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No player in NBA history has ever been more criticized for his late game play than LeBron James. Anytime he passes the ball in a close game, people begin to question whether or not he has the mental fortitude to be a winner. Thankfully, LeBron won a title last season and now all of that talk is gone. Now we can start appreciating his unselfish play in crunchtime, which is a good thing for all basketball fans.
Here is a play that the Heat used down four to the Toronto Raptors in overtime last week that I call Horns Flare. Miami is going to utilize every player on the court in some way or another and the end result of the play is a wide open three for Ray Allen, which is probably the best outcome you can think of in a close game.
I saw the Indiana Hoosiers run this set versus Iowa in their first Big10 match-up. This is a great set to get an easy look. I added on the flare screen/lob option in case you want to run it more than once or give yourself another couple options.
Here's a fun play for the holidays out of a "Reindeer" set from the NHSBCA Playbook. The 1 brings the ball up the floor and signals which of the players stacked together at the free throw line will step out to set a ball screen. The options that follow all depend on who set the initial screen.
Temple ran this Early Offense set in their match-up against Villanova
They do a good job with spacing and the ball reversal sets up the flare screen for a possible shot or quick entry pass to the post man off the flare
Fran Dunphy's teams are well drilled and do a good job executing their sets
1 screens for 2 to receive inbounds pass.
2 passes to 1 shaping up as 4 screens down for 3. 1 hits 3 on wing for shot.
If 3 doesn't have the shot, 4 lane screens for 5 and 1 flare screens for 2. 3 can hit 2 for the shot. If the flare is not open, 3 looks to feed 5 in the post.
5 sets a side ball screen for 3. 3 can reject the screen and attack baseline (4 spaces to weak side corner) or use the screen (4 circles to ball side corner) and look for the roll or a shooter circling right.
This is the SLOB ran last night by Brad Stevens and Butler down 70-67 against Marquette with .13 to play.
The play used great misdirection in getting Clarke a clean look at a 3 which bounced off, but because of the great weak side rebounding position by Butler, they were able to tap in the rebound cutting the lead to 70-69.
A very well designed set by from a timeout situation by the Butler Bulldogs and their great young Coach Brad Stevens.