Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs opened their 2016-2017 season with a 129-100 victory on the road against the Golden State Warriors. A full recap and breakdown can be found here, but for this film analysis, we’ll zoom in directly to four pick-and-roll sets that were effective for the Spurs against the Warriors from each quarter of the game.
1Q – Traditional 2/5 P&R
Players involved: Kyle Anderson (2), Pau Gasol (5), LaMarcus Aldridge (4)
Since Danny Green is currently out for three weeks, Anderson started in his place at the 2 (shooting guard position). This traditional P&R was effective because of Anderson’s experience at understanding how to run the P&R much like a point guard, as he used to do in college at UCLA. Anderson lags a bit around the screen, sees Gasol rolling, throws the pass up high for Gasol to catch it, and when the defense heads toward Gasol, Gasol feeds Aldridge for the post-up attempt right near the rim.
2Q – Spread 4/5 P&R
Players Involved: Kawhi Leonard (4), Aldridge (5)
This possession in the second quarter took place when the Spurs were running a small ball unit with Aldridge at the 5 and Leonard at 4. With three shooters spacing the floor, the Warriors’ defense had no choice but to pick their poison – a) sag off the Spurs’ shooters awaiting a pass to provide rim protection, or b) allow Leonard and Aldridge to run the P&R with no rim protection underneath. The Warriors chose the option b), and it paid off for the Spurs.
3Q – Spread 1/5 P&R
Players Involved: Tony Parker (1), Dewayne Dedmon (5), Aldridge (4)
Prior to the start of the season, Aldridge and Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich had both mentioned in past interviews that Aldridge would be taking a bit more 3-pointers this season, after getting comfortable in the offense over one whole season. This showed in the third quarter, when a big lineup of Aldridge and Dedmon (non-shooter) were on the floor together. In order to provide spacing for Parker and Dedmon to work, Aldridge went to the corner area, where Parker eventually found him on the drive after Draymond Green tried to help on Parker’s drive.
4Q – Angle Clear 2/4 P&R
Players Involved: Jonathon Simmons (2), Anderson (4)
With Simmons’ ability to beat his defender off the dribble, the Spurs ran the angle clear P&R action to give him the entire right side of the floor to operate with Anderson as his screener. Simmons was able to beat Klay Thompson off the dribble and make the contested layup with the foul, for the and-1 opportunity. This P&R type could be one the Spurs might continue running for Simmons and also Leonard as well, as it allows players who can finish at the rim room to operate with the other three players forming an angle on the opposite end of the floor.