FIBA Americas: Brazil pick and roll leads to a dagger
This pick and roll set is something VCU ran numerous times in their run to the Final Four last season. I wanted to briefly touch on it again now as it has proved to be very tough to defend on several levels of competition. In a FIBA Americas contest today, Brazil utilized this action to get a late three point shot which sealed their win over Argentina.
We pick up the play with a ball screen set by Tiago Splitter. His defender chooses to hedge on the ball screen and Splitter quickly leaves his screen to roll to the basket. This forces the help defender to rotate over and take away Splitter.
Marcos Mata rotates properly over to Splitter who is rolling to rim off of the ball screen. However, he must leave his initial man, Guilherme Giovannoni wide open when he steps out to the three point line. With Mata too deep into the paint to close out in time, Giovannoni has plenty of time to catch and shoot before a defender can close out.
It is not bad defense by any measure by Argentina in my eyes. They choose to take away the ball screen by hedging on the screen while they had proper rotation over to take away Splitter, the roll man.
However, Brazil had a superior offensive strategy. When the ball screen was taken away, the ball handler strung out his cut to space the offense. He knew that Argentina was going to rotate over to Splitter and where the open man would be at the top of the key. From there, it is an easy pass and catch to knock down the open shot.
An underrated key is the hard roll by Splitter. When he recognizes that the defense is hedging on the screen, he immediately rolls to the rim instead of holding a screen that would not lead to anything. Splitter makes sure to draw the help defense and gets his teammate open for the jump shot. With this type of spacing, this set is very hard for a team to defend.