Caught the first quarter of the Rockets game against the 76ers before going to our JVs first game (and yes, our JVs did win). Some have said that the Rockets are playing Rick Adelman's version of the Princeton, but I haven't seen much of it at all, I don't know if they've abandoned it but I don't see much of the high post stuff and backcuts. I've mostly seen McGrady/Yao PNR and sets for McGrady like this Stack Screen play. Thought I do like this play because it gets the ball into your best player's hands right in the middle of the floor, an ideal situation to attack from. Watch the video and read my thoughts below,

Stack Screen:

I guess you could say the set starts from a 1-4 set. Yao, O5 sets a cross screen for O2 who cuts to the opposite wing to receive the pass (I don't want to belabor the point but again, the pass to the wing is from a screen).

Yao then sets up for the high stack pick. After passing to O2, O1 cuts through the lane and sets the low side stack pick. It's important that Yao sets the high pick as that is the one that will catch McGrady's defender.

Cut to Middle:

I really like what McGrady does here. If you have a really good player, make sure he sets up his picks like McGrady does. McGrady fakes like he's going low then cuts up off of Yao's high pick. You see why we want the big guy up top now, Yao is the one that sets up this play beautifully.

This causes a switch to occur, X5, Yao's defender is forced to close out on McGrady who can make that shot at the top of the key with his eyes closed. X3 is stuck behind Yao.

Attack the net:

Finally, McGrady can attack from the middle and has 3 options. He can take it himself, pass to Yao who has rolled to the basket after the pick (and has X1 on him, a huge mismatch), or pass to O4 in the corner for the 3 pointer.

You've seen from the video what McGrady does, he passes to the corner for the 3-pointer. I believe this really is a triple threat play, any of the 3 options would've been a good choice.


A lot of teams I know have their best player act as their point-guard and just have them go 1-on-1. It's easy because the ball is already in their hands, but it is extremely ineffective in my opinion if your best player is a forward slasher type player. I think you can be much more effective if you can get him/her the ball in the middle of the floor in a great position to attack.

Here is a video you want to check out if you're interested in motion with stack concepts. Mike Montgomery's DVD on the 5 man motion and stack offense might be one for you. Coach Montgomery was formerly head coach of Stanford University and the Golden State Warriors. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and other basketball topics.