Playbook: The 3/5 Pick and Roll | Magic Basketball

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Jan 11

Playbook: The 3/5 Pick and Roll

Photo by Fernando Medina

The 3/5 pick and roll.

At its core, the 3/5 pick and roll with Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard is one of the most devastating plays in the NBA. On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks’ defense found out the hard way as Turkoglu ripped them apart in the pick and roll, totaling up 17 assists en route to the Orlando Magic‘s ninth consecutive win.

And in 2009, it was the Turkoglu-Howard pick and roll that led the Magic to the NBA Finals. What makes it a potent play?

It starts with Turkoglu.

At 6-foot-10, Turkoglu is a small forward that has the court vision and playmaking ability of a point guard, which puts a lot of strain on defenders that aren’t accustomed playing against an individual with that skill-set. Additionally, because Turkoglu has a height advantage against virtually every opposing small forward, that makes it easy for him to create off the dribble in the pick and roll. Turkoglu can look over his defender, literally, which allows him to find either Howard or Orlando’s shooters around the perimeter. Also, it can’t be understated the chemistry that Turkoglu has with Howard. That adds to the potency of the pick and roll because of that aforementioned synergy.

People talk about Jameer Nelson‘s chemistry with Howard, but it doesn’t compare to Turkoglu’s relationship with the big fella. Ever since Turkoglu and Howard linked up for a game-winning alley-oop against the San Antonio Spurs in 2007, they’ve been communicating in a telepathic manner for the last few seasons.

Turkoglu’s willingness to be a dual-threat in the pick and roll, whether it’s to be a facilitator or scorer, makes it go-to play for the Magic in crunch time. Why? Because opponents can’t hone in one specific option. That’s the difference between the pick and roll with Turkoglu and Howard, as opposed to Vince Carter.

Carter, more often than not, looked to score in pick and rolls. That made Orlando a predictable team down the stretch in games. But with Turkoglu, the unpredictability on offense is back to where it used to be. There are many reasons why the Magic are enjoying a nine game winning streak.

Turkoglu’s return and the revival of the 3/5 pick and roll is one of them.

Let’s take a look at the 3/5 pick and roll in all its glory. When Turkoglu is on his game in the pick and roll, Orlando’s offense evolves into a special one. The choices for Turkoglu in pick and rolls are endless — he can settle for a jumper, he can attack the basket in hopes of drawing a foul or half-expect Howard to clean up his mess at the rim, he can feed Howard for an alley-oop lob in the paint, he can kick it out to the perimeter and allow the Magic’s three-point shooters to go to work, etc. It really is a cornucopia of options when Turkoglu has the basketball in his hands.

Click here for the video.

Example 1:

Typically, the 3/5 pick and roll with Turkoglu and Howard will begin at either of the wings in a half-court set. The term is a side screen and roll. Here, Turkoglu waits for Howard to set a pick. DeShawn Stevenson defends Turkoglu fairly well. It doesn’t matter, however, because of Turkoglu’s size advantage. Turkoglu has very little difficulty putting up a shot, and he’s able to make the jumper.

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Click here for the video.

Example 2:

This is a staggered 3/5 pick and roll with Turkoglu maneuvering around screens set by Ryan Anderson and Howard. The purpose of staggered screens to create extra room for the ballhandler to create off the dribble. As Turkoglu executes the pick and roll, Brian Cardinal — having the assignment on Anderson — shows but he doesn’t get back in time to cover the open shooter. As such, Anderson has himself a wide open look at a three-pointer and he drills it.

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Click here for the video.

Example 3:

The 3/5 pick and roll at its basic. Turkoglu executes the pick and roll, finds Gilbert Arenas on the wing, and voila. A three-point shot for Arenas.

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Click here for the video.

Example 4:

Another staggered 3/5 pick and roll. At this point, Turkoglu is in a steady groove on offense and is able to drill a fallaway jumper over Jason Kidd.

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Click here for the video.

Example 5:

On this possession, this is where Turkoglu’s chemistry with Howard shines through at its brightest. Howard sets the pick and cuts to the lane — notice he’s looking at Turkoglu the entire time this is happening. At the very last second, as Turkoglu dribble penetrates, he lobs the ball for Howard.

An alley-oop connection is born.

8 comments
Patriciach61
Patriciach61

Props on the article Eddy... it's been awhile since I have come across an article that is informative and yet still so entertaining. We get so tired of these gloom & doom writers that you find on other sites. Keep em coming & Go Magic!

Ezjayy
Ezjayy

More articles like this please. Good stuff.

Ferric
Ferric

Enjoyed this piece. I also enjoyed Turks picture, he actually looks skinny!!

r_clifford1
r_clifford1

Interesting article, nice work.

'Shard never had the same flair as a passer that Turk is showing us again these days -- feeling pretty good about the trade right about now.

SouL_execution
SouL_execution

this is amazing.. this is wat you call good work..

Adolfo
Adolfo

I like this kind of posts, I get to learn the game, nice job Eddy...!!!

McLean Cromer
McLean Cromer

This is awesome! I spent almost 30 mins trying to explain this correctly....voila! there is it is...