Welcome back to The 3-Point Play, a semi-regular recurring feature here at HoopChalk. Every so often, I’ll take a quick look at sets from three different teams that have something in common. Rather than devoting a separate post to each of them, they’ll all be grouped together here. Today, we’ve got the passing of Kyle Korver, JJ Redick and Mike Dunleavy coming off pin-down screens.
Most often utilized out of horns or on the weak side of pick-and-rolls, pin-down screens are usually designed to free a knockdown shooter for an open catch-and-shoot jumper up around the elbow extended. Maybe the defense overplays the passing lane and he flares out to the corner. Slightly less often but still with great frequency, that shooter can curl all the way around the screen and catch the ball in the lane for an easy floater, layup or dunk. Some guys are so good at coming off screens that they necessitate forced rotations from the defense before they even catch the ball.
Here, the Hawks are trying to free Kyle Korver off a pin-down screen on the weak side of a 1-3 pick-and-roll between Jeff Teague and DeShawn Stevenson. Korver’s got multiple guys screening for him on that weak side at first. Atlanta’s timing gets a little messed up as Korver comes up around the elbow extended before Teague has even gotten the ball back from Stevenson. But the Hawks stay persistent in their pursuit of the pin-down. Korver goes right back to the baseline and comes off a single pin-down from Al Horford. Nic Batum gets caught in Horford’s screen, so JJ Hickson jumps out on Korver to deny the jumper. But rather than execute a switch, Batum still tries to recover to Korver as well. This forces LaMarcus Aldridge to temporarily leave Josh Smith open in the middle of the lane, where Korver hits him with a pass. Now Smith is open 5 feet from the rim, and as soon as Aldridge moves even half a step toward him, Smith delivers a pass to Hoford for the easy bucket.
Later in the same game, the Hawks catch Hickson cheating. Again he’s covering Korver-Horford pin-down action, this time with Wes Mathews rather than Batum. Hickson tries to cheat forward for just a second to deny the pass to Korver, hoping to prevent the same strained rotations that happened last time and still recover to Horford in time to stop him at the rim, but Smith makes the perfect read and hits Horford back door after he slips the pick.
Above, the Magic run the same weak side pin-down action for JJ Redick as the Hawks ran for Korver. Redick curls his way around the screen and into the lane, where he draws multiple defenders before dropping it off to Nikola Vucevic for a baseline dunk. When he catches the ball right around the elbow, there are actually three Timberwolves covering him at the same time, and none of them is his own man – Andrei Kirilenko, who got caught up so badly in Vucevic’s screen that he’s all the way by the sideline when Redick catches the ball just outside the lane. Chase Budinger crashes down from the top of the key, Luke Ridnour completely ignores Ish Smith on the weak side and slides across the paint, and Nikola Pekovic is so concerned with that Redick elbow jumper that he abandons Vucevic at the rim. It’s probably one of the easiest passes Redick’s made in his career.
Here, the Bucks so strongly pursue a weak side pin-down for Mike Dunleavy that the play essentially acts as a strong side screen-and-roll. Additionally, even before getting that pin-down, Dunleavy sets a screen of his own for Marquis Daniels, making it a screen for the screener play as well. The pass from Brandon Jennings to Dunleavy is perfectly timed so that he catches just as he’s coming around the screen from Epke Udoh. The Sixers don’t even really overplay the pin-down action very much. It’s when the play turns into a modified pick-and-roll that they get beat. Spencer Hawes slides way too far into the lane to cover Dunleavy’s dribble drive, leaving Udoh wide open for the pocket bounce pass and an easy basket.