Unfortunately I don't get a chance to watch that many Euroleague games mostly due to the time difference, but whenever I do, I enjoy watching the execution both offensively and defensively. One thing I have noticed, is that when teams have good big men, they use them a lot. As the NBA has started shifting to more of a guard's league, in Europe they still value their big men very highly.

I caught the first half of the Fenerbahce and Panthiakos game and recorded this half-court offensive set. It is just a regular block-to-block play, but it's well executed and it gets the big man the ball in a great position to score. As a coach, that's about all you can ask for, a pass to a big man right underneath the basket. Here's what it looked like live,

Curl to Flex Backscreen:

Couple of things that really make this play work well. First is the curl action and pop out to receive the wing pass.

O2 and O3 go in different directions, O2 first goes out, then cuts back in to set the flex backscreen. O3 pops out to receive the wing pass. This counter action of 2 players going in opposite directions from a bunch formation allows you to get the wing pass off cleanly.

O2 goes to set the flex backscreen. The key to the whole play is how O5 sets up his defender. With a quick weight shift (very v-cut like), O5 is able to duck underneath. Now, Panthiakos defends the play quite well as X2 switches automatically, but O3 is able to get a nice semi-lob into O5 who catches and finishes underneath.

One of the reasons why Euroleague execute so well is partially due to the amount of practice time they get. Unlike the 82 game NBA schedule, Euroleague teams usually play 1 game a week for like a 20-week season, then playoffs. The coaches can actually spend time in practice breaking things down and working on the little things.

For a great pro-style look at the game, take a look at Avery Johnson's DVD on Attacking M2M offense. Most people recognize Coach Johnson as "the little general" of the Mavs and I've always enjoyed watching the Mavs play. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.