In the "Hot Hot Plays" series, we'll be going over some actions that the Heat run over the course of the season. This look got Amar'e Stoudemire a bucket at the basket in a win vs. Brooklyn on Mar. 28. Let's take a look at Double High STS and how this misdirection play fools the Nets.
In the first quarter of a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Mar. 28, the Miami Heat ran an early offense set with their center and small forward at the top of the key setting a double high screen for Josh Richardson.
The play progresses into an action where the initial screener receives a screen curling to the basket, as Richardson doesn't see an initial opening to attack. This type of action is typically referred to as "Screen the screener" and is a popular trigger within the framework of a modern NBA offense.
Here's Double High Screen The Screener drawn up and a breakdown of how it worked below.
When Richardson comes over the two screens, the predictability of the initial action is enough for the Nets to sniff out any possibility of him exploding to the rim. Nets point guard Shane Larkin goes under Joe Johnson's screen and although Richardson is having a very hot month of March 2016, he can't get away with taking Stephen Curry shots just yet. Knowing that Amar'e Stoudemire is not a threat from 3-point range, Nets center Brook Lopez comfortably sinks into the lane in complete prevention.
Richardson could have let it fly from the top of the arc after the second screen as well, and it's fair to say it would have been a good shot, but the rookie stayed patient. This sets off the next read for Josh, the "Screen The Screener" action as Amar'e sets a cross screen for Joe Johnson to (hopefully) curl to the basket.
Stoudemire does his job, but the conflict for Johnson arises when Lopez steps up to stop the ball. In a perfect world, this second trigger would have led to Johnson catching it closer to the rim on a curl to the basket. Richardson gets Johnson the rock, but the Nets literally threw three bodies at him.
Johnson could have hit Richardson again for a clean spot up, but Stoudemire rolled to the basket after his screen and it was curtains for Brooklyn.
The point of a misdirection play that involves this type of action is to do exactly this. Obviously you want a good possession, but it's the by product of putting the defense in a position where they have to communicate effectively to contain it. The play itself could have been prevented if Lopez called a switch and Johnson's man stuck with Stoudemire, or if Lopez maybe stayed a bit more back and took a better angle defensively. But the Nets did not communicate effectively enough to salvage any hope of forcing a tough shot.
ICYMI: Check out the first installment of 'Hot Hot Plays' here, where Dwyane Wade gets a layup in "Horns Staggers."
Jay Ramos is a performance enhancement and basketball skills trainer/coach with Next Level Basketball.