NBA Playoffs Sets of the Week Part 2

By Gibson Pyper


Atlanta Hawks – UCLA Flare

Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer is one of the best, if not the best, coach in after timeout and special situations to get players great shot opportunities. To start game 5 against the Brooklyn Nets he gets alot of movement before getting Kyle Korver an open look from 3. They run the normal “Zipper” cut into a double screen to get some action before the initial set. Their big pops to the wing, and Budenholzer has Korver set a UCLA screen before coming off a flare screen for an open look from 3.


Celtics – Indy Rip

Brad Stevens took an underrated and a Boston Celtic team that had mid season trades and were expecting to head for an early draft pick to the playoffs. He is one of the best basketball minds in the NBA, and he runs a nice set for Isaiah Thomas with multiple options off of it. It starts with a dribble handoff to the trailing big and the point guard cuts off backscreen from the opposite big man at the elbow. The first option is for the point guard to “V” cut back off at the elbow and look for a shot opportunity. If there is not shot available, 5 will step up and set a ballscreen, because of the dribble handoff 4 is already spacing the floor, so the Spread Pick & Roll doesn’t need to be setup. The next option is for 1 to continue off backscreen and set a flex screen for the wing man and then receive a down screen from 4.


Cleveland Cavaliers – Rub

Cleveland Cavaliers have alot of set to get players like LeBron James & Kevin Love in the post, and David Blatt implemented another new one in the playoff series against Boston. Using Kevin Love as a post entry threat and floor spacer, 1 passes to 4 on the wing, cuts through to the elbow and sets a “Rub” screen for LeBron James at the top of the key. LeBron looks to post up, if the post up is not available or if Kyrie Irving (1)) has an advantage, he will pop to the top of the key and receive a ballscreen from 5. This flows nicely because 4 (Kevin Love) is already spacing the floor, it will be interesting to see if Blatt runs a counter or another option off this since Kevin Love will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.



Chicago Bulls – ATO Wing Dive

Down late against Milwaukee, Bulls coach Thibodeau called a great After Time Out set to get Mirotic a wide open 3 point look. Initially on the wing, 1 passes to 3 who quickly flips it back to him and clears to opposite wing. 5 then steps up and sets a ballscreen for 5 who attacks to the corner, 5 dives to the rim, as this action occurs 4 sneaks up and pops to the lane line extended area for replace action to take advantage of help defense from the Bucks.



Chicago Bulls – Lob

To open up game 2 against Milwaukee, the Bulls ran a nice Lob set to get an easy two points for Jimmy Butler. The set begins with Pau screening down for Butler who then sets a ballscreen on the wing. Because his man has to show/help/switch on the ballscreen this allows him to cut off the double backscreen easier for a lob.



San Antonio Spurs – Cross Elevator

Gregg Popovich has mastered the art of getting his second unit to run great after time outs/sets to open up the second and fourth quarters and he ran two great sets against the Clippers for 3 point shots. The first set is an Elevator set for Patty Mills. Mills starts by passing the ball to the wing and cutting to the middle of the key. He fakes like he will set a cross screen for 3 to freeze his man and sprints through the elevator doors. The second set is a counter out of the “Hammer set” the Spurs run so well. Instead of looking for the baseline drift, Danny Green sets a flare screen for Mills and cuts to the ball for an open shot.



San Antonio Spurs – Loop Hammer



Los Angeles Clippers – Horns Seal Leak

Doc Rivers loves to get Chris Paul & Blake Griffin in a Post Pick & Roll situation to put the defense in a tough situation. Out of this set, they ran a counter late against the San Antonio Spurs to get Chris Paul moving and attacking off a double screen. Instead of setting a flex screen and then sealing his man for a post up, Paul leaks out and receives a dribble handoff from Blake Griffin and attacks off a ballscreen from DeAndre Jordan.


Toronto Raptors – PNR Post DHO

The Toronto Raptors run a nice set to get Demar Derozan moving into a quick jump shot or backdoor opportunity. Starting off with a hi ballscreen for Lowry and as he comes off it 5 seals his man in the post. After the post entry 5 turns and looks to either dribble handoff to 2 or if he is overplayed he cuts backdoor for a layup.


Washington Wizards – Post Rub Rip Empty

Another counter to a normal set that teams ran in the regular season is an empty set from the Washington Wizards. The Wizards normally run a post rub into a cross screen for the big man to get a post touch, but in the playoffs they ran a counter that had the guard who normally screens the big man, runs to the corner. The other big flashes to the elbow to empty the paint and allows the big to seal his man and have an entry for a layup.




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Creator/Owner of & half court hoops youtube channel. I love NBA & NCAA X's & O's and look to help coaches everywhere!

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