Houston Rockets: Fake action frees weak-side shooter

From J.B. Bickerstaff, assistant coach at Memphis Grizzlies, previously interim head coach Houston Rockets

This quick-hitting play runs two decoys off screens toward the ball to command defensive attention before the shooter steps high from the elbow for an open jumper.

Why use it

Trailing 118-114 to the Clippers with 16.4 seconds remaining in the game, the Houston Rockets needed some fast developing plays to score with little time running off the clock. This play is great for a team with multiple shooters, so the defenders must cover all the initial decoy action.

Set up

Have your point guard take the ball out of bounds on the side. The person you want shooting the ball is on the weak-side elbow. Place a pair of good shooters on the weak-side wing with your center near the ball-side elbow.

Houston Rockets: Fake action frees weak-side shooter

How to play

2 steps low and screens for 3. 3 curls around the screen and comes toward the middle of the court, which forces defenders to pay attention to this player [1]. 2 continues low and runs the baseline, then flashes toward the ball. 3 continues the curl and screens for 5. 5 curls around the screen to the opposite side and pins down 4’s defender. 4 steps to the top [2]. 2 keeps flashing toward the ball, which forces defensive focus to that area. 1 passes to 4. 4 shoots immediately as 5 crashes the boards [3].


3 and 2 must sell their potential to receive the inbound pass with ready hands and calling for the ball. This keeps the focus off 4 so 4 has a better chance at an open jumper.

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