Inside the play: Duke inbounds play
After previously looking at a inbounds play run by Syracuse, I am going to look at a play ran by Duke which got them a basket. I had a chuckle when I saw this play in real time, since my high school team ran it when I played there a few years ago. It goes to show that an inbounds play that has a variety of options can be effective in many levels of competition.
Here is the play we are going to look at today:
Brian Zoubek accepted his role beautifully for Coach K and Duke last season. He was a great offensive rebounder, a decent defender and loved setting screens. He embraces that duty here as he sets two nice screens that big men Lance Thomas and Kyle Singler can use to work the defense and find an opening.
Let’s look at the first screen, Zoubek screening for Thomas. With Thomas not a great shooter, his role is to draw attention to the basket and he rubs off the screen perfectly and cuts toward the basket. JaJuan Johnson just gives a little show and delays Thomas being open just for a second so Scheyer can not get him the ball.
This action was not wasted, as it occupied Johnson for just enough to get Singler open. Zoubek takes out the defender with a nice pick (I think he stuck his leg out a bit which would be an illegal screen but since there was no call, it was an effective pick) and Johnson is not there to hedge on Singler since he was defending Thomas.
Also, he has to protect against Zoubek rolling to the basket after setting the second pick. Thomas is clogging the space up a bit but if he would clear out to the corner, Zoubek could have rolled to the basket if Singler was not open and Scheyer could have found him on the opposite side for a layup.
As it turns out, the roll by Zoubek (the final part of the play) is not needed as Singler comes off Zoubek’s screen for an opening. There are a few points that made this play successful:
– The opening action of Lance Thomas. Johnson has to respect that and can’t recover in time to hedge Singler;
– The screen by Zoubek. Again, the legality is debatable (watch his left leg shoot out at the last second and remember you have to be set when you screen) but there was no call so it was an effective screen;
– The uses of the screens. Both Thomas and Singler come hard right off of Zoubek’s shoulder, which allows Zoubek to slow the defense and get them open. If Thomas comes off that screen lazily, Johnson does not have to pay him attention and could help defend Singler;
– The threat of Zoubek rolling to the basket. This play does not get there but Zoubek has the option to roll to the basket after setting the second screen and Johnson has to respect this action as well. Since Purdue is not switching on screens here, Johnson can’t hedge hard on Singler, since Zoubek will just dive to the basket.
This is a simple play with just two screens set but it’s the options and execution that makes this play a success. This proves that a play can be simple but effective at all levels of competition. Nice execution by Duke.