I always like watching the Spurs play, because as a coach, I'm always interested to see what cool offensive and defensive sets I will pick up. All the talk about the stars of the NBA, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, etc... when it comes down to it, good fundamental team basketball still wins out. While the Spurs have stars, it's the way they play that makes them successful. For example, put Tony Parker on some other team and he's just another Leandro Barbosa. This was a really cool offensive set that I caught tonight in the win over Seattle, it's kind of neat because it's like a wheel motion, then it goes to a stagger screen. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Wheel Motion:

How often do you see the wheel motion at this level. But the motion is good because it causes a lot of confusion and lots of switching by the defense. O1 is at top, I've diagrammed a box, but they don't exactly start that way, though if I were to run it at the HS level, I'd probably tell my players to start in a box set.

O4 is Tim Duncan and he comes up to the high post. The other players just wheel around. O3 comes all the way out to the ball-side wing, looking for the pass from O1 if open. Kevin Durant does a good job denying the pass. O2 shifts down but then flares to the wing, again looking for the pass.

Fake Handoff, Stagger Screen, 3-pointer:

What the Spurs love to do is have Tim Duncan come up to receive the pass at the top of the key. Duncan is such a good passing forward that it works well when he does a handoff or just passes because he's tall and his passes are accurate. They even go hi-lo sometimes.

What happens here is Tim Duncan fakes the handoff to Jacques Vaughn, pivots, and fires the pass to Manu Ginobili. O3, Ginobili, comes from the ball-side and cuts through the lane and comes off the stagger screens set by Bruce Bowen and Matt Bonner. He receives a perfect bounce pass from Tim Duncan, right in the hands chest-high and Ginobili just catches and shoots, and hits.

The reason why this works is that Kevin Durant gets screened out, and the switch doesn't happen soon enough which gives Ginobili that fraction of a second he needs to fire away.

Coach Gregg Popovich's DVD on his favorite drills is both informative, practical and relatively new. I like Coach Popovic because he's an old school guy that knows how the game is supposed to be played. Check out all the discussions of this and many other basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball forum.