Damian Lillard’s Series-Clinching Shot

With just 0.9 seconds remaining and inbounding from the sideline, the Portland Trail Blazers went with its ‘second option’ for the game-winner

WHY USE IT
This set sideline play provides a low-post and 3-point option for whatever your team needs with less than a second remaining on the clock.

SET UP
Isolate your best post-up player on the ball-side block. Your best shooter is farthest from the ball. For Portland in Game 6 against Houston, this was LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, respectively.

HOW TO PLAY
The inbounder first looks to the post. If open, the ball is thrown to the post who uses a quick move to score. This option was not available to Portland as Houston’s Dwight Howard fronted Aldridge [1].

The next option is occurring simultaneously as the shooter runs off two screens and comes toward the ball. In this case, Lillard gained a step on Chandler Parsons, who was defending, and appears to be thinking the Rockets planned to switch on all screens, which they weren’t [2]. The shooter comes from the far side, uses both screens, catches the pass and shoots in rhythm as time expires [3].

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TECHNIQUE
If all else fails, the third option is to throw high to the screener rolling to the set’s top. That shot, however, is not a high-percentage one.