NBA Daily X&O Recap for Coaches: Kings at Mavs -How to Create Space after Pick and Roll

How many times have you been witness to a pattern like play in pick and roll action where players often go into two dribbles pull up jumpers no matter if they are in a good or a bad position for a shot? For this particular play, it is nice to see some good body positioning and a reaction triggered by some good floor awareness.

Kings are the best story of the NBA and they are playing some fast, modern basketball. As they push the pace to the limits with the running ability of their both frontcourt and backcourt, the peace that is in charge for some slow, more controlled offense is Bogdan Bogdanović.
Let us take a look at this pick and roll action and the sequence of the moves that gave him the opportunity to find space and score around the rim even if DeAndre Jordan was the one protecting it.

Deny the screen

Here we have Bogdanović with the ball, and we have Colie Stein coming for a screen. Jordan is not covering this action defensively and he is standing in the middle of the paint. Being aware of this, Dončić denies the middle of the court so it would be a free throw shot for Bogdan because there is no way that DeAndre would be fast enough to cover him from his current standing position.
Bogdan saw this and after Luka slide towards the middle, he made a change of direction and went towards the paint.

Decision making at its best

As the screen part has ended, now we have the part where the ball handler needs to decide what to do. As we can see here, DeAndre is in the paint so this excludes the layup/floater, and as we can see Luka is behind but close, so Bogdan can't go for a jumper. The only right thing to do is to go parallel with the free throw line and look for a better position for a shot.

Making space

As the screen was soft and Luka managed to fight over it pretty easy, Bogdan decided to take a route that is parallel with the free throw line. He slowed down a bit and initiated a contact that is going to keep Luka on his back. In this same moment Bogdan saw that Jordan lost both vision and interest in him, so now he reacts in a way that again he is changing the direction of movement, but this time towards the basket.

Easy layup

The action ended with the easy layup.If Bogdan was playing without any reaction based on defensive movement, he wouldn't get this easy shot.
There is nothing wrong with the offensive patterns. But, when we teach them to our players we need to emphasize that they are just ideas that will get them somewhere better, where they are going to be able to take some kind of shot, but it doesn't mean that it will work 100%. Teach your players to react, rather than execute.

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