Sebastian Pruiti

sebastian pruiti

Sebastian Pruiti is the founder and editor of NBAPlaybook.com, a blog started in 2010 that takes a look at the Xs and Os of the NBA. He will be contributing weekly to The Basketball Jones with his Savvy/Shabby series that looks at the best and worst plays, coaching decisions, and player decisions in the NBA.

Recent Posts

At 1:00 AM last night, NBATV returned to it’s normal programing and NBA.com started featuring actual NBA players once again. Though it isn’t official yet, it is obvious that there will be an NBA season this year, with camps opening on December 9th and games starting on Christmas. With the season set to come back, it is time that we leave the EuroLeague and get back to the NBA, previewing this upcoming season by looking at each coach’s best play when coming out of a timeout. Keep in mind, this is coach, not team, so when we get to the Lakers, we will be looking at Mike Brown, not recently retired Phil Jackson.

I’ve always said that playcalling during timeouts might be the best way to evaluate a coach’s Xs and Os ability, so I thought it would make sense to look at those situations and pick the best one from each coach. With five of these on deck before the season gets going, we’ll be looking at six teams every post. Today, we are starting with the Hawks, Celtics, Bobcats, Bulls, Cavaliers, and Mavericks.

Atlanta Hawks

When looking at the Atlanta Hawks, Joe Johnson is such an important piece for them. When Larry Drew took over, he promised more movement and less isolation from Johnson, and here is an example of what Drew meant.

The play starts with Jamal Crawford bringing the basketball up and getting the ball to Marvin Williams, who came off of a downscreen set by Joe Johnson.

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As we take a step back to look at week four’s Euroleague action, it is safe to say that things are heating up. Not only have the games been fantastic and competitive, another eight games last week were decided by less than 10 points. As the regular season continues, we are starting to see a lot of teams bunching together — group A’s first place and last place teams are separated by just one game in the loss column — meaning each game and each moment is all the more important. Here, we are going to take yet another look at two key plays from week four of the Euroleague.

Josh Shipp’s Smart Cut Helps Seal the Game

Up six points with about two-and-a-half minutes left in their game against Olimpija, Galatasaray Medical Park were looking for a basket to clinch the game. A lot of player movement by Galatasaray was able to set up Josh Shipp and put him in a position to make a smart cut off his defender to get open for the basket that effectively ended the game.

We pick up the play at the top of the key near halfcourt after Galatasaray inbounded the ball from the baseline. Once the ball gets near halfcourt, Shipp and his teammate interchange with Shipp going from the block to the wing while his teammate replaces him.

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Week 3 in the Euroleague is where things really started to heat up, as six of the week’s 12 games were decided by single digits. Even better, two of these six games were decided by a late possession, requiring the team that had just pulled ahead to get a stop. In this week’s edition of Savvy/Shabby, we are going to look at one team who did a good job of getting a stop and another who couldn’t finish the possession and ended up losing because of it.

Caja Laboral’s Team Defense Gets a Stop

After a basket that gave Caja Laboral a 2-point lead with 1.7 seconds left, they found themselves trying to stop Olympiacos in a sideline out of bounds situation.

On a pretty well run set, Olympiacos is trying to get the ball to one of three players, all set up on the weak side of the court.

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One of my favorite college basketball blogs is a site called The Mikan Drill, a site that looks at the Xs and Os of the college game. Something that they have been over there since the season has ended was Season Leftovers, looking at some great sets over the course of the college season. An idea so good, that I decided to bring it over here during the NBA offseason.

With the lockout looking like it will continue for a little while longer, it only makes sense to continue our Season Leftovers and have another go-round with it, once again starting with Baseline Out Of Bounds sets (click for part 1, part 2, and part 3). To make myself feel better about the whole lockout situation, today’s BLOB sets will feature two of my favorite playcallers, Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers.

DeJuan Blair Slips a Screen

When you are a team that runs a particular set in certain situations, and runs it well, teams are going to have to prepare for it. When that happens, it frees up counters in that set, and that is what happened when the Spurs played the Mavericks during the regular season.

The play starts with DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner setting a double screen for Gary Neal, who curls off of it in front of the basketball to the opposite block.

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One of my favorite college basketball blogs is a site called The Mikan Drill, a site that looks at the Xs and Os of the college game. Something that they have been doing over there since the season has ended was Season Leftovers, looking at some great sets over the course of the college season. An idea so good, that I decided to bring it over here during the NBA offseason.

As we finish our third round of season leftovers, we are back looking at some late game defense. As previously mentioned, a lot of attention is paid to the offense and when a late game play fails, we have a tendency to look at the offense and blame them. Despite this, there are some situations where the defense simply wins out. Here are two of those instances.

Kirk Hinrich’s Game-winning Charge

Against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Atlanta Hawks were able to build a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Blazers were able to make a run and cut the lead to single digits and with under one minute left, they had the ball looking to cut the lead to five. But instead of getting a basket, Kirk Hinrich was able to step in, make a great read and take a charge, one that clinched the game for Atlanta.

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We pick up the play as LaMarcus Aldridge kicks the ball out from the foul line to Gerald Wallace. Since this was a play out of transition, the Hawks’ defense was protecting the lane and needed to close out on Wallace.

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One of my favorite college basketball blogs is a site called The Mikan Drill, a site that looks at the Xs and Os of the college game. Something that they have been doing over there since the season has ended was Season Leftovers, looking at some great sets over the course of the college season. An idea so good, that I decided to bring it over here during the NBA offseason.

With the EuroLeague not starting for another four days, I thought it would be interesting to bring things back to our Season Leftovers series. Picking up where we left off last time, we are going to look at two game-winners today.

Miami’s Game 3 Winner

Miami got a lot of flack for their fourth quarter play, and deservedly so. However, at the end of Game 3 Miami used team basketball to get Chris Bosh an open game-winner attempt that he knocked down.

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The play starts with Dwyane Wade dribbling out the clock a bit at the top of the key as LeBron James gets a pindown screen set for him by Mario Chalmers.

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The EuroLeague is a club basketball competition that mimics the Champions’ League in soccer. Basically, this league takes the 16 best teams in Europe (mostly league champions with some leagues getting two or three spots) and allows them to play each other to determine Europe’s club champion. While the regular season for EuroLeague doesn’t start until October 17th, last week had 16 teams fighting for the final two spots (14 teams automatically qualify, two teams have to fight through qualifying rounds) in a single elimination tournament. Here is the best and the worst from that tournament.

Lietuvos Rytas’ Quick Hitter to Close the Quarter

Up by six points with the third quarter winding down, Lietuvos Rytas had the ball looking to get a big bucket to extend the lead. Opting not to go for two, Rytas made sure they worked the clock and got a really good look out of it.

Once the ball gets to the top of the key, Predrag Samardziski sets a screen for Simas Buterlevicius, allowing him to pop out on the wing and make himself available for the basketball. In this set, Samardziski is basically your designated screener.

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