Lenny Wilkens Offensive Plays by Wes Kosel
Here are 3 offensive plays against a man-to-man defense from Coach Lenny Wilkens. Coach Wilkens was a successful player and coach in the NBA, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a player in 1990 and as a coach in 1998. Wilkens is second on the list for all-time wins as a head coach in the NBA behind only Coach Don Nelson. Wilkins won 1,332 games as the head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, and New York Knicks. His Seattle Supersonics won an NBA Championship in 1979, and he was awarded NBA Coach of the Year in 1994.
The following plays were taken from Wilkens’ playbook while coaching for the Atlanta Hawks. The Split Dribble Hand-Off play was used for superstar Dominique Wilkins, while the two Baseline Cross plays were used for shooters like Craig Ehlo.
Split Dribble Hand-Off:
The play starts with 1 passing to 5 at the elbow. After passing, 1 sets a down screen for 3 (Wilkins). Wilkins cuts hard looking for a pass from 5 off the screen, but if a pass is not there he continues around 5 for a hand-off. Wilkins then splits the two post men and turns the corner driving to the basket. Wilkins is looking to score, but if the shot is not there he can pass to 4 diving to the basket or 2 coming off of the down screen from 4.
Baseline Cross with Double Down:
1 dribbles toward the wing, while 2 (Ehlo) sets a cross-screen for 3. 3 looks to post up if not open on the initial cut. After setting the screen, Ehlo cuts hard off of the double screen from 4 and 5.
Baseline Cross with Double Down Counter:
1 dribbles toward the wing, but instead of 2 setting the cross-screen for 3, 3 steps in toward the lane then curls off of the double screen from 4 and 5. Ehlo still cuts off of the double screen after 3 looking for an open shot.