Breakdown: Washington Wizards “Down Roll”

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The Wizards started playing with smaller lineups towards the end of last season, but they’ve been mostly showing two-big sets, and they like to play inside-out. Washington ranked top 10 in post-ups last season and scored nearly 42 percent of the time when playing out of the post (via NBA.com). I’m looking at their “Down Roll” action for this breakdown. Here’s the first clip from a full video courtesy of Half Court Hoops:

The player who enters the ball into the post, who in this case is ideally Bradley Beal, is the one the Wizards want to go back to for a shot. Here’s a snapshot of the what’s happening after Beal’s post entry to NeNe.

Wizards
After John Wall makes the wing entry to Beal, he spaces to the opposite corner. Rasual Butler is probably the most important part of the play on the opposite wing, because his basket cut creates some misdirection which helps to free up Beal for the down screen from Paul Pierce at the foul line area.

In some instances that opposite wing will pretend to be setting a screen for the cutter, like Garrett Temple is doing here:

Garrett Temple
Temple does a good job of selling a potential cross-screen for Rasual Butler, who is going to use the solo down screen from Drew Gooden at the foul line.

The false action helps Butler get free of his defender, Giannis Antetonkounmpo, coming off of the screen. Jared Dudley tries to jump the play and help his trailing teammate, but he’s not quick enough to stop Butler from splitting and attacking the middle of the floor.

This look from the Wizards has great simplicity to it, but there always has to be attention to small details when you’re looking at how and why certain plays work. For this action you can see the impact of spacing, positioning, timing, and running it with purpose so that someone else can benefit.

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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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