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2013 EuroBasket Preview: Spain Offense

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The 2013 EuroBasket tournament tips off Wednesday, featuring 24 teams from Europe competing for six spots in the 2014 Basketball World Cup. The past week featured some friendly games between some of the participants, giving us a look at some of the offensive tendencies of the teams. Follow along with the tournament on ESPN3. 

Spain enters the tournament as one of the favorites to win yet again and they will almost surely advance to the World Cup, despite having only one of the Gasol brothers. Their offense will still be dynamic, featuring Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez and others. They should have no trouble scoring as they have plenty of offensive weapons.

One of their go to sets on offense is the side pick and roll. What is interesting is that they can position the screen either way, either toward the middle of the court or the baseline. The guards are dynamic and able to create offense using the screen toward the middle of the court and confident enough to create a shot when moving into less amount of space toward the baseline.

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Not only are the guards able to create for themselves out of the pick and roll but the big men are strong enough to finish when rolling to the rim. This action is going to be difficult for any team to defend so Spain will likely run this action many times during each game.

While Ricky Rubio tends to create for others off the pick and roll, he showed that he is working on a pull up jump shot in the friendly games leading up to the tournament, It will be interesting to see if he continues to implement this with any success in this tournament, especially in the easier group games and how it will translate to the NBA.

Spain will also sprinkle in some sets during the tournament, several of which they showed in the friendlies. Spain may run these again or they may run different variations of these sets in the actual tournament.

This set is designated by a Ricky Rubio head tap, which gets Spain into the halfcourt set. They start off in a Horns set but it seems to be a disguise for the action. A quick pass to the wing, Victor Claver in this example, results in a pass back to Ricky Rubio and the offense is then aligned across the free throw line.


Claver then uses one screen to get some space from his defender and set up the final action. Claver will use the screen only to get below the rim, where he then has the option to go back to the left or onto the right.


Claver now has the option to off a double screen to the right or back off the initial screener to the right. The first screener is a little slow to set up in this example, but the option is there. Claver decides to go off the double screen in this example, which leads to an open three point shot.



The play is designed to give the shooter two options, defending on how the defense plays it. In this case, Claver took the double screen but does have the option to cut back to the left.

Spain should be one of the best offensive teams in this tournament and should have little trouble finishing in the top 6. Their side pick and roll will be fun to watch, as we see Ricky Rubio leading an offense filled with high-flying wing men and great offensive big men.

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Written by Joshua Riddell

September 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

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