Brooklyn Nets Quick Hitters
When the Brooklyn Nets aren’t fast breaking, secondary breaking with a drag screen or flow motioning into their half court offensive concepts, they’re starting to implement & execute quick hitters in their half court sets. Here are 3 quick hitters the Nets have been displaying recently.
Elbow Split is a common (NBA) action that is beautiful to watch when skilled players make excellent reads & reactions. It works very well against switching defenses (which the Nets & everyone else in the league see so often) mostly because of the slipping & diving reads. The Elbow Split is initiated with a pass to a player at the elbow (Nets have been utilizing Jordan/Clax). Then the passer plays a 2 man game with the player on the strong side wing by setting a screen which initiates the reads & action. The 2 other players are on the weak side to keep proper spacing & ensure good strong side execution without their defenders helping. It’s incredibly fun to watch the amount of options the Nets have out of this Elbow Split quick hitter, let’s take a look at 5 clips:
1. Kyrie fakes the backdoor & then pops off the screen to take a wide open 3.
2. Harden uses the screen & takes handoff to get into the roll action with Clax.
3. Kyrie comes off both screens, then gets a rescreen from Jordan for a handoff into a shot.
4. Kyrie gets the handoff & throws a lob to Jordan who timed his dive to the rim very well.
5. Kyrie gets the handoff for a 3.
The Nets will continue to add options to this Elbow Split, especially if the start putting KD in the Quarterback spot! Jordan’s decision making & passing is questionable at times, but his size makes it difficult to go under or over. The element of adding the Dribble Hand Off (DHO) & popping option out of this with KD, will give opposing coaches nightmares trying to guard. This is a quick hitter I see the Nets continuing to use & will only get more lethal as their execution improves.
Scissor is a great simple quick hitter that the Nets have been using successfully to get 1 of their shooters a 3 point look. Again, a common but difficult action to guard. Guard near half court hitting the top of the high post with a pass & then setting a screen for the shooter on the opposite high side of the floor into a handoff for a 3. Let’s take a look at 3 clips of the Nets running this Scissor quick hitter:
1. Have to love how Joe Harris sets his man up…textbook! Slowly bring him down, then change speeds & comes off the screen hard.
2. Harden great screen, well executed for a Kyrie 3.
3. This is a nice variation with a Jordan handoff to Harden flip kickback ball screen & dive by Jordan into a great read & pass by Kyrie.
“A Set” (Also known as “Horns”)
A Set is one of my personal favorite sets which has become more & more popular. The starting points for the players is a ball handler up top near half court, 2 corners & 2 split on the top of the high posts. The spacing, simplicity, options, driving gaps, mismatches it can create, etc are all great reasons coaches have this in their playbook. The Nets haven’t developed this set to run additional options & have kept it very simple. Nash showing his brilliance to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), when you have Harden with the keys to your Ferrari. They are currently just ball screening & allowing the spacing to do it’s work. As the great saying goes, “Good offense is good spacing & good spacing is good offense”. Let’s take a look at 2 A Set quick hitters the Nets are running:
1. Here is Harden utilizing the ball screen making a great read to split the defense because the hedge is too hard. Having shooters in the corners (Kyrie here), makes it so much easier for Harden to get in the lane to score because they can’t help.
2. Here you get Clax on the roll with Bruce making a great read to cut to the rim after his man helps. But Clax being aggressive going strong to the rim off stride stop 2 feet is a great sight.
The Nets offensive firepower is otherworldly and historic. As the second half of the season approaches look for them to only get better as Durant returns and the chemistry continues to improve.