NBA Playoffs Best Sets

By Gibson Pyper

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Washington Wizards

Randy Wittman has turned heads this postseason with his late game sets & after time out play calls. He ran a great after time out set late against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 that allowed them to take the lead on a late Paul Pierce 3. Wittman utilized the Hammer set, made famous by the San Antonio Spurs, to have Beal drive after receiving the pass and having Gortat set the Hammer screen for Pierce to get open.

Wizards EOG Hammer


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With John Wall going down with an injury, the Wizards turned to Bradley Beal to be a facilitator and scorer in his absence. Wittman setup a nice set to create movement and to get Beal coming off a dribble handoff and get an open look. First Beal passes to the wing and then cuts off a UCLA screen from the big at the elbow, and then sits down in the post. The guard on the wing passes to the elbow and sets a down screen for Beal who then receives a dribble handoff from the big and looks to attack.

Wizards UCLA Dribble


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Another quick hitter from the Wizards game in Game 4 to get Paul Pierce an easy layup. As the ball is brought up on the wing, Beal sets a “Rip” screen for Pierce and then comes off a double screen. Because of the shooting ability of Beal, he frees up Pierce by screening and then cutting off a double screen.

Wizards Rip Double


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Golden State Warriors

Steve Kerr is always adding new sets for the Warriors, blending the perfect mix of new sets and older influences into this years Golden State Warriors offense. This year the Clippers have run a set called “Veer” for JJ Redick to get an open shot, a set which Kerr has added and run more this postseason. The set starts with a guard setting a down screen for the big man (typically Draymond Green) who then sprints up as if to set a ballscreen, this is a common action they run for a high pick & roll. Instead of setting a ballscreen, he veers off and sets a pindown screen for the weakside guard in the corner. Kerr has added some wrinkles to this set, where if the guard is overplayed (usually Klay Thompson) he then sprints across the court off a double screen.

Warriors Veer


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Golden State has the most lethal combination of guards in the NBA, and Kerr uses both of them to screen for each other often. He ran a great set in the regular season in which he had Steph Curry set a backscreen for another player who would cut to the rim. If that option was covered then Curry would cut off a dribble hand off from the big at the top of the key to attack.

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In the playoffs, alot of teams attack mismatches, and Golden State has been no different. This postseason when the first option off the backscreen is covered, he had Klay Thompson & Harrison Barnes both post up against weaker opponent guarding them.

Warriors Rip DHO Seal


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Along the lines of Randy Wittman, Kerr likes to run the Hammer set to get his players open, and in true Kerr style he runs a nice counter out of this set. Having Mo Speights (stretch 5) set the Hammer screen knowing his defender would be prone to sag off and help, and then opens up for a jump shot.

Warriors Hammer Open


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Memphis Grizzlies

Struggling to score against Golden State in Game 5, Dave Joerger called a timeout and setup a nice “Blind Pig” set to get an easy score. Knowing that Golden State was playing aggressive and overhelping on any screen that a guard cut off of, he had Gasol flash to the high post after Conley exited the screen and received the ball. After he caught the ball, Conley cut backdoor with his man on the high side, and Gasol hit him with a nice backdoor pass for a floater.

Grizzlies Blind Pig


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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!

Latest posts by Gibson Pyper (see all)

May 13, 2015 – Atlanta, GA, USA – The Washington Wizards’ Paul Pierce (34) hits a 3-pointer over the Atlanta Hawks’ Paul Millsap to take an 81-80 lead over the Hawks with 8.3 seconds left on the game clock in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The Hawks won, 82-81, for a 3-2 series lead. (Credit Image: � Curtis Compton/TNS/ZUMA Wire)

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One Comment;

  1. Augusto Antonio Pastore said:

    Excelent observations with regard to NBA Coaches works. It is great for us, southamerican basketball coaches receive this information. As ENEBA (Argentine National School of Basketbal Coaches) Pedagogical Coordinator I must tell you that your information is of great value for all of us.