Dusting off the archives: UNC set play
As we saw in our last post, one of UNC’s main points of emphasis was getting the ball to Brendan Haywood. This play was designed to get Haywood open and when Tennessee had Haywood covered, UNC had an effective second option to get a bucket.
Haywood sets a ball screen for Ed Cota to start the play. Cota loops around the screen and looks to set the rest of the play up, instead of get to the rim. The screen’s purpose is to force the defense to guard and have Haywood’s man hedge on the screen, opening up the rest of the action.
Haywood then dives to the rim where he receives a backscreen from Joe Forte. Haywood’s defender is already a step behind since he had to quickly hedge on the ball screen. When he is held up by the screen, it now takes him even longer to recover to Haywood.
What the screen by Forte does is force his defender to rotate over to Haywood, so Cota cannot make the pass to Haywood. This gives Forte space to pop out to the free throw line after the screen.
You can see that Forte’s defender is stuck on the block defending Haywood until the primary defender can recover. This gives Forte the change to catch the ball at the free throw line and hit the mid range jumper before his defender can recover. With the defense heavily focused on Haywood, Forte was able to come off the screen and be open, as his defender had to sag off him to defend Haywood.
Even though Cota was not looking to score off the ball screen, it was still a very effective screen as it forced the defense to guard it, which put them out of position to defend the rest of the play. It forced Forte’s defender to rotate to Haywood, which gave Forte space at the foul line to knock down the jump shot.