Breakdown: Miami Heat “Hand Off” Series

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

I’ve been a huge fan of how the Miami Heat run offense under Erik Spolestra, and not just because he started out with LeBron James as his top horse. The Heat have awesome sets that promote 4-out spacing and create all kinds of misdirection and movement.

Here’s a look at the Heat’s “Handoff” action which helps them get into really quick offense, courtesy of Half Court Hoops:

Essentially this is just quick entry action to isolate a two-man pin down on one side of the floor. This look is ideal for someone like Dwyane Wade, who is the main option in most of these clips because of his mastery of angles and in the pin down game.

The set isn’t initiated by a hand-off every single time. Sometimes it can just be a wing entry. Whoever makes the entry spaces to the ball side corner.

During that exchange, the opposite wing is setting up to use a pin down screen from the big on their side. Sometimes both bigs will collaborate to set a stagger screen, especially if one is trailing the play (Hassan Whiteside does it a few times).

On the catch, you see the offensive advantage for guys like Wade, Luol Deng, and Mario Chalmers, because they have the entire side of the floor to utilize. You see them attack the middle of the floor a lot because that’s where the biggest opening is and that’s usually where their momentum is going as they come off of the screen.

Notice how simple this action is, but how effectively it gets the Heat into a quick-hitter. Most of the clips saw them get a shot off in the first ten seconds of the shot clock. Just an example of how spacing, movement, and timing creates productive early offense.

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Martin is the Founder, Chief Editor, and Head Skills Development Trainer for Basketball Society. He has work experience in digital media and marketing, radio, and journalism. Currently, he does freelance work as a videographer and content creator. He has been featured as a writer on sites such as Def Pen, TV Film News, All Hip-Hop, and more. Martin played high school basketball at South Brunswick High School (NJ) where he graduated in 2007. He is a 1,000-point scorer at SBHS and an All-Middlesex County performer as a 3-year varsity starter. He helped lead SBHS to their first-ever Central Jersey Group 4 sectional state championship in 2007. Martin played college basketball at Eastern University, where he graduated (BA, Communications) in 2012. Martin was a four-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer at EU. Follow Martin on Twitter @Marsoaries and on Instagram @martin_soaries


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