Videos: How the Spurs pick and roll
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.
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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
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Attacking the paint (This is an excellent tutorial for the Spurs offensive schema)
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I'm seeing how the Spurs offense is similar to the Suns old offense, as Jose tried to explain previously. To me, the difference is the Spurs are trying to get good shots early, as opposed to just jacking it up no matter what.
the pick and roll in the early plays are similar to the old Spurs pick and roll plays (substitute Bowen for Leonard and Horry for Bonner in those positions).
the difference with the offense after that (like Diaw handling the ball or passing it inside) is that we don't have Bowen, Horry, and Barry standing around the whole time waiting for the Big 3 to create because just about every one else is in motion during the plays (like when Leonard cut to the basket for a Diaw pass, something Bowen would never do). it's really the same offensive plays from before but with guys moving. the great thing about that with older guys like Manu handling the ball and a slower Parker than from his prime is Duncan/Splitter are good screeners and bump the opposing guard enough where a guy other than the 2 defenders in the play (Durant in most of those) has to help out which helps ball movement and guys cutting to the basket because their guy's back is facing them.
the bad thing is if guys are in motion and close to the basket, that may lead to transition points for the other team (remember we used to keep two 3 point shooters on the wing plus Bowen running back when the ball was in the air before the other team got a rebound), which kind of explains why our defense isn't that good recently.
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