Breaking It Down

Breaking It Down: Calderon and the high screen

Here’s a play against the Bucks which relies heavily on timing and three players being on the same page. It is executed to perfection.

High screen with misdirection

Here’s a play which relies heavily on timing and three players being on the same page. It is executed to perfection. Passes are in red, player movement is in white.

Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson are running some high-screen action, but keep your eye on Chris Bosh at the bottom of your screen. The actual play here doesn’t really involve Amir Johnson, but Bosh on the sideline. Johnson is simply giving the Bucks something to worry about as the more important part of the play develops underneath.

Antoine Wright has set a solid screen for Chris Bosh which has caught the defender. There has been some lack of communication between the Bosh’s and Wright’s defender, and Bosh has been able to pin his man on the screen. At the top of the play, the Bucks are still recovering from the high-screen and this has given Jose Calderon some daylight to make a pass.

Calderon zips a pass to Bosh who has gained half a foot on Mbah a Moute. The timing of Jose’s pass is critical here as it anticipates Bosh being in a position he’s not in yet. Jose’s pass is crisp and straight to Bosh. Amir Johnson is not in the play anymore.

Bosh catches the ball, and lays it in for the And1. Wright’s good work in setting the screen needs to be commended as well as Calderon and Bosh’s communication in being on the same page during the play.

Options on the pick ‘n roll

This play demonstrates some of the options Jose Calderon has on the pick ‘n roll, even when run with a lesser offensive threat such as Amir Johnson.

The floor is spaced out as Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson run another high screen. Ridnour is caught on the screen and is relying on Johnson’s man (Hakim Warrick) to provide some hedging so that Calderon doesn’t get too far away from him. Warrick’s hedge is weak and you can already see that he’s too far away from Calderon to provide any real defensive resistance.

Calderon has turned the corner and Ridnour is trailing him and thus a non-factor at this point. Warrick is in the middle of nowhere and has defended this play in the worst way possible. Calderon now has some options.

  1. He has Sonny Weems on the left corner open for a three as his man is shading towards Calderon.
  2. Weems also has an option to cut to the rim as his man is drifting away from him, if he does that he will force Bosh’s man to help leaving Bosh open after a quick-thinking pass.
  3. He has a cutting Amir Johnson down the middle who he can feed and force Bosh’s man to make a rotation (leaving Bosh open).
  4. Bosh can also choose to set a screen for Wright’s man on the far wing, at which point Wright can drift to the corner and be found for Jose for a clean look at a three.

Calderon opts to pass the ball to Weems for the open jumper, notice Johnson who hasn’t stopped in his tracks but is going towards the rim in anticipation of an offensive rebound. His man Warrick is behind him and totally out of the play. If Weems misses, the Raptors are in a 2-on1 situation on the glass as only Bosh’s man is there to defend. Warrick is being very lazy.

Weems misses the shot, but Johnson’s activity results in an offensive rebound and a fresh possession for the Raptors.

Don’t miss Raptor Fan Fridays at SCC tonight.

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