Phoenix Suns Game Winning Lob Play
Breakdown of Monty Williams end of game lob play from baseline out of bounds that beat the Clippers in game 2.
The Phoenix Suns won game 2 on an awesome baseline out-of-bounds lob play from an “After Time Out” from Monty Williams. I put After Time Out in quotes because it was really a free timeout on the 450th review at the end of the game, but that’s a complaint for another time.
With .9 seconds left on the game clock and a corner baseline out-of-bounds inbounds situation, these are moments that coaches LIVE and dream for. Monty Williams had Devin Booker set a backscreen for DeAndre Ayton to catch a lob dunk to win the game for the Suns.
If I am being completely honest, I had no idea that there was no goaltending called on out-of-bounds plays until tonight (Rondo also did not know this so I don’t feel too bad about it). So that means that you can throw it to the rim and allow your player to go up and get it and basically just shoot the ball for a more accurate pass. Tyson Chandler talked about Jay Triano telling him about this had this in his back pocket for around 15 years until he used it to win a game for Chandler on a tip-in.
In this play, we see initially that Demarcus Cousins is on the ball - keep that in mind for a second - and Zubac defending Ayton, with the Clippers switching Batum on Beverly quickly.
The play is triggered and then Rondo runs all the way over to the Suns’ bench and trying to communicate about something which pauses the play to start and could have ruined the timing of it.
Starting off Ayton screens for Cam Johnson who cuts to the opposite 3 point line, but this is just dummy action that could cause confusion if the defense switches everything.
After Bridges clears to the corner and Johnson to the opposite wing, Booker then sets a backscreen for Ayton on Zubac diving to the rim for a lob.
Monty Williams also mentioned in his presser that the other option was for Booker to pop out to the ball-side corner. Keeping it empty on the ball-side also freezes Batum so he cannot help at the rim.
So this allows Crowder to put it in the rim and Ayton is able to finish it.
Demarcus Cousins Inbound Defense
Ty Lue put Demarcus Cousins in the game to defend on the inbounder, a solid move to keep size and make the inbounds pass harder. Here is the issue, his angle is not cutting off a pass to the rim and allows a sliver of a lane for Crowder to make the pass. Take NOTHING away from Crowder’s pass - but this allowed the lob to become a lot easier.
Monty Williams talked about postgame how he stole this play from Brett Brown and Joe Prunty from the 76ers and the Suns over the past 3 years. So naturally we have to look at those plays and how this play was pieced together.
76ers Lob For Butler
Brett Brown After Time Out ran this play for Jimmy Butler so of course the TNT broadcast cuts the beginning of the play off, but essentially starts the same way. Butler screens for McConnell who cuts to the baseline and then receives the lob from Shamet - a similar design but the first cut is baseline.
Tyson Chandler Lob
As mentioned above Jay Triano ran this late game set for Tyson Chandler to get a tip in, knowing their was no goaltending on the inbounds. So Monty combined these two ideas to get this Lob play for Ayton.
I LOVE learning and finding out how plays were designed and how they are created, so this was a blast learning all of this. If you enjoyed this breakdown please share with others and let me know!