Playbook: The 1/5 Pick and Roll | Magic Basketball

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Aug 19

Playbook: The 1/5 Pick and Roll

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

The 4-out/1-in offensive scheme that the Orlando Magic employ is the foundation of an offense that features Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and others. But there are also other plays that the Magic run with frequent regularity.

Like the 1/5 pick and roll.

The pick and roll is like a common household appliance — every team in the NBA runs it to varying degrees of success. The analogy is probably not the best one, but the point is that pick and rolls are the bread-and-butter of many offenses in the league. Head coach Stan Van Gundy has made it his job to utilize the pick and roll as much as possible. And its worked for Orlando.

Up to this point, the Magic of this era are best-known for riding the 3/5 pick and roll with Hedo Turkoglu and Howard all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009. The zenith of the play’s effectiveness was displayed against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, where Turkoglu had a field day initiating Orlando’s offense from the pick and roll. The Cavaliers were helpless to stop it.

However, a lot of people forget the devastation caused by the 1/5 pick and roll with Nelson and Howard in the first half of the 2008-2009 regular season. Before Nelson suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder, he was the proprietor of the pick and roll and it fueled his All-Star campaign. After Nelson got hurt, it took a while for him to get back to that same level but he reached it in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

That’s where the 1/5 pick and roll will be examined.

To clarify, the number designation for pick and rolls is based on the player’s position on the court. Point guard is 1, shooting guard is 2, and so on and so forth.

The primary purpose of the 1/5 pick and roll is to get Nelson or Howard involved on offense. However, there are secondary purposes to the play and that’s to generate some looks for players like Rashard Lewis, who often find themselves in catch-and-shoot situations. That’s one of the main reasons why the Magic employ so many shooters, so that they’re ready to put up a shot as Nelson probes into the lane and forces the defense to collapse on him.

Notice the spacing on each of these examples, too. It’s always superb.

Click here to view the video.

Example 1:

This is a standard 1/5 pick and roll, in which Howard receives the basketball and dunks it with authority. Notice the spacing on the play, however. If Howard wanted to, he could flip a pass to Vince Carter or Lewis for an open three-pointer.

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Click here to view the video.

Example 2:

This is a variation of the 1/5 pick and roll, and a play that was seen a lot in Orlando’s series against the Boston Celtics in Games 4 and 5. Lewis sets a staggered screen, alongside Howard, to free up space for Nelson to navigate himself. Rajon Rondo gets caught by Lewis’ screen and Nelson is able to put up a three-point shot without any disruption. This is one of the reasons why Nelson is an excellent fit at point guard, because of his ability to hit threes with proficiency.

The staggered 1/5 pick and rolls were the key to the Magic’s two victories against the Celtics.

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Click here to view the video.

Example 3:

This is another staggered 1/5 pick and roll, but Nelson decides to utilize Howard’s screen and dribble penetrate. As Nelson gets near the basket, Boston’s defense collapse on him and that allows Matt Barnes a clean look at a three-pointer in the corner. Barnes delivers but now that scenario becomes more effective in the future, with Quentin Richardson on board.

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Click here to view the video.

Example 4:

On this possession, Orlando runs another standard 1/5 pick and roll. Nelson does a great job of using Howard as a shield against Tony Allen, providing himself enough space to put up an uncontested jumper just inside the three-point line.

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Click here to view the video.

Example 5:

A standard 1/5 pick and roll, in which Lewis spots-up in the corner for a three. If you pause the video, all five defenders for Boston converge on Nelson as he kicks it out to Lewis.

This is execution at its finest.

5 comments
Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Round of applause for educating the masses out there on how effective Nelson and Howard are together, and also how important it is within our schemes to have so many efficient shooters on offense. It makes us nigh impossible to guard when we're clicking.

jax502
jax502

Great job on these Eddy.

NC Magic Fan
NC Magic Fan

Great stuff. I really enjoy the diagram/video format.

The 5th example links to the wrong video though.