NBA Preseason – GSW Double Drag

NBA Preseason – GSW Double Drag by Roberto Assi

Here is a set play from the Golden State Warriors used during the preseason game against the Timberwolves in China. The play starts with a double drag action and ends with a post feed. Once the ball is in the post, the Warriors use a top screening action to occupy the defenders and also open up a shot if the post player doesn’t have a scoring opportunity.

Click here to download the PDF!

Golden State Horns Down Entry

Golden State Horns Down Entry

This play was originally featured on

4 sets a down-screen for 5 at the block. If 5 isn’t open on the initial cut, both 4 and 5 sprint up to set the ball-screen options for 1 at the top of the key. 1 chooses which screen to use and looks to turn the corner. Whichever screen is used, that player will roll and the opposite screener will pop for a shot.

  • Basketball Play - GSW Horns Down Entry4 sets a down-screen for 5.


    5 flashes to the high post.


    4 flashes to the elbow after 5 clears the screen.

  • Basketball Play - GSW Horns Down Entry1 dribbles off of 4’s screen.


    4 rolls the basket and 5 pops.

4 Horns Options from Golden State

4 Horns Options from Golden State

This article was originally featured on

Here are 4 Horns Options from Golden State. In option 1, Curry attacks the high staggered ball-screen from left to right. As Curry dribbles right, Bogut and Lee move down to the corner to screen for Thompson. If Curry doesn’t have a shot, he passes ot Thompson at the top of the key. In option 2, Curry splits the high staggered ball-screen at the top of the key for a drive or shot. In option 3, Curry drives into the lane looking to pass to Bogut rolling to the corner or he can kick it out for a 3-point shot. In option 4, Igoudala moves to the right side of the floor. As Curry drives off of the screen, Bogut rolls and Lee pops. If Lee gets the ball, he looks to drive or pass out for a shot.

  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsCurry looks to attack off of the high staggered screen from Bogut and Lee.


    Curry is looking for a shot or an opportunity to penetrate and pitch.

  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsCurry dribbles off of the high screen toward the wing.


    Once Curry is out, Bogut and Lee step down to set a staggered screen for Thompson in the corner.


    Thompson sets his man up then cuts off of the screen looking for the shot.

  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsIf Bogut and Lee are spaced out, Curry can drive off of the screen from the high man and shoot in between the screen if Bogut’s defender is not in position to help.
  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsCurry uses the staggered ball-screen at the top of the key and drives toward the basket. Curry can pass to Bogut rolling to the rim or can pitch out to either corner.
  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsCurry uses the staggered ball-screen at the top of the key and dribbles toward the wing.


    Bogut rolls to the rim.

  • Basketball Play - Warriors Horns OptionsCurry pass the ball to Lee at the top of the key.


    Lee has the option to shoot, drive to the basket, or use the Hi/Lo action and pass to Bogut inside.

NBA Terminology – Slide Concept

NBA Terminology – Slide Concept by Zak Boisvert

This article was originally featured on

Embedded below is a compilation of an action you saw a ton during the NBA Playoffs between the Warriors, Thunder and Raptors. My term for the action is “Slide.” A perimeter player sprints in the direction of a ball-handler at the top of the key to set a high pick & roll. Before he arrives at the screen, he changes directions at the last minute and slips his cut to the opposite wing. The hope is that the slip was late enough that the screener’s man was engaged in a pick & roll coverage (hedge/switch/blitz), leaving the screener open for a catch & shoot 3 or a drive. This is a great way to attack ball screen switching (as the two defenders are unsure if a screen will actually be set).

NBA Finals Plays from Game 6

Plays of the Week – NBA Finals by Wes Kosel

Here are several plays from Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The series is now tied 3-3 and will be decided in Game 7 on Sunday, June 19th in Oakland, California. In Game 6, the Cavaliers got a huge game out of LeBron James, who went for 41 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals. Tristan Thompson pulled down 16 rebounds to go along with 15 points. The Warriors got 55 points combined from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, but only one other player scored over 10 points (Barbosa with 14 points).

Golden State Warriors – Zipper Flare Step Up

The Warriors get an open shot for Klay Thompson by passing in to the post then having Livingston set a flare screen for Thompson to cut to the wing. If the shot isn’t there right away, the big can move out from the block and set a step-up ball-screen.


Golden State Warriors – Baseline Stagger

In this play, 2 guards stay up top and two players move to the blocks. The runner (Klay Thompson) moves from the right corner to the left. The shot isn’t open in the video, but the Warriors do a good job moving the ball and get Barbosa a wide open shot.


Cleveland Cavaliers – Horns Flare PNR

I saw the Cavaliers run this play a couple of times in the second half. It starts with LeBron having the ball and a horns ball-screen into a flare-screen for the ball-screener. After setting the flare-screen, the big moves toward the ball to set a high ball-screen.


Cleveland Cavaliers – Horns Stagger Away ISO

In this horns set play, the Cavaliers get LeBron the ball at the high post and run a staggered screen towards the left corner. If nothing is there or if Coach Lue wants LeBron to get a shot, he can work his man 1 on 1 at the high post.


