By: Lucas Shapiro / HoopDirt.com Contributor
Here is this week’s edition of HoopDirt.com’s Tuesday Starting Five.
USC Trojans – Box Cross Curl
In a four overtime thriller, USC was able to get the slight edge over Arizona on a simple baseline out of bounds play. What is particularly interesting about this play, however, is that the Trojans ran a very similar play earlier in the game.
The key difference between the first time they ran it and the second time was who Kaleb Tarczewski was guarding. The second time, the look for the curl on the bottom screen was more open and helped them finish off the game. Andy Enfield runs a lot of sets out of the box set for baseline out of bounds plays, which makes them very difficult to scout.
Virginia Tech – Box Stagger
Speaking of exciting games that had a key baseline out of bounds box set to help the underdog beat the Goliath…
Virginia Tech ran this baseline out of bounds play towards the end of the second quarter. Justin Bibbs started on the top weakside of the box and went to the strong side corner off of a stagger screen for an open jumper. Have to give Gibbs credit on the impressive separation he created for himself by using the screens and elevating after getting open.
Sacramento Kings – Post Cross Hammer
This was a beautiful set by the Kings to get Rudy Gay an open look. The key in this play is the power forward (Quincy Acy) finding the right guy to set the hammer screen on. What is nice about the pass from the post to the corner is that it puts a big man like DeMarcus Cousins in a good place on the weakside to wedge for the offensive rebound should the shot go long (which is exactly what happened on this play).
Have to give a quick shout out to one of my lifelong friends Colin Stanley for these next two plays. Not only did Colin send me this first play but he had an extra ticket for the Celtics vs. Pistons, which is where I observed the second play of this set. What a great friend!
Boston Celtics – Full Court Backdoor
Have 4.7 seconds left in the quarter (or half) and are taking it all the way up the court? Don’t worry, Brad Stevens has a play for you. This was undoubtedly some impressive passing by the Celtics, but thankfully Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner were able to pass past their defenders to find the wide-open Kelly Olynyk cutting to the hoop.
Detroit Pistons – Iverson Elevator SLOB
I liked this sequence because, while it did not happen on this particular clip, I could see the Iverson cut causing the two defenders going opposite ways to collide. This would present endless opportunities for the defense. The Celtics actually defended this play well but when you have a shot-maker like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, sometimes there is nothing you can do.