The latest installment of Grantland.com’s excellent NBA coverage entry details five signatures plays of title contending teams
, including your San Antonio Spurs. (Note the intense concentration of one Matthew Robert Bonner in the accompanying photo of a random Spurs huddle.)
The play in question is the drag screen in transition with Tony Parker, which makes sense for any number of reasons.
No. 1, Parker is one of the most proficient screen/roll guards in the league. According to data compiled by Synergy Sports Technology for Sport Illustrated’s NBA preview
, Parker ranked second in the NBA last season in pick-and-roll scoring (7.7 points per game) and 10th in pick-and-roll efficiency (0.856 points per possession).
No. 2, he works with two of the most effective screeners in the NBA: Tiago Splitter (third, 1.381 points per possession rolling to the basket) and the great Tim Duncan (1st, 1.007 points per possession on the pick and pop; 10th, 1.247 points per possession rolling to the basket; 4th, 1.077 per possession on all pick and roll possessions).
Manu Ginobili doesn’t show up in any of the rankings. But considering he’s among the top non-point guard playmakers in the game, and it’s no wonder why the Spurs led the NBA in pick-and-roll frequency with nearly a quarter of their possessions.
Check out this simple yet highly effective play and head over to Grantland.com to read the breakdown from Brett Koremenos
The beauty of the pick and roll is that there is a virtually limitless amount of variations. Witness the many ways the Spurs use their bread-and-butter set in these other clips:
Spacing the floor
Attacking the paint (This is an excellent tutorial for the Spurs offensive schema) Spurs Nation