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A Play with Many Parts

Oct. 29, 2012
Oct. 29, 2012

Table of Contents
Oct. 29, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
EDITOR'S LETTER
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
WORLD SERIES
MEDIA
  • HE CUTS MANY FIGURES—VOICE OF THE SUMMER, VOICE OF THE FALL, ENGAGING, POLARIZING—AND THAT'S BEFORE WE EVEN GET TO THE SHADOW OF HIS OLD MAN. BUT IN A CLIMACTIC MONTH WHEN JOE BUCK'S WORLDS ARE COLLIDING, WE ARE REMINDED HE'S SOMETHING ELSE: AS GOOD AS IT GETS

PRO FOOTBALL
NBA PREVIEW
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A Play with Many Parts

The pick-and-roll may seem simple, but it poses complex problems. The ballhandler can pull up for a shot, take the rock hard to the hole or dump it to the screener, who in turn can roll to the basket or pop out for a jumper. On defense, pesky guards and limber big men must read and react. The variety of options calls for a variety of skills. These are the best performers in each of the pick-and-roll's moving parts.

This is an article from the Oct. 29, 2012 issue

MOST EFFICIENT BALLHANDLER(min. 250 poss.)

View this article in the original magazine

PLAYERPTS/GFG%PTS/POSS
1. Marcin Gortat,PHO6.064.11.231
2. Tyson Chandler,NY3.767.51.229
3. Kevin Love,MIN3.547.51.110
4. Tim Duncan,SA4.354.61.077
5. Blake Griffin,LAC3.357.21.070
6. Marc Gasol,MEM3.353.91.064
7. Kevin Garnett,BOS3.152.11.033
8. David Lee,GS4.151.11.031
9. LaMarcus Aldridge,POR4.051.11.028
10. Drew Gooden,MIL4.049.71.005

What makes a good pick-and-roll screener? Well, a good pick-and-roll point guard goes a long way. Marcin Gortat is many things—hardworking, strong—but an offensive juggernaut is not one of them. Yet the Suns' center scored more points per pick-and-roll possession than any other screener, becoming the latest in a long line of Phoenix big men to lead the league in that category, thanks to playing with Steve Nash. Unlike Tim Duncan, who can step out and shoot a jumper as well as roll, and Tyson Chandler, who picks up a fair number of baskets slipping the screen (pretending to set a pick and then breaking to the basket), Gortat generally makes a simple cut to the hoop. But give him his due: He sets effective screens, has good hands and is strong enough to consistently finish at the rim.

EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONSIllustrations by MCKIBILLOPHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (HARDEN)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (ROSE)PHOTOGREG NELSON (BOSH)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (DUNCAN)PHOTONOAH GRAHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (MEEKS)PHOTOBILL FRAKES (GARNETT)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (CHALMERS)PHOTOGREG NELSON (GORTAT)