Season leftovers: Miami inbounds play
This late basket helped Miami in their incredible comeback win against Virginia in the ACC tournament. It is a fairly common inbounds play, with screening the screener action but Miami runs it a bit differently than normal.
Notice how Miami is not set up on the blocks and the elbows, as is standard for a box set on an under the basket inbounds play. You can see that Miami is still in a box set, just off-center a bit, so I don’t think Virginia is confused by the alignment. However, it does give Miami some different angels with the screens and cuts, which I think helps them.
Reggie Johnson sets the first screen for Rion Brown, who is going to curl off the screen and cut to the rim. This is one of the main variations on this set. Usually, the player using the first screen is cutting to the baseline or corner for a jumpshot. Here, it gives Miami a possible look at a layup if Brown can get open.
Julian Gamble is then going to screen the screener, Johnson. Johnson is going to be the player who is going to use the screen to look to get open in the corner, which is not one of his hotspots, to put it lightly. It is clear that Brown is the first option, with Gamble being the second option on the slip.
Brown is open on his cut to the rim, as he has Sammy Zeglinski behind him but Malcolm Grant does not get him the ball. Meanwhile, Gamble is setting the screen for Johnson. His defender, Assane Sene, has no reason to leave Gamble and hedge on Johnson. Even though he is the more dangerous offensive player, he will not be a serious threat to score from the corner.
With Sene stepping out to the three point line to cut off Johnson, Gamble slips the screen and cuts right to the rim. Grant fees him the ball and Gamble has the easy dunk to fuel the comeback. If the Virginia player (Jontel Evans) guarding the inbounder turns and faces the play, he can cut off Gamble. He chooses to guard the ball but he does not make the entry pass difficult enough, as Grant is easily able to throw it in, as Evans’ hands are at his side, not tracing the ball to try to get a deflection. This allows Grant to make the pass into Gamble with little deterrence.
I think the key to this play is the unnecessary hedge by Sene on Johnson. Johnson is not a threat if he catches the ball in the corner, so Sene should have just let him go and stayed in the paint, to cut off Gamble. By stepping toward the corner, he left the paint wide open and Gamble took advantage of that.