May 26, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (3) sets up the offense against the Miami Heat in game three of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Play of the Day: Pacers X-Cuts

One action common in the Indiana  Pacers’ offense is the cut across a big man with the ball.  This generally occurs in the high post, but the Pacers use this action in several situations, allowing wings like Paul George to catch the ball on the move off a faux-screen from the big man, and clears space for the big man with the ball if he does not make a pass.


This action is often generated as part of a motion strong set. If the intial pass to the big man in the low post is denied, the Pacers will often run a cross-screen, or simply have the big man flash, to open a pass to the high post, creating an x-cut opportunity.


This X-Cut set has a few interesting wrinkles:



While the Pacers generally rub cutters off a big man in the high post, this set is initiated in the low post, and involves a pre-planned screen by one wing for the other.


Here is another iteration of the low-post x-cut:



This type of action could be useful in the New Orleans Pelicans offense.  It requires the big men to decide between keeping the ball and passing to one of his offensive options, but does not force the big man to create the offensive opportunity.  This decision-making responsibility could help further the development of Anthony Davis, while clearing help defenders could benefit his post game.


Also, allowing Eric Gordon to catch the ball on the move, whether off the high or low post set, would help him create more efficient offensive opportunities.


Adding a weak-side back scree could free shooters for wide-open corner three point attempts, an ideal result for any offensive possession.


Wrinkles such as these will help improve the efficiency of the Pelicans’ offense, and hopefully aide the development of the players.

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Tags: Indiana Pacers Motion Weak New Orleans Pelicans Offensive Sets X-cut

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