XsOs Vault: Play Designs From Legendary NBA Coaches

By FastModel Sports

Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta Hawks, FastModel Sports, coaching, basketball play diagrams, offense

Coach Dymetrius Ware dug through his FastDraw library for classic NBA sets by Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley and more.

The 2021 NBA Playoffs are well underway as several first round series are coming to a close. It’s been exciting to watch as always, and of course there are plenty of great XsOs for coaches to learn from in these games.

Yet sometimes, its helpful (and fun) to take a look back and study the original the greats of the game, the coaches who taught the next generation of coaches how to do it. Basketball has changed, but it also hasn’t changed – the basic concepts have always been the same and still work as well today as they did in the past.

Enjoy these play designs from NBA coaching icons. Click on a diagram to view frame descriptions and download it to your FastDraw library. Shout out to contributor Dymetrius Ware for the sets!

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NBA Coaching Icons XsOs

Jerry Sloan

Utah Jazz – UCLA Back Screen

Super simple quick hitter to get a catch in the post. Even if denied, the ball can be reversed for a high low look or drive by 1. The 1-4 alignment is great for disguising offensive sets, too.

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson, Lakers, Shaq, FastModel Sports, coaching, play diagram

Los Angeles Lakers – Triangle Post Up SLOB

We all know how successful the triangle offense was for Coach Jackson with the Bulls and Lakers. This classic set is a perfect example of the triangle at its finest: a post feed with two clear options/actions off the ball. As this one begins from a SLOB, it makes it even more valuable.

Lenny Wilkens

Atlanta Hawks – Triple Stagger BLOB

This box set BLOB was a staple that Coach Wilkens would run for sharpshooter Steve Smith (2) to get an open 3pt attempt off the inbound. Even if it doesn’t result in an open look, players are in a great alignment to reset. See more examples of connecting inbounds to offense.

Rick Pitino

Boston Celtics – Triple Stagger BLOB

Another example of a triple stagger from a baseline out of bounds, however in this set Coach Pitino runs it toward the corner and uses the inbounder as the screener, not the shooter.

Also from an initial box alignment, making it a great counter to the Hawks play above and generally easy to keep the defense guessing on what’s coming. Check out more stagger actions.

Pat Riley

Miami Heat – PNR Baseline Screening

This open sided PNR ends up providing three solid scoring options:

  • Jump shot or drive for 1
  • Jump shot or attack from either wing
  • Post feed either block
  • Post feed then split action on either side

Jeff Van Gundy

New York Knicks – Zipper to Baseline Triple

Sure, the triple screen is a great way to get somebody open. If anything, though, the triple screen is likely to confuse the defense and cause it to over-help on 1, thus opening up a pass to 3 as you seen in the alternative option in the third frame.

Paul Silas

Charlotte Hornets – Wing PNR Spain

Spain action is so effective at releasing a screener for a paint touch. This set gets the ball to 5 to let them work in space with little help opportunities for the defense.

Spread classic NBA sets with #XsOsVault!

Hit us up on Twitter to let us know which of these sets you’re adding to your library – and if and when they work for your team! Share your own legendary coaching diagrams with the hashtag #XsOsVault.

Make sure to check out Coach Ware’s Playbank page for more awesome XsOs.

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ATLANTA, GA – CIRCA 1994: Head coach Lenny Wilkens of the Atlanta Hawks talks with his team while there’s a time out during an NBA basketball game circa 1994 at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia. Wilkens coached the Hawks from 1993-2000. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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