Zalgiris Kaunas: Winning Ways Part 2 – Iverson Series

By Sergey Tkachenko

Despite having the lowest budget among Euroleague Playoff  teams, Zalgiris Kaunas has succeeded with an efficient offensive style.

This is Part 2 covering the club’s Iverson series. Read Part 1 on Horns Series here, which includes a profile on Zalgiris Kaunas Head Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius and his style of coaching.

Iverson Series

A main strategy Zalgiris used in its playoff series against Olympiakos was to take advantage of having bigger and stronger guards than its opponent. Zalgiris used a series of plays that aimed to exploit Olympiakos’ smaller guards by posting them up near the basket. The most common way Zalgiris initiates this is by running an Iverson cut to receive the ball from the point guard, who then makes a UCLA cut to the block looking for a post up opportunity. The four plays below demonstrate this set, from the basic post up into a progression of three options of following actions to run after 1 catches.

Iverson UCLA Guard Post

Zalgiris Iverson UCLA Guard Post

In this set, Zalgiris uses Iverson entry and a UCLA screen to get their point guard a low post touch. It’s important that other players move and space out to avoid drawing extra help to 1 as he works to get a shot.

Iverson UCLA Logo PNR

Zalgiris Logo PNR

This counter adds to previous play Logo PNR. Zalgiris is only team in whole Euroleague, which execute Logo PNR. It is one more point about creative coaching vision of Sarunas Jasikevicius.

Iverson UCLA Logo Spain PNR

Zalgiris Iverson UCLA Logo Spain PNR

Personally, this became my favorite set once I saw Coach Jasikevicius added Spain option to the Logo PNR action. Notice that the back screen in this action is set by the best shooter in order to prevent switching the screen.

Iverson UCLA Chicago

Zalgiris Iverson UCLA Chicago

In this counter, Zalgiris is able to catch the defense off guard, as x1 is anticipating 1 to post up on the block after making the UCLA cut, similar to previous actions. But this time, Zalgiris instead runs Chicago action (pindown into DHO), which is extremely difficult for x1 to defend.

Check back for parts 3 and 4 covering Spain PNR and ATO/EOG plays from Zalgiris Kaunas.

View all of Sergey’s submitted plays on the FMS PlayBank, and follow his channels for more EuroLeague content:

Twitter: @seregatka4 | Instagram: @futurebasketballcoach | YouTube

More International basketball: Euro Ball Screen Entries | FIBA EuroBasket Horns Sets

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Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is based in Perm, Russia and is currently a scouting coach for BC Parma Youth Under 21 team. He is the youngest scout in his league. Before scouting, he played for the U16 and U18 Russian National Teams. Follow Sergey for international basketball content. Twitter: @seregatka4 Instagram: @futurebasketballcoach YouTube: FutureBasketballCoach Email:
BEIJING, April 27, 2018 Head coach of Zalgiris Kaunas Sarunas Jasikevicius (L) reacts during the fourth playoff of the Euroleague between Zalgiris Kaunas from Lithuania and Olympiakos Piraeus from Greece in Kaunas, Lithuania, April 26, 2018. Zalgiris Kaunas won 101-91. (Credit Image: © Alfredas Pliadis/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

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