Breaking Down OKC’s Defense Against Steph Curry

Breaking Down OKC’s Defense Against Steph Curry

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors will face off tonight in a much anticipated Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. After Oklahoma City shocked the San Antonio Spurs last round, they have kept up the momentum and hold a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors. A big game for the Thunder was winning Game 4 when Golden State was looking to tie the series at 2-2. Winning this game has put a lot of pressure on Steve Kerr’s Warriors and now to dig themselves out of a monstrous hole Steph Curry will have to lead his team to 3 consecutive wins. The Warriors won game 5 in Oakland, but will face an even tougher matchup going back to Oklahoma City for game 6.

Game 4 was tough for Steph Curry and the Warriors. The final score ended at OKC 118 and Golden State 94. The Warriors had terrible second and fourth quarters scoring only 12 points in the fourth quarter. As a team, Golden State was held to 41.2% shooting and 30.0% from 3-point range. Billy Donovan has done a great job making defensive adjustments against Steve Kerr and forcing the Warriors to play out of their typical style. The Warriors had 21 turnovers to only 15 assists in Game 4 and only had three players score in double figures for the game (Klay Thompson – 26, Steph Curry – 19, and Harrison Barnes – 11). Compare this to six Oklahoma City players who scored more than 10 points (Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Russell Westbrook, and Dion Waiters).

In the video below, you will see how the Thunder made adjustments to Golden State’s offense and specific strategies for guarding Steph Curry. OKC used hard hedges on ball-screens, kept contact with Steph off the ball, switched ball-screens and off-ball screens, and sped Curry up the entire game not allowing him to get in rhythm.

Hard Hedge on Ball-Screens

The Warriors like to run ball-screen for Curry, so Bill Donovan decided to hard hedge on a lot of the actions. In the diagram below, Steven Adams hard hedges and chases Curry to the corner almost trapping with Westbrook. The hard hedge by OKC’s bigs makes it tough when Curry is dribbling to the corner as it doesn’t leave much room to make a play. In this particular play, Draymond Green stays put at the top of the key letting Durant help off on Bogut after he sets the ball-screen. In Game 5, the Warriors did a much better job creating actions on the weak side so that the other 3 players aren’t just standing and watching Steph get trapped.


Contact Off the Ball

Maybe the most effective tactic for Oklahoma City is the constant contact that the Thunder kept on Steph Curry in Game 4. Whether hedging or switching, whoever was guarding Curry had an arm (or two) on him. This made it difficult for Curry to cut freely and didn’t allow him to get any space on screens (especially when OKC switched on the actions). In the diagrams below, you can see the close proximity that Roberson and Ibaka keep with Curry when he is off the ball (even if the ball is on the other side of the floor). In the video, you can see many actions where Steph was arguably fouled, but OKC knows that the officials cannot call fouls on this contact on every play so they have been taking their chances and it proved to work in Game 4.

Snapshot 1 (5-28-2016 3-50 PM)

Snapshot 2 (5-28-2016 3-52 PM)

Switching (Ball-Screens and Off-Ball Screens)

The Thunder switched almost everything with Steph (ball-screens and off-ball screens). Switching so often and with all five players requires a tremendous amount of communication, and Coach Donovan did a great job coaching the bigs through the switches. Even when Adams or Ibaka got singled up on Steph, they stayed put and contested the shot making it hard for Steph to get anything easy. Steven Adams is very effective at guarding one on one, and may prove to be the key factor in shutting down Curry.

In the diagram below, it shows Steph Curry coming off of a staggered screen and the Thunder switching on the action (x2 takes 3, x3 takes 4, and x4 takes Curry cutting to the wing). When ran effectively, it closes up any openings for Curry to catch the ball.


Contesting With Multiple Players

It seems that when in doubt, the Thunder jump at Steph’s shots (even on a shot fake). This has been working well, especially with Adams and Ibaka using their length to give Curry fits. In Game 4, Steph was not shooting well after the first contested shot and didn’t take the mid range jump shots after getting the Thunder to bite on the shot fake. It’s a good strategy, as Bill Donovan would rather live with Steph shooting 2’s rather than 3’s.

Making it Tough at the Rim

Even more frustrating for Steph in Game 4 was that when he got to the rim there were Thunder players there making it tough to finish around the basket. Steph was obviously out of his normal game, but the pressure put on by OKC can’t be denied. In Game 5, Curry was much more confident around the rim. In Game 6, OKC will need to get to Curry’s confidence early to make him second guess on his close proximity shots.

Speeding Steph Up

The defensive strategies used by Oklahoma City sped Steph up to an uncomfortable level. In the video, you can see rushed and hurried shots that Curry is usually comfortable in taking. However, it also seemed that there were times when Steph could have slowed down and made the shots easier, but the Thunder were effective in speeding up his actions.

Actions that Should Work for the Warriors

Even with the relatively bad game, Curry scored 19 points and had opportunities to score even more. For the Warriors to win, they need consistent contributions from the other players on the team (especially Barnes, Bogut, Green, and Igoudala). Without this help, too much pressure if put on Klay and Steph to take over. The team with more balance will be able to win Game 6 tonight.

A play that worked well against OKC’s switching is shown in the diagram below. Curry sets a ball-screen and Bogut sets a screen on the roll for Steph. The quick-paced combination screening make it tough to keep up with Steph (especially when it is a big trying to get to the corner to guard the shot). I expect to see more combination actions from the Warriors in Game 6.