NBA 5-Out Offense: Delay Turn
Last season I did a complete breakdown of how the 76ers were using this Mike D’Antoni set for James Harden, so there might be some overlap between the 2 breakdowns. In this specific breakdown I will be including the different variations of the “Turn” action not just out of Delay, but special sets NBA teams have run as well.
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Mike D’Antoni Origins
I have studied Mike D’Antoni’s playbook extensively, focusing on his After Time Out plays. Personally, I believe he is one of if not the best After Time Out coach in NBA history and his offensive mind has continued to change the game of basketball. I first saw the origin or idea of this action during his time with the Lakers when he ran this sort of “flip” screen for the player in the corner.
This action really didn’t take off until the 2018-19 season in Houston where they ran it constantly both After Time Out and as a regular play including sideline out of bounds.
Starting off in 5-Out (Delay) setup the ball is passed to the big in the middle of the floor.
When it hits the bigs hands the player in the opposite corner - more or less the wing in most setup - sprints toward the top of the key then flips into a pindown.
Harden would then come off the handoff going downhill with a big rolling to the rim, forcing the defense to choose to either defend the roll man or the shooter lifting up for a catch and shoot 3.
There is another option to defend it as the Knicks did, to just blow the entire coverage completely and have nobody defend Harden or Embiid and allow an easy score.
Against Minnesota the 76ers did try this Sideline out of Bounds, however, nothing came of it - but I expect them to continue to look for that action as well.
Full edit of the Houston Rockets running “Turn” action below:
Previous Breakdowns in the 5-Out Offense study:
Part 1 - NBA 5 Out Offense: Spacing
Part 2 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Wide
Part 3 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Wide Dribble
Part 4 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Wide Elbow
Part 5 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Wide Specials
Part 6 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Delay
Part 7 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Delay Flare
Part 8 - NBA 5-Out Offense: Delay Chicago
21 Keep Turn Chicago
A common entry in early/flow offense is to hit ahead to the wing typically referred to as 21/Pistol action. This after time out look gets the “21 Keep” and then swings it to the big in the middle of the floor.
While a simple tweak, adding the keep action does help disguise the entry into the Turn Chicago action.
21 Nash Turn Wide
One of the actions that the Rockets and D’Antoni started to use was the Turn action off the ball in different variations. A common After Time Out set early on in his time with the Rockets, they used 21 action flowing into a double ballscreen at the same time - commonly referred to as “Nash” action.
The “Turn” counter occurs on the baseline with the player sneaking low and then turning to screen for the player in the corner.
More on 21 Nash actions:
21 Turn Hammer
One of my favorite sets from last season was this common counter out of the normal “21 Hammer” action that tweaks the typical setups for a Hammer play. This play is set up for the trail man (Wagner) setting up top as a decoy and as the ball is driven baseline he turns the angle of his cut to set the Hammer screen.
On the weakside the big low who would normally be setting the hammer screen now “T’s Up” or finds space in the lane for a drop-off pass if his man overhelps on the drive.
More on 21/Pistol Hammer: Toronto Raptors Film Room
Delay Turn Chicago Slip
Nothing is a secret in the NBA anymore, look at how much film I have as 1 person for example - now imagine an entire NBA staff and video room dedicated to having as much information as possible. When teams scout so well it leaves opportunities for counters and reads, which is how this play likely originally was created.
Starting to expect the Turn Chicago action that we have looked at in this breakdown, the player setting the Turn screen slips to the rim and beats the team that either tries to switch or bump on the initial screen.
Ram Turn Pin
The Rockets continue to create counters using this “Turn” action in this play out of the common “Ram” action to screen for a player before another action - typically a ballscreen.
After the player comes off the initial screen, he then Turns quickly to set a pindown for a player in the corner.
Becoming a more common action, this is a set the Utah Jazz have used for the last few seasons under Quin Snyder.
SOB Turn Chicago
Teams now go to this Turn Chicago action out of Sideline out of Bounds by hitting the big and having the player at the block (normally setting a backscreen) flipping the screen into this action.
Chris Paul detailed his time with the Rockets and how they would switch up which side of the floor he and James Harden would take the ball out so they could run this action with each other going to their strong hands:
Thru Turn Chicago
Setting up this action with a Thru cut helps disguise it and set up everything with simple off-ball movement. At times the player who cuts through on the strong side would set the Turn screen for the guard to come off the handoff.
Other times the player who cut through from the weak side will go through and set the screen, this change-up constantly keeps the defense guessing where the screen will come from and does not allow them to recognize the action.
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