Brad Stevens is great in late game situations. Here are just two of many of the great SLOB actions that he has used during his time in Boston. Below you will find diagrams and video of both actions. I hope that this article helps you develop a deeper understanding of what makes these actions work, and also stimulates some thinking to help increase your coaching ability.
The most common way that Stevens runs this play is to have three players in a triangle at the elbows and top of key, one player inbounding the ball, and lastly the fastest player behind half-court. The player at the top of the key will get a screen and cut out to the far side corner. The first screener will then cut off the next elbow man to the ball side corner. The second screener will then sprint and crack the point guards man. The point guard wants his defender to hit the screen while moving at full speed so it will be hard to avoid the screen and guard the ball. Additionally, the first two screening actions should cause x5 to be recovering when 5 sets the screen for 1, placing x5 in a hard position to guard a player attacking with the ball. As penetration does occur, it is vital that the players who cut to the perimeter are down and ready should a kick out become available. Additionally, because this is a late game play and a basket is needed, all 5 players must crash the boards for a potential offensive rebound.
“Sprint Counter” – For a shooting 5
In this set, you are looking to get a 3pt shot for either your 5 man or your 4 who is screening. The set begins the same way, but the difference is that the first cutter comes back to the action after their first screen to screen for 5 and then open to the ball. This is a nice action because of how many screens occur. Many teams will elect to switch in a late-game situation like this, and having consecutive screening actions makes switching a very difficult task and increases the chances that you will get a good look at an open shot.
This is a great set to run when teams are aggressively switching and denying the offense from inbounding the ball. 4 and 2 want to stay at half court and come no closer so that the basket area is open for 5 and 1 to work. 5 will down screen 1 and will actively try to slip to the ball side block. If this pass can be thrown, it is the first option. The second option is to throw to 5 posting with a small 1 on him. The third option is to lob to 1 as they basket cut since 5 is above them on the switch.
Below you will see a video featuring the sets diagramed above, as well as some extra commentary from me on the various sets.