, :07 Seconds or Less, which was released in 2006 telling the story of these run and gun Suns. This principle centers on the mindset that while there are good shots, there is always a better shot. Further, when you play offense at such a high-tempo, the defense doesn’t have time to get set. If you take too long to get a shot off, the defense can get set up like they’ve planned. When utilized effectively, there are usually fewer turnovers since fewer passes will be thrown (hence, only 7 seconds are used). While some may argue that this run-and-gun approach takes away from the traditional values of playing in half-court sets, it has been proven to work at all levels.

Relying on Speed

If you don’t have speed and quickness on your team, then the pick-and-roll offense will likely not be as effective.

D’Antoni’s teams were often quicker than the other teams. It’s not that other NBA teams weren’t conditioned enough to compete with the Suns, rather D’Antoni had his players operating on the mindset that they needed to get the ball up the floor as quick as possible. Less thinking was required on the players, as they were focused on speed rather than plays. When you’re attacking this quickly, opposing big men have trouble keeping up. For coaches out there that may suffer from a size advantage, this offense will work for you because it combats many of the strengths of having a bigger team. Ultimately, it is a way for smaller teams to put paint points on the board.

Presence of Pure Shooters

A short look through the stats of the 2005 Suns reveals they had plenty of three point shooters. Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Steve Nash, Leandro Barbosa, and Jim Jackson made up the list of these long-range bombers. The reason why the utilization of these players is so important is because it is an aspect that was missing for so long from the up-tempo offenses. This concentration of perimeter players allows a team to capitalize on nearly every fast break opportunity. In the end, the fast break situation will play out like this: The ball-handler races up the floor to attack the paint. While the opposing big men are still on their way down the court, the backpedaling wings will most likely collapse in the paint to get in front of the charging ball-handler. With this being the case, the ball-handler can either attack the wings to draw a foul or kick it out to one of the sharpshooters around the arc.

Making the Defense Commit

In all of the situations dealing with up-tempo and pick-and-roll offenses, the defense will have to decide how to react. An article from Knicker Blogger brings up some of the various decisions a team can make in response to the frequent pick-and-rolls in D’Antoni’s offense utilizing the point guard (Raymond Felton) and heavily-used post player (Amare Stoudemire).

Big Shows: Here, Stoudemire’s man comes out and shows, thus preventing an easy jumper from Felton off the screen. However, Stoudemire’s speed allows him to get to the hoop quicker. A simple pass over the top or lob can take advantage of this. If a third defender helps, Stoudemire will have an open shooter somewhere around the arc.

Big and Small Switch: When this happens, the point guard (Felton) is able to have a situation matched up with a slower big. His quickness would allow him to either drive to the paint or work the big in a one-on-one situation to get a medium range jumper.

Big Stays with Big: In a situation like this, Felton would immediately be able to go around the screen ahead of the trailing guard. With the opposing big stuck to Stoudemire, a third defender will collapse on Felton’s drive. Then, Felton utilizes his decision making to find an open shooter.

Big Splits the Difference: The last decision would be for the defense to leave the big closer to the basket and not attack the pick and roll. However, here if either of the players can knock down a long-range jumper, it would be available.

As seen with these numerous different decisions, the key is to make the defense decide first before the offense reacts. The speed and presence of shooters allows the offense to have more ways to react on any given play.
Cyber Savings: Up to 60% Off + Buy More, Save More on 100s of Styles!

Crucial Chemistry

As with any aspect of basketball, players must have chemistry with their teammates to be efficient and effective. Through practice with each other, it becomes easier to understand tendencies and preferences. More than ever, in a pick-and-roll offense, players have to know where guys like to spot up. Even though I mentioned spot-up shooters as being essential, there are going to be guys that tend to evaporate towards the corners on fast breaks. As for teams at lower levels, not all of the point guards will have the ability to handle the ball effectively with both hands. To assist the point guard, teams must design pick-and-rolls that play to the dominant hand to open up either driving lanes to that side or passing opportunities.

Dynamite Scorer Not Needed Necessarily

One of the benefits to this type of offense is that you don’t need a guy who can score on their own. While this may be nice when the shot clock is ticking down, the pick-and-roll offense doesn’t expect to ever be in a situation like this. Rather, the goal is to spread the floor and move the ball around quickly to get an open shot before the defense can get set. So while you don’t need the dynamite scorer, two of the key attributes needed are an intelligent point guard and versatile bigs.

The point guard is relied on to make many decisions over the course of the game, whether it be bringing the ball up on a fast break or evaluating the defense’s approach to a particular pick-and-roll. If your point guard can’t make consistent good decisions and find open shooters, then the pick-and-roll offense will fall flat on its face. Similarly, the bigs are just as important. They can’t be mere post-up players. Instead, they must be able to spread the court and knock down jumpers to keep the defense honest.

Not Many Set Plays

As you can probably guess, this run-and-gun basketball style doesn’t require a lot of set plays. Particularly in the fast break opportunities, teams are looking to find the best shot available in as short a time as possible. However, many of the pick-and-rolls can be set plays. Whether it involves the passes after the initial screen or what the big does on the roll, coaches can offer plenty of flexibility. Despite this, I urge coaches to not be so strict on set plays in this offense. There are so many variables to account for that you can’t possibly instill set plays if you want to take full advantage of your speed.

Still Got to Play Defense

Offense is fun to watch. Every kid wants to be the one that scores baskets. After all, you have to score to win and this is what Mike D’Antoni’s offense is best at. However, when I see this, I keep going back to an old quote. “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.” This mindset of running your opponent off the floor can definitely be effective, but if you can’t defend you aren’t going to win the big one. D’Antoni’s Suns teams never won the championship, but were successful in the regular season. Despite having elite defenders like Shawn Marion, they seemed to struggle against teams that would get up underneath them. For this reason, I would encourage coaches to spend enough time on defensive drills in practice in addition to implementing the high-octane offensive attack. You need to have a couple shutdown defenders to cover the opposing scorers in half-court sets. Remember, the opponents usually aren’t going to be running the pick-and-roll offense, so you’ll have to be able to defend for longer periods in half-court formations.

Understand Your Personnel

Just like any offense, teams must build their offensive strategy around the players they have on the roster. The pick-and-roll offense is a perfect fit for possibly undersized teams that have a smart ball-handler, versatile bigs, and an array of long-range shooters. However, you have to remember offense is only half the game and while Mike D’Antoni’s teams consistently scored the highest points per game, they struggled on the other end. Always think about the full picture!

No comments:

Post a Comment