SebastianPruiti shows some good sets involving Pau Gasol
- From: libnus <user1234@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 20:31:21 +0000 (UTC)
forumbluegold Darius Soriano
In a scouting report on Spain's offense, @SebastianPruiti shows some good
sets involving Pau Gasol. Check it out: bit.ly/pTVC62
EuroBasket Offensive Scout: Spain
On August 31st, EuroBasket, an European competition featuring 24
countries and a high number of NBA players. With the much anticipated
exodus of NBA players to Europe not exactly happening (as of yet), this
could be the last time you see some really good NBA players play in a
true competitive setting for a really long time. To get everyone more
familiar with what we are going to see during the EuroBasket tournament,
I am going to look at each team?s offense and break down a few
interesting sets that they run, using game tape from the preparation
games that are currently being played.
Spain are entering EuroBasket 2011 as the favorites to win the tournament
and for good reason. Their roster would be competitive in the NBA,
featuring the Gasol brothers, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez, and Ricky
Rubio and they run a very good offense that continuously puts them in
positions to succeed.
It should be no surprise that this Spanish team is a little bit flashy,
with the NBA guys on their team, they have the talent to do so. Maybe,
the biggest example of Spain?s flash is the fact that they have a set
play designed to get Rudy Fernandez a lob, and the fact that they run it
a fair amount of the time (once or twice a game):
The play starts with Ricky Rubio bringing the basketball up and as that
happens, Rudy Fernandez comes up to meet Rubio and get in position to set
a ball screen (at times, Spain runs this with a pass to Fernandez and a
quick handoff back to the point guard instead of a screen).
However, Fernandez has no interest in setting a screen, and he quickly
cuts after showing the screen, flashing around Serge Ibaka and cutting to
Even though Fernandez didn?t actually set a screen, the defender still
had to react to it, and it put him in a trail position, chasing
Fernandez. Making things even more difficult, the defender had to deal
with working around both Serge Ibaka (who is trying to set a screen for
Fernandez) and his defender.
Again, an effective screen isn?t set here, but it is still effective
enough and forces the defender to trail him even more. This gives Rubio
a slight window to throw the pass to Fernandez.
The pass was right on the money and Fernandez is able to catch the lob
and throw it down for two points. Here is the play in real time:
Once again, Spain doesn?t get a good screen set here, but the actual
design of the play still forces the defense to react to and respect the
screens, putting Fernandez?s defender in a trail position, and giving
Rubio the space to throw a lob.
However, the Spanish team (and more specifically their point guards) are
disciplined enough to not throw the lob if it isn?t there. If the lob
isn?t there, the player looking to receive the pass, simply uses the
screener at the top of the key and uses him to come to the basketball.
Once that happens, they are just playing basketball:
Spain usually likes to run this play a couple times in the first quarter
as a way to show their dominance over the opposing team?s defense. Also,
in the first quarter, defenses are still getting a feel for the offense,
and you are probably more likely to hit on a play like this in the first
quarter than in the fourth quarter.
Pick And Roll Into Post Entry
Spain probably has one of the best frontcourts in EuroBasket, and they
try to take advantage of that with a set that sets up one of their bigs
with a post up opportunity:
The play starts with Spain in a double high formation with both of their
bigs at a elbow position. The point guard passes it to one of the bigs,
and then runs off of a backscreen set by the opposite big. What?s
important here is is that the big who gets the ball at the high post (in
this case, Pau Gasol) is going to be the one who is posting up.
After making the catch, Gasol turns around and dribbles right at his
teammate who is positioned on the wing. This is where a dribble handoff
Once Gasol gives up the basketball, he curls to the opposite block,
getting a cross-screen from the point guard who entered the basketball
into him at the start of the play. Running with Gasol is the player who
handed the basketball off to him, taking the ball from one side of the
court to the other side of the court as Gasol gets into position on the
block. The ball handler gets a ball screen from the big at the opposite
What the screen at the top of the key is designed to do is to keep the
ball handler?s defender from staying in front of him and taking away the
post entry pass. Another important thing to note is the player in the
corner. If the post entry pass isn?t there, usually the next pass is a
pass to the corner, where the player can make an entry to Gasol or attack
This set is all about timing. Gasol gets there too early, there is a
chance his defender gets around the cross screen and pushes him out of
his strong post position. If the ball handler gets there too early, he
has to wait and his man gets out in front of him. On the possession
above, the timing is slightly off and the original post entry is
deflected, but the man in the corner gathers the ball, re-enters it to
Gasol, who finishes on the block.
Now, back to the Spanish player in the corner:
What happens on this play is that the corner player?s defender drops down
to take away the post entry pass. That frees up the corner, the pass is
made, and when it is made his defender is forced to close out on him
hard. This gives up the baseline, allows him to attack the rim, and draw
The final option on this play is the roll man from the screen at the top
of the key:
What makes this option an effective one is that all of the action is
heading away from the area where he rolls to the rim (or pops out in this
case), leaving the player wide open.
Wing PNR w/PG
One action Spain likes to run is a wing pick and roll. However, instead
of running it with a wing player, Spain likes to see the wing pick and
roll ran with their point guards. Instead of having their point guards
run the pick and roll on the wing with their dribble (taking the ball
The play starts with the point guard bringing the basketball up, not down
the middle of the court, but on the opposite side, giving the wing space
to come off of a pindown set by the center.
After the wing player comes off of the pindown, he gets the basketball
from the point guard. Once that happens, the point guard cuts off of a
screen the center sets at the elbow.
The point guard makes the catch on the wing, and after the catch, the
center comes over and sets a ball screen for the point guard:
What?s nice about the point guard making the catch on the wing and using
the screen is that now he has the ability to face up, look at his
defender, read how he will play the screen, and attack. In this case,
the point guard attacks the baseline and eventually hits the screener
popping at the elbow for the jumper.
Also, with the pick and roll on the wing, the roll man is in a natural
position to post up his man if he doesn?t make the catch on the roll.
Which is what happens on the play above.
When taking the ball on the side and running a set, Spain is almost
exclusively looking for a three point shot, and they have one set that
they like to run to try and get that shot.
You have a big setting a pindown for the point guard so he can make the
catch. Once that catch happens, a shooter cuts along the baseline going
from the side where the ball starts to the opposite side, looking to make
the catch and launch the three. If that isn?t open, Spain works the ball
around the perimeter. The one reason that Spain likes to have the
shooter start on the side where the inbounder starts is that it provides
the inbounds pass with a release valve. If the point guard gets denied,
the inbounder can make himself available in the corner for the pass (in
the final set, he makes the catch in the corner and drills the three).
In their BLOB set, Spain lets to set up a triangle in the paint and play
off of it, using a various amount of screens to try and set up a shot:
As you can see, there are a number of different options that Spain can
work out of this set. Obviously the first one is a backscreen releasing
a big right under the basket. If that isn?t there, a big popping out is
usually the second option.
As I mentioned above, Spain has an advantage pretty much everywhere, but
their best positions seem to be at the point guard spot and with their
bigs. The sets that they run show that they understand that and they
look to take advantage, running sets that put both their bigs and their
point guards in position to create and in scoring situations.
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