NBA basketball is a beautiful game where it often feels like the most talented players on the planet operate in an organic and reflexive way, but careful design by coaches always guides the process. Occasionally the design and execution of a set play pushes to the forefront of the action, and head coaches flash their play-making ability that is usually operating behind the scenes. This series is meant to make sure quality plays that translate perfectly from the white board to court are re-examined and explored more thoroughly.
The Milwaukee Bucks have struggled to consistently create quality shots in half court sets -- they are dead last in the NBA in pick-and-roll offense -- but head coach Scott Skiles has been stepping up his game on set plays and is doing his best to manufacture efficient looks since Andrew Bogut went down with a broken ankle. This post takes a look at a Shaun Livingston dunk from the Jan. 25 game against the Houston Rockets.
Game situation: Andrew Bogut left the game in the first half with a broken ankle, and the Bucks stumbled to the intermission down nine. After Kevin Martin opened the third quarter with a three to push the margin to 54-42, Scott Skiles got to work with a brilliant set play. Here's how it looked in the box score: "Shaun Livingston makes dunk (Drew Gooden assists)."
It looked so much better than that in live action.
A few things you should know: I make up the names for the plays based on their features and draw my own observations after selecting and replaying the clip an unhealthy amount on mySynergySports.com.