In overtime against Toronto, the Miami Heat needed a basket to keep them in the game down by four points. They went to a simple yet effective set that used every one of their big four and led to a wide open Ray Allen three.
Things start off with Dwyane Wade coming across the top of the key and getting a screen from Chris Bosh. The Heat use this type of thing a lot of time to free up Wade with a little space and momentum or get him into the post, but that’s not the option they’re looking to pursue here.
The main point of Wade’s cut though is to draw Chris Bosh’s defender (boxed) away from Bosh. He is forced to help on Wade until Wade’s defender can get around the screen to make sure Wade doesn’t get an open layup.
On the strong side, Ray Allen comes up to set a screen for LeBron James in an unconventional 4-2 pick and pop. The Raptors switch the screen and Allen begins to pop out to to the three point line, aided by a screen from Bosh.
When Allen’s defender gets caught behind the screen from Bosh, the problem is there is no extra man to help out on Allen. Usually in this situation Bosh’s defender would jump out, but he is already helping out on Wade. With nobody to contest him, Allen gets the ball and drains a wide open three to bring the Heat within one. Here is the play in real time:
This is the type of crunch time stuff you love to see out of teams. Lots of movement, options, and creative screening. (And it should be noted that this is actually the play that the Heat tried run at the end of regulation. It was just very poorly executed and devolved into a LeBron isolation.) It’s plays like these that make the Heat the the best “clutch” (Under five minutes, margin of less than five) team in the league per NBA.com.