Running on Empty

One variety of pick-and-roll seems to be used with increasing frequency—and it helps illuminate the subtle tactical battles of NBA coaches.

I’ve noticed a tactical shift this season. It’s relatively subtle, and without the numbers to back it up I don’t know whether I’m imagining this trend or it’s real. But it feels to me like teams are getting more pick-and-rolls with an empty weak side than in the past.

If that last sentence had too much jargon or was a bit confusing, or if it’s not clear why this is important, bear with me. Let me step back and explain why it’s so interesting to me, why it may be another half step in the NBA’s constantly evolving X’s and O’s ecosystem.

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