Duke shows multiple actions using a baseline screen
One of the ways Duke likes to get the ball in Nolan Smith’s hands is to have him run off a baseline screen to the corner or wing. Catching the ball here, he has several options to try and create. In tonight’s game against Virginia, we saw the offense run three different options out of this simple screen, all successful.
The first option is to have Smith run off the screen for a jump shot. Here, he gets the screen from Andre Dawkins and uses it to get open in the corner.
You can see Smith’s defender get screened here by Dawkins. Dawkins sets a great screen by seeking out the Virginia player and getting a piece of him, holding him up for long enough for Smith to get open.
The help defender does not rotate out to Smith, as he stays at home to protect the basket from a slip by Dawkins. This means Seth Curry has a free passing lane to Smith, who has plenty of room to knock down the shot.
The second option gets the post man open on the block. Ryan Kelly sets the block screen for Smith in this play. Smith curls off the screen to get to the wing, instead of running straight to the corner, as he did in the first play.
Kelly sets a good screen and forces Mustapha Farrakhan to trail Smith off the screen. Thanks to Joe Harris’ quick show and Farrakhan’s recovery, Smith is guarded once he makes the catch.
While Harris’ show slows down Smith, it allows Kelly to get post position. While Harris is recovering from his show on the screen, Kelly is able to pivot off the screen and pin Harris in the post. He is able to make a catch in good position and make a post move.
It’s up to Kelly, as Virginia chooses not to double the post and he delivers with a nice up and under move. Due to the threat of Smith coming off the screen, Harris had to come off Kelly and show on Smith, allowing Kelly to secure favorable post position, putting him in a position to score.
Slip the screen
The last option I want to highlight is slipping the screen. If the defender shows (like Harris above) or simply pays no attention to the screener, the screener can slip to the basket and look for the pass.
Miles Plumlee sets the baseline screen in the final play for Smith and sets a great screen yet again (does any team screen better than Duke? I would be hard pressed to find one).
Again, we see the defender of the screener try to show off the screen while Smith’s man trails the screen. Akil Mitchell shows here to try to stop Smith from curling to the basket and allowing Farrakhan time to recover to Smith.
Like the play above, Duke uses the screener’s help to their advantage. Mitchell is a little slow coming off of his show and Plumlee is open at the rim. Curry sees that Mitchell came a step or two too high off of Plumlee and dumps the ball into Plumlee.
This results in Plumlee drawing a foul and going to the line for two shots. Again, we see the screener taking advantage of the defense focusing on Smith and producing a positive result for the offense.
That’s the same screen, yet three different options the offense can run successfully. If the defense chooses to focus on the man using the screener, this allows the screener to get open in a variety of ways. If they choose to stay at home, the man coming off the screen may be open. I liked seeing Duke run the same simple action a few times while being able to be successful in three different options off the same screen.