May 28, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) drives to the basket with Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) defending in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

A Simple Play That The Heat Can Run Against the Pacers To Great Effectiveness


If Chris Bosh is really good at anything, it’s mid-range jump shooting.

He’s currently shooting 45.7% from 15-19 feet from the basket, and 46.2% from 20-24 feet from the basket in the playoffs (according to NBA Stats).  The Heat can use Bosh’s versatility and his perimeter shooting to their advantage on the offensive end — and to some extent they have been, with this simply play.

Bosh is being guarded by Ian Mahinmi and Udonis Haslem is being guarded by Roy Hibbert.  

To create space for a Bosh mid-range jumper, Haslem sets a screen on Mahinmi which gives Bosh some space as he runs to the right side of the court.  Roy Hibbert still hasn’t recognized that he should be switching on Bosh as he’s taking steps toward Haslem.

Bosh is about six feet clear of Hibbert, and Hibbert has just realized that he should be guarding Bosh.  Dwyane Wade, the ball-handler, has noticed an open Bosh and is about to feed him the ball.

Bosh catches, Hibbert attempts to close out (which he does pretty well) but Bosh has too much space and drains the easy mid-range jumper.

This play is effective for two reasons.

A.  Ideally, Bosh would set up shop about 5 feet further back from where he took the shot illustrated above.  Bosh vs. Hibbert would put a tremendous amount of defensive pressure on Hibbert as he has to respect Bosh’s jumper, but because Bosh is a fairly mobile big man, Hibbert also has to respect Bosh’s driving ability.  Thus, what will end up happening is either Bosh get’s a pretty good look at a shot he can hit with good frequency, or he can pump-fake and drive past Hibbert.

B.  The other reason this play would be effective if used more (especially, if Bosh was closer to the perimeter) is that it would force Roy Hibbert out of the paint (because Hibbert has to guard Bosh on the defensive switch).  Roy Hibbert is a very legitimate shot-blocker and shot-alterer, so removing him from the paint area not only negates Hibbert’s rim protection, but it also creates pockets of space close to the basket for Heat players, such as Dwyane Wade or LeBron James, to drive into, and create offense from.

This is a very simple play (essentially a frontcourt screen) that takes advantage of Bosh’s unique ability as a mid-range jump shooter, that I think, can cause a lot of problems for the Indiana Pacers defense (and a lot of benefit for the Heat’s offense).

Tags: Indiana Pacers Miami Heat NBA NBA Playoffs