Spacing and shooters are key. The spacing starts with a shooter in each corner and the 5-man in the dunker spot. The dunker spot is a frequently used term in the NBA for the area on the baseline just outside the lane, but closer to the rim then the short corner. With both deep corners filled with a shooter and the 5-man opposite dunker spot, Draymond sprints into a middle pick-n-roll with Curry. Once Green screens Curry’s defender he goes into a short roll instead of a hard dive to the rim or popping out to 3. A short roll is a slower roll to the rim, where the big is looking to catch the ball above or around the free throw line off a pocket pass from the guard. Draymond does an excellent job of timing up the short roll, often with a short slide, and catching the ball on the run going full speed downhill.
Once Green is downhill attacking, he is making split second decisions while often taking one or less dribbles. His initial read is X5, the defender guarding the dunker spot. If on the catch he sees X5 hugging his man he is on a straight line drive directly to the rim. In the first couple clips you will also see the wing defenders stunting at Green or simply being too late to help over. This happens because of the Warriors spacing and the offensive players ability to shoot, which causes many defenders to either hug the shooter or give a quick stunt and recover. The Warriors ability to space the floor with great shooters allows Draymond to have tons of room on the short roll.
Green’s other decision on the catch, happens when X5 steps up to help, since he is often the closest defender. Once X5 takes one step or stunt towards Draymond it is an automatic lob to the 5-man in the dunker spot. The combination of Draymond’s passing ability and McGee’s athleticism + length makes this a very quick and tough cover. With wing defenders having to make quick decisions to either help over or down resulting in an open shooter, Green and McGee are playing 2-on-1 in the paint.
In many of the clips, you will see wing defenders either out hugging the shooter or having to cover so much ground that they are late to crack down on the 5-man in the dunker spot. This simple middle ball screen for the Warriors turns into a very tough defensive cover because of the spacing and ability to surround Green and McGee with shooters. Another key to this actions success is Curry’s passing ability to quickly deliver Draymond the ball while drawing two defenders on the ball screen coverage.
With basketball at all levels, especially in the NBA, transitioning into using the 4-man mainly on the perimeter and in playmaking situations this action can be used as a great breakdown drill. The drill starts with the 5-man in the opposite dunker spot with X5 guarding him. The 4-man will sprint into a ball screen with a coach and open up on a short roll. Once the coach hits the 4-man on a pocket pass, it is live 2-on-1. X5 is making the 4-man make a quick decision on whether to finish at the rim or look for the lob to the dunker spot. This can be a great way for your bigs to get situational training reps while making live reads. It should also be noted that the lob pass can also be a bounce pass, depending on the athleticism of the 5-man receiving the pass. Help to develop your 4-man’s skillset and playmaking ability by sharing this post, video and drill with him!
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