A look at Florida’s offense, Part 2: Post Entry Plays
In our second post on Florida’s offense, we are going to look at how Florida entered the ball into the post, mainly for Vernon Macklin. Many of these sets came while Florida had two strong offensive big men on the court at one time and although the duo of Macklin and Alex Tyus have moved on, I believe that Florida will still be able to have the personnel to run the following sets.
While Florida does many different things to get the ball into the post, we are going to explore two of the more interesting ones today; the baseline screen and the high low option.
Note: Apologies on the weirdness of the screenshots. I don’t know why they look that way and will try to prevent it from happening again.
The first set I want to highlight is Florida running a guard baseline before making the post entry pass. In this first play, Erving Walker runs baseline off of screens from Tyus and Macklin to catch the ball on the wing. Butler decides to play these screens straight up, as a hedge or switch from Macklin’s defender, Andrew Smith, would put Macklin in a much more favorable position than if Smith stayed at home.
A hedge would have left Macklin open for the slip of the screen and open dunk. A switch would have left Ronald Nored on Macklin, a major mismatch. Butler decides to let Nored run with Walker on his own and give him no help off the screens.
Once Walker catches the ball on the wing, he immediately pivots and dumps the ball into Macklin, who is now isolated on Smith. This puts Macklin in an advantageous position and he is able to go to his favorite move, the jump hook, to score.
Macklin got open because he was able to duck in front of Smith from behind him after setting the screen. Smith is in good position to defend the screen the way Butler has designed it, as he is staying between his man and the ball, to cut off the easy entry pass from the top of the key and to be in position to help on penetration.
However, he briefly loses sight of Macklin as Macklin sets the second screen for Walker. Smith is focused on the ball at the top of the key and Walker coming off of the screen. This allows Macklin to duck in from out or Smith’s sight and get in excellent position.
By running a player baseline, Florida puts the defense in a tough position. If they hedge or switch the second screen, Macklin can slip the screen for a direct pass from the top of the key or have a mismatch with a guard trying to defend him in the post. Defending straight up allows him to step in front of the defender and receive the entry pass right after it is swung to the wing.
This is effective because Macklin was a strong offensive player in the post last season. For teams to respect this play again this season, someone will have to step up and become a reliable post scorer for Florida.
High Low Set
The other set that Florida often ran with the duo of Tyus and Macklin was high-low action, initiated by a block to block screen. In the first play, we see Macklin set up a screen for Tyus, who is on the opposite block. Tyus does not really use it but the screen does its job in creating the situation Florida wants. (Notice that the very beginning of the play, Florida uses Chandler Parsons to run the above set. When it doesn’t work, Florida goes into this high low set).
Tyus pops out to the elbow to receive the pass from Parsons. Butler switches the block to block screen, which lets Macklin seal his defender in the paint, gaining position for Tyus to make the entry pass. The defense quickly doubles down on Macklin but he makes a superb move to split the defenders and finish the layup.
Again, this play is about setting up Macklin to gain favorable entry in the post and putting him in an isolation situation. Both of these sets do exactly that and allow Macklin to go one on one with his defender. It will be interesting to see if any of Florida’s big men can fill Macklin’s void and continue to make these plays effective